[letter On Visit Of Duke Of Infantado, 1811 To View Military Exercise Near Romney Marsh].





Item Description

MANUSCRIPT LETTER. 7.75 x 9.75 inches. [1] leaf. Manuscript letter, with blue paper strip on one margin, indicating that it has been disbound from a volume. Two chips in margins, one with slight loss of text where seal has been removed; otherwise a very good copy. This letter relates to a planned nocturnal military exercise, 'in the System of Terre-pleine Fortification and Field Defence' (a terre-pleine is a level platform, perhaps a raised platform, on which artillery is mounted). The exercise is to be carried out 'in the Neighbourhood of the Marsh, between the Kent Road ' and a mill. It seems likely that the location was the Royal Military Canal, constructed by the army as an anti-invasion defence, 1804-09, which had raised artillery batteries every few hundred yards and the Military Road (which may be the 'Kent Road') running alongside its length. The canal ran from Seabrook in Kent, between Romney Marsh and the escarpment above it, to Cliff End in Sussex. The letter was written by Michael Logan, an officer who had served in the Peninsular War, still then in progress, in 1809 and 1810 (it is not clear to whom it is addressed). The exercise was being laid on for the particular benefit of a Spanish general and an important ally, 'One of the First Grandees in Europe,' the 13th Duke of Infantado, Pedro de Alc?cantara (1768-1841). The Duke was then visiting England on a secret mission to the Prince Regent, and it was felt necessary to impress him by laying on this exercise showing the army's guns in action defending their newly built defensive system. Logan was concerned that the local miller, or somebody else has 'let the Cat out of the Bag,' concerning the forthcoming nocturnal exercise and the utmost care must be taken 'on account of the Peasantry in the Field - to avoid rousing their Curiosity and thereby exposing them to the Effects of a Dangerous Military Operation without being Aware of it.'

[Stock No. 26458]

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