7th July 1813

News arrived that the British Army under Marquis Wellington had gained a great Victory over the French army at Vittoria in Spain, 1200 French killed and taken 150 pieces of cannon with 400 Ammunition Waggons etc etc taken.  The British Army were in pursuit of the fugitives.  The Bells, on the arrival of the News, were set a ringing and the Great guns were set discharged from the Castle with other marks of rejoicing.

Comment by guest blogger, Mr G. Dixon:

Wellington’s victory over the French at Vittoria in northern Spain on 21st June 1813 was one of the principal battles in the Peninsular War against Napoleon and an important step forward in the Allied troops’ advance to final victory over the French at Waterloo in June 1815.  The greatest composer of the age, Beethoven, then very short of money, was persuaded to write a celebratory piece, variously known as ‘Wellington’s Victory’ or ‘The Battle Symphony’, dedicated to the Prince Regent of Great Britain, which was immensely popular for a while, but it dismissed nowadays as “an absurd piece of programme music, with its fanfare, cannonades, and fugal treatment of God Save the King” (1).  Its initial popularity, however, as well as easing Beethoven’s financial straits, brought a request from a local theatre which resulted in his extensively revising his failed and only opera, ‘Leonore’ (1805).  This, as ‘Fidelio’ was first performed in May 1814 and is now regarded as one of the greatest operas ever written.

1.       ‘The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians’, Stanley Sadie ed., 1995 reprint, vol 2, p368



2 thoughts on “7th July 1813

  1. Hello Stirling Archives. I have been reading theses entries for some while now, and I am totally enthralled by them. Great work!! One little question though, when the writer makes reference to events abroad, I presume the news would have had to have come by ship. Do you have any idea how long the news would have taken from first arriving in the UK, to being published in the newspapers? Once again, great work. Thanks, Peter from Dunipace.

    • Hi Peter, Thanks very much for your kind comment about our blog. As you can see from this entry, Lucas is commenting on events in Spain from the 21st June so it has taken just over two weeks for the news to get from Spain to Britain and into the newspapers. The entry from the 6th May indicates the same sort of timescale as on that day, it is evident that Lucas has just heard about the Battle of Bautzen, which happened on the 20th – 21st May. I imagine that, as you say, the news would have to come by ship from Europe. I hope that you continue to enjoy reading the diary.

      Stirling Council Archives

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