Two volumes, 8vo, pp. xv, [i, blank], [i, errata], [i, blank], 500; [iii]–viii, 660; with a lithographed frontispiece-portrait in each volume; titles and frontispiece-portraits lightly foxed, some minor spotting or foxing elsewhere; untrimmed in the original grey boards with printed paper labels on spines; extremities slightly rubbed and bumped; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).
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Personal memoirs and correspondence of Colonel Charles Shaw, K.C.T.S., etc. of the Portuguese Service, and late Brigadier-General, in the British Auxiliary Legion of Spain; comprising a narrative of the war for constitutional liberty in Portugal and Spain, from its commencement in 1831 to the dissolution of the British Legion in 1837.
First edition; very scarce. Charles Shaw (1795–1871), of Ayr, entered the army by purchase in 1813 and was on baggage-guard duty at Brussels during the battle of Waterloo. ‘In November 1831 Shaw was appointed captain of a light company of marines in the liberating army of Portugal against Dom Miguel, the heir to the throne. He embarked with recruits on 15 December, joined the fleet of Admiral George Sartorius at Belle Île, arrived at the rendezvous at Terceira in the Azores towards the end of February 1832, and in May proceeded to Fayal and St Michael’s. In June the expedition left the Azores for Portugal, and disembarked on the morning of 5 July at Mindella, about 10 miles from Porto, which city was entered the same afternoon, the Miguelites having evacuated it. Shaw, who in August 1832 was made a major of one of the battalions of British volunteers, saw much fighting around Porto, and was in every action and sortie during the siege of the city by Dom Miguel. He was twice wounded in the attack on his position on 29 September, when after a severe fight the Miguelites were repulsed. He was also severely wounded in the sortie of 17 November, and was subsequently made a knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal.’
‘In 1833 Shaw commanded the Scottish contingent at Lordello, an outpost of the defences of Porto. In July 1833 he was appointed colonel and given the command of an English battalion, which he led in the repulse of Bourmont’s attack on 25 July. At the end of September he embarked with his battalion for Lisbon, landing at São Martinho and marching from there to Torres Vedras to operate on the rear of the Miguelite army on its withdrawal from the attack on Lisbon. He and his battalion did much marching during the next eight months, but not much fighting. On 26 May 1834, two days after Shaw entered Estremez, the war ended. On 1 June 1834 Shaw marched to Lisbon in command of a brigade of 2500 men, which he there handed over to a Portuguese officer . . . . He left Portugal in June 1835 and arrived at Falmouth on 12 July.’
‘On 17 July Shaw was gazetted a brigadier-general to command a Scottish brigade of the auxiliary legion then being raised in England by Sir George de Lacy Evans for service in Spain against the Carlists, and at once went to Glasgow to assist in raising recruits. He went to Spain in September 1835, landing on the 10th at Santander and marching with some 1600 men, whom he brought out with him, to Portugalete. Here he found that his rank would be only that of colonel in command of a small brigade of two regiments. In February 1836 he was given command of a brigade of three fine Irish regiments, but not the rank of brigadier-general. Until April 1836 he was quartered principally in Vitoria and the surrounding area. On 13 April his brigade embarked at Santander and arrived on the 24th at San Sebastian, which was besieged by Don Carlos. On 5 May an attack was made on the Carlist position on the heights above San Sebastian, and after a protracted fight the day was won. Shaw was struck by a spent ball, and another struck his watch. He was made a brigadier-general and decorated with the third class of the order of San Fernando. On 31 May Shaw skilfully repulsed an attack on his lines; at the end of August, owing to an unfortunate and avoidable quarrel with Evans, Shaw sent in his resignation, which Evans accepted with great regret at the loss of so gallant an officer’ (Oxford DNB).
Alberich 1103; Palau 311979.
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