The Falkland Islands – History & Timeline

Falkland Wars 1480 – now!

1833 – 1849 Colonization

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1833 –  January 1st, the American ex-charge d’affaires, Francis Baylies, writes a private letter to Edward Livingston; “ The document which I have transmitted to you with the despatch 12. was obtained through the intervention of Mr Slacum from John Wyatt Lt. .. on board the Heroine. Wyatt is now at Buenos Ayres conducting himself reputedly, although formerly in danger of being hung as a Pirate. Although I am under no restriction as to the exposure of his name yet I could wish unless it is necessary that it be disclosed, that it might be concealed. Jewett, Pirate as he is, having a deadly quarrel with the Govt. of Buenos Ayres on our side, and has given Captain Duncan much valuable information respecting the waters of the Rio de la Plata and the best mode of annoying Buenos Ayres. “

Baylies comments on the assertion in Vernet’s ‘Report’ that the United Provinces had claimed the Falklands in 1820; “The proceedings in the Portuguese court shew that from her (Heroina’s) papers she appeared to be a national vessel belonging to Buenos-Aires and commissioned to cruise against the Spaniards, but 45 of her crew ‘spontaneously’ confessed that he employment was piracy, ‘plundering all vessels she could overhaul’ .. Such is the vessel and such officers and crew on which Luis Vernet relies, as having taken formal possession of the Falkland islands on behalf of the Argentine Republic. If his memorial is to be considered as having been adopted by the Government of Buenos-Ayres as a part of the exposition of right and title to the Islands – then it follows that the Heroine is considered by them as a national vessel – and it is equally true that this national vessel of Buenos-Ayres was a common pirate … and incapable of securing to that nation, by any act, any of those rights which are regarded as legitimate, by nations – which respect the usages which form the law amongst civilized people.”  [Pascoe & Pepper in Tatham 2008]

January 2nd, Capt. Charles Hope in HMS Tyne arrives at Port Egmont, at the same time as Commander Onslow sails into Berkeley Sound where; “ I … found a settlement under a BA flag, with 25 soldiers and also a national schooner of war under the same flag. I waited upon the commander of the schooner. He informed me he commanded both afloat and ashore. I acquainted him civilly with the object of my mission and requested him to embark his force and haul down his flag on shore, he being in a possession belonging to the Crown of Great Britain. At first he acquiesced provided I would put the same in writing, which I did…”

Onslow’s note says simply; I have to acquaint you, I have received directions from his excellency the commander-in-chief of his Britannic Majesty’s ships and vessels of war, South American station, in the name of his Britannic majesty, to exercise the “rights of sovereignty over these islands.” It is my intention to hoist, tomorrow morning, the national flag of Great Britain on shore, when I request you will be pleased to haul down your flag on shore, and withdraw your forces, taking with you all stores, &c. belonging to your government. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.”

Lieut. Colonel Pinedo, after considering Onslow’s note, protests against the; gross outrage,”  by a .. friendly and powerful nation which has always boasted of its fidelity and moderation, and has lost no opportunity of manifesting the cordiality of its feelings towards the Argentine Republic.”

January 3rd, Pinedo visits Onslow; .. at 5am he visited me to request me to allow the BA flag to be kept flying on shore till Saturday, the 5th, when he would finally sail taking with him the force and such settlers as expressed a desire to leave the island. I told him his request was inadmissible and that he must consider he was in a port belonging to Great Britain. Finding he wavered and was reluctant to strike the flag I immediately landed, hoisted the Union and caused it to be lowered, sending it with a civil message to the schooner.” Port Louis 1833

Commander Onslow’s “civil message” states that he had found, “a foreign flag in the territory of His Majesty.”

Lieut. Colonel Pinedo, with a numerically superior force, offers no further resistance; I saw my whole crew from the boatswain and other officers were English except 4 sailors and 6 boys – very young and not capable of anything – and 14 enlisted men … “ [Informe de Jose M. de Pinedo a Fransisco Lynch, Buenos Aires January 16th, 1833 ]

January 5th, during his preparations for departure, Pinedo gives a written order to one of Vernet’s settlers, Jean Simon, promoting him to ‘Political and Military Commander’ of the Islands. Sarandi evacuates the bulk of the garrison while Rapid takes the 7 prisoners it has held since the mutiny; together with two of Vernet’s managers – Ventura Pasos and Henry Metcalf.

[Jean Simon was illiterate and either unable to understand Pinedo’s instruction or unwilling as he subsequently ignored the responsibility. Pasos, linked to Vernet’s family by marriage, was taking the news of the British return to Vernet.]

“Commander Pinedo told the people that anyone who wished to go to Bs Ays., he would take him, and he took some gauchos.” [Jean Simon 1833]

Onslow persuades the majority of Vernet’s settlers to remain, including gauchos whose outstanding wages he pays in silver; “ I had great trouble to pursuade 12 of the Gauchos to remain on the Settlement, otherwise cattle could not have been caught, and the advantages of refreshments to the shipping must have ceased.”

The remaining settlers number twenty-two; 12 gauchos and 6 other men together with 3 women and one child; William Dickson is an Irishman, Jean Simon, French, Antonio Werner and Charles Kusserley are German, while William Jones is English. Benjamin Pearson hails from Jamaica. There are also three women; Antonina Roxa, and two black slaves, Gregoria and Carmelita who has a child.” [PRO FO 6 / 500]

Temporary residents, mainly sealers, include 9 men from the Unicorn.

Onslow appoints William Dickson, the settlement’s storeman, as the British Representative on the Islands.

I did not think Mr. Dickson of sufficient consequence to be placed in a responsible situation, but I had no alternative.”

Dickson’s instructions are to fly the flag on Sundays and whenever a foreign vessel arrives at the port; .. and to acquaint the Commanders of His Majesty’s vessels of war, who might touch at Port Louis, with all acts of insubordination in the Colony.”

January 10th, HMS Clio sails away, taking William drake, deemed ‘undesirable’ and Charles Brazier, considered ‘distressed.’

January 14th, HMS Tyne arrives at Port Louis. Belford Hinton Wilson is a passenger en-route to Peru where he is to be Consul-General. Wilson speaks to the gauchos, who complain about the wages Vernet pays them, mostly in promissory notes; ” These Gauchos would cheerfully remain on the Island under any Englishman whom the Government may please to appoint.”

Woodbine Parish, now in London, provides a description of Soledad Island to the Royal Geographical Society.

The claims of Great Britain to the Falkland islands having been lately renewed, the following account of the Eastern Island may not be uninteresting. It was drawn up for me during my late residence in South America by Mr. Vernet, who formed a settlement and resided there for several years under an authority from the Government of Buenos Aires. It will be recollected that the British settlement, which was forcibly broken up by the Spaniards in 1770, and subsequently restored, was at Port Egmont, on the Western Island.”

Parish informs the Society that 89 British, American and French visited the Islands for the whales and seal fisheries between 1826 and 1831.

January 15th, the Sarandi and the Rapid arrive at Buenos Aires.

The Sun arrives at Montevideo and informs the new commander of the USS Lexington, Capt. Isaac McKeever, that the Sarandi forced the vessel to leave the Falklands. Capt. McKeever immediately writes both to Levi Woodbury, in Washington, and George Slacum in Buenos Aires, to tell them that he intends to take the Lexington back to the Falkland Islands in order to protect American interests; “At my suggestion the schooner Sun will return to the fisheries and continue her occupation in defiance of the illegal warning received.”

January 16th, McKeever is made aware of the arrival of the Sarandi and delays his departure whilst enquiries are made in Buenos Aires.

La Gaceta Mercantil reports briefly on the British action which, according to its editorial, obliged the commander of the Sarandi to yield to the; “ .. cannons of reason.”

José Pinedo records in his ship’s log, the names of those he has brought back from Puerto Louis –

Capt. D. Juan Antonio Gomila, Miguel Hernandez and his wife Maria Romero, Sgt. Santiago Almandos Almonacid, Soldiers: José Barrera, José Gómez, Manuel Francisco Fernández, Toribio Montesuma, Jose Soto, José Rodríguez, Juan Castro and his wife Manuela Navarro, Antonio García, Juan J. Rivas and his wife Maria I. Beldaño, Denis Godoy, Hipólito Villarreal and his wife Lucia Correa and two sons, Gregory Durán and his wife Carmen Manzanares, with two sons, Benito Vidal and his wife Maria Saisa. Daniel Molina.

Settlers: Joaquín Acuña, his wife Juana, Matthew González, his wife Marica.

Aliens: José Viel, John Quedy, Francisco Ferreyra, plus 1 prisoner.”


Military prisoners removed on the Rapid are recorded as: Sgt. José María  Díaz, Soldiers: José Antonio Díaz, Manuel Delgado, Mariano Gadea, Manuel Suares, Francisco Ramírez, Bernardino Cáceres, Manuel Saenz, Antonio Moncada, Women: María Rodríguez, with three children; Anastasia Romero; Encarnación Alvarez; Carmen Benitez; Tránsita González, with a son.

Pinedo hands over the gauchos Manuel Ruiz and Mariano Lopez to the Port Captain, Fransisco Lynch.

On receipt of the news, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Manuel Vicente de Maza, immediately writes to the British charge d’affaires, Philip Gore; the Undersigned etc., addresses himself to HBM Charge d’Affairs ad interim in this City, to inform him that the Govt. has just learnt that the Commander of HBM’s Schooner of war, the Clio, has, in the Falkland Islands, taken possession of the Isle of Soledad, & hoisted the english flag where that of the Argentine Republic heretofore waved. This unexpected event has caused a very great surprise to the Govt. of Buenos Ayres; and though HE cannot discover any pretext which could furnish an excuse for it, yet, taking it for granted that the Charge d’Affiares whom the Undersigned addresses must be in possession of instructions concerning a step which manifestly compromises the dignity and the rights of the Argentine Republic, he has directed the Undersigned to apply to the Charge d’Affairs of HBM for the competent explanation.”

January 17th, Gore responds that he; .. has the honor to inform HE that he has received no instructions from his Court to make any communication to the Govt. Of Buenos Ayres upon the subject of which HE’s note refers…”

January 18th, Philip Gore is asked to attend the Ministry of Foreign Affaires in Buenos Aires for a ‘conference.’

His Excellency began by stating that his Govt. Had been placed in a situation of great embarrasment by the unexpected news which had just reached Buenos Ayres of the proceedings of Capt. Onslow of HMS Clio at the Falkland Islands; that the Council of Ministers had held several, and very prolonged, sittings upon the subject; that, as yet, the Ministers had not resolved what course should be pursued to meet the circumstances of the case, but that he was desirous of having a personal interview with me, previous to their coming to any final determination. ….. that he could have understood, had HM’s Govt. made the question of the Falkland Islands a matter of amicable negotiation with that of Buenos Ayres through the medium of the Minister whom HM had recently named to this Republic, but that, in the late transaction, his Government considered that an act had been committed against the Argentine Republic, infringing upon her rights and derogatory to her dignity as an independent nation….”

During the course of the interview, de Maza refers to the Republic as consisting of a, powerless and infant people;” Maza also calls Pinedo a, coward.”

Gore tells the Foreign Minister that; .. the occupation of the Falkland Islands by Great Britain could be matter of no surprise to HE… since, in 1829, formal intimation had been given to the Buenos Ayrean Govt. Of HM’s rights of Sovereignty over those Islands. The present measure was a natural and necessary consequence of that intimation, then so explicitly made, and lately, in 1832, as categorically repeated.”

On the same day, HMS Tyne departs leaving Dickson as the only British authority in the Falklands.

He noted that the Islands were worthy of colonisation and recommended the despatch of a detachment of marines.”  [Tatham 2008]

La Gazeta Mercantil denounces the British action; We have a Treaty with Great Britain, which offers no benefits, but yet our relations have not been interrupted. The Ministers of that nation, without the slightest indication and amid a deep peace, occupy a part of our territory and humbles the flag of the Republic. What behavior is that? Is that how nations treat? … Clio has disabled the existing Treaty with Great Britain. …”

January 19th, HMS Clio arrives at Montevideo. “We understand that the government has determined to institute legal proceedings against Lieut. Col. Jose Maria Pinedo relative to his conduct.”

January 21st, in El Lucero; Let us speak frankly, the force is the law of the European Governments aged in intrigue and violence of every kind.”

England, or better say her government, fails in her faith in Treaties and denies the very positive assurances of friendship so often expressed in signed letters preserved in our archives, has taken surreptitiously of our possessions without further formalities as they get used to the savage countries or deserts … we considered the English not only as the oldest, but as the most constant and sincere defenders of our rights; it’s painful to see us insulted by our friends and the successors to illustrious Canning…”

January 22nd, the Minister for Foreign Affairs addresses a note to Gore; .. formally protesting on the part of the Republic against the pretensions of Great Britain to the Falkland Islands and her occupation of them, against the insult offered to the flag of the Republic, and declaring the firm determination of the Republic to support her rights, and that at the same time she was desirous of maintaining the relations of amity subsisting between the two countries.”

Gore acknowledges receipt but does not respond.

January 23rd, Uruguay is less supportive of Argentine sensitivities with an editorial in El Investigador suggesting an accomodation between Britain and Buenos Aires over the, “sterile islands.”

In Buenos Aires, Minister of War, General Enrique Martinez, calls for the opinion of other Ministers. Manuel Garcia advises that Buenos Aires should employ the same tactic as the English in 1770 and ask for; “… due satisfaction for the violence committed and a restitution of things to the state they had been in at the time of arrival of the Clio. “

Mateo Vidal recalls the; “ .. vigerous and constant proclamations of Spain during their sovereignty over the islands, … designating Governors until 1805 (sic), maintaining garrisons, building homes, sending residents, encouraging farming and cattle breeding, legislating …” He states that if England has any rights they cannot be enforced by force, a; “ .. method only tolerable in the Middle Ages..”

