Marcus de la Poer Beresford
- Publication Date
Irish Academic Press
- Page Count
Biography, British History, Military History, Napoleonic History
This is the remarkable story of one of the most celebrated and decorated Irish soldiers ever to fight in overseas service, and who was considered in all opinion as the Duke of Wellington’s ‘strong right arm’. Despite being fiercely critical of his generals, Wellington described Beresford as ‘the ablest man in the army’ and relied heavily on his Irish-born commander.
Marshal Sir William Carr Beresford was the illegitimate son of the 1st Marquis of Waterford and rose to the rank of General in the British army and Marshal to the Portuguese forces during the Peninsular War. Sent to Portugal to rebuild its demoralised forces against Napoleon, Beresford was so successful that Wellington combined the Portuguese and British regiments and positioned Beresford as commander-in-chief.
Their friendship and trust are revealed in their correspondence, which shows them not only writing to each other almost daily but meeting regularly to discuss strategy or to socialise. It was an amicable and supportive relationship that continued for the rest of their lives, leading to Beresford’s appointment as Master General of Ordinance in Wellington’s first government in 1828.
Former partner at A&L Goodbody, solicitors, Marcus de la Poer Beresford retired from his legal practice after three decades and returned to his first love, history, in 2010. His research has focused on Ireland in the eighteenth century and the Irish diaspora following the Treaty of Limerick in 1691. He is a distant relative of William Carr Beresford.