Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/338

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Beresford
Beresford
334

informed, a strong party existed for the restoration of the Bourbons, and was in command there when the Duc d'Angoulême hoisted the white flag again. He had rejoined the main army before the last battle of Toulouse, and there had the difficult task allotted to him of restoring the battle on the left after the first success had been endangered by Picton's rashness. The Peninsular War was now over, and when Wellington was created a duke, his five most conspicuous lieutenants—Sir Stapleton Cotton, Sir Rowland Hill, Sir Thomas Graham, Sir John Hope, and Sir William Carr Beresford—were created barons in the English peerage as Lord Combermere, Lord Hill, Lord Lynedoch, Lord Niddry, and Lord Beresford of Albuera and Cappoquin, co. Carlow, with pensions of 2,000l. for their lives and those of their next two successors in the peerage.

After the battle of Toulouse Beresford went to England for a few weeks to take his seat in the House of Lords, and then returned to Lisbon to resume his command of the Portuguese army, and thus lost the opportunity of being present at Waterloo. His residence in Portugal in time of peace was marked by perpetual squabbling. The Portuguese government had paid the large sums demanded for the army with great reluctance during the war, and when peace was declared insisted on a reduction, and finally would not pay anything at all. Further troubles were caused by the progress of a democratic spirit among the Portuguese, which eventually led to the dismissal of the English officers in the Portuguese service in 1819. This caused Beresford to pay his second visit to Rio de Janeiro, where the king of Portugal still resided. At his first visit in 1817 he had put down a dangerous rebellion in Rio, and now he insisted on his services to obtain the full arrears of pay for his army. On returning to Lisbon he found that the democratic constitution of 1822 had been proclaimed, and he was not permitted to land. He then left Portugal for the last time, and though twice during the civil wars he was requested to take command of the army again, he always refused, and never revisited the country.

On reaching England he commenced his short political career. He had been elected for the county of Waterford after the battle of Albuera in 1811, and again in 1812, but had never taken his seat in the House of Commons. He had now an opportunity in the House of Lords of declaring his strong tory principles, and of supporting the Duke of Wellington in everything. He received rich rewards; he had been promoted lieutenant-general in 1812; and made governor of Jersey in 1814, and had been colonel of the 88th regiment ever since 1807; he was now in 1822 made lieutenant-general of the ordnance and colonel of the 16th, in 1823 Viscount Beresford of Beresford in Staffordshire, and in 1825 was promoted full general. In 1828, when the Duke of Wellington formed his first cabinet on the resignation of Lord Goderich, he was appointed to the high office of master-general of the ordnance, which gave him the superintendence of the important corps of royal artillery and royal engineers, and which he held until the formation of Lord Grey's reform government in 1830.

He now retired from political life, and was greatly occupied by his famous controversy with Colonel Napier, whose third volume, which treated of the battle of Albuera, appeared in 1833. In three long pamphlets, of which the first two were anonymous and the last signed, and in a letter to Mr. C. Long, the son of Lieutenant-general R. B. Long, he defended his conduct on that memorable day. He tried to make out that his generalship in the memorable campaign of Albuera had been faultless. This was too much for Napier to bear; after a clear exposition of the whole question he ‘declined to believe that Lord Beresford was a greater general than Alexander or Cæsar, and had never made a mistake.’ This controversy was carried on in a very bitter tone on both sides, and does not form a pleasant episode in his career. It is more pleasant to turn to the happy marriage which he made and to his later years. On 29 Nov. 1832 he married the Hon. Louisa Hope, his first cousin, the youngest daughter of the Most Rev. William Beresford, Archbishop of Tuam and Lord Decies, and the widow of Thomas Hope, the author of ‘Anastatius.’ By her he acquired a vast fortune; he had in 1824 purchased the ancestral estate of Beresford in Staffordshire; he now settled at Bedgebury in Kent, and there led the peaceful life of a country gentleman. Lady Beresford died there in 1851, and through the latter years of his life he was affectionately tended by his stepson, Mr. A. J. Beresford-Hope, afterwards M.P. for Cambridge University, until his death, at the advanced age of eighty-five, on 8 Jan. 1854. He died Viscount and Baron Beresford in the peerage of England, Duke of Elvas in the peerage of Spain, Conde de Trancoso in the peerage of Portugal, knight grand cross of the Bath, knight grand cross of Hanover, knight of the Tower and Sword, knight of San Fernando, colonel-in-chief of the 60th rifles, colonel of the