CROKER, John Wilson (1780–1857) ALS to HUSKISSON, William (1770–1830) plus reply 1828

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CROKER, John Wilson (1780–1857) [as secretary to the Admiralty]; with reply from HUSKISSON, William (1770–1830) [as secretary to the colonies]. Autograph letter signed, 8vo, 2 sides of a bifolium, to William Huskisson, headed “Private”, Adm[iralt]y April 15th 1828, asking if there is to be “any order to withdraw the ships from the Tagus and Duro ….. Pray let me know as we have two ships at Oporto & a third on the point of going thither which latter we should of course stop if the others are to be withdrawn”. On the second leaf of the bifolium is an autograph letter signed in reply from Huskisson to Croker of the same date “I think you will receive instructions to withdraw the Marines from the Forts in the Tagus, and to bring home the Line of Battle Ship, and perhaps one of the Frigates, leaving only one Frigate, and a sloop or small Vessel in the Tagus. The two ships at Oporto are sufficient, but they will be left there for some time”. Second leaf of the bifolium with a small repaired hole at the foot affecting two words.

Conflict arose in Portugal following the death of King Joao VI in 1826 when his eldest son Don Pedro, then Emperor of Brazil, submitted a new (liberal) Constitutional Charter and abdicated in favour of his daughter Dona Maria, becoming Queen of Portugal, who was to marry his brother Don Miguel and act as Regent. Don Miguel represented the absolutists, and had previously attempted to overthrow his father. The two factions of liberals and absolutists split the country, with Spain threatening an invasion in support of Don Miguel, leading to Britain deploying armed forces in support of Maria. In February 1828 Don Miguel returned to Portugal, ostensibly to take the oath of allegiance to the Charter and assume the regency, giving comfort evidently to the British and others to withdraw their forces. The lull was short-lived however, for in June Don Miguel seized the throne and annulled the Constitutional Charter. His subsequent actions led to Don Pedro abdicating as Emperor of Brasil, and he returned to Portugal to raise forces (with British support) against Don Miguel. Peace was finally reached in 1834 when Dom Miguel formally renounced all claims to the throne of Portugal and retired in exile.

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