Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Trafalgar and insolvency remuneration: the levees of Ferrol, 1809
Trafalgar and insolvency remuneration: the levees of Ferrol, 1809 (7 min.)
© Juan B. Lorenzo de Membiela
Doctor from the University of Valencia
With the pretext of conquering Portugal in January 1808 five bodies penetrate the French army occupied Lisbon but Madrid and the rest of the kingdom. The abdication of Bayonne, in June 1808, Fernando VII renounces the crown of Spain for his father, Charles IV. This waiver in favor of Napoleon, which in turn resign in favor of his brother Joseph. It is crowned as Joseph I (1808-1813).
If this happened on May 6, 1808, two days before, the people of Madrid rise against the French who try to take the court to the royal family. The demonstration is broken up by a battalion of grenadiers. This survey is followed by the declaration of war by the mayor of Mósteles by the affirmative vote of the noble estates general.
The war climate was not widespread. The army, almost entirely, the ruling classes and most of the nobility were loyal to the brother of Napoleon. All those who had nothing to lose were those who rose up and killed warring against an enemy far superior in number and preparation. It was the courage of a sincere hungry people in defense of their kings and their customs.
It is not strange, as always, it then wanted to appropriate some deeds of others. Political expediency and personal country save them dignities and grants recognized in the past was a dilemma that many were not raised because it suited them. But when the uncertainty of a company becomes successful, new followers will add sworn allegiance forgetting : It is the eternal litany of those who sail on the wind.
Between the years 1798 - 1808 the situation was critical economic. The financial disaster. Godoy had adopted decisions disentailment timid. Were nationalized property of the Church but mainly the municipalities that were sold at public auction. In This yielded 1,600 million reais (Herr, 1974) . Sum to be applied to the payment of public debt in preference. This is indicative of the magnitude and efficiency of the measure.
During the reign of Joseph I succeeded more confiscations to which seizures were joined to the nobility fighting against the invader is not known much was this amount (Tortella, 2006:45).
In previous articles I mentioned the miserable state left the ships and the Navy in general after the battle of Trafalgar. The economic crisis prevented with regular pay to seafarers. The coffers of the state had no liquidity.
Fulfilling their obligation but living on the charity of relatives or the sale of flow or other goods was an incident that has just been released. It is demonstrative of its own shortcomings and needs to be suffered.
In January 1809 Marshal Soult, Duke of Dalmatia, enters by the door of Ferrol Canido once surrendered the Spanish General Melgarejo and municipal authorities.
Agreed a "levee" on 19 March in honor of King José I, held in Captaincy gift from General Obregon, imposed by intrusive forces. The climate of the city was festive. However, having been commissioned several heads of the navy considered the measure as "odious" by not attending to it.
Initiate an investigation. The victims, many of them fighters at Trafalgar, excuse themselves, and presents the following reasons (Gonzalez-Aller, 2005:145):
"Official List of the Lords of War of the Navy who did not attend the levee of the feast of St. Joseph, on the grounds in front of each manifest.
D. Joseph Meñaca . not attended the levee because the only uniform he has is very indecent and broken and patched boots.
D. Antonio Santos Membiela . The plight of prisoners and shipwrecked at different times and married with four children, have put him in the most destitute.
D. Joaquin Nunez . not attended the levee because, having lost all their luggage in the October 21, 1805, had no means to replace it later, and you must pay 13 from that date.
D. Ignacio Acedo . Unable to attend due to lack of clothing, which in present circumstances it is impossible to replace.
D. Antonio Miranda . not attend for reasons that could not avoid, and in a few days will not get out of dinner and attend gatherings or less so numerous, all for lack of resources in the current circumstances.
D. Fernando Freire . was sick.
D. Faustino Güimil . He went to church and not at home of Hon. Mr. Captain General for coming for the saints ( and sign ) as the assistant master of Cagigal (BRAH, Col. ECC, ms. 9/7446) " .
Virtually all of these officers did not see their loyalties rewarded. Many of them were delayed by Ferdinand VII in their promotions. Recognition that other soldiers enjoyed more discreet, more identified with power, legitimate or illegitimate, the moments.