Europe 1811: Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro
The third—and last—French invasion of Portugal ended with a French withdrawal in early 1811. Following on their heels, the British commander Wellington besieged the French-held Portuguese border fortress of Almeida with his Anglo-Portuguese Army. The French attempted to relieve the siege but were repulsed by Wellington’s outnumbered forces at Fuentes de Oñoro.
5 Feb 1811–29 Jan 1820 Regency Era▲
In February 1811 King George III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was declared unfit to rule due to mental illness and, by an Act of Parliament, his son George, Prince of Wales, was appointed to rule as a regent in his stead. This marked the beginning of the Regency, during which Britain underwent major social, political, and economic changes, but also made great achievements in the fine arts and architecture—partly due to the generous sponsorship of the Prince Regent himself. The Regency ended in January 1820, when George III died and the Prince Regent became King George IV.
1 Mar 1811 Citadel Massacre▲
The Mamluk beys, who had ruled Egypt for centuries, disputed the authority of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Ottoman-appointed Albanian governor of Egypt, and in 1807 had even discussed an alliance with Britain against him. In March 1811 Muhammad Ali welcomed 470 Mamluks into the Cairo citadel to celebrate the investiture of his son Tusun with the command of the army, but as soon as they were inside he ordered his Albanian troops to open fire on them. Almost all of them were killed, beginning several days of slaughter of the Mamluks across Egypt, and permanently breaking their power in the country.
5 Mar 1811 Battle of Barrosa▲
In late February 1811, in a bid to break the French siege of Cádiz, 8,000 British and 4,000 Spanish troops under Thomas Graham and Manuel la Peña were landed at Algeciras as part of a combined offensive with the garrison of Cádiz and Spanish forces operating in the Ronda Mountains. Learning of the landing, French Marshal Victor led a 10,000-strong force to ambush the advancing Allies near Barrosa but was instead routed. Despite this victory, the Allies fell out over whether or not to pursue the French and the expedition was abandoned soon afterwards.
11 Mar 1811–10 Jun 1817 Luddite Uprising▲
In 1811 the Luddite movement emerged among textile workers in England who protested against the rising popularity of automated textile equipment and the threat posed to their jobs and livelihoods. Luddite riots and attacks on textile factories began in Nottinghamshire and quickly spread to neighboring counties. The government responded by passing harsh sentences on “machine breaking” and by 1813 the movement was largely suppressed, although related uprisings continued until 1817.
13 Mar 1811 Battle of Lissa (1811)▲
In March 1811 Bernard Dubourdieu led a Franco-Italian invasion force, comprising six frigates and numerous small craft, to invade the British-occupied Adriatic island of Lissa (Vis, Croatia) in order to end attacks on French shipping. The French squadron was met by a much smaller force—three frigates and a post ship—under Captain William Hoste, which proceeded to sink the French flagship and capture two frigates. The battle saw the death of Dubourdieu and the loss of 700 of his men, for 190 British killed or captured.
3–5 May 1811 Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro▲
In April 1811 Arthur Wellesley, the Viscount of Wellington, led his Anglo-Portuguese Army to besiege Almeida, the last remaining French-held fortress in Portugal. In response French Marshal André Masséna marched the 47,000-strong French Army of Portugal to break the siege, but to his shock was bloodily repulsed at the Spanish village of Fuentes de Oñoro by Wellington and a force of 36,000 men in early May. Although the battle was close—Wellington noted that “If Boney had been there, we should have been beat”—the French were forced to retreat, sealing the fate of Almeida.