Thursday, 9 January 2014

Military Lists of Foreign Adventurers in Colombian Army, Achaguas, December 1820

These six sheets are held in the Archivo Histórico de Guayas in Guayaquil. Together they comprise the ‘Descriptive Roll’ of the soldiers of the British Legion, compiled by its officers in Achaguas, Venezuela, in December 1820.

I first became aware of the existence of this document, unparalleled for the detailed information it provides about occupations, ages and names of Colombia’s foreign soldiers, in the work of Eric Lambert, Voluntarios británicos e irlandeses en la gesta bolivariana. I relied heavily on it for the quantitative sections of my book Adventuring through Spanish Colonies: Simon Bolivar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations (2006). I remain immensely grateful to the Archivo Histórico de Guayas, and to José Antonio Gómez, for facilitating me the document. I look forward to thanking them again in person when I am Ecuador in June this year. In the last few years several people have asked me if would post these copies onto the blog, and I apologise that it has taken me so long.


  1. Thank you for posting these. Amazing!


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