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May 24th 1810

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A rising politik

George Murray of Octertyre served throughout the Peninsular War against Napoleon. He wrote regularly to his elder brother, Sir Patrick. In one of his letters, written from Celerico, he put forward his ideas of how the war against Napoleon might be ended.

“For my part I think upon the supposition of Buonaparte being inclined to limit his thirst for domination, in consideration of the tranquil and permanent establishment of his dynasty, that it would be very possible to make such a peace as we could accept. Suppose, for instance, we should agree to turn the whole Bourbon race out of Europe, we may send them if you please to America, and divide the Spanish dominions there among them. Let Buonaparte in consideration of this, give up his pretensions upon Spain, and let that crown be given to a prince of the house of Austria, or some other German family. I think the above might be a basis to begin upon. Sicily might be given to the house of Brunswick, and Buonaparte might have Portugal for one of his friends. If Buonaparte will agree to something of this kind, I think we should close with him; if he will not be tractable, I certainly think that he has still much to fear from the uncertainty of war as well as we, and this peninsula, well managed, may yet be a thorn in his side for a great while.” 

With such an obvious flair for realpolitik, George Murray was obviously destined for higher things. He became a Knight of the Bath, MP. For Perthshire and as Sir George Murray, Secretary for the Colonies in Wellington’s government. Eventually he became a General.

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