Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/629

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SPARASSODONTA—SPARKS

August. On the 21st of September the archduke entered Madrid. But the invasion of 1710 was a repetition of the invasion of 1706. The 23,000 men of the allies, reduced by a loss of 2000 in the actions at Almenara and Saragossa, by casualties in constant skirmishes with the guerrilleros, and by disease, were absolutely incapable of occupying the two Castiles. The Portuguese gave no help. The Spaniards were reorganized by the duke of Ven- dome, who was lent to King Philip V. by his grandfather, and were joined by soldiers of the Irish brigade, and by some Frenchmen who were allowed, or secretly directed, to enter the Spanish service. The position of the allies at Madrid, which was deserted by all except the poorest of its inhabitants, became untenable. On the 9th of November they evacuated the town, and began their retreat to Catalonia. The archduke left the army with 2000 cavalry, and hurried back to Barcelona. The rest of the army marched in two detachments, the division being imposed on them by difficulty of finding food. General Starhemberg with the main body of 12,000 men, was a day's march ahead of the British troops, 5000 men, under Stanhope. Such a dis- position invited disaster in the presence of so capable a general as Vendome. On the 9th of December he fell upon General Stanhope at Brihuega, and after hard fighting forced him to surrender. Starhemberg, who received tardy information of the peril of his colleague, marched back to support him, and fought a drawn battle at Villa Viciosa, on the 11th. The fruits of victory fell to Vend6me, for the Imperialist general was compelled to continue his retreat, harassed at every step by the Spanish cavalry and irregulars. His army was reduced to 7000 men when he reached Barcelona.

The disastrous result of the campaign of 1710 proved to demonstration that it was impossible to force the archduke on the Castilians by any effort the allies were prepared to make. They remained quiescent at Barcelona till they evacuated the country altogether on the Peace of Utrecht. The Catalans, though deserted by their allies, continued to fight for their local franchises which had been declared forfeited by the victorious Bourbon king. Barcelona was only subdued on the 12th of September 1714, after a siege of great length and extraordinary ferocity, by the united exertions of the French and Spanish troops under the command of the duke of Berwick.

The naval operations, apart from the transport and support of the troops in Spain, were more numerous than memorable. The overwhelming superiority of the allies alone enabled them to maintain the war in the Peninsula, but as they met no serious opposition except in 1704, there is nothing to record save their successive cruises. In 1707 a British and Dutch fleet under Sir Cloudesley Shovel aided the Imperialists in the unsuccessful siege of Toulon. The action of the allied navy was in fact as decisive as the naval strength of Great Britain was to be in the later struggle with Napoleon. But it was less brilliant. The many expeditions sent to the West Indies rarely did more than plunder coast towns or plantations in the French islands. An exception was indeed provided by the British admiral Sir Charles Wager, who in May 1708 destroyed or captured a whole squadron of Spanish treasure ships near Cartagena in South America. The loss of the treasure was a heavy blow to the government of Philip V. and had much to do with his inability to follow up the victory of Almansa. On the whole however neither the British nor the Dutch achieved any material success against the French in America. One powerful British combined force, which was sent against Quebec in 1711, was compelled to return by the shipwreck of a number of the vessels composing it at the mouth of the St Lawrence on the 21st of August. The French found some consolation for the weakness of the royal navy in the daring and the frequent success of their privateers. They were indeed the finest operations of the kind recorded in naval warfare As the British and Dutch took measures to guard against capture of their merchant ships by sailing in well protected convoys, the French combined their privateers into squadrons and attacked the guard with great vigour. On the 20th of October 1708, a British squadron of 5 line of battleships, of which 2 were of 80 guns, conveying a number of store ships to Lisbon, was attacked near the Lizard, and was almost wholly destroyed or captured by Duguay Trouin and Forbin with 12 smaller vessels. This was but one example of a number of operations of the same character by which the trade of Great Britain and Holland was hampered. The most signal single achievement of the privateers was the capture of Rio de Janeiro from the Portuguese in September 17 11 by a fleet of 6 sail-of-the-line and 6 frigates with corsairs. The royal ships were equipped as a speculation by Duguay Trouin and the shipowners of St Malo. The booty taken gave a profit of 92% on the capital invested.

Authorities.—For the war on land The History of the War of the Succession in Spain (London, 1832) by Lord Mahon (Stanhope) is still of value. Lord Mahon was, however, misled into placing too much confidence in Peterborough. Colonel Parnell, The War of Succession in Spain (London, 1888), goes perhaps into the opposite extreme, but his history is full and is supported by copious references to original authorities. The naval operations are told for Great Britain by Lediard Naval History (London, 1735); for Holland by De Jonghe, Geschiedenis van het nederlansche zeewezen (Haarlem, 1858); and for France by Tronde, Baiailles navales de la France (Paris 1867).

(D. H.)


SPARASSODONTA, a zoological name applied to a group of primitive carnivorous mammals from the Santa Cruz beds of Patagonia, represented by the genera Borhyaena, Prolhylacinus, Amphiproviverra, &c. By their first describer, Dr F. Ameghino, they were regarded as nearly related to the marsupials. They are, however, more probably members of the creodont Carnivora (see Creodonta).


SPARKS, JARED (1780-1866), American historian and educationalist, was born in Willington, Tolland county, Connecticut, on the 10th of May 1789. He studied in the common schools, worked for a time at the carpenter's trade, and then became a school-teacher. In 1809-1811 he attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where he met John G. Palfrey and George Bancroft, two schoolmates, who became his lifelong friends. He graduated at Harvard (A.B., in 1815 and A.M., in 1818); taught in a private school at Lancaster, Massachusetts, in 1815-1817; and studied theology and was college tutor in mathematics and natural philosophy at Harvard in 1817-1819. In 1817-1818 he was acting editor of the North American Review. He was pastor of the First Independent Church (Unitarian) of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1810-1823, Dr William Ellery Channing delivering at his ordination his famous discourse on “Unitarian Christianity.” During this period Sparks founded the Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Monitor (1821), a monthly, and edited its first three volumes; he was chaplain of the national House of Representatives in 1821-1823; and he contributed to the National Intelligencer and other periodicals. In 1823 his health failed and he withdrew from the ministry. Removing to Boston, he bought and edited in 1824-1830 the North American Review, contributing to it about fifty articles. He founded and edited, in 1830 the American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, which was continued by others and long remained a popular annual. After extensive researches at home and (1828-1829) in London and Paris, he published the Life and Writings of George Washington (12 vols., 1834-1837; redated 1842), his most important work; and in 1839 he published separately the Life of George Washington (abridged, 2 vols., 1842). The work was for the most part favourably received, but Sparks was severely criticized by Lord Mahon (in the sixth volume of his History of England) and others for altering the text of some of Washington's writings. Sparks defended his methods in A Reply to the Strictures of Lord Mahon and Others (1852). The charges were not wholly justifiable, and later Lord Mahon (Stanhope) modified them. While continuing his studies abroad, in 1840-1841, in the history of the American War of Independence, Sparks discovered in the French archives the red-line map, which, in 1842, came into international prominence in connexion with the dispute over the north-eastern boundary of the United States. In 1842 he delivered twelve lectures on American history before the Lowell Institute in Boston. In 1839-1849 he was McLean professor of ancient and modern history at Harvard. His appointment to this position, says his biographer, was “the first academic encouragement of American history, and of