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Richard Wall, the Irish-Spanish Minister

By Diego Téllez Alarcia


Wall's Party

Together with the more quotidian anecdotes, one of the most important research topics for historians is the political and courtesan network that supported Wall before his undertaking of the ministry and after his appointment. The dialectics of confrontation between the different political and courtesan groups that dominated the political scene in these decades is an exciting subject. With regard to this, we find Ricardo Wall playing a central role in the Marquis de la Ensenada's exoneration (1754) and leading a new party. [14]

Alejandro O'Reilly

The later attempt at consolidation of the new emergent group was conditioned by political struggles in the Spanish Court. The Duke of Huéscar was a powerful figure until 1757 and he was behind a number of governmental measures. On the other hand, there were other important politicians leading the opposition party: Mr. Eslava y Mr. Campo del Villar. They assumed the leadership of the Ensenadist party, supported also by the French ambassador, the Marquis d'Ossun, and other courtesans, after the end of Ensenada's exile. In this context, I have paid more attention to the role of the Vatican conspiracies against Wall, due to the controversies prompted by the approval of the Pragmatic Sanction. Wall's retirement in 1763 must be linked with these intrigues, but not exclusively, as I will explain in detail. There were other factors, such as personality and health problems. In fact, in 1757, he attempted his first resignation.

In spite of this last resignation in 1763, Wall's nine years leading the Spanish administration left an important legacy that has been underrated until the present day. His political and courtesan party was successful after his retirement. Several factions were born from this common root and were influential during the rest of the reign of Charles III. The 'Aragonese Party', led by the Count of Aranda, and the 'Manteísta' group, led by the Counts of Campomanes and Floridablanca, [15] were the most important. In fact, Wall was the 'discoverer' and protector of the most relevant protagonists of the subsequent decades: Roda, Campomanes, Aranda and Grimaldi. The identification of the members of an Irish party, led by Wall, was also a significant development. This group basically agreed with the 'network of Jacobite solidarity' described by Ozanam and whose vitality is fundamental in this period. [16]

Ambrosio O'Higgins

Some of the members of this Irish party were ambassadors: Count Mahony was appointed ambassador, first in Switzerland (1757), and in Vienna shortly afterwards (1758). The Count of Lacy was appointed ambassador in Stockholm (1763). Some others were soldiers, such as Alejandro O'Reilly, Eduardo Wall, Agustín Wall and Juan Kelly, or merchants such Carlos McCarthy and Ambrosio O'Higgins. There were Irishmen sponsored by Wall in the administration (Bernardo Ward and Diego Nangle) and in the Royal House (Doctor Diego Purcell). [17]

However the composition of Wall's party is much more complex. Heterogeneity is the key factor. On the one hand, the inheritance of his protectors, Huéscar and Carvajal, was clear: Masones of Lima, the Count of Peralada, Mr. Clemente de Aróstegui, Count of Valparaíso and Mr. Felix de Abreu. Wall also protected other colleagues (Arriaga), the 'Aragonese Party' of the Count of Aranda, the Count of Ricla and the Count of Fuentes, 'Manteístas' like Campomanes or Roda, the Irish Party, Italian and Flemish people (the Prince of Masserano, the Marquis of Grimaldi, the Count of Bournonville, Sterllinguerf, Craywinckel, Goosens and Winthuyssen), counsellors (Cantos, Ric), officers in the secretariats (Nicholas de Mollinedo, Jose Agustín of Llano and Francisco de Auzmendi), intellectuals (Guillermo Bowles, Jose Clavijo y Fajardo, Celestino Mutis, Benito Bails and Francisco Perez Bayer), and relatives (Eduardo and Agustín Wall).


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Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2007

Online published: 31 August 2007
Edited: 07 May 2009

Téllez Alarcia, Diego, 'Richard Wall, the Irish-Spanish Minister
' in Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, 5:2 (July 2007), pp. 131-134. (www.irlandeses.org), accessed .


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