Biography of William Carr vizconde de Beresford (1768-1854)

English General born October 2, 1768 and died on 8 January 1854 in Bedgebury (Kent). He/She held the titles of count of Trancoso, Marquis de Campomayor, and Viscount Beresford.

Bastard son of the first Marquess of Waterford, chose the weapons race, moving in 1785 to Strasbourg to study at its military Academy. Despite the fact that in an accident he/she lost sight in the left eye, he/she participated in several campaigns against the French Revolution, he/she held positions in Egypt and the Cape of good hope, took Buenos Aires, on June 27, 1806, with only thousand men.The 4 August 1806 he/she launched a manifesto, along with Sir Home Popham, where he/she invited merchants and shipowners of his country to take advantage of the vast market of the South America, that this conquest gave them; But shortly after had to capitulate in front of his troops, being taken prisoner, although he/she managed to escape, returning to England in 1807.

During the war of independence he/she was appointed Supreme Commander of the Portuguese army, he/she tried to instill an iron discipline. He/She fought in Spain under the command of Wellington. A letter, dated May 29, 1809, at Coimbra the superior Board of Badajoz, with news of the war, publishes the mercantile Journal of Cadiz, number 164, of June 16, 1809. And their trade to Miguel Pereira Forjaz, given on 31 August 1810, on the loss of Almeida, on September 14, 1810.sustituyo Hill in 1811, when it had to retire because of illness. The own year 1811 was given in Spain the grade of captain-general of infantry, as a result of its leading role in the battle of Albuera, which earned him at the end of the war, the title of lord Beresford of Albuera; Although their methods, from the military and political point of view, left much to be desired. Wellington thought it was a good organizer, but not a good general.A his decree, dated March 13, 1814, awards to the Portuguese army, by his conduct at the battle of Vitoria, is published in the Fernandino, Valencia, on 19 and 20 April 1814.

He served in Portugal of proconsul, chasing sanudamente all liberal attempts, that backlash helped the Portuguese revolution of 1820 - is rid of humiliation representing the English general. This, on two occasions, he/she moved to Rio de Janeiro, to seek more powers: 1817 and 1819.En his second absence broke out the revolution, so on his return to Lisbon in October of 1820 was not allowed even landed. A sonnet, expressing national sentiment, ranked him unreservedly "Filho of a bitch".His correspondence with Wellington in 1820 is a good sample of the reactionary concern both felt by the revolution of the Peninsula. Beresford has returned to Portugal in 1826, but not on this occasion was allowed to take command of the army.

In 1832 he/she married his cousin Louisa (who was already widow of Thomas Hope), and lived the rest of his life surrounded by honors. He/She had large crosses San Hermenegildo and San Fernandoen 1815 and Portuguese titles of count of Trancoso and Marquis of Campomayor, apart from other distinctions. Until his death, in the Spanish guides below always name of Wellington.


The Compact Edition of the Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, 1975. 2 vols.

Mercantile Journal of Cadiz, n. 164, 16 June 1809.

Dictionary of history of Spain. Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1968. 2nd ed. 1968.

PAEZ RIOS, Elena: Hispanic iconography. Madrid, 1966. 5 vols.

Wellington Papers, Southampton University.

A Gil Novales