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narch; but they are both ready to conclude a peace, provided that it be just, honourable, and equal for all parties.
The Undersigned sees, with pleasure, that, in this difference of opinion respecting the Spaniards, nothing presents itself which can either prevent or delay the opening of a Congress. He derives his persuasion, in this respect, from that which his Britannic Majesty has himself confided to the two Emperors, that he is bound by no positive engagement with those who have taken up arms in Spain. After fifteen years of war, Europe has a right to demand peace. The interest of all the powers, including that of England, is to render it general; humanity commands it; and such a desire, surely, cannot be foreign to the feelings of his Britannic Majesty. How can it be that he alone can withdraw himself from such an object, and refuse to terminate the miseries of suffering humanity!
The Undersigned consequently renews, in the name of the Emperor, his august master, the proposal already made, to send Plenipotentiaries to any city on the Continent which his Britannic Majesty may please to point out; to admit to the congress the Plenipotentiaries of the Sovereigns in alliance with Great Britain; to treat upon the basis of the uti possidetis, and upon that of the respective powers of the belligerent parties; in fine, to accept any basis which may have for its object the conclusion of a peace, in which all parties shall find honour, justice, and equality.
The Undersigned has the honour to renew to his Excellency Mr Canning the assurance of his high consideration.
Count NICOLAS DE ROMANZOFF. To his Excellency Mr Canning, &c.
No. 15.-NOTE. TRANSLATION. The Undersigned has laid before the Emperor his master, the note of his Excellency Mr Canning. If it were true that the evils of war were felt only on the Continent, certainly there would be little hope of attaining peace. The two Emperors had flattered themselves that the object of their measure would not have been misinterpret ed in London. Could the English Ministry have ascribed it to weakness or to necessity, when every impartial Statesman must recognise, in the spirit and moderation by which it is dictated, the characteristics of power and true greatness? France and Russia can carry on the war so long as the Court of London shall not recur to just and equitable dispositions; and they are resolved to do so. How is it possible for the French government to entertain the proposal which has been made to it, of admit
ting to the negotiation the Spanish insurgents? What would the English Government have said, had it been proposed to them to admit the Catholic insurgents of Ireland? France, without having any treaties with them, has been in communication with them, has made them promises, and has frequently sent them succours. Could such a proposal have found place in a note, the object of which ought to have been not to irritate, but to endeavour to effect a mutual conciliation and good understanding? England will find herself under a strange mistake, if, contrary to the experience of the past, she still entertains the idea of contending successfully upon the Continent against the armies of France. What hope can she now have, especially as France is irrevocably united with Russia?
The Undersigned is commanded to repeat the proposal, to admit to the negotiation all the allies of the King of England; whether it be the King who reigns in the Brazils; whether it be the King who reigns in Sweden; or whether it be the King who reigns in Sicily; and to take for the basis of the negotiation the uti possidetis. He is commanded to express the hope that, not losing sight of the inevitable results of the force of states, it will be remembered, that between great powers there is no solid peace, but that which is at the same time equal and honourable for all parties. The Undersigned requests his Excellency, Mr Canning, to accept the assurances of his highest consideration. (signed) CHAMPAGNY.
No. 17.-Official Note, dated Foreign
Office, December 9. 1808.
The Undersigned, his Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has laid before the King his master the note transmitted to him by his Excellency the Count Nicolas de Romanzoff, Minister for Foreign Affairs of his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, dated the 16th-28th of November. The King learns with asto-nishment and regret the expectation which appears to have been entertained that his Majesty should consent to commence a negotiation for a general peace, by the previous abandonment of the cause of the Spanish nation, and of the legitimate monarchy of Spain, in deference to an usurpation which has no parallel in the history of the world. His Majesty had hoped that the participation of the Emperor of Russia, in the overtures made to his Majesty, would have afforded a security to his Majesty, against the proposal of a condition, so unjust in its effect, and so fatal in its example.
If these be indeed the principles to which the Emperor of Russia has inviolably attached himself, to which his Imperial Majesty has pledged the character and resources of his empire; which he has united himself with France to establish by war, and to maintain in peace; deeply does his Majesty lament a determination by which the sufferings of Europe nust be aggravat ed and prolonged; but not to his Majesty is to be attributed the continuance of the calamities of war, by the disappointment of all hopes of such a peace as would be compatible with justice and with honour.-The Undersigned, &c.
No. 19.-Official Note, dated Foreign
Office, December 9, 1809.
