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RAMON CABRERA (1806-1877)

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 924 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RAMON CABRERA (1806-1877), Carlist general, was born at Tortosa, province of Tarragona, Spain, on the 27th of December 18o6. As his family had in their gift two chaplaincies, young Cabrera was sent to the seminary of Tortosa, where he made himself conspicuous as an unruly pupil, ever mixed up in disturbances and careless in his studies. After he had taken minor orders, the bishop refused to ordain him as a priest, telling him that the Church was not his vocation, and that everything in him showed that he ought to be a soldier. Cabrera followed this advice and took part in Carlist conspiracies on the death of Ferdinand VII. The authorities exiled him and he absconded to Morelia to join the forces of the pretender Don Carlos. In a very short time he rose by sheer daring, fanaticism and ferocity to the front rank among the Carlist chiefs who led the bands of Don Carlos in Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia. As a raider he was often successful, and he was many times wounded in the brilliant fights in which he again and again defeated the generals of Queen Isabella. He sullied his victories by acts of cruelty, shooting prisoners of war whose lives he had promised to spare and not respecting the lives and property of non-combatants. The queen's generals seized his mother as a hostage, whereupon Cabrera shot several mayors and officers. General Nogueras unfortunately caused the mother of Cabrera to be shot, and the Carlist leader then started upon a policy of reprisals so merciless that the people nicknamed him " The Tiger of the Maeztrazgo." It will suffice to say that he shot lrto prisoners of war, too officers and many civilians, including the wives of four leading Isabellinos, to avenge his mother. When Marshal Espartero induced the Carlists of the north-western provinces, with Maroto at their head, to submit in accordance with the Convention of Vergara, which secured the recognition of the rank and titles of moo Carlist officers, Cabrera held out in Central Spain for nearly a year. Marshals Espartero and O'Donnell, with the bulk of the Isabellino armies, had to conduct a long and bloody campaign against Cabrera before they succeeded in driving him into French territory in July 184o. The government of Louis Philippe kept him in a fortress for some months and then allowed him to go to England, where he quarrelled with the pretender, disapproving of his abdication in favour of the count of Montemolin. In 1848 Cabrera reappeared in the mountains of Catalonia at the head of Carlist bands. These were soon dispersed and he again fled to France. After this last effort he did not take a very active part in the propaganda and subsequent risings of the Carlists, who, however, continued to consult him. He took offence when new men, not a few of them quondam regular officers, became the advisers and lieutenants of Don Carlos in the war which lasted more or less from 187o-1876. Indeed, his long residence in England, his marriage with Miss Richards, and his prolonged absence from Spain had much shaken his devotion to his old cause and belief in its success. In March 1875 Cabrera sprang upon Don Carlos a manifesto in which he called upon the adherents of the pretender to follow his own example and submit to the restored monarchy of Alphonso XII., the son of Queen Isabella, who recognized the rank of captain-general and the title of count of Morella conferred on Cabrera by 924 the first pretender. Only a very few insignificant Carlists followed Cabrera's example, and Don Carlos issued a proclamation declaring him a traitor and depriving him of all his honours and titles. Cabrera, who was ever afterwards regarded with contempt and execration by the Carlists, died in London on the 24th of May 1877. He did not receive much attention from the majority of his fellow-countrymen, who commonly said that his disloyalty to his old cause had proved more harmful to him than beneficial to the new state of things. A pension which had been granted to his widow was renounced by her in 1899 in aid of the Spanish treasury after the loss of the colonies. (A. E. H.)
End of Article: RAMON CABRERA (1806-1877)
GIULIO CACCINI (1558-1615?)

Additional information and Comments

Ramon Cabrera married an English woman, his widow, who eventually survived him. She lived at Wentworth House, Virginia Water. Nowadays the famouse Golf club. The estate is now under water when the reservoirs in northern Surrey were built. Her lands were adjacent to Conservative MP for Chertsey, Henry Chandler Leigh-Bennett. Their mutual friends included Lawrence James Baker, a former MP and Chairman of London Stock Exchange, jobber to King Edward VII. The Countess probably attended the Devonshire Society Ball of 1897, that set the tone for the modern "Debuatante balls" that ran through the 20th Century. I know little more about the Morella dynasty.
Following the last comments on Ramon Cabrera's article, could you, please, let me know what happened to "Morella dynasty"??? I don't think the Countess attended the Devonshire Society Ball of 1897 -she was 67 by then and a recluse at Wentworth-. Anyway, I wrote a book on Cabrera's exile and still haven't finished the research. Do you known anything about Cabrera, Lord Manners and Disraeli ???? Thanks so much
How I can get in touch with the person who knows more about Morella's dynasty ??? Thanks
I grew up in Virginia Water surrey and lived with my parents in Cabrera Avenue a stones throw from the Wentworth estate and was always told that it once belonged to the Countess Cabrera interesting. Whats more I now live in Spain at a place called Cortijo Cabrera very strange ! when next in Valencia I will try and find the equestrian statue to Ramon Cabrera.
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