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The Trial at Large of Lieut. Gen. Whitelocke,
  • 83176

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(WHITELOCKE, John, Lieut.-Gen.)

The Trial at Large of Lieut. Gen. Whitelocke,

Late Commander in Chief of the Forces in South America, by a General Court Martial, held at Chelsea Hospital ...

Published: London: R. Faulder, R. Lea, Wilkie and Robinson, J. Asperne & 2 others, 1808

Stock code: 83176

Price: £350

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First edition. Includes the 4-page “Sentence” bound in before the appendices. The fullest, and most authoritative account of the aftermath of the notorious debacle at Buenos Aires and Montevideo. “The court martial took seven weeks, and Whitelocke faced four charges covering poor diplomacy, military incompetence, and negotiation of a shameful surrender, each barely relevant to what had happened. He was found guilty and was cashiered. His fault lay in taking on a task beyond his capacity, for which those who appointed him should have shared the blame. It was also a task, in all probability, beyond the capacity of the British forces. All of those who recorded their impressions remarked that holding the Plate area against the wishes of the inhabitants was impossible: they wanted either Spanish rule or independence; a British conquest would have been extremely unpleasant, and ultimately a costly failure. Whitelocke’s surrender and evacuation permitted the army to be returned to Britain to fight the real enemy, Napoleon. Many of Whitelocke’s regiments went to fight in Spain later in 1808. Nevertheless he had shown himself incompetent” (ODNB).

Octavo (209 122 mm) Contemporary calf, rebacked, plain ruled compartments, black calf label, attractively panelled on the boards with concentric panels in gilt and blind, edges sprinkled blue, marbled endpapers. Folding map frontispiece, and 2 folding plans, half-title bound in. A little rubbed, through at the corners, half-title, frontispiece and title page somewhat stained, some browning throughout, but remains very good.

Bibliography: Sabin 103678

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