The Undersigned, his Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has laid before the King his master, the note transmitted to him by his Excellency M. de Champagny, dated the 28th Novem
He is especially commanded by his Majesty to abstain from noticing any of those topics and expressions insulting to his Majesty, to his allies, and to the Spanish nation, with which the official note transmitted by M. de Champagny abounds.
His Majesty was desirous to have treated for a peace which might have arranged the respective interests of all the powers engaged in the war, on principles of equal justice; and his Majesty sincerely regrets that this desire of his Majesty is disappointed.
But his Majesty is determined not to abandon the cause of the Spanish nation, and of the legitimate monarchy of Spain: and the pretension of France to exclude from the negotiation the Central and Supreme Government, acting in the name of his Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII. is one, which his Majesty could not admit, without acquiescing in an usurpation which has no parallel in the history of the world.The Undersigned, &c.
(Signed) GEORGE CANNING.
(The intermediate numbers of these Papers are short letters from the different Ministers, merely acknowledging the receipt of their respective official notes.)"
BOARD OF INQUIRY. CONVENTION OF CINTRA.
His Majesty having declared his disapprobation of the Convention concluded by Lieut. Gen. Sir Hew Dalrymple with the Commander of the French army in Portugal on the 30th of August last, (both in his answer to the City of London's address, and in the speech at the opening of Parliament) as a measure "which had disappointed the hopes of the British nation," has been pleased to order a Board of Inquiry to assemble at Chelsea, in order to take the said transaction under their consideration. The Members of the Board met accordingly in the Great Room in Chelsea Hospital on Monday the 14th of November. They are as follow:
PRESIDENT.-Gen. Sir DAVID DUNDAS.
The Board being constituted, without any formality, the Hon. R. Ryder, Judge Advocate, read his Majesty's warrant, of which the following is a correct copy :
"GEORGE R.Whereas we were pleased, in the month of July 1808, to constitute and appoint Lieur.-General Sir Hew Dalrymple, Knt. to the command of a body of our forces, employed to act on the coasts of Spain and Portugal, or in such o ther part of the Continent of Europe as he might hereafter be directed to, and the said Lieutenant-General did, pursuant to our instructions transmitted to him, proceed to Portugal, and did, on the 22d of August 1808, land in that country, and take upon himself the command of the said body of our forces accordingly. And whereas it ap pears, that on the same 22d of August, and subsequently to his having assumed the command, an armistice was concluded as follows (Here is recited the armistice as stated in Sir Hew Dalrymple's dispatch.)
"And whereas it appears, that on the 30th day of August 1808, a convention was concluded as follows-(Here is recited the convention, as stated in Sir H. Dalrymple's dispatch.)
"We think it necessary that an inquiry should be made by the General Officers herein after-named, into the conditions of the said armistice and convention, and into all the causes and circumstances (whether arising from the previous operations of the British army or otherwise,) which led to them, and into the conduct, behaviour, and proceedings of the said Lieut.-General Sir Hew Dalrymple, and of any other officer or
officers, who may have held the command of our troops in Portugal; and of any other person or persons, as far as the same were connected with the said armistice and convention, in order that the said General Of
ficers may report to us, touching the mat
ters aforesaid for our better information. Our will and pleasure therefore is, and we do hereby nominate and appoint the General Officers of our army, whose names are respectively mentioned in the list annexed, to be a Board, of which we do hereby appoint General Sir David Dundas, K. B. to be President, who are to meet accordingly for the purposes above mentioned. And you are hereby required to give notice to the said General Officers when and where they are to meet for the said examination and inquiry, and you are hereby directed to summon such persons as may be judged necessary by the said General Officers (whether the General Officers employed in the expedition or others,) to give information touching the said matters, or whose examination shall be desired by those employed in the said expedition. And the said General Officers are hereby directed to hear such persons as shall offer to give information touching the same, and they are hereby authorised, empowered, and required strictly to examine into the matters before mentioned, and to report a state thereof as it shall appear to them, together with their opinion thereupon, and also with their opinion, whether any or what further proceedings should be had thereupon; all which you are to transmit to our Commander in Chief, to be by him laid before us for our consideration; and for so doing this shall, as well to you as to our said General Officers, and all others concerned, be a sufficient warrant.
"Given at our Court at St James's this first day of November 1808, in the 49th year of our reign.
"By his Majesty's command, (Signed) "JAMES PULTENEY. "To our right trusty and well-beloved Counsellor, the Honourable Richard Ryder, Judge Advocate General, or his Deputy."
The Judge Advocate next read all the documents which appeared in the London Gazette of the 16th September last.
