Research Subjects: Miscellaneous

Proclamation at La Coruña 1808 before the Napoleonic Invasion of Spain

Translated by Caroline Miley for the Napoleon Series

Editor's Note: This paper first appeared in the Spanish language website The Royal Green Jackets. The editors have kindly given the Napoleon Series to publish it in English. For those who can read Spanish, the original version of the article can be seen at: Proclama de La Coruña de 1808, Ante la Invasión Napoleónica En España

City of La Coruña. Spanish citizens of La Coruña. Bonaparte wanted you to be his enemies so he insulted you. The great army that he brought into Spain to seize Galicia, whose possession was to be the culmination of his grandeur, has dissipated like smoke after General Castaños’ victory at Bailén, which has delayed the moment the force of our armies will come into his hands. When Europe has seen us take up arms, which is hateful for you men of peace and tranquillity, you must think only about a fitting revenge for your insult, because we are all Spanish: the people of Galicia and Andalusia, Castile and Aragón, the North, Catalonia and Levante, and our brothers in America, all have suffered the attack of the Corsican Emperor; or in carrying out of your land desolation and havoc, you will liberate us from the chains that oppress Spain, and therefore Galicia. Holland, the German Empire, the Ottoman Porte, Italy and Switzerland, numberless victims, cry out against Napoleon Bonaparte and his family, and desire with our help and that of our ally the English Empire to take revenge for this last outrage and vindicate the rights which he has usurped.

There are only two alternatives: to take the chains of slavery or to fight for freedom. Bonaparte tyrannizes our independence by the most violent means: fire and death. Our sovereign CARLOS IV has been kidnapped and is on French territory. Are we going to allow Napoleon’s eagles to come and seize our homes, outrage our families, despoil our GOD of his holy vessels, as they have just finished doing in Portugal?

Spaniards of La Coruña, Coruñan Spanish. This cause is the Almighty’s. We must pursue it or leave an infamous memory for all coming generations.

Nobility of La Coruña, knowledgeable clergy, pious craftsmen, members of the Supreme Court, military heroes, right from the start you must shake off Napoleon’s yoke and fly to arms. In union with the other provinces of Spain we will take up our invincible banners and march surely to Victory, to the fields of Glory, to gain the freedom of our town.

Long live La Coruña,

Long live the Army,

Long live King Carlos IV,

Long live Spain.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: December 2004


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