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