Four Courts Press 
New Catalogue
June 2005
45/35/$55 hbk

The British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist War, 1835-8

Edward M. Brett

The two Carlist wars are probably the least remembered, outside Spain, of the civil conflicts of the country. In the first of these, as in 1936, foreign volunteers fought on both sides, among them the 10,000 men of the British Auxiliary Legion, an arm of Palmerston's foreign policy supporting the liberal Cristino cause and the young Queen Isabella II against her uncle, Don Carlos, pretender to the throne. With the Foreign Enlistment Act suspended in 1835, troops were recruited in Britain and Ireland to fight in a savage struggle. Ill-paid, poorly supplied and inadequately accommodated in appalling weather, the Legion suffered heavy mortality from typhus, yet fought bravely in battle, contributing to an eventual Cristino victory. Ireland played a prominent role in the Legion with four designated Irish regiments and many more men serving in other units.

The involvement of an O'Connell ancestor, a young Irish doctor from Co. Limerick, in the First Carlist War, sparked Dr Brett's interest. His own semi-retirement from medicine has allowed him to pursue the subject in greater detail.

208pp ills (including 16 pages of colour) June 2005