After a short consultation among the Members of the Board, the President observed, that, in obedience to his Majesty's warrant, it was incumbent upon them to proceed with all convenience to the examination of witnesses. Then turning to the auditory, he intimated, that as it was probable there would not be any more public business transacted this day, it was the pleasure of the Board that strangers should withdraw. The Court was accordingly cleared.
He then addressing himself to the audience, stated, that the Board, influenced by a wish to promote the ends of public justice, were extremely anxious to prohibit any thing that had a tendency to defeat that desirable object. It was therefore their determination not to suffer the publication of any part of the proceedings pending the investigation, and until the general result should be known.
The copy of a letter was produced, written by Sir A. Wellesley to Gen. Burrard. The former objected to its being publicly read, because he had written it in confidence, and it contained free opinions on the characters of several Portuguese officers, who, not being subjects of our Government, ought not to have their actions examined by any Court belonging to this country.
Lord Moira perused the letter, and said, that its contents certainly did not refer to the subject of investigation; and as the practice of publishing letters of a confidential nature, abounding with free opinions on persons not subjects of our Government, would lead to most unpleasant consequences, it should not be read publicly.-The other Members of the Court concurred in his Lordship's opinion, and the letter was privately perused by the different Members of the Board.
Sir Hew Dalrymple then read a paper to the Court. It stated, that he had to claim their indulgence in the statement of some circumstances, by which his feelings and reputation had been deeply wounded. He had always looked forward with joy to this moment, when he should have an opportunity to repel a calumny which he had every reason to know had the most injurious effect upon his character. He alluded to a paragraph which appeared in one of the public newspapers, and which had been transmitted to the army in Portugal, calculated, not only to destroy
the respect of the soldiers placed under his command, but to rob him of that confidence which his Majesty had been pleased to repose in him. The object of this paragraph was to defame his character, and to rescue that of a more favoured Officer; but, in what he was about to say on the subject, he was far from wishing to shrink from the responsibility, and still less to disclaim the share he had in making an armistice, which, in the event, the more it was considered, the more it would be approved.
[Sir Hew Dalrymple here read the paragraph to which he alluded-insinuating that he (Sir Hew) had torn the laurels from the brow of an Officer (Sir A. Wellesley) who had deserved the admiration of his country for a splendid victory; and that he compelled that same Officer to sign an armistice which would for ever remain on record as a disgrace to his Majesty's arms.]
Sir Hew Dalrymple begged leave most solemnly to affirm, on the word and honour of an officer, that the conference with General Kellerman, which lasted from two o'clock in the day, till nine at night, on the 22d of August, was carried on by Sir A. Wellesley, Sir H, Burrard, and himself; during the whole of which Sir A. Wellesley made what observations he thought proper upon the treaty, and took that prominent part in the discussion which the victory he had recently gained, and the local knowledge he possessed of the country, seemed to justify. The conference was held in the French language; and when he (Sir H. D.) advanced to the table, in order to place his signature to the armistice, he was informed by Gen. Kellerman, that he, as a General of Division, was unable to treat with the Commander in Chief of the British forces; and, therefore, it was proposed that Sir A. Wellesley should place his name to the armistice, and Sir H. Dalrymple did not recollect that a single objection was at that time made by Sir Arthur to the provisions of the treaty, excepting so far as related to the duration of the armistice. Sir Hew Dalrymple did not mean, upon any account, to avail himself of any other means of retrieving his character than what the established laws of the country allowed; his interest,
and the interest of truth were so nearly connected, that they could not be separated; nor should he enter into any details which could not regularly come before this tribunal.
He was extremely happy that he was placed in the situation in which he now stood; but if any individual had chosen to prefer specific charges against him, he had no doubt but he could have justified his conduct with regard to the transactions in Portugal; and there was not a single officer of whose services his Majesty had been deprived by him with a view to the present investigation.
Sir Arthur Wellesley hoped, that in delivering in his narrative to the Board, he should be justified in making a few observations upon what had fallen from Sir Hew Dairymple. Certain paragraphs had appeared in the newspapers, which had ventured to speak upon his conduct in the late transactions in Portugal, as if the writers of them had received any authority or information from him or from his friends, as to the truth of the facts there stated. He had never authorized any person connected with him in the service, or any of his friends, to give an authority to publishers of newspapers to state that he was compelled, or even ordered, to sign the armistice in question.
Sir Arthur Wellesley then delivered in his statement, and the Court adjourned at a quarter before four o'clock till Saturday.
Third day, November 19.
The Judge Advocate rose, and was about to read some documentary evidence he held in his hand, when
Sir Arthur Wellesley observed, that as he was not prepared to answer the statement made by Sir Hew Dalrymple on Thursday, so explicitly as he could have wished at the moment, he entreated permission now to give that answer, and that the same might be considered as a document in the Board's proceedings. Sir Arthur then tendered a paper to the President, who signified the propriety of his first reading it aloud to the Board. Sir Arthur immediately acquiesced, and the contents of the statement were to the following effect :-"I cannot but lament with Sir Hew Dalrymple that any attempts should have been made, through the medium of the public prints,
to wound his feelings or injure his reputation; but I have also cause to complain, as well as the Commander in Chiet, and I do solemnly protest, that I never authorised any publisher, nor did any of my friends authorise any publisher to state that I had been compelled to sign the treaty of armistice by the orders of my superior officer. It is true I was present when the terms of that armistice were discussed with Gen. Kellerman, and it is also true that I took part in that discussion; but I never did, nor ever will say, that I signed it by the order of my superior officer, and that it was not in my power to disobey. At the same time I must state, that I did differ in more points than one, respecting that armistice, but I fully concurred in the principle and the necessity of the French evacuating Portugal When I spoke of the Commissariat be ing ill-composed, I had no intention whatever of casting a reflection upon any persons employed in that important department of the army, and it was not my wish that my remarks on that occasion should go forth to the public. My motive for giving this explanation is to remove the impression, if any has been made, that I meant to reflect on the individuals connected with the department in question.".
Sir Arthur having finished his statement, the paper. was handed in, and -placed before the Members of the Board. The Judge Advocate then read some dispatches from Sir Hew Dalrymple to Lord Castlereagh; one dated the 3d of September, was published in the Gazette; others stating, that the terms of the armistice had been communicated to
the Portuguese General, and who had
not objected to them until after the conclusion of the negociation, and the convention had been signed. A letter in French, from the Portuguese General, objecting to the terms of the convention, and an answer from Sir Hew Dalrymple, stating, that the good faith of the country was pledged to carry these conditions into effect. Some other letters were also read relating to points of detail. In one of these letters, Sir Hew Dal. rymple expresses his surprise that so large asum as 4c,cool. mentioned in the protest, should have been carried off, and declares his intention of ordering restitution.
A variety of other documents were then read; some addresses from the Portuguese expressed satisfaction at the removal of the French from Portugal, and others protested in the strongest terms against the articles of the convention.
evidence, Sir Arthur Wellesley rose, and After the conclusion of the documentary read a narrative of the proceedings from the time that he took the command of the army. Sir Arthur sailed from Cork on the 12th July, landed at Corunna on the 30th; heard there of the defeat of the Spaniards at Rio Seco; had frequent conferences with the Junta of Gallicia, offered them the assistance of his army, but was expressly told that they did not want men, but money, arms, and ammunition, and that the most valuable service that he could render to Spain would be to drive the French from to Oporto, learnt from the Bishop that the Portugal. After leaving Corunna, he went Portugueze force consisted of about 5000 regulars and militia, about 1500 scattered over the country, and 1500 Spaniards. The Bishop promised mules for the conveyance of the artillery and ammunition waggons. Sir Arthur next visited Sir C. Cotton, to consult with him on the means of entering the Tagus, and attacking the forts in the vicinity of Lisbon. When there, he receidiz, intimating that he waited his orders. ved a letter from General Spencer off Caobject was to drive the French from PorIt being Sir Arthur's opinion that the first tugal, and understanding that the Junta of Seville did not think Gen. Spencer's presence absolutely necessary to the operations in Andalusia, he ordered the General to join him. He was at first informed that the French force in Portugal was about 16,000 or 17,000 men, of which about 14,000 were in Lisbon and the forts in the neighbourhood, and the remainder dispersed in small garrisons in the different strong places; but he afterwards learnt that they were nearly 24,000. In these circumstances, he conceived that it would be extremely dangerous to attempt a landing in any of the small bays to the north of the Tagus, where he would be immediately exposed to an attack from the main body of the French army. He therefore resolved on landing at Mondego Bay, where he could speedily co-operate with the Portugueze force which had proceeded to Coimbra.
When off the Bay, he was informed, by a letter from Lord Castlereagh, that 5000 men under General Anstruther, and above 10,000 more under Sir John Moore, were proceeding to join him. He also heard of Dupont's defeat, and that Loison, with 4000 or 5000 French, had been detached to the province of Alentejo, to suppress an