Europe 1813: Treaty of Valençay
By December 1813 the Allies were preparing to cross the Rhine into France. To deal with the situation, Napoleon attempted to stabilize the Spanish front by restoring Ferdinand VII of Spain to his throne. However, while the Spanish accepted Ferdinand’s return, they rejected the French peace offer.
1 Dec 1813 Frankfort Declaration▲
In early December 1813 the Allied Powers ended the Frankfurt negotiations with Napoleon and published the Frankfort Declaration, denouncing Napoleon’s recent conscription of troops and proclaiming that they were not at war with France but with Napoleon himself. The allies further declared that they desired a moderate peace that liberated the peoples conquered by Napoleon, but otherwise left France happy and strong. 20,000 copies of this text were swiftly distributed in France in a bid to undermine French public support for the war.
10–15 Dec 1813 Catinelli’s Tuscan expedition▲
In December 1813, under the orders of Lord William Bentinck, an expeditionary force of 1,000 men of the Third Anglo-Sicilian Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Catinelli left Milazzo, Sicily, and landed at Viareggio on the Tuscan coast. From here Catinelli marched inland and occupied Lucca, which he held for a few days until learning that French forces moving against him had left Leghorn’s garrison weak. However, his attempts on Leghorn were beaten back and on the 15th the Anglo-Sicilians departed Tuscany, by now convinced that the local populace would not rise up against their French overlords.
11 Dec 1813 Treaty of Valençay▲
In December 1813 representatives of the French Empire and the Spanish Crown signed the Treaty of Valençay in the Château de Valençay, France, where Ferdinand VII of Spain had been imprisoned since 1808. The treaty agreed to the return of Ferdinand to his throne, the restoration of the 1808 border, and the withdrawal of French troops from Spain, in return for a formal peace and potential alliance between France and Spain. However, when Ferdinand arrived safely back in Madrid on 22 March 1814, the Cortes of Cádiz repudiated the treaty, ending Napoleon’s hopes of success in the Peninsular War.