British Auxiliary Legion in Spain (1835-1837)

SJP

Nov 2019
3
England
Good afternoon

I am attempting to research a British volunteer who served as a rifleman with the British Auxiliary Legion in Spain during the First Carlist War. I have searched The National Archives and British Library catalogues but no collections are standing out. I'm not expecting to find a service record but perhaps muster rolls or pay lists were kept for the volunteers? Any suggestions on records and their whereabouts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,849
Cornwall
Hadn't heard of them so thanks (can't help). I assume you've looked at all the references at the end of this Wiki article?:


Read a book a couple of years ago about the Carlist General/hero Zumalakarregui, just after we came back from holiday in that area, I think this one (It's in my bookcases somewhere):


Really interesting, another on that lengthy list of Spanish civil wars that most folk know nothing about
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,149
Canary Islands-Spain
Last edited:
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,812
Spain
Hadn't heard of them so thanks (can't help). I assume you've looked at all the references at the end of this Wiki article?:


Read a book a couple of years ago about the Carlist General/hero Zumalakarregui, just after we came back from holiday in that area, I think this one (It's in my bookcases somewhere):


Really interesting, another on that lengthy list of Spanish civil wars that most folk know nothing about
I can´t believe you never heart about British Legion.. when the Charlist anthem Oriamendi...it was composed in honour of battle of Oriamendi

Original Oriamendi as it was sung in 1837

 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,531
Japan
Most of the BAL were volunteers from regular regiments. You might be able to find him in the national archives if you know which British regiment he was in before he volunteered.

I believe there is a book in the British Library called
“Army List Of The British Auxillary Legion Of Spain- corrected as of June 1837”
Which may list volunteers and their previous regiments.
 

SJP

Nov 2019
3
England
Many thanks for all the suggestions, much appreciated. I will follow up on the publications mentioned above, great suggestions. Incidentally the soldier was a Rifleman so I consulted the muster rolls for the Rifle brigade, 1st and 2nd Battalions between 1836 and 1837, but no reference to my man. The search continues!
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,149
Canary Islands-Spain
Might you could check some of the old accounts (the book I quoted before take the lists of soldiers from them):

SOMERVILLE, Alexander: 1839, History of the British Legion and War in Spain, Londres, James Pattie. (1995) Tonbridge, UK: Pallas Armata. Reprinted from the edition published by James Pattie, 1839. Fab 10 volume set from Pallas Armata.

And others
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,812
Spain
Most of the BAL were volunteers from regular regiments. You might be able to find him in the national archives if you know which British regiment he was in before he volunteered.

I believe there is a book in the British Library called
“Army List Of The British Auxillary Legion Of Spain- corrected as of June 1837”
Which may list volunteers and their previous regiments.

Well ... BAL in Spain were as the BD in Russia Front in 1941 - 1943 or Chinese volunteers in Korea in 1950 - 1953. . According with the excellent Frank 81´s source.... British were excellent (if we believe in Spanish liberal sources) or "scum of the Earth" if we believe in British Tories sources... (Tories were Pro-Charlist).
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,849
Cornwall
Carlist Wars are a bit of a gap in my reading to date, but I will take in the suggestions to add to my pending pile. (As most know most of my books are either pre-1612 or post 1890). With a few variable exceptions like Zumalacarregui and the War of the Spanish Succession in the Balearics!

I think my political leanings would probably have made me a Carlist if we are honest - but then the best policy for life preservation in Spanish Civil Wars is to go with the flow of those around you!
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,812
Spain
Carlist Wars are a bit of a gap in my reading to date, but I will take in the suggestions to add to my pending pile. (As most know most of my books are either pre-1612 or post 1890). With a few variable exceptions like Zumalacarregui and the War of the Spanish Succession in the Balearics!

I think my political leanings would probably have made me a Carlist if we are honest - but then the best policy for life preservation in Spanish Civil Wars is to go with the flow of those around you!

I agree with you, dear john... The First Carlist (or Charlist as it would be in English) War (also named Seven Year War (1833 - 1840) is the bloodiest Civil War in history of Spain.. thougher than the famous 1936 - 1939)...Zumalacárregui is one of best Guerrilleros in history of World.... he learned under "Uncle Francisco" (Espoz y Mina) fighting Frenchmen in 1808 - 1814.. when he was a 16 yo boy. It is a irony... 20 years later.. they were enemies... "Uncle Francisco" (Liberal).. "Uncle Tomás" (Absolutist)

And I would have been with you... Also I would has been a Carlist... it was so romantic.. to be the enemies of the 19th Century... fighting in 19th Century against 19th Century! As you know.. Peter Kemp before being in Legion in 1936 - 1939.. he fought in Carlist ranks!.. and Charles Frederick Henningsen... the famous British writer, adventurer, mercenary etc fought in Carlist army in 1833 - 1840 (He learned to be a soldier under Zumalacárregui´s command as Zumalacáregui under Espoz y Mina).

It is funny.. but the Carlist Henningsen....will be a soldier in CSA Army 1861 - 1865.... I think he was Mr Romanticism.

I like the Carlist priest.... so romantic.. Lucifer is the first Liberal in the world!!!


As Stanley Payne wrote Carlism is the most popular (maybe the only popular movement) in the history of Spain.... not the anarchism.