Tomas Guido suggests a “solemn protest” to the Court of St. James, to be made by Argentina’s representative in London, who should be prepared for “contradiction” and is empowered to propose; “.. arbitration by one or more powerful nations, friendly or neutral, to whose decision the resolution of this question is definitely subject.” Guido proposes that Russia or France would be suitable to oversee any arbitration. Finally, Minister Guido suggests that letters are sent to all the new nations in the Americas, clearly stating Argentina’s claim.

Jose Fransisco Ugarteche calls for the archives to be checked. [Caillet-Bois 1952]

January 24th, the House of Representatives in Buenos Aires is informed of events, and the Government’s reaction, in a note signed by Juan Ramon Balcarce and Manuel Vicente de Maza.

An optimistic editiorial in the Journal of Commerce proclaims; “We are persuaded that the government of the U.S. will make a most decided opposition to the pretensions of England, notwithstanding its Agent, rather perhaps for want of foresight than from criminal intent, defended them with energy. The importance of the Falkland Islands in the hands of the English cannot fail to be seen by the Americans who, by consenting to the occupation of them by the English, will see a great part of their commerce subject to the caprice of a rival power, which already rules the principal seas. In the same situation with the United States, is France and all other nations; who cannot, by tacit consent, authorize the absurd claim which is now attempted to be established, without exposing themselves to be excinded from our trade and that of the Pacific. It is for the interest of the whole world that the Falkland Islands should not be wrested from their true owner; i.e. the Argentina Republic, – and all nations, perceiving how much it would be for their advantage that these islands should remain under the same jurisdiction as at present, will unite in seeing that justice is done.”

January 26th, Minister Ugarteche writes to General Martinez proposing a lightning attack on Port Louis; “I venture to suggest as the best way, and soon to save time, expense, and the incalculable evils of a formal war; vindicating our sovereignty, and return us to the Falklands. This project requires speed in its execution, readying in fifteen days if possible two ships of war, and two transports with five hundred men well supplied with munitions and in impenetrable secrecy of its object.. (This) will produce the priceless result of recover and fortification of the Falklands. The cost would amount to 300, or 400 thousand pesos, which (offers) true economic and immense advantages… it will be applauded and we will gain credit abroad. “

January 28th, El Lucero calls for the annulment of the 1825 Treaty between Britain and Buenos Aires.

January 29th, a further protest is sent to Philip Gore; … in fulfillment of the orders of his government and in its name, in consideration of what we owe to our dignity, to posterity and to the deposit which the United provinces has entrusted to the government of Buenos Ayres, and, in short, to the whole world whose eyes are fixed upon us, the undersigned protests in the most formal manner against the pretensions of the government of Great Britain to the Malvina Islands, and its occupation of them, as likewise against the insult offered to the flag of the Republic, and against the damages which the latter has received and may receive in consequence of the aforsaid proceedings, …. The charge d’affaires, whom the undersigned addresses, will please transmit this protest to his government, and manifest the decided resolution of this republic to sustain its rights, at the same time that it desires to maintain inviolate the friendly relations which it has hitherto cultivated with Great Britain, and that peace may prosper and be perpetual between both states.”

January 30th, letters are sent out to the other formative nations of South America.

In late January 1833, two notes were addressed to the governments of the American countries, giving them news of what happened in Port Louis, and emphasizing the need to unite to face any future overpowering rush of imperialism. “

One of these is sent to Bolivia; “So manifest a violation of international law must be considered not only an outrage for the Argentina Republic, but also of contempt towards other American countries. It is clear that the behavior the British cabinet in the Falklands, although detrimental only to the government that feels stripped of its territory, is also offensive and too injurious to all the American Republics, … “

February 1st, the Gaceta Mercantil newspaper publishes a letter from Ventura Pasos complaining of the raid by the Lexington over a year before. Also published are the accounts from some of the illiterate gauchos who were there when Silas Duncan’s ship arrived. No mention is made of the Clio’s action by Pasos, however.

February 5th, newspapers report that; “The Council of War for the trial of the authors and accomplices of the military mutiny at the Falkland Islands, decided … That Adjutant Jose Antonion Gomita, on account of his timidity and want of energy is sustaining the discipine of his company, be punished by one year’s banishment from the capital, and within the Province, on half pay: That second sergeant Jose Maria Diaz, first corporal Fransisco Ramirez, and privates Bernardino Caceres, Juan Antonio Diaz, Jose Marta Suarez, Juan Moncada and Maunel Saonx Valient, BE SHOT, and hung four hours on the gallows; and that the right hand of Maunel Saonx Valientbe cut off before he is so suspended. That private Mariano Gadea suffer the infliction of 200 lashes, and 8 years renewal of service; and private Manuel Delgado, 100 lashes and 6 years renewal of service.”

February 8th, the sentences are carried out.

US Secretary of State, Edward Livingston questions Francis Baylies regarding his time at Buenos Aires. Baylies tells him; ” The existing Government have repeatedly denounced the intrusive government under which the decree of the 10th of June (was made) as mutinous, and have recognized none of their laws and decrees… It may be asked why should they exhibit such pertinacity in sustaining Vernet? In my opinion they should have abandoned him without hesitation, had not the interest of some of the leading men in the Govt. been in a degree involved… Vernet will eventually be compelled to relinquish his claims to the Falklands which will become in some way or other the exclusive domain of the ruling family. – Hence the strong effort to sustain Vernet.”

February 14th, in Buenos Aires, a tribunal meets to consider the accusations against Pinedo – that he failed to offer resistance in accordance with the military code.

Meanwhile, still believing that Onslow’s entreaties to the gauchos indicates some recognition by the British Government as to his holding on East Falkland, Luis Vernet sends Matthew Brisbane and Ventura Pasos back to Port Louis –  with a new Secretary, Thomas Helsby – aboard the chartered Rapid.

On the same day, Minister Maza writes two letters to Manuel Moreno in London. In the first he exhorts Moreno to, “waste no time” in employing the skills that had recommended the Ambassador to his Government. In the second he points out that Buenos Aires could respond by seizing the property of its British residents – “measures demanded by public indignation” – but that it preferred to, “rely on the power of justice.”

Moreno is also required to inform other nation’s representatives of the situation; “The United States, France and other maritime powers must be first (informed), that a power as great as England, she is constituted of a vast archipelago on one of the most important channels for trade and navigation, and this circumstance should not be missed … . “

March 1st, HMS Beagle arrives in the Falkland islands; The Beagle anchored at the south side of Berkeley Sound …, and remained there till I had ascertained the state of affairs on shore: for seeing a French flag flying near some tents behind Johnson Cove or harbour, and knowing that, in 1831, the flag of Buenos Ayres was hoisted at a settlement in the sound, it was evident a change of some kind had occurred. Directly our anchor had dropped, a whale-boat belonging to the wrecked whale-ship, ‘Le Magellan,’ came alongside; and from her chief mate, we learned that his ship had parted from her anchors during a tremendous squall on the night of the 12th of January, and was totally wrecked. He then informed me that the British colours had been hoisted on these islands by H.M.S. Clio; and that H.M.S. Tyne had since visited the port and saluted the flag;..  [Fitzroy 1839]

March 2nd, Rapid arrives back at Port Louis.

Darwin describes the settlement in his diary; ” …The present inhabitants consist of one Englishman, who has resided here for some years, & has now the charge of the British flag, 20 Spaniards & three women, two of whom are negresses.”

March 4th, Brisbane presents his papers to Capt. Fitzroy; I was quite satisfied with their tenor, and the explanation he gave me of his business. … Brisbane’s instructions from Vernet authorized him to act as his private agent only, to look after the remains of his private property, and they had not the slightest reference to civil or military authority.”

Fitzroy visits Port Louis where he finds; “… a few half-ruined stone cottages; some straggling huts built of turf; two or three stove boats; some broken ground where gardens had been …with here and there a miserable-looking human being..

How is this?” said I, in astonishment, to Mr. Brisbane; “I thought Mr. Vernet’s colony was a thriving and happy settlement. Where are the inhabitants? the place seems deserted as well as ruined.”

Indeed Sir, it was flourishing,” said he, “ but the Lexington ruined it Captain Duncan’s men did such harm to the houses and gardens. I was myself treated as a pirate—rowed stern foremost on board the Lexington—abused on her quarter-deck most violently by Captain Duncan—treated by him more like a wild beast than a human being—and from that time guarded as a felon, until I was released by order of Commodore Rogers.”

“But,” I said, “where are the rest of the settlers? I see but half a dozen, of whom two are old black women; where are the gauchos who kill the cattle?”

“Sir, they are all in the country. They have been so much alarmed by what has occurred, and they dread the appearance of a ship of war so much, that they keep out of the way till they know what she is going to do.

I afterwards interrogated an old German, while Brisbane was out of sight, and after him a young native of Buenos Ayres, who both corroborated Brisbane’s account.[Fitzroy 1839]

March 9th, following a split decision amongst the judges, José María Pinedo is expelled from the service as punishment for his inaction.

sealingschoonerMarch 22nd, Capt. Lowe and the Unicorn return to Port Louis to retrieve the sealing crew left there; .. although considered to be the most enterprizing and intelligent sealer on those shores, perhaps anywhere, the weather had been so much against him that he returned from his six months’ cruise a ruined man, with an empty ship… Passengers with him were the master and crew of a North American sealing schooner, the Transport, which had been wrecked on the south-west coast of Tierra del Fuego, in Hope Harbour; and he told me of two other wrecks, all occasioned by the gale of January 12-13th.”

March 24th, Darwin notes in his diary; “ We have never before stayed so long at a place & with so little for the Journal. … The place bespeaks what it has been, viz a bone of contention between different nations. On Friday a sealing vessel arrived commanded by Capt. Lowe; a notorious & singular man, who has frequented these seas for many years & been the terror to all small vessels. It is commonly said, that a Sealer, Slaver & Pirate are all of a trade; they all certainly require bold energetic men; … In their manners habits &c I should think these men strikingly resembled the old Buccaneers. “

Captain Fitzroy buys Unicorn for £1,300. Lowe and some of his crew remain behind to take seals and await another vessel; “ .. Some of his crew being ‘upon the lay,’ that is, having agreed to be paid for their work by a small proportion of the cargo obtained, preferred remaining at the Falklands to seek for employment in other vessels, others procured a passage in the Rapid, and a few were engaged by me to serve in their own vessel which, to keep up old associations, I named ‘Adventure.’ .. During the month we remained in Berkeley Sound, I had much trouble with the crews of whaling or small sealing vessels, as well as with the settlers, who all seemed to fancy that because the British flag was re-hoisted in the Falklands, they were at liberty to do what they pleased with Mr. Vernet’s private property, as well as with the wild cattle and horses. The gauchos wished to leave the place, and return to the Plata, but as they were the only useful labourers on the islands, in fact, the only people on whom any dependence could be placed for a regular supply of fresh beef, I interested myself as much as possible to induce them to remain, and with partial success, for seven staid out of twelve…. Besides these gauchos, we saw five Indians, …”

March 30th, Charles Darwin writes to his sister, Caroline; ” … We arrived here in the Falkland Islands in the beginning of this month & after such a succession of gales, that a calm day is quite a phenomenon. We found to our great surprise the English flag hoisted. I suppose the occupation of this place, has only just been noticed in the English paper; but we hear all the Southern part of America is in a ferment about it. By the awful language of Buenos Ayres one would suppose this great republic meant to declare war against England! These islands have a miserable appearance; they do not possess a tree; yet from their local situation will be of great importance to shipping; … “

April 4th, Darwin sails for the Rio Negro in the Adventure.

April 5th, Brisbane sends the Rapid back to Buenos Aires with a cargo of hides and skins for Luis Vernet.

April 6th, Capt. Fitzroy follows the Adventure in the Beagle; Including the crews of some thirty whale-ships, hovering about or at anchor amongst the islands; the men of several American vessels, all armed with rifles; the English sealers with their clubs, if not also provided with rifles; those cut-throat looking gauchos, the discontented, downcast Indian prisoners, and the crews of several French whalers – who could not or would not see why they had not as good a right to the islands as Englishmen – there was no lack of elements of discord; and it was with a heavy heart and gloomy forebodings that I looked forward to the months which might elapse without the presence of a man-of-war, or the semblance of any regular authority.”

April 14th, the Packet from Brazil brings news to England of the ejection of the garrison from Soledad.

April 15th, the 790 fur seal skins, and 401 pup skins liberated by Duncan from Vernet’s storehouse, and subsequently handed over to Davison, arrive at Stonington in the USA where ownership is immediately disputed.

April 16th, the New York Evening Post reports; The brig Erie, Captain Penneyer, has arrived from Buenos Ayres, with papers of that place to the 14th of February. The excitement on account of the act of the British government in taking possession of the Falkland Islands appears to have somewhat abated. The Secretary of Foreign Relations had addressed a note to Mr. Gore, the British Charge d’affairs, protesting against the occupation of the islands, and asserting the determination of the Argentine republic to maintain its right to possess them. The garrison at Falkland Islands appears to have been composed of a gang of desperadoes, several of whom have now suffered death at Buenos Ayres for atrocious crimes.”

