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head of the Administration. But the moderation of M. Ofalia was counteracted by the violence of M. Calomarde, who from being Secretary to the Council of Castile, was nominated to the Department of grace and justice, by the influence of M. Ugarte, an individual who at that time enjoyed the highest personal favour of the King. The King at first gave his countenance to M. Ofalia, who was, however, obliged to make concessions to the violent Party, by acts of occasional severity, at the same time that he was pressing the publication of the longtalked of amnesty. These concessions, however, did not gain for him the support of that party, all the members of which were leagued together to procure his dismissal. For this end they assured the King that insurrections would take place in all parts of the Country if any amnesty were granted; and the Curé, Merino, and the Baron d'Erolles still continued at the head of their armies, bidding defiance to the Government, and ready to execute the threats of the ultra party. The King, thus intimidated, gave but lukewarm support to M. Ofalia ; and although that Minister was aided with respect to the amnesty by the French Ambassador, that act of mercy did not appear ; and Ferdinand left Madrid (March 27. 1824) for Aranjuez not only without its promulgation, but preceded by a fulminating decree, banishing near 300 persons

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from the latter place. A general idea prevailed when this decree was published, that another of even a still more proscriptive nature was about to be issued, and it is certain that it had been determined to remove from the capital the French Troops, under the command of General Bourmont, with the consent of that General, but without the knowledge of the French Ambassador. That Ambassador, seeing the system of proscription which was preparing, forthwith remonstrated with the King, with respect both to these plans and the proposed removal of the troops: the result was, that both measures were abandoned, and the promise of the amnesty renewed. Shortly after, the Conspiracy of the Queen of Portugal and Don Miguel exploded at Lisbon. It was believed that this plot was not without extensive rami. fications in Spain ; and the King, fearing that his brother Don Carlos, and his friends, might imitate the example of their common sister, the Queen of Portugal, and their common nephew Don Miguel, at last allowed to be published an amnesty, which was nevertheless of so vague a description that it admitted of a very limited, or a very extended, application. Such as it was, however, the ultras were indignant at it, and the predicted disturbances took place in various parts of the Kingdom. Don Victor Saez and others, supposed to be implicated in these matters, were sent away from Madrid by the influence of M. Ofalia. But on the other hand, the Minister of Grace and Justice, M. Calomarde, busily employed himself in defeating the object of the amnesty, by giving official notifications to individuals in confinement, who had a right to benefit by it, that they would be immediately brought to trial. The French Ambassador protested against these proceedings; and the enemies of M. Ofalia were unceasing in their representations to the King that he was too much under the influence of France. Not long after he had signed * a Treaty with the French Ambassador for the continuance of the occupation of Spain with French Troops for another six months, it became evident from the appearance of a proclamation limiting the amnesty, and other violent measures, that the influence of M. Ugarte and M. Calomarde over the King was prevailing to the destruction of that of M. Ofalia.

Accordingly, on the 12th of July, a decree was issued dismissing this latter Minister, banishing him to Almeira, and appointing as his successor M. Zea de Bermudez, who three months before had been sent as Minister to St. Petersburgh, but who had subsequently been accredited to the Court of London.

* 30th June, 1824.

It is unnecessary to detail the various miserable intrigues and cabals, which preceded and followed this change of Ministry. Suffice it to

. say, that M. Zea de Bermudez, when he assumed the direction of affairs, followed nearly in the footsteps of M. Ofalia, and was somewhat more successful in infusing moderation into the Royal counsels. He therefore was likewise supported by the French Ambassador. Before the end of the year the exiled Constitutionalists made an attack on the Spanish Coasts, which completely failed; and the King, between dread of the Constitutional party, who would have left no power in his hands, and the violent ultras, who would have placed Don Carlos on the Throne, supported with something like cordiality the new Minister. .

At the end of six months from the date of the former convention a new one was signed with France, for the continuance of the French troops in Spain for an indefinite period.

At the commencement of the following year (1825) the recognition of the Spanish American States by Great Britain took place : the long discussions on which subject between the Spanish and British Governments were closed by Mr. Canning's note to M. de Los Rios of the 25th of March. The Court of Madrid did not think proper to accept the offer of the good offices of His Majesty, for the purpose of bringing about a

conciliatory arrangement with its late colonial dependencies; but it did not reject the advice with which that offer was accompanied, to forbear further controversy upon a matter which was then irrevocably decided.

So long as the discussions relating to that subject continued between Great Britain and Spain, all other official correspondence between the two Nations was paralyzed, and perplexed.

Early in the summer of 1825, Mr. Frederick Lamb proceeded to Madrid in the character of Minister Plenipotentiary, the diplomatick business of Great Britain having been carried on by Mr. Bosanquet, as Chargé d'Affaires, after the departure of Sir William à Court for Lisbon, in the autumn of 1824.

The two points which Mr. Lamb * was directed to urge upon the Spanish Government as requiring speedy settlement were those which arose, 1st, Out of the violation of Treaties which had been in force for centuries, but to which Spain had been too much in the habit of refusing a faithful execution ; 2dly, Out of the non-fulfilment of the convention of 1823.

Under the first head, the grounds of complaint which this Country had against Spain were for a series of infractions of the rights and privileges secured by antient treaties to British merchants

*

* 2d May, 1825.

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