THE LAST IRONSIDES: The English Expedition to Portugal, 1662-1668
The author's detailed but lively text is fully supported by a range of illustrations and specially commissioned maps. Includes 50 illustrations, with 8 pages in color, and 22 maps.
When Charles II returned to England, he began the search for a dynastic marriage. He fixed upon the Infanta of Portugal, Catherine of Braganza, whose dowry included the possession of Tangier, Bombay, and valuable trade concessions. The Portuguese had been fighting for their independence from Spain for 20 years and needed alliances to tip the scales in their favor.
In return for the concessions, Charles II agreed to send to Portugal a regiment of horse and two of foot, which provided an excuse to ship away the remnants of the Cromwellian armies that had not been disbanded at the Restoration. The prospect of service was at first well received. However, there were also officers and men who had remained loyal to the crown to them Charles owed a debt of employment, Former Royalists therefore made up the balance of the regiment of horse - uncomfortable bedfellows for their former enemies.
The English and French regiments fought with courage and discipline at the series of major battles and sieges that followed, most of which have never been properly described. This is, therefore, the rediscovery of a lost episode in military history. It was the English and French soldiers, under Schomberg's leadership, who proved the decisive factor in winning back Portugal's independence. But in return for their courage in battle, the English soldiers were rewarded with insults and want of pay.
At the conclusion of peace in 1667, only 1,000 out of the 3,500 men who made up the force were left standing -- 400 of these received what was effectively a death sentence: they were shipped to Tangier to join the fight against the Moors. The remainder returned to seek service in England or abroad, but places were hard to find.
NEW-softcover, available mid December 2017 ......$40.00
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Updated as of 12/07/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
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