April 23rd, Francis Baylies writes to Secretary Livingston; “The recent transactions at the Falkland’s indicate truly what the character of any Colony from Buenos Ayres must necessarily be. An expedition prepared with much parade sent out in a national vessel under the national flag composed of national soldiers, a garrison, formally established military possession, taking the claim of sovereignty and the appointment of  the Governor, announced by decree; in short, every thing done to announce to the world the solemn character of the measure. And yet the first act of these selected colonists and soldiers is the murder of their Governor! The new settlement baptized in the blood of its Chief! Any Colony emanating from Buenos Ayres and established at the Falklands will inevitably become piratical. I find I am denounced in high terms by the renegade who conducts the Gaceta Mercantil for disclosing to Great Britain the extent of her rights, as if Great Britain who protested against the occupation of the Falklands in 1829 did not know her own rights!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApril 24th, Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James, Manuel Moreno, writes to the Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston; .. almost all the London Journals published the intelligence that the garrison and colonists of the United Provinces in Malouine Islands, as well as the Schooner of War, the “Sarandi,” which was stationed in that dominion of  the Republic had been compelled to retire, owing to the intimation of Captain Onslow of HM’s Schooner of War “Clio,” and that that officer, on expelling by force the said Garrison and Colonists of the United Provinces, had declared that he was going to take, and that he did take, possession of the Islands in HBM’s name, notwithstanding that the discussion respecting them was pending. It is the duty of the Undersigned to request, in the name of his Govt. to be informed whether HBM’s Govt. has ordered the expulsion of the garrison of Buenos Ayres from the Malouine Islands, which expulsion is reported to have been effected by the Captain of HM’s Schooner of War the “Clio,” and whether it has authorized or recognized the declaration likewise reported to have been made by that officer respecting the dominion of those possessions.”

May 5th, Lord Palmerston instructs Philip Gore to inform Buenos Aires; “ .. that the British Govt, upon this occasion, has only exercised its full and undoubted right. The rights of HM to the Falkland Islands are of ancient standing and have never been relinquished, but have, on the contrary, been recently announced to the Buenos Ayrean Govt. by Mr. Parish’s Note of Nov. 1829. The British Govt. at one time, thought it inexpedient to maintain any garrison in those Islands; .. HM is not accountable to any foreign Power for the reasons which may guide them in making such arrangements with respect to territories belonging to the British Crown.”

May 8th, Palmerston tells Moreno; “ .. that the proceedings of the Commander of the “Clio” took place in consequence of instructions given by HM’s Government to Admiral Baker… Admiral Baker was ordered to send a ship-of-war to the Falkland Islands, to exercise there HM’s ancient and undoubted rights of Sovereignty and to act there as in a possession belonging to the Crown of Great Britain; and, of course, if there should be found in those Islands any foreign persons or military force not acknowledging the Sovereignty of HM, the Commander of the ship of war was to request such persons or such military force to withdraw, ….”

May 18th, in The Hereford Times; “The Falkland Islands: We alluded on Wednesday to the intelligence from the English papers of the intention of the British Government to obtain possession of these Islands. By the ship Isis, arrived from Montevideo, we have received Buenos Ayres papers which announce that that event has actually taken place.

Great excitement was produced in Buenos Ayres by a knowledge of this occurrence; the papers were filled with acrimonious articles on the subject, and all the odium lately attached there to the American name appeared to be shifted to the shoulders of john Bull. We see it stated in these papers that Mr. Fox, the British Minister at Buenos Aires, when that government appointed a political and military commandant of the Falkland Islands, protested against it in the name of England, and invoked the rights of the crown. A letter is also published from the United States, in which it is said, “England has presented to the government of the United States an official protest or notification, that she is the rightful owner of the Falkland Islands, that Spain has only held them upon sufferance ever since the year 1774.”

May 31st, Governor Balcarce delivers a message to the 11th Legislature of the Province of Buenos Aires informing the Representatives that a Minister is to be appointed to go to Washington to seek reparations for the destruction inflicted by Silas Duncan. He also tells them that the Government’s Minister in London has been instructed to; “… demand the restitution, and seek such satisfaction as becomes the justice and honour of both governments, by those means which probity, good faith, and sound reason dictate.”

In June, Vernet sends six more employees to join the settlers on the islands. Brisbane, short of silver, resumes paying the gauchos in promissory notes.

June 17th, Minister Moreno submits an official protest to the British Government. In explanation of his country’s right to the islands, Moreno cites initial discovery by Spanish explorers; the purchase of French rights in 1767; a secret agreement between England and Spain in 1771 and England’s abandonment in 1774.

He also claims that argentina succeeded to the archipelago when the Spanish left; It is well known to all the world that, by the Revolution which took place on the 25thf May, 1810 and the solemn Declaration of Independence on the 9th of July, 1816, a political community was constituted, in the jurisdiction of Buenos Aires, under the name, style and title of, “United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata,” which has been recognised by Great Britain and other principle nations. This political community could not exist without territory, as, where there is no independence of territory, there can be no Sovereign State, and thus, as the community acquired the right of Treaties, and that of competency to negotiate with foreign Powers, it also acquired the right of State property (jus in patrimonium reipublicae.)

The United Provinces consequently succeeded Spain in the rights which that nation, from whom they separated had possessed in that jurisdiction. The Malvinas had always been a part of that country, or of that district, and, as such, they formed part of the dominion, or public property of the new state (patrimonium  reipublicae publicum); and were claimed, inhabited and garrisoned by its subjects. The sovereignty of the islands, which ceased in the Spanish Government, on the Independence of America, could not pass in succession to England, nor revive a question and claims that were extinct.”

June 18th, in an undiplomatic appeal to public opinion, Moreno has his Government’s message published in The Times. King William IV orders a search of the records to see whether the assertions made by Minister Moreno have any foundation in fact.

July 12th, in Buenos Aires, Minister de Maza again requests some explanation from Philip Gore.

July 13th, Gore responds to de Maza, reminding him of Minister Fox’s protest in September, 1832 and asserting that the British Government; “ .. on this occasion, had only exerted its full and undoubted right.”  [Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982]

July 24th, the Buenos Aires Government meets to make decisions on how to proceed over the Falklands. Minister de Irigoyen writes to Ambassador Moreno to tell him the Buenos Aires fully appreciate his efforts and that he should continue with renewed, “zeal.”

August, the settlers on East Falkland are; Capt. Matthew Brisbane, superintendent; Thomas Helsby, William Dickson, Don Ventura Pasos, Charles Kussler, Antonio Vehingar, (known at Buenos Ayres as Antonio Wagnar,) Juan Simon, (Capataz,) Tanstin Martinez, Santiago Lopez, Pascual Diaz, Manuel Coronel, Antonio Rivero, Jose Maria Luna, Juan Brasido, Manuel Gonzales, Luciano Flores, Manuel Godoy, Felipe Salazar, and Lattorre (the last five being Indians, having been sent by the Governor of Monte Video to this island for bad conduct); three women, viz. Antonina Roxa, Gregoria Madrid, Carmolita and her two children.

Also, Captain William Low, and a boat’s crew, late of the schooner Unicorn, were temporary residents … viz. Henry Channen, John Stokes, Daniel Mackay, Patrick Kerwin, Samuel Pearce, George Hopkins, Joseph Douglas, Francis Machado, and Jose Manuel Pardo; likewise two men of colour …. honest John and …. (Antonio Manuel.)”

August 7th, in London, Moreno writes to his Foreign Ministry with reference to a suggestion that the dispute should be put to arbitration. The Ambassador reports his opinion that France, Holland, Switzerland or Denmark would be those most suited to undertake such a task, but that if Buenos Aires wish him to pursue this, then he will need new instructions.

August 25th, a number of Vernet’s gauchos purchase ammunition from sealers in Port Louis.

August 26th, on East Falkland, a 26 year-old gaucho employed by Luis Vernet – Antonio Rivero –  leads an attack against Vernet’s agents at Port Louis. William Dickson, Matthew Brisbane, Antonio Wagnar, Jean Simon and Ventura Pasos  are murdered.

Rivero.. I met Antonio Rivero, Jose Maria Luna, Juan Brasido, Manuel Gonzales, Luciano Flores, Manuel Godoy, Felipe Salagar and Lattorre, running towards the point armed with muskets, pistols, swords, dirks and knives. It was very evident they were going to kill someone, and I hastened towards the house of Captain Brisbane, for the purpose of informing him of what was going on. On my arrival I was alarmed at finding the doors locked and after knocking some time, was surprised at learning from two of the women that the aforesaid eight men had killed Captain Brisbane, Capitaz Juan Simon  and had left Don Ventura for dead, he having been wounded by a musket ball in his throat, his head cut open, and his hand almost cut off by a sword, afterwards he escaped by a back window, and reached the house of Antonina Roxa, about 50 or 60 yards distant.

On my way up from the point, I heard two musket shots fired at the house of Antonio Wagnar, where they killed him, and William Dickson, to which two of the boats crew Joseph Douglas and Daniel McKay, were eye witness. ..   They then returned to the house of Captain Brisbane, and not finding the body of Don Ventura, searched for him and on finding him, he ran out, when I saw him killed by their firing 2 or 3 musket shots at him.” [Helsby’s Account]

Don Ventura Pasos was a nephew of the distinguished Argentine Don Juan Jose Pasos who, with Senores Chiclana and Saavedra, formed the Triumvirate which governed in the early part of the emancipation from Spain. .. Don Ventura and my other agents were murdered in Aug 1833 by some Indians .. and some runaway sailors. Don Ventura was one of the principal settlers at Port Louis.” [Luis Vernet]

The survivors, .. thirteen men, three women and two children..,” take refuge on Hog Island in Berkeley Sound.

In September, the Harriet, seized by Vernet, is auctioned off.

[Vernet would later complain that the Government in Buenos Aires had retained the monies from this sale without even reimbursing the costs of taking the owners to court.]

September 2nd, the refugees on Hog Island move to the more defend-able Turf Island.

September 8th, with no sign of Rivero’s gang, some of the survivors visit Port Louis; .. but finding it entirely devastated returned to their island.”

September 13th, Capt. Lowe returns to Berkeley Sound. On his advice the remaining settlers divide into two groups and occupy both Hog Island and Turf island.

September 29th, King Ferdinand VII dies and leaves the crown to his daughter the Infanta Isabella. The child’s mother, Maria Cristina becomes Regent.

October 23rd, the settlers hiding on the islands in Berkeley Sound are relieved by the British ship Hopeful. Lieut. Rea RN hoists the Union Jack over Port Louis. He also writes an urgent letter to Rio de Janeiro; “ .. if an English ship of war does not arrive here soon, more murders will take place.”  Before leaving, copies of the Lieutenant’s letter are given to the sealers Swallow and  Susannah Anne. Capt. Lowe and his men leave with the sealers, while the massacre’s survivors remain on their small islands.

October 30th, Sir Herbert Jenner is provided with a copy of Manuel Moreno’s protest by Sir George Shee, together with the proposed response by Lord Palmerston; and asked to provide a legal opinion.

November 18th, Luis Vernet writes an optimistic letter to Jean Simon declaring that; “ .. after the governments arrive at some adjustment there will be better days, .. there will be many people, and houses in many parts, there will be an abundance of everything and plenty of money …”

November 19th, in Buenos Aires, Philip Gore, sends a note to Minister Guido; “In compliance with the orders of his court, the undersigned, his Britannic Majesty’s Charge d’Affairs, has the honour to notify to the government of Buenos Ayres, that the Rear-Admiral Commander-in-Chief of his naval forces in South America has been directed to appoint a Lieutenant from under his command, with a certain number of men, to reside at the Falkland Islands, for the protection of his Majesty’s rights on those Islands.”

Sir Herbert JennerNovember 30th, Sir Herbert Jenner gives his opinion; .. I have perused and considered the note of M. Moreno and the answer which your Lordship proposes to return to him, and am humbly of opinion that the extracts from the correspondence which passed in the years 1771 and 1774, as stated in your Lordship’s letter, are so far from warranting the suggestion of M. Moreno that there was any secret understanding that the British Govt. would evacuate the Falkland Islands after the restitution of Port Egmont, that they demonstrate that no such expectation could have been entertained by the Govt. of Spain, for the Spanish Minister, having asked the Earl of Rochford to give him some hopes of the British Govt. agreeing to the mutual abandonment of those islands, he was answered “that it was impossible to enter into that subject with him as the restitution must precede every discourse relative to them.”

And the instructions given to the officer who was sent to receive the repossession of Port Egmont from the Spanish authorities, not to salute Fort Soledad, as a Spanish Garrison, if the restitution was not made by a certain period, but to protest against that settlement of His Catholic Majesty’s subjects, in an Island belonging to His Majesty, are strongly confirmatory of the absence of all idea of compromise, in the assertion and maintenance of HM right to the Sovereignty over those Islands.

Under these circumstances, I am very humbly of opinion that a wise direction has been exercised in declining to enter into any discussion as to the title to be derived from the first occupation or possession of these islands, as it is impossible not to foresee, that a discussion of that nature must necessarily lead to a protracted correspondence, which would probably not end in any satisfactory result.”

In December, William Langdon writes to Luis Vernet asking that Vernet agree the grant of land sold to Langdon in 1831 be formally assigned to George Whitington, merchant of London.

December 3rd, in his Annual Message to Congress, US President Andrew Jackson, refers to Buenos Aires; The negotiations commenced with the Argentine Republic relative to the outrages committed on our vessels engaged in the fisheries at the Falkland Islands by persons acting under the color of its authority, as well as the other matters in controversy between the two Governments, have been suspended by the departure of the chargé d’affaires of the United States from Buenos Ayres. It is understood, however, that a minister was subsequently appointed by that Government to renew the negotiation in the United States, but though daily expected he has not yet arrived in this country.”

December 6th, George Whitington also writes to Luis Vernet to assure him of his commitment to a colonization always assuming that Vernet can “legally establish” his rights and privileges.

Moreno has an edited version of his official protest printed – Observations on the Forcible Occupation of the Malvinas, or Falkland Islands, by the British Government in 1833 and circulated throughout London; ” … it is of paramount importance that the public should have a clear, and as it were tangible account …..”

… the brochure was intended for the public and not the foreign ministries, as no evidence or document was included.” [Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982]

1834 – Palmerston responds to Moreno’s note; ” … in which he formally protests, in the name of his government, “against the sovereignty lately assumed in the Malvina (or Falkland) Islands, by the crown of Great Britain.” Lord Palmerston

Before the undersigned proceeds to reply to the allegations advanced in M. Moreno’s note, upon which his protest against this act on the part of his Majesty is founded, the undersigned deems it proper to draw M. Moreno’s attention to the contents of the protest which Mr. Parish, the British Chargé d’Affaires, at Buenos Ayres, addressed, in the name of his court, to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic, on the 19th of November 1829, in consequence of the British Government having been informed that the president of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata had issued decrees, and had made grants of land, in the nature of acts of sovereignty over the islands in question.

That protest made known to the government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata:—

1st. That the authority which that government had thus assumed, was considered by the British Government as incompatible with the sovereign rights of Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.

2dly. That those sovereign rights, which were founded upon the original discovery and subsequent occupation of those islands, had acquired an additional sanction from the fact, that his Catholic Majesty had restored the British settlement, which had been forcibly taken possession of by a Spanish force, in the year 1771.

3dly. That the withdrawal of his Majesty’s forces from the Falkland Islands, in 1774, could not invalidate the just rights of Great Britain, because that withdrawal took place only in pursuance of the system of retrenchment adopted at that time by his Majesty’s Government.

4thly. That the marks and signals of possession and of property, left upon the islands, the British flag still flying, and all the other formalities observed upon the occasion of the departure of the governor, were calculated not only to assert the rights of ownership, but to indicate the intention of resuming the occupation of the territory at some future period.

Upon these grounds Mr. Parish protested against the pretensions set up on the part of the Argentine Republic, and against all acts done to the prejudice of the just rights of sovereignty heretofore exercised by the crown of Great Britain.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic acknowledged the receipt of the British protest; and acquainted Mr. Parish that his government would give it their particular consideration, and that he would communicate to him their decision upon the subject, so soon as he should receive directions to that effect.

No answer was, however, at any time returned, nor was any objection raised, on the part of the government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, to the rights of Great Britain, as asserted in that protest; but the Buenos Ayrean government persisted, notwithstanding the receipt of that protest, in exercising those acts of sovereignty against which the protest was specially directed.

The government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata could not have expected, after the explicit declaration which had been so formally made of the right of the crown of Great Britain to the islands in question, that his Majesty would silently submit to such a course of proceeding; nor could that government have been surprised at the step which his Majesty thought proper to take, in order to the resumption of rights which had never been abandoned, and which had only been permitted to lie dormant, under circumstances which had been explained to the Buenos-Ayrean government.

The claim of Great Britain to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands having been unequivocally asserted and maintained, during those discussions with Spain, in 1770 and 1771, which nearly led to a war between the two countries, and Spain having deemed it proper to put an end to those discussions, by restoring to his Majesty the places from which British subjects had been expelled, the government of the United Provinces could not reasonably have anticipated that the British Government would permit any other state to exercise a right, as derived from Spain, which Great Britain had denied to Spain herself; and this consideration alone would fully justify his Majesty’s Government in declining to enter into any further explanation upon a question which, upwards of half a century ago, was so notoriously and decisively adjusted with another government more immediately concerned.

But M. Moreno, in the note which he has addressed to the undersigned, has endeavoured to shew that, at the termination of the memorable discussions referred to between Great Britain and Spain, a secret understanding existed between the two courts, in virtue of which Great Britain was pledged to restore the islands to Spain at a subsequent period, and that the evacuation of them, in 1774, by his Majesty, was the fulfilment of that pledge.

The existence of such a secret understanding is alleged to be proved; first, by the reservation, as to the former right of sovereignty over the islands, which was contained in the Spanish declaration, delivered at the time of the restoration of Port Egmont and its dependencies to his Majesty; and, secondly, by the concurrent description of the transaction, as it took place between the parties, given in certain documents and historical works.

Although the reservation referred to cannot be deemed to possess any substantial weight, inasmuch as no notice whatever is taken of it in the British counter-declaration, which was exchanged against it; and although the evidence adduced from unauthentic historical publications cannot be regarded as entitled to any weight whatever with a view to a just decision upon a point of international rights; yet as the allegations above-mentioned involve an imputation against the good faith of Great Britain, to which his Majesty’s Government cannot but feel sensibly alive, the undersigned has been honoured with the King’s commands to cause the official correspondence with the court of Madrid, at the period alluded to, to be carefully inspected, in order that the circumstances which really took place upon the occasion might be accurately ascertained.

That inspection has accordingly been made, and the undersigned has the honour to communicate to M. Moreno the following extracts, which contain all the material information that can be gathered from that correspondence relative to the transaction in question:

(After the extracts, the letter continues)

…………… ” M. Moreno will perceive that the above authentic papers, which have been faithfully extracted from the Volumes of Correspondence with Spain, deposited in the State Paper Office, contain no allusion whatever to any secret understanding between the two Governments, at the period of the restoration of Port Egmont and its dependencies to Great Britain, in 1771, nor to the evacuation of Falkland’s Islands, in 1774, as having taken place for the purpose of fulfilling any such understanding. On the contrary, it will be evident to M. Moreno, that their contents afford conclusive inference that no such secret understanding could have existed.

The undersigned need scarcely assure M. Moreno, that the correspondence which has been referred to, does not contain the least particle of evidence in support of the contrary supposition, entertained by the Government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, nor any confirmation of the several particulars related in M. Moreno’s note.

The undersigned trusts, that a perusal of these details will satisfy M. Moreno, that the protest which he has been directed to deliver to the undersigned, against the re-assumption of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands by his Majesty, has been drawn up under an erroneous impression, as well of the understanding under which the declaration and counter-declaration relative to the restoration of Port Egmont and its dependencies were signed and exchanged between the two courts, as of the motives which led to the temporary relinquishment of those islands by the British Government; and the undersigned cannot entertain a doubt but that, when the true circumstances of the case shall have been communicated to the knowledge of the government of the united provinces of the Rio de la Plata, that government will no longer call in question the right of sovereignty which has been exercised by his Majesty, as undoubtedly belonging to the Crown of Great Britain.

The undersigned requests, &c.

(Signed) PALMERSTON. Foreign Office, January 8th, 1834.


January 9th, Lieut. Henry Smith, together with 4 seamen volunteers, arrives at Port Louis aboard HMS Challenger commanded by Capt. Seymour. Smith takes command as the “Resident Naval Officer” responsible for the administration of the Falkland Islands; acknowledged by a 20 gun salute from the ship.

Captain Seymour, .. being anxious to visit the settlement of Port Louis, landed some distance from it (the wind being strong from SSW), intending to walk there. About a mile from the houses they were met by an Englishman named Channon, sent by the gauchos to see who they were and whether the ship was a whaler in want of beef, or a man-of-war. He informed them that the gauchos and Indians had murdered Mr. Brisbane: Dickson, who had been left in charge of the flag by Captain Onslow: Simon; and two others: and had pillaged the houses, destroying everything in their search for money. He then pointed them out, sitting under a wall, with their horses behind the remains of the Government House, ready saddled for a start on our nearer approach. They had two gauchos, prisoners, who had not been concerned in the murders, and whom they threatened to kill, if he, Channon, did not return.

He also stated that one of them was willing to turn King’s evidence, and would bring back all the horses, if possible, provided Captain Seymour would ensure his pardon. The whole of them, nine in number, retreated into the interior as soon as they found out it was a ship-of war, taking all the tame horses, between fifty and sixty. As his party were not armed, Captain Seymour thought it right to return on board; but after dark, Lieutenant Smith was sent with a party of marines, and two boats, to try and take them, if they should be still about the houses, and to leave with Channon a bottle containing a crucifix, as a signal for Luna. On their landing, Lieutenant Smith took all necessary precautions, left six men in charge of the boats, and proceeded cautiously with the rest. He carefully searched every building in the place, without seeing even a trace of them. All was desolation; yet he learned afterwards from the two innocent gauchos, that Antonio Rivero and another, suspecting who the party were, had watched them closely; that at one time Lieut. Smith was near treading on them … Mr. Smith left with Channon Luna’s pardon, who, on the fourth day, brought in two horses – not having been able to obtain more, as the murderers were very watchful and fearful of each other, so much so, that one of them had fallen a sacrifice to suspicion; and Luna’s desertion reduced their number to six. ..”

January 15th, Lieut. Smith, four midshipmen and twelve marines head into the interior in search of Rivero.

January 20th, HMS Challenger leaves the Falklands; .. Captain Seymour, finding that capturing the Indians would be a tedious and uncertain task, made one of the ruined houses habitable, and leaving six marines as an additional protection to Lieut. Smith and his boat’s crew, proceeded as ordered.”

Thomas Helsby sails with Challenger, as does one gaucho; while Charles Kusserley, Antonina Roxa, Gregoria Madrid, Carmelita, two children and three gauchos, including Manuel Coronel, remain at Port Louis.

On January 22nd, the schooner Adventure is directed to survey the Falkland Islands.

January 27th, Smith records in his diary; 9.30 arrived a gaucho of the name of Santiago Lopez … with a message from Antonio Rivero the principal of the murderers saying if I would promise him pardon… he would give up the horses and himself and assist in capturing the others.”

January 28th, the Reverend Titus Coan and Capt. Nash, arrive in the Islands in the American schooner Antarctic, aiming to replenish the ship’s stores.

February 1st, Reverend Coan encounters 3 gauchos and negotiates for a supply of beef. Titus Coan

February 3rd, the gauchos, together with 4 other men, deliver beef to the Antarctic.

February 5th, Lieut. Smith and his men, again searching for the fugitives, encounters Capt. Nash who tells him of the gauchos and the area that they are in.

February 6th, Captain Lowe meets up with the Adventure and is taken on as pilot; .. trusting that the Admiralty would approve of my so engaging a person who, in pilotage and general information about the Falklands, Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, and the Galapagos Islands, could afford us more information than any other individual, without exception.”

February 12th, in Madrid, US Ambassador Van Ness, presses the new Regent to recognise the independence of the Spanish-American colonies.

In March, the frigate, USS Potomac, arrives off Port Egmont; “ … a person by the name of Smith, of whose office or character nothing is known, has lately warned sealers not to visit these islands, – still it is presumed that they can do so with perfect safety. If they are molested, is is an easy sail for one of our sloops-of-war on the Brazil station to run down there and break up Mr. Smith… If Great Britain should advance any pretensions to the exclusive use of the fisheries at the Falklands, it is to be hoped that such pretensions will be as strenuously resisted as were those of the Argentine Republic – indeed more strenuously …”

March 6th, Lieut. Smith discovers Antonio Rivero; “… he determined the following morning to betray his companions, and deliver the horses being his turn to take care of them, which he accordingly did, and the four Indians seeing the course things had taken, surrendered.”

Smith arrests Rivero and eleven others, five of whom are the English sailors who sold ammunition to the gauchos the day before the massacre. These are released shortly after without being charged with any offence.

March 10th, Beagle returns to East Falkland.  “.. Mr Smith, who is acting as Governor, came on board, & has related such complicated scenes of cold-blooded murder, robbery, plunder, suffering, such infamous conduct in almost every person who has breathed this atmosphere, as would take two or three sheets to describe. With poor Brisbane, four others were butchered; the principal murderer, Antuco, has given himself up. — he says he knows he shall be hanged but he wishes some of the Englishmen, who were implicated, to suffer with him; pure thirst for blood seems to have incited him to this latter act. Surrounded as is Mr Smith, with such a set of villains, he appears to be getting on with all his schemes admirably well.”

We found a state of affairs somewhat different from that of March 1833; but though more settled, in consequence of the presence of an established authority, resident at Port Louis (a lieutenant in the navy), my worst forebodings had not equaled the sad reality.” [Fitzroy 1839]

Antonio Rivero is placed aboard the Beagle in chains while a cutter is hired to take him and the remaining prisoners to the flag-ship at Rio de Janeiro. Charles Darwin writes to John Henslow; “… this little seat of discord has lately been embroiled by a dreadful scene of murder, and at present there are more prisoners than inhabitants. If a merchant vessel is chartered to take them to Rio, I will send some specimens.”

March 12th, in a letter to the Colonial Office in London, George Whitington claims that he has been granted a portion of lands” by Luis Vernet.

[A little premature as Vernet did not agree to the reassignment of the 10 square miles purchased by William Langdon, in 1831, to Whitington till May, 1834.]

Whitington’s letter also claims that Vernet’s horses and boats have been “signed over” to him and that, while “several traders” were aware of the advantages to be found in the archipelago, if it was not possible to reach an agreement with the British Government, he was willing to sell his concession “immediately” to the Americans.

Capt. Trott from the American vessel Sun, encounters Capt. Fitzroy who informs him; “ .. that the claim of Vernet to the possession of the soil of the East Falkland had been allowed by Great Britain; and that the rights of this person to the fisheries, cattle, and other privileges and property in and about the islands would be protected; in exemplification of which Captain Trott was required to desist from picking up wreck-wood on the beach for fuel, until he should have obtained permission from Vernet’s agent.”

March 13th, the Adventure arrives at Port Louis; ..she had almost completed her examination of the west, south, and south-east outer coasts, in a very satisfactory manner, having been greatly forwarded and helped by Mr. Low’s minute acquaintance with every port, and almost every danger…

Capt. Fitzroy visits Port Louis; “.. When I visited the settlement it looked more melancholy than ever; and at two hundred yards distance from the house in which he had lived, I found, to my horror, the feet of poor Brisbane protruding above the ground. So shallow was his grave that dogs had disturbed his mortal remains, and had fed upon the corpse. This was the fate of an honest, industrious, and most faithful man: of a man who feared no danger, and despised hardships. He was murdered by villains, because he defended the property of his friend; he was mangled by them to satisfy their hellish spite; dragged by a lasso, at a horses heels, away from the house, and left to be eaten by dogs.”

March 29th, London’s ‘Morning Chronicle’ notes that; “At least 7,000 head of fine wild cattle, and 500 wild horses, are roaming over a large expanse of the most excellent pasturage. Game is also in abundance, particularly rabbits, and the shores abound with excellent fish, as well as whales and seals.”

In April, Lieut. Smith arranges for Antonina Roxa to tame cows caught by the gauchos in exchange for; “ .. every other calf of every cow she tamed.”

April 6th, seamen from HMS Beagle discover the body of Lieut. Clive, from HMS Challenger who had been lost when a small boat overturned but whose body could not be found at that time. Charles Darwin writes to his sister; “… this little miserable seat of discord.— We found that the Gauchos under pretence of a revolution had murdered & plundered all the Englishmen whom they could catch & some of their own country men. … ”

April 7th, the Beagle sails.

April 30th, the Buenos Aires newspaper, Gaceta Mercantil, reports on the “vile” murders of Vernet’s employees on East Falkland.

May 8th, Edward Lumb, in Montevideo, writes to Darwin about the murders; Accounts rec’d from a settler called Helsby who left the Falklands in the Challenger are all the particulars we have received; This affair is classed here in its true light and is not considered of any political tendency..”

May 23rd, reported in the Hobart Town Courier, Tasmania; “Capt. Fitzroy, of the Beagle, is making a survey of the Falkland Islands. Lieut. H. Smith, late first lieutenant of the Tyne, is appointed Governor of these islands. A party of marines was also to be dispatched to form the nucleus of a new colony. A considerable number of British emigrants is already settled on the eastern island, at the head of Berkeley sound. The town is called Port Louis. There is no timber on the islands but peat is plentiful. The climate is not severe and there is good anchorage all round the coast. A cargo of timber to this colony would pay well among the settlers, and the ship might speedily fill up with oil, seal skins and salt fish.”

May 31st, Luis Vernet writes to William Langdon agreeing to the reassignment of Langdon’s 1831 grant, to George Whitington; who responds to Vernet telling him of; “ … the proposed foundation of a Falkland Islands Association and offering to arrange the transfer of Vernet’s property and rights to the new British administration…”

In June, the Colonial Department’s R. W. Hay suggests that before any colonization of the Falklands can take place, it is essential that Britain communicates; “.. the measures that have been taken by the Admiralty in affirmation of our rights, and especially if only a small British force is to stay there.”

June 12th, Spanish Secretary of State, Martinez de la Rosa, indicates that the Queen Regent is willing to reach a ‘just and honorable arrangement’ with any Spanish-American representatives that arrive before her Ministers in Paris or London; “That the intention is to recognise unconditionally the independence of the new states, is understood here as entirely settled, notwithstanding the cautious use of language which appears to be adopted when speaking or writing on the subject.”

June 16th, Manuel Moreno receives instructions from Minister Guido in Buenos Aires, to go to Paris and open preliminary negotiations with the French in the hope of achieving a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation. Guido believes that this may bring pressure to bear on the British to negotiate over the Falklands.

[Up until this time, Britain was the only nation to agree a treaty with Buenos Aires. None of the European powers recognised the United Provinces as an independent country.]

July 2nd, Luis Vernet writes to the Commander-in-Chief at the British base in rio de Janeiro regarding his property still on the Falklands; In case the property and papers taken by Captain Low should be recovered or any other books or papers belonging to my establishment be saved from the effects of the massacre and be sent by Lieut Smith to Rio de Janeiro.

I shall consider it a particular favour if you would order such property to be delivered to my account to Messr Richards Rostron Brothers of said place, and to send me such books and papers per first man of war that may happen top come this way. But any private papers belonging to the unfortunate victims I would prefer to be kept back and to be held at the disposal of their nearest relatives, or to be sent to such. My late agent Capt. Matthew Brisbane left an aged mother and some sisters and brothers, one of which is William Brisbane whose address is Porth, North Britain (No 61 High Street) – Mr William Dickson has left a mother living in Dublin, Mrs Ellen Dickson and a stepfather Mr Thomas Dickson, Barrister at law in Dublin, No 10 Cuff Street, also a sister and a number of step brothers. Mr Ventura Paso clerk of my late agency, and brother in law of mine, native of this place, both his parents are living in this city, the father is Don Yldefonso Paso. Any papers or things belonging to his late son, I would thank you to send to me, because the fatal event has not been made known to the family and will not be as long as can be helped. Of the other two unfortunate men the former a Frenchman, the latter a German I know of no relatives, neither do I know how to trace them.”

In a letter addressed to the remaining settlers that he had taken to Port Louis, Vernet recommends; “ .. that you keep the best friendship with the English, and respect their officers who you can be sure will not do any injustice to you.”

Finally, Vernet writes to Lieut. Smith explaining why it is impossible for him to send out an agent to replace Brisbane, and begging Smith to take responsibility for his personal effects, horses and boats.

July 23rd, Luis Vernet now writes to Woodbine Parish in England, basing a plea for help on their past relationship while Parish had been in Buenos Aires. A time when Vernet had relied; “ .. much on the foundation of the opinion you gave me several times … That my individual rights and grants would be confirmed by H.B.M. in the case of taking possession of those islands. ..”

Explaining his current position, Vernet adds; “I have resigned my public function for some time now, I am not bound by any promise, duty or debt of gratitude (quite the contrary, I have serious grievances – as you will easily understand if you remember the little affection they have here for foreigners) … “

He was interested to know if the invader had intentions of settling its domain, since in that case (he) would present a petition to them confirming concessions granted by Buenos Aires; (Vernet) undertook to contribute all that was needed for the progress of the Establishment.”  [Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982]

.. (Vernet) made several approaches to the British Government. In July 1834, writing via Woodbine Parish, he offered his services to the British Government, and asked for British support to re-establish his cattle business and for Britain to either pay for the damage to Port Louis, so his claim on the United States could be forgotten, or support his claim on the United States. Britain was unwilling to do either.” [Pepper in Tatham 2008]

August 5th,  the new Colonial Secretary, Mr. Spring Rice, in considering what to do with Rivero and the other prisoners being held in Rio de Janeiro, states his view that; .. as the Falkland Islands are an undoubted possession of Great Britain there can be no question as to the right which His Majesty possesses of ordering the Murderers to be sent home and to be submitted to the ordinary course of the law in this country. This is a measure, however, which should be avoided, if possible, and .. the Admiral may be enabled to devise some other means for disposing of the Prisoners in the event of their apprehension. ”

Commodore Francis Mason, aboard HMS Blonde, visits Port louis. He notes in his Remark Book; As things stand at present it is doubtful to whom the country belongs. England long since has claimed it and has armed herself to assert that claim, the Spanish government disputed the right and does still hold itself the lawful proprietor; and the Buenos Ayrean government, highly indignant at the British assumption, claim the whole as naturally appertaining to their Republic. It is true that the English flag is now flying here, and an Officer established as Resident remains there with four seamen attached to him, but this party is at times (by being necessarily detached) so completely in the power of the Buenos Ayreans [and] other strangers settled here, so inefficient to the protection of the cattle and other property, and so inadequate to curb the insolence and rapacity of the whalers and other rabble that occasionally congregate here, that it is in reality unsafe for the parties themselves , and by no means creditable to the country that its flag should be displayed over a territory  where there is no power to maintain its respectability…”

October 11th, the new British Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Provinces, Hamilton Charles James Hamilton, finally arrives in Buenos Aires.

In early November, the charts of the Falklands prepared by the Beagle and Adventure are shipped to London.

December 5th, Sir Graham Hammond arrives at Rio Station to take over after the death of Admiral Seymour.

December 22nd, Luis Vernet, having seen some interest shown in his plans regarding the development of Port Louis by the new British Minister, writes to him to say that some English friends of Vernet’s are willing to fund the despatch of two shipments of horses to the islands should the necessary authority be forthcoming. (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

On December 29th, in London, Ambassador Moreno protests again; however, in recognition of Britain’s claim to Port Egmont, he now only requests that Port Louis and East Falkland be restored to the United Provinces. Moreno claims; “… that Lord Palmerston’s note still left undecided the question of right, the only one which was essential relatively to this subject, turning on the fact as to who had been, and never had ceased to be, the sovereign and legitimate possessor of the Falkland Islands. He contended that the Argentine Government has proved by unexceptionable documents that their titles to the Falkland Islands, or at least to Port Soledad or Port Louis … were lawful purchase from France, priority of occupation, and formal cultivation and inhabitation; and finally notorious and tranquil possession for more than half a century, up to the moment they were dislodged by force .. He maintained that a nation could not produce any better right to the spot it had on the surface of the globe than “that it was the first to possess itself of that spot; that it had created the wealth distributed in its district; and that it had recommended that spot by its labour to the subsistence and fortunes of its prosperity.” It would be difficult,” Senor Moreno added, “to meet with a title more ancient than this, more venerable, and more universally admitted.” .. Senor Moreno therefore pointed out that Great Britain deduced her right to the islands from priority of discovery, and the Argentine Government derived theirs from priority of occupation…

If the expedition of the “Clio” had been confined to West Falkland (Port Egmont) Senor Moreno pointed out that it might be said that His Majesty’s Government had reinstated themselves in the status quo stipulated in the Agreement of the 22nd January, 1771; but the “Clio” had gone to East Falkland Island (Port Soledad or Port Louis), which had never been English, and had transferred to the British flag “a territory, never before trodden by an English foot,” with buildings, stock, &c., which were the products of a nation of the American continent, which had succeeded to the territorial rights of Spain.

The Argentine Government therefore, having reconsidered the question in all its bearings, declared that it could not acquiesce in the conclusions which Lord Palmerston had drawn from their protest which they repeated and confirmed, and requested that East Falkland Island might be restored to them.”

In his letter, Ambassador Moreno bases Argentina’s claim on purchase from France, priority of occupation, formal cultivation and habitation plus; “ ..  notorious and tranquil possession for more than half a century, up to the moment they were dislodged by force.” Moreno adds; “It would be difficult to meet with a title more ancient than this, more venerable, and more universally admitted.”

Without dwelling on the “secret convention” which Moreno could not prove, he modified his views and limited the discussion to Puerto Soledad.” [Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982 p.383]

1835  – February 2nd, a copy of Moreno’s note is sent to the Colonial Office for their consideration.

March, HM brig-sloop Snake transports the surviving prisoners Antonio Rivero, Manuel Gonzales, Luciano Flores, Pascual Latorre, Manuel Godoy and Jose Luna, who is prepared to testify against the others, to London.

The case over the ownership and salvage rights, if any, of the seal skins taken from Luis Vernet’s storehouse in 1832 comes before a circuit judge in the Admiralty Court of Connecticut. Circuit Justice Thompson concludes that the actions of Vernet in seizing the skins was not ‘piratical’, as he had acted under the authority of the Buenos Aires Government; Thus our government, four years after the seizure of the Superior, and, as must be presumed, with full knowledge of the fact, treated this right as a subject for negotiation between the two governments, and does not undertake to affirm such seizure to be a piratical act. And under this view of the case, I cannot consider the retaking by Captain Duncan a lawful act; and unless it was so, the claim of the libellant to compensation as for salvage services, in a court of admiralty, cannot be sustained.”

March 7th, Juan Manuel Rosas returns to power in Buenos Aires as Governor.

He returned to power with the memory of the rape committed against the rights of the Republic and the desire for satisfaction at the first opportunity.”  [Caillet-Bois 1982]

March 23rd, Luis Vernet again writes to Woodbine Parish, complaining of the actions against him in the courts by his creditors, and the costs of prosecuting the American vessels; “.. The expenses in the arrest and prosecution of the fishing vessels (mainly as a result of orders of government) totaling eleven thousand pesos silver have never been reimbursed, nor have I ever claimed the same, all I did was submit the expense account of one of the ships, which I brought here, riding about three thousand Spanish pesos.

Complaining that the Harriet has been sold by the Government in Buenos Aires without him receiving even his expenses, Vernet seeks a grant of money from the British Government, against the property remaining in Port Louis, together with permission to return to Port Louis.

April 3rd, reported in the Hobart Town Courier, Tasmania; “An association has recently been formed in London, under the patronage of Lords Falkland and Dundonald, for the colonization of these islands. … this country affords the fairest opportunity for establishing sheep farms on an extensive scale, with the certainty of a most satisfactory result; for the experiment has already been tried with perfect success by Lewis Vernet, whose wool sold for nearly double the price, obtained for that of Buenos Ayres …..”

The British Government instruct Admiral Hammond in Rio de Janeiro to value the property of Luis Vernet remaining at Port Louis.

Hammond sends orders to Lieut Smith to protect Vernet’s property and to recognise any agent that Vernet sends.

May 4th, Woodbine Parish writes to Lord Palmerston, who is once again Foreign Secretary, advocating Luis Vernet as the best person available to colonise the Falkland Islands; “ .. Vernet was the first who showed that islands could be inhabited and could be converted into a valuable possession.”

However, Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for the Colonies, proposes that the small garrison at Port Louis be removed and the islands’ future security left to occasional visits by the Royal Navy. Lord Palmerston opposes the suggestion, asking Glenelg; “.. whether in the present state of our discussion with Buenos Ayres respecting the Sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, the entire withdrawal of the occupying detachment might not wear the appearance of an abandonment of our claims.”

The Colonial Office, in the form of R. W. Hay, also objects; The removal of all our existing strength in these islands would have the appearance of abandonment of our claims, although it would prevent any protest regarding our occupation by the Buenos Ayres government or any other. “

June 2nd, in Britain, the Home Office seeks legal advice on the prosecution of Rivero and his followers. The Law Officers – Sir John Dodson (Advocate-General), Sir John Campbell (Attorney-General) and Sir Robert Rolf (Solicitor-General) – whether a) are asked whether the prisoners are liable to prosecution under the provisions of the Offences against the Person Act 1828, or by any other means, for the murder of all or any of the deceased; and b) whether the evidence was sufficient to lead to their conviction.

It is alleged that they were all harshly treated by Brisbane and Dickson who refused to pay them according to agreement for a pen which they had erected for the retention of the Wild Cattle in the catching and slaying of which they were chiefly employed. … It should be observed that three of the Prisoners … appear to be of the lowest cast of South American Indians nearly approaching to savages. The fourth, Antonio Rivero, appears to be of a somewhat higher order of being tho’ probably he was in his origin a Wild Spanish South American. None of them understand the English Language but speak a species of base Spanish.”

The Law Officers opinion is that the prisoners can be prosecuted but while the evidence appeared to be sufficient; .. under all the circumstances it appears to us that in a case of a conviction the sentence could not justly be carried into execution and therefore we cannot recommend a prosecution.”

June 16th, the Admiralty are asked to repatriate Rivero and the 3 other remaining prisoners.

July 1st, Sir Woodbine Parish writes to Viscount Palmerston promoting the potential of the Falklands to further British interests in that region.

July 10th, Admiral Sir Graham Hammond values the properties on East Falkland belonging to Luis Vernet at less than £1,000; “With regard to his proposal for an advance of £2000 I am of opinion that all the property on the Island (except the wild cattle) even if admitted to be his, would be overvalued at half this sum.”

July 28th, the Colonial Office, having considered Ambassador Moreno’s note of December, 1834, respond that they; “… were inclined to think that unless the ancient pretensions of Spain – never admitted by this country – to the exclusive possession of the Magellanic regions, had become invested in the Argentine Republic by the fact of its transformation from a Dependency of the Spanish Monarchy into an independent State, it might be with the Court of Madrid alone that Her Majesty’s Government could properly consent to discuss the question of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.“ Palmerston writes; “Perhaps it may be best to let the matter drop.”

Senor Moreno’s protest of the 29th December, 1834, was, therefore, never answered.” (Bernhardt 1911)

In August, instructions are given to the Admiralty for the maintenance of Lieut. Smith and his small garrison in order to; “.. prevent the settlement of foreign intruders.”

September 3rd, Rear-Admiral Sir Graham Hammond notes in his journal the arrival of Antonio Rivero and the remaining murderers at Rio de Janeiro; It is a very slovenly way of doing business, thus throwing the onus of letting these rascals escape upon my shoulders, if I choose to let them go.”

Antonio Rivero is quietly put ashore near Montevideo.

Ambassador Manuel Moreno, in London, is instructed to go to Washington to pursue Argentina’s claim for damages against the United States over the Lexington raid. Moreno declines, citing illness.

1836 – in February, frustrated at the lack of response from the British Government, and equally annoyed by the antipathy of that in Buenos Aires, Luis Vernet again plans to send an expedition comprising of two ships, supplies and men – under the command of General Lavalleja – to East Falkland in an attempt to re-found his cattle business. (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

[Vernet and his creditors appear to have come to some kind of agreement with regard to this outrageous plan although quite how far this got to being implemented is unknown. Caillet-Bois questions quite where the resources and men were to come from. General Lavalleja appears to have been warned off by Minister Hamilton and that this all came to nothing is perhaps unsurprising. To Hamilton, Vernet attempted to explain his involvement as merely a continuation of his commercial interests following the loss of Matthew Brisbane but there is little doubt that from this time the Colonial Office viewed Vernet’s interference with increasing annoyance if not alarm.]

June 19th, reported in the Launceston Advertiser, Tasmania; “Port Louis, the residence of the colonists, consists of six habitable and 20 ruinous buildings; the Union Jack was displayed at the Lieutenants Residence (Mr. Smith R.N.) …. Coronel (the Gaulica) is the oldest resident, Antonina, an Indian of Salta by birth, is the next, and a German follows her in succession; the children, one about three years old and the other 18 months, were both born on the island; their mother is a negress. Lieutenant Smith acts as physician … “

In early August, Vernet asks Minister Mandeville to forward to London another proposal for a colonial establishment at Port Louis.

August 27th, Admiral Hammond writes to Luis Vernet from his flagship Dublin, in Rio de Janeiro; With respect to the claims of Snr. Vernet, His Majesty’s Government regards these islands as part of the dominions of the British Crown, and no claim of ownership on their part can arise from a real or supposed concession by the Government of Buenos Aires; nor can any claim or other rights of fishery or possession of wild cattle or some other product of the islands, be admitted.

October 6th, members of the Colonial Office suggest that Luis Vernet should be told to; “ .. desist from violating the property of the British Crown.”

October 25th, undeterred, Vernet demands to be compensated for the use of his horses by Lieut. Smith.

In November, Capt. George Grey in HMS Cleopatra arrives to survey East Falkland. At Port Louis he records in his journal, a navy party of six plus a gaucho, a Frenchman, a german, three women and two children plus three English deserters from merchant vessels.

Unwell, Ambassador Manuel Moreno returns to Buenos Aires on leave, with a G. F. Dickson remaining as charge d’affaires ad interim.

November 7th, the Cortes in Madrid is consulted over recognition of the new States of South and Central America. Secretary Calatrava tells the Cortes that the revolted States wish to be considered independent, and that they desired Spain to renounce; “all territorial or sovereign right” over them. As this was contrary to the Constitution, the Cortes is asked to give its authority. The matter is passed to a Committee made up of 9 members of the legislature.

November 23rd, Capt. Grey visits Port Egmont; ‘I had no difficulty in find the little cove above which stood the English settlement, destroyed in 1777 [sic], and before eleven o’clock the ship was moored in ten fathoms of water and short half mile from the shore. It is impossible to imagine a finer harbour than this, land locked on every side, easy of approach and capable of holding the whole English Navy. I landed at the head of the creek where there is a most convenient watering place to examine what remained of the old English Settlement. It was, for what reason I cannot conceive fixed on this spot at East end of Saunder’s Island, separated from the mainland of West Falkland by the large sound called Port Egmont. Saunder’s Island is 18 miles long, in no place more than four miles wide, it rises steep from both shores and present hardly any flat surface, while in a latitude where you have so little sun, a site should have been fixed on with a southern aspect, sheltered from the north (South of England) by a steep hill rising directly behind the spot where the first English settlers established themselves.

Port EgmontAbove the watering place I found two ruined cottages which had been built much subsequently to the destruction of the Colony by a party of American Sealers.

Of the old Settlement we could discover foundations of what appeared to be a row of barracks and houses built with some regularity of plan, but the Spanish Authorities had endeavoured to destroy all trace of habitations and had not left even the remnant of a wall standing. On a mound covered with a heap of large stones where a small English fort is supposed to have stood, I caused a flag-staff to be raised and a Union Jack to be hoisted with a salute of twenty-one guns which must have astonished the seals and penguins, these being the principal inhabitants.”

November 27th, the Committee Concerning Treaties with the New States of America, reports to the Cortes; “ …In the opinion of the committee, the honor and dignity of Spain demand that the Cortes should act generously in this important affair, …. The regret of the mother country on separating forever from her American children is natural and well-founded. But that sentiment is transformed into an agreeable emotion of national pride on considering that, during the brief period of three hundred years in which that large family has been ruled by the laws of Spain, its members have reached that stage .. which enables them to take leave of their mother and to begin their career as independent nations… The general Cortes of the kingdom authorizes the government of her Majesty that – notwithstanding articles 10, 172 and 173 of the political constitution of the monarchy promulgated at Cadiz in the year 1812 – it may conclude treaties of peace and amity with the new states of Spanish America upon the basis of the recognition of their independence and the renunciation of all territorial or sovereign rights on the part of the motherland, ..”

The deputy for Badajoz declares; “ The emancipation of the Americans is de facto accomplished; nations, like individuals, have their periods of vigor and strength; at present the Ameericans are in that stage. On our part we should give to their separation a legal character; in order to legitimize what they now possess, ..”

December 1st, the Spanish Cortes meets to consider the conclusions drawn by the Committee. During the debate, Miguel Cabrera de Nevares, declares that the Spanish-American countries are “de facto independent”, which they owed to themselves, but, “to be independent de jure they will owe us.”

December 3rd, the Cortes approves the Committee‘s work unanimously, allowing for recognition of a Spanish-American State, on application and pending negotiation of a Treaty of Recognition in each case.

December 9th, an article in The Times newspaper highlights the importance of the Falkland Islands to shipping in need of refit in the South Atlantic.

December 16th, a Spanish Decree authorises; .. the Government of Her Majesty, via items X, CLXXII and CLXXIII of the political Constitution of the monarchy, promulgated in Cadiz in the year 1812, to conclude treaties of peace and friendship with the new states of Spanish America on the basis of recognition of independence, and the resignation of all territorial or sovereignty right ..”

December 17th, Captain George Grey arrives at Port Edgar.

1837 – March, Luis Vernet attempts to prevent Elizabeth, chartered by an American, M. Burrows, from leaving Montevideo. The vessel, offered protection by HMS Fly, escapes but without regaining the ship’s Register which is held by the port authorities.

April 11th, Vernet negotiates a contract with Samuel Fisher Lafone to ‘speculate in the Falkland Islands’. Once agreement is reached, the terms are to be drawn up and signed in May.

In May, General Carlos María de Alvear is appointed Minister to the United States with instructions; “(1) to promote the most satisfactory reparation for the insults inflicted upon Argentine sovereignty by Duncan’s destruction of Vernet’s colony, by his capture of innocent persons and their removal to foreign lands, and by Slacum’s lack of respect for Argentine authority; (2) to promote reparation to the Argentine Republic, Vernet, and the colonists for all damages caused by Duncan’s aggression; and (3) to clarify and defend Argentine rights to the Falklands and to fisheries along their coasts.”  {Peterson 1964]

Luis Vernet provides the General with a report of the events of 1831.

May 20th, when Vernet receives the contract drawn up by Lafone, he refuses to sign believing that the terms to have been changed in Lafone’s favour.

July 29th, William Hunter, US charge d’affaires in Rio de Janeiro, in a letter to US Secretary of State, John Forsyth, considers Alvear’s purpose; “The mission to the United States from Buenos Ayres is doubtless for the purpose of reviving the old affair of the Falkland Islands, – Vernet’s claims – our Captains alleged offences …. In connection with this case that of the Pantheon has come to my notice. The Captain Adams was obliged to leave Monte Video without his papers, being pursued by Vernet for sealing on ‘one of his’ islands …”

October 30th, Admiral Hamond requests instruction of the action to be taken in the event of foreign sealers or whalers refusing to comply with the fishing controls to be enforced around the Falklands by Lieut. Smith’s replacement – who is due to leave for the archipelago.

November 30th, Lieut. Robert Lowcay arrives in the Falklands to take over from Lieut. Smith. Lowcay’s instructions include an order to warn ever person he finds that the islands are the property of His Britannic Majesty albeit without violence or the giving of offence. If anyone refuses to lower the flag of another country, Lowcay is to give two warnings before causing it to be lowered and then; “immediately rolling it up and courteously delivering it to the detachment in charge of it, carefully avoiding any altercation… ”

The Lieutenant is specifically instructed to visit Swan Island, New Island and Hope Harbour, being places frequented by north American whalers.

On his arrival in Port Louis, … Lowcay found only Smith, one of his boat’s crew, a German tailor, a French gardener and three women; the other inhabitants were absent sealing in the schooner Montgomery.” (Tatham 2008)

“ … Smith, and his son later, kept Vernet’s cattle business going. This lasted until Lieut. Lowcay took over … It is from then that Vernet dated the final loss of his business and property in the Falklands.”  (Pepper in Tatham 2008)

In December, during Lowcay’s initial survey of the archipelago in HMS Sparrow, he discovers the US sealing vessels Richard, General Williams, Hesper; and French sealers, Elisa, Perseverance and John Cockerill. Lowcay, applying British law, announces that the horses, cattle and wild pigs are protected and that British fishing rights extend to 3 miles from the shore; “.. which belongs to it de jure and which it occupies de facto.”

1838 – January 3rd, Ambassador John Mandeville writes to Lord Palmerston on the subject of the opening session of the House of Representatives in Buenos Aires; “It adverts to the worn out question of the Falkland Islands, and declaims as usual upon the injustice of its occupation by Great Britain – without, I believe, receiving much sympathy or support from the public, except the very few persons who have speculated on an establishment there.

It will make an annual paragraph in the message until the subject dies of exhaustion, ..”

Argentina offers to abandon any claim to the Falklands in exchange for the cancellation of the national debt owed to Barings Bank. The British Government declines. (Freedman 2005)

January 24th, Perseverance is wrecked at New Island.

February 28th, responding to the question of how far Lieut. Lowcay can go in deterring foreign, and in particular – American – sealers from fishing around the Falklands, Lord Palmerston notes that; “ .. American sealers have usually resorted to these islands in substantial numbers whereas our occupation is extremely limited in its extent.” The decision is that this is not the time to open up a diplomatic confrontation with the USA.

April 15th, American sealer Derby is wrecked.

Luis Vernet sends a formal petition to the British Government requesting recognition of the lands granted him by Buenos Aires and permission to re-start his cattle business on East Falkland.

In July, a prospectus is published proposing the colonisation of the Falklands; The objects contemplated by this association (which upon investigation will be found, from its natural resources, utility, and beneficial employment of capital, to merit the fullest confidence of the public) are, to form a colony on the most easterly of the islands, the unusual facilities and advantages of which are demonstrated in the subsequent remarks to create in the magnificent and secure harbours of Berkeley Sound and Fort William that important national object-a naval and commercial depot for the shelter and repair of the numerous vessels now navigating the South Seas; to erect an establishment for supplying fresh and cured provisions, naval stores, water, fuel, and other requisites; to select parties properly qualified for carrying into effect extensive and most valuable fisheries, cattle farms, &c., for all of which nature has here pre pared everything ready for the industry of man, with the superiority of important adjacent markets.”

July 9th, the Arrow sails from Falmouth Harbour. The ship is fitted out to survey the Falklands and has seeds, agricultural implements and 2 bloodhounds aboard.

HMS Sparrow conducts a hydrographic survey of the Islands. The log notes a population in Port Louis of 43; of which 14 are associated with two sealing vessels.

Andrez Petaluga aged 16, arrives as a settler from Gibraltar .

October 14th, Arrow arrives at Port Louis. “At 5 o’clock we came-to off the settlement, Port Louis, and were much disappointed at its insignificance, as it only consisted of two small houses, in one of which lived the governor, Lieut. Lowcay, and three or four mud huts, occupied by three gauchos and their families.”

October 24th, Commodore Sullivan, senior naval officer at Rio, writes to inform Luis Vernet that the British Government does not consider itself responsible for any property that Vernet left on East Falkland; nor liable to offer him compensation for the use of horses or boats. Vernet is told that he cannot reside in the Islands.

In November, neral Rosas sends an instruction via Felipe Arana to Manuel Moreno, who is due to return to London after recovering from his illness. Rosas tells Moreno to; “insist on the claim whenever there is an opportunity,” but, at the same time, Moreno is to subtly inquire whether the British Government would be disposed to cancel the Barings’ Bank debt in exchange for Buenos Aires dropping its claim.

The indisputable sovereignty of the islands became a mere marketable article in the hands of the Dictator.” (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

It is not clear quite what enquiries Moreno made to the British Government. But Moreno reported that the main problem was that Britain simply did not accept the Argentine sovereignty claim; …” (Pepper in Tatham 2008)

November 25th, the British barque Wave, anchors in Berkeley Sound.

In December, Ambassador Manuel Moreno arrives back in London on board Spider.

Minister Arana attempts to find out more about the events of 1770 and 1771 by writing to various experts in Europe who, he believes, can shed light on what is contained in the Spanish archives.

1839 – in January, the court case concerning the loss of the Harriet, following its seizure by Vernet in 1831, reaches the Supreme Court on an appeal. The insurers contend that, in accordance with the Connecticut seal skins decision, Vernet had acted legally and that therefore they have no duty to compensate. In its decision however, the court accepts the right of the US Government to decide the nation’s position in matters concerning foreign relations, and finds for the owners; “ …It was the duty of the master to prosecute his voyage, and attain the objects of it, for the benefit of his owners: and, in doing this, he was not bound to abandon the voyage by any threat of illegal seizure. We think, therefore, that the underwriters are not discharged from liability … it is the opinion of this Court, …

That, inasmuch as the American government has insisted and still does insist, through its regular executive authority, that the Falkland islands do not constitute any part of the dominions within the sovereignty of the government of Buenos Ayres, the action of the American government on this subject is binding on the said Circuit Court,..”

Lieut. Lowcay takes cattle over to West Falkland Island.

February 1st; reported in the Sydney Herald; “The British have taken full possession of the Falkland islands. All vessels found fishing or sealing on their coasts will be treated as trespassers.”

March 21st, in Washington, General Alvear submits Argentina’s claim for the compensation it believes is due following the Lexington Raid.

The Falkland Islands Commercial Fishery and Agricultural Association is founded by George Thomas Whitington to promote colonisation of the Falklands. In pursuit of this objective Whitington argues his case with Henry Labouchere, Lord Taunton, at the Colonial Office in London.

March 25th, Wave ‘s commander, Captain E. Goldsmith, informs George Whitington; “Captain Langdon’s opinion I fully confirm; the only obstacle in my mind is the want of timber, which may be overcome… I could not imagine how our Government could, for so long a time, have overlooked so valuable and important a place…”

April 6th, reported in The Colonial Gazette; “A Mr. Whitington claims for himself and Lieut. Langdon, R.N., now in Van Dieman’s Land, the credit of having been the first to direct the attention of the Government and of the public to the eligibility of the Falkland islands for a Penal Settlement….”

A letter from George Whitington is included by the Gazette; “Sir, In the appendix to Mr. Montgomery Martin’s work on the “Colonies of the British Empire,” under head of the Falkland Islands, he says – “These documents, and many others relating to the subject, have been placed in my hands by Henry Moreing. Esq., a gentleman well qualified for carrying into effect his sound views as to the eligibility of the Falkland Islands for a penal settlement.” The paragraph calls for my comment, not with any ill feeling towards Mr. Moreing, but as a matter of justice to myself and co-partner, Lieutenant W. Langdon, R.N., now in Van Dieman’s Land. Mr. Moreing has not, and never had any original views on the subject of the Falkland Islands for Penal Settlement,  &c. All the information he has relative thereto, he derived from me and from my documents. Lieutenant Langdon and myself were the originators of the scheme of Colonisation in question as early as 1830. We placed our views before the Colonial Office in 1831. …”

July 22nd, Lieut. Lowcay tours the islands in Sparrow; “ …  principally with the Intention of observing the cattle put last Summer on West Falkland, and to look after the American Vessels generally cruising here… During the cruise no American or other Vessels were seen, not have I heard of any Outrages having been committed by them.”

In August, Lieut. Lowcay departs from Port Louis bound for Rio de Janeiro.

Lowcay leaves the settlement in the charge of Lt. Robinson, until his successor arrives. During his tenure, Robinson reports that the American vessel, Benjamin de Wolf, is taking cattle.

September 19th, Capt. Smith of HMS Grecian, writes to Commodore Sullivan; “ … The Turf Hovels, in which the greater Number of the Settlers and Gauchos reside, are of the most miserable and wretched Description, and so small as hardly to contain the Persons that exist in them. It appears to me that if Government were to build a small Number of Cabins or Cottages sufficient for the Population, and charge a small Rent upon them, that Inhabitants would be very glad to occupy them. …

I conceive it my Duty to state that Lieutenant Lowcay has mentioned to me the Case of a French Settler having been detected committing an unnatural Crime, and that he had sent him off the Islands: the Excuse he made was that there were no Women…”

December 23rd, Lieut. John Tyssen takes over as Military Administrator.

1840 – January 14th, in London, the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissionis created to oversee and report on the colonies; deal with grants of land and the supervise the movement of settlers.

Lieut. Tyssen issues the first Falklands’ sealing licence to George Melville for the rookery off Volunteer Point; with a condition that no hunting should take place every second year to allow the seals to recover.

February 29th, Lieut. Tyssen reports that there are 25 settlers in the Islands.

March 7th, Commander Onslow writes to George Whitington about his proposals; I am astonished the Government do not colonise them, and make them a great naval depot. My despatches clearly pointed out their importance and advantage as a station and place of refuge.”

Whiting publishes a prospectus extolling the virtues of the archipelago; “ In calling the consideration of the public to the subject of the Falkland Islands, I am actuated with sincere desire to promote the naval, commercial, and general prosperity of my country, by pointing out most important objects, which appear to me to have been too long overlooked, and even now to be very imperfectly understood or appreciated.”

August 22nd, having been asked to consider the case for colonisation, the Colonial Land and Emigration officers report; “..There appear to be Four Grounds upon which the Establishment of a regular Colony at these Islands has been urged upon the Government. 1) The usefulness of affording to the Merchant Vessels which sail round Cape Horn a Port for Refit and Refreshment. 2) The Expediency of having a British Port placed as it were between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, to which our naval Force on the South American Station could resort. 3) The Peculiar Advantages which the Islands afford for the Establishment of a Penal Colony. 4) their Fitness generally as a Settlement for agricultural and commercial purposes. On the Three first Grounds above stated, we entirely agree as to the Value and Importance of these Islands. On the Fourth, we think that considerable Doubt still rests.”

August 27th, Whitington claims that Luis Vernet made over the horses and boats to him in 1831.

In October, without informing the Government, George Whitington sends 2 vessels to the Islands, under the direction of his brother, John Bull Whitington, with settlers, stores and a few sheep. His clerk and foreman” is J. Markham Dean. James and Mary Watson are amongst the settlers.

November 17th, Mary Ann arrives at Port Louis.

December 15th, Susan arrives in Berkeley Sound with Whitington’s party of settlers; “.. They have erected a large house and stores, and had a number of fine English long-wooled sheep, poultry and pigs, with some superior dogs. They were daily expecting the arrival of a second vessel from London, with further stores and immigrants.  … Amongst his people was a party of Scotchmen ..”

Lieut. Tyssen reports the matter to the Admiralty; adding; “From information I have received I firmly believe that American Vessels visit this Island to the Westward solely for the Purpose of killing wild Cattle, and from the Difficulty in detecting them in the Act they pursue this Robbery with Impunity…”

December 27th, in its annual message to the Legislature, Buenos Aires reaffirms its claim to the archipelago.

1841 – January 16th, John Bull Whitington presents Lieut. Tyssen with a claim for 10 square miles of land which he says is the property of his brother, George Whitington; “I beg to inform you, that I am duly authorized by George Thomas Whitington, esq. of 20, Adam Street, Adelphi, London, to take possession of certain lands, cattle &c. on the East Falkland Islands, comprising 10 square miles, in Section No.3, with other rights and privileges appertaining thereto, as fully specified in the documents which I am prepared to show, and I have now to request your Excellency will think proper to put me into quiet possession of the said property on behalf and for the account of the said George Thomas Whitington.”

January 18th, Lieut. Tyssen responds; “ … I beg leave to inform you that I have no authority whatever from Her Majesty’s Government to place you in possession of such lands.”

John Hartnell, master of the Mary Ann, sells the expeditions’ stores to settlers already at Port Louis before making off with the ship.

March 3rd, the British Minister in Buenos Aires is informed of the intention of the British Government to take measures for the colonisation of the Falkland Islands.

March 5th, Capt. John Onslow, in London, suggests the relocation of distressed “Scotch Islanders” to the Falklands.

Manuel Coronel, the last of gauchos taken to East Falkland by Luis vernet, dies in an accident.

Antonina Roxa is the first person in the Falkland Islands to swear an oath of allegiance to the British Crown.

March 22nd, George Whitington complains to the Admiralty, about American vessels fishing illegally around the archipelago. He admits that he has; “.. despatched two ships with settlers, stores and other requisites, for founding a settlement, and that he was about sending a third, and that he has expended £15,000, which he hoped the government would repay him; … “

Whitington receives short shrift from the Government; “.. the reply was, that as this expense was not authorised by the Government, the Government would have nothing to do with it.”

March 30th, Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners make extensive recommendations regarding the establishment of a proper settlement, and the siting of a suitable port and town on the Islands. Port William is proposed. They also suggest that marines should be posted to bring law and order to the Falklands.

Juan Manuel de Rosas again offers to abandon Argentine claims of sovereignty over the Falklands in exchange for forgiveness of the 1824 Baring Brothers’ loan to Buenos Aires.

August 23rd, Lieut. Richard Moody is appointed to head the military administration of the islands. He receives his orders from Lord John Russell; “ .. In transmitting this instrument to you, it would be convenient in itself and accordant with the general practice, to accompany it by instructions accurately defining your powers as Lieutenant-Governor; but it is impracticable to adopt that course at present. First, as to the definition of your powers. The difficulty here is, that as you are to preside over a settlement to which Her Majesty’s title rests on the ground of prior occupation merely, the general rule is, that the colonists there carry with them the law of England, so far as it is applicable to their situation. Now the law of England supposes a legislature composed, in part at least, of the representatives of the people, and courts of justice formed on the model of those of England; but the Falkland Islands do not at present afford the means of representative institutions: courts of justice may before long be established; but we have not sufficient information to enable us to point out in what manner this can best be effected.

Without the sanction of Parliament Her majesty cannot, in the exercise of her prerogative, provide any substitutes either for a legislature or courts of justice. But you will turn your attention, immediately upon your arrival, to the means of administering law and justice within the colony. You will inform the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands, by proclamation, that the law of England is in force within the islands; you will ascertain whether there are any persons in the islands fit to be entrusted with the functions of judges or magistrates….”

October 9th, Lieut. Moody, with a detachment of Royal Sappers and Miners, sails from Woolwich in the brig, Hebe.

October 14th, at Port Louis, Capt. Rob Russell in Actaeon arrives with horses and supplies for the settlement; “ On my arrival here I  … found its inhabitants to consist of 27 men and women and 12 children. …”

October 30th, the Great Storehouse at the Tower of London is lost in a fire. Lieut. Clayton’s lead plaque of 1774, returned to England by Beresford, is destroyed with the building.

December 4th, the US Government finally replies to General Alvear’s 1839 demand for compensation arising from the Lexington’s raid in 1831; “ … it is notorious that Great Britain soon afterwards entered upon and has ever since continued in formal and actual possession of that territory, claiming under a previously existing right. The right of the Argentine Government, therefore, to jurisdiction over it being contested by another power, and upon grounds of claim long antecedent to the acts of Captain Duncan which General Alvear details, it is conceived that the United States ought not, until the controversy upon the subject between those two governments shall be settled, to give a final answer to General Alvear’s note, …”

December 18th, in London, Argentina’s Ambassador Moreno submits a further protest to the Earl of Aberdeen restating the same grounds as presented in 1834; “ … the spoliation of which the United Provinces complain, refers: 1st. To the sovereignty and dominion of the Malvina Islands, particularly the Eastern Island, or Soledad, and Port Luis; 2ndly. To the legal, bonâ fide, and peaceable possession enjoyed by them for more than half a century of the said Eastern Island, or Soledad, and Port Luis; … the Government of the United Provinces confirming, on every occasion, the indisputable titles which it produced in its protests of the 17th of June, 1833, and the 29th of December, 1834, has never desisted from declaring, in its annual messages to the Legislature of the State, its great regret that it has not hitherto obtained that satisfaction to which it believes itself entitled, and which it claimed in vain from the preceding Administration. …”

Moreno asserts that Palmerston’s 1834 response presented; “… nothing but vague and erroneous ideas and assertions in regard to the question of the Malvinas.”

December 24th, Ambassador Moreno’s note is referred to the Colonial Office.

December 26th, Moreno informs Buenos Aires that he has tasked one Casimiro Rufino Ruiz with obtaining a copy of the ‘secret convention’ that Moreno still believes was reached between England and Spain in 1771.

December 27th, Felipe Arana and Manuel Insiarte, on behalf of the Government on the opening of the Legislatura, reaffirms the claim to the territory of the Falkland Islands.

1842  –  January 6th, the Colonial Office circulates its findings with regard to Moreno’s note.

.. Lord Stanley fully concurred in the course which had hitherto been pursued by the Foreign Office in asserting and maintaining the rights of this country to the sovereignty of those islands, and that in view of the measures recently adopted by the Colonial Office for establishing a regulat system of colonisation, he considered it absolutely necessary to insist most positively on the validity of those claims. His Lordship, therefore, suggested that such an answer should be returned to Senor Moreno as might point out to him the intention of Her Majesty’s Government to continue to exercise the rights controverted by the Argentine Government.  …” (Bernhardt 1911)

MoodyJanuary 15th, Lieut. Governor Moody arrives in the Falklands. Amongst his party is a James Biggs.

[The decendants of Biggs arestill there today]

January 22nd, Moody formally takes command and addresses the population of 62;  “ … The only points upon which I deemed it necessary to lay any stress were, first, to remove the erroneous ideas that might still linger in the mind of any one concerning Mr. Vernet’s fancied claims upon Great Britain; I have been given to understand that some of the residents have claims upon Mr. Vernet, many of his paper dollars being in their possession, and some even in the government treasury of the colony, …”

February 15th, Lord Aberdeen informs the Argentine Ambassador of the Colonial Office’s response.

.. Senor Moreno was thereupon informed that Her Majesty’s Government had attentively considered the various documents which had emanated from the Governments of Great Britain and Buenos Ayres upon the subject of the Falkland Islands, and it appeared to Her Majesty’s Government that the most important of those documents were:

1. The Decree of the Buenos Ayres Government of the 10th June, 1829, in which the Argentine Republic claimed possession of the Falkland Islands, upon the ground that the Republic in consequence of the Argentine provinces having been separated in 1810 from the dominion of the mother country, had succeeded to every right which Spain had previously exercised over those islands.

2. The protest against the above-mentioned Decree by the British Charge d’Affaires at Buenos Ayres to the Argentine Government on the 19th November, 1929, informing that Government that Great Britain considered the claim asserted in the said Decree to be incompatible with the sovereign rights of Great Britain over the Falkland Islands, which rights had been confirmed by Spain in the arrangement of 1771.

3. The note of Senor Moreno to Lord Palmerston of the 17th June, 1833, in which Senor Moreno protested against the exercise of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands by Great Britain and asserted that the arrangement of 1771, between Great Britain and Spain was accompanied by a secret Understanding between the two Governments, that the islands should at a subsequent period be restored to His Catholic Majesty.

4. The reply of Lord Palmerston to Senor Moreno of the 8th January, 1834, in which it was distinctly declared and substantiated that no such Secret Understanding took place at the period referred to, and that consequently the right to the possession of the Falkland Islands which was confirmed by Spain to Great Britain in the Arrangement of 1771, remained unimpaired. …

His lordship went on to say that Her Majesty’s Government could not recognise in the Argentine Government any pretension to disturb a formal arrangement between Great Britain and Spain, an arrangement which had been concluded forty years before the period from which Buenos Ayres dated its separation from the mother country; and an arrangement which Great Britain had ever since regarded as definitive, upon the question of her right to exercise sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which right Spain herself had never evinced a disposition to disturb or call into question; … ” (Bernhardt 1911)

On the same day, an American whaling vessel, Frances, is wrecked on New Island. All hands are saved.

February 19th, Ambassador Moreno, in turn, complains; “… that he could not conceal his sorrow at the conclusions which Her Majesty’s Government seemed to deduce from the incontestable proofs on which the Argentine Republic had founded their right to the Falkland Islands. He said that in his note of the 29th December, 1834, he had stated in the most explicit manner that the arrangement between Great Britain and Spain of the 22nd January, 1771, demonstrated that the dispute did not turn on the sovereignty of East Falkland nor on the sovereignty of the whole group of the Falkland Islands, but solely on the possession of West Falkland Island or Port Egmont, whose garrison had been expelled by an expedition from Buenos Ayres on the 10th June, 1770.

That arrangement, he pointed out, left Spain in permanent dominion of East Falkland Island, which she had occupied for many years after the French, and to Great Britain it bestowed, for the sake of peace, the de facto possession of West Falkland Island or Port Egmont which she shortly after abandoned.

He further urged that that arrangement also contained an express reservation of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands on the part of Spain, to which reservation Great Britain had never replied, and which was distinctly made so that the special stipulations as to Port Egmont should not prejudice Spain’s absolute rights to possession of those islands.

Senor Moreno considered, therefore, that it was a mistake to appeal to the Arrangement of the 22nd January, 1771, in order to deduce from it the proof of the British sovereignty over the islands, as that document clearly impugned and destroyed it. It was the spoliation and capture of the Eastern Island by Great Britain in 1833, he maintained, that overturned the arrangement of 1771.

With regard to the alleged Secret Agreement of 1771 concerning the total evacuation of the islands by Great Britain, which had been quoted by the Argentine Government in their protest of 1833 on the strength of an official despatch of the Spanish Minister Arriaga and of several English historical works, Senor Moreno expressed his willingness “to retract that quotation from motives of respect for Her Majesty’s Government, seeing that after examining the British archives it was said that the allegation was doubtful.” But the non-existence of this Secret Understanding, Senor Moreno contended, by no means affected the question of sovereignty, which rested on other titles and bases, nor the question of spoliation and plunder, of which his Government complained.

On what grounds, Senor Moreno asked, did Great Britain found her pretensions to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands? Assuredly, he went on to say, not on the right of conquest, which had never taken place, nor on Treaties with, or on acquisition from, other nations, which had no existence, nor on original occupation which was in favour of France and Spain, nor yet on priority of discovery, which remained ambiguous, and which would be of no moment if it could be proved, as of itself alone and without being accompanied by occupation it constituted no right. …

Senor Moreno therefore stated that his Government could not consent to the decision of her Majesty’s Government …  and that they trusted that Her Majesty’s Government would reconsider and revise that decision.” (Bernhardt 1911)

February 21st, Aberdeen and Moreno meet at the Foreign Office.

.. the Buenos Aires representative repeated his arguments, highlighting the error by Lord Palmerston when he considered Egmont Harbour to constitute the East Island…. Aberdeen responded coldly, but skillfully, saying he “knew nothing about” the matter at issue during the previous administration, but that he would gladly examine the documents provided by the Argentine diplomat, to do justice to the claim presented. “ (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

March 5th, Lord Aberdeen responds to Moreno’s written note of the 19th, referring Moreno to the British Government’s written reply of the 15th But also reminding him of the 1829 protest submitted by Woodbine Parish; “.. and His Lordship observed that the Argentine Government had full knowledge of that protest when they authorised M. Vernet to form the settlement at Port Soledad (or Port Louis), which was removed in 1833 by His Majesty’s ship “Clio.” Her Majesty’s Government were therefore of the opinion that the Government of Buenos Aires was not justified in claiming indemnity from Great Britain for the removal of that settlement. …”

The Foreign Secretary goes on to reaffirm that the British Government; “… would not allow its undoubted rights to the Falkland Islands to be infringed.”

March 10th, Ambassador Moreno responds that Argentina’s; .. possession of east Falkland Island did not begin with the establishment of M. Vernet in 1828, but dated from the preceding sixty years of formal Spanish occupation and possession, which could not possibly be invalidated by the unfounded protest of the 19th November, 1829, put forth by Mr. Parish in consequence of an administrative Decree. Senor Moreno, therefore, declared that lest the silence of the Argentine Government should be construed into implicit acquiescence they could not, either then or thereafter, concur in the resolution of Her Majesty’s Government ….”

Moreno would remain in an expectant mood, motivated by the hope that Rufino Ruiz would find the ‘secret agreement’ in the archives of the peninsula.” (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

March 31st, all the correspondence is copied to Ambassador Mandeville, who is informed that the Government do not intend answering further.

April 6th, Terror and Erebus, commanded by Capt. James Clark Ross, arrive at the Falklands for the winter; “ ..  for five or six months to repair the vessels and to make observations. Capt. Ross has erected an observatory at the old French fort, built by Bougainville.”

April 14th, Governor Moody, sends a comprehensive description back to the Admiralty, also noting that; “The hair and fur seals which were formerly so abundant in these islands have decreased considerably in number, in consequence of the wanton destruction … neither old seals nor pups are spared by the sealers.”

Capt. Ross and his naturalist, Joseph Hooker, assist Lieut. Moody in surveying Port William and assessing its potential as a site for the main town and port on the Islands.

April 16th, a brig arrives at Port Louis; called the “Alarm” of Poole came in from the River Plate. She brought one Family and number of Sheep.”

June 6th, on the subject of settlers, the Lieut. Moody writes; “My further acquaintance with the industry and steadfastness of the few Scotch settlers (Highlanders from Argyleshire, the last from Glasgow), at present in the colony, induce me again to take the liberty of drawing your Lordship’s attention to the advantages of emigrants for these islands being selected from similar districts. The pastoral inhabitants of the hills and dales of the southern Scotch counties on the borders, would also be well adapted as settlers in the Falklands. They have the general character of being intelligent, steady, well-disposed men, and excellent shepherds; and the hardships they might have to undergo at the commencement of their residence would be trifling in comparison to what they constantly experience among their native hills during the greater part of the year.”

He also mentions that some English residents of the Rio de la Plata are interested in sheep farming on the Islands, and that they seek permission to do so.

June 23rd, HMS Carysfort, commanded by Lord George Paulet, arrives with supplies for Erebus and Terror.

July 25th, Capt. Ross and his naturalist, Joseph Hooker, survey Port William to assess its potential; At the request of the Lieutenant-governor I made an excursion to Port William, accompanied by Captain Crozier, for the purpose of forming an opinion upon the relative merits of the two harbours, and whether Port Louis or Port William is the best adapted to be the chief port of the colony in a naval and commercial point of view combined. The result of the investigation, which, owing to unfavourable weather, occupied us nearly a week, was, that we agreed in considering Port William to possess so many advantages over Port Louis, that I recommended the settlement should be removed to the former place.”

August 20th, Ross sets his crews to work building a wall around the burial ground; “ .. …in order to give our people healthful exercise and useful occupation, I directed them to be employed building a wall seven feet thick, and as many high, round the spot which had been hitherto used as a burial-ground, but which was at present without any enclosure; and the remains of the ill-fated and barbarously murdered Brisbane, the companion of Weddell on his daring and adventurous voyage to the highest southern latitudes, were removed from beneath the heap of stones, where the Gauchoes left them, into the burial ground, and a suitable inscription placed over them.”

September 8th, Captain Ross sails for Patagonia, leaving 4 officers and 2 men behind to operate the Port Louis Observatory.

October 1st, Moody reports on his achievements; “… I have laid out a large town at Port Louis, chiefly around the inner port called Carenage; and I beg respectfully to submit for your Lordship’s approbation, that the said town be named “Anson” in honor of the celebrated circumnavigator, the first person, I believe, who brought before the notice of the Government the great value of this portion of the British dominions. … I have sold six allotments, of half an acre each, in the said town, at £50 the allotment,  and one country allotment at Port San Salvador, bounded by the irregular shore, consisting of 339 acres, as 12s the acre….”

October 21st, a report in The Southern Australian newspaper: “At the Irish Court of Admiralty, held at Cork on the 24th March, John Hartnell was convicted on a charge, of piratically running off with a vessel the property of Mr. George