Collection of Notes of Surgical Cases arising from the Military Action of British Troops in Spain

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of notes of surgical cases arising from military action of British troops in Spain, 1832-1833, and notes of cases in the general military hospital of San Telmo, San Sebastian, arising from military action of British troops, 1836-1837. There is also a volume of statistical returns of sick and wounded admitted to the military hospitals of the Legion in Spain, 1835-1837.

Administrative / Biographical History

Action by French and British legions took place in Spain in the 1830s during the First Carlist War, 1833-1839. The background to the War had been the death of King Ferdinand VII of Spain and the subsequent Regency of Queen Cristina - his fourth wife - on behalf of their infant daughter Isabel II. Spain had become split into two factions known as the Cristinos, or Isabelinos, and the Carlists. Cristinos were the supporters of the Queen-Regent and the government, and the Carlists were supporters of Don Carlos (Carlos Maria Isidro de Borbon, 1788-1855) a Pretender to the Spanish throne and brother of Ferdinand VII. Carlists had invoked the Salic Law which had been introduced to Spain by King Philip V in 1713. Salic Law excluded females from royal succession. There had been more to the conflict than this however. Roots lay in the 1820s with the growth of an extreme political party which materialised into the paramilitary Royalist Volunteers (Realistas Volunarios) in 1827. Opposed to liberalism in Spain, this traditionalist group regarded Don Carlos as its figurehead.

The disputed succession and the ideological current provoked the First Carlist War which centred around the Carlist homelands of the Basque Country and Aragon, although fighting also covered the rest of Spain at one time or another. Defeated in the First Carlist War, the Carlists waged a Second War in the 1840s, a coup was attempted in 1860 in support of the Don Carlos heir, and a Third War was underway between 1872 and 1876. There was also an outbreak of insurgency in support of the Carlist claim in 1900-1902.

In 1918 the formation of the Traditionalist Party became the principal voice of Carlism but it was merged with the Falange in 1937 by General Francisco Franco, although neither groups had much in common. The Carlist line had become extinct in 1936 with the death of Don Alfonso Carlos, duque de San Jaime, though Francis Xavier of Bourbon-Parma (styled as Charles IX) was nominated as 'successor' and he in turn was succeeded by his son Carlos-Hugo, Duke of Parma.

The present King of Spain, Juan Carlos, was the son of Don Juan, conde de Barcelona, and grandson of King Alfonso XIII.

Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

The items making up the collection were transferred from the Anatomy Library, June 1962, Accession no. E62.45-47.

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1)  The new encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol.2. Micropaedia. 15th edition. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1991. (2) Other general reading.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Accruals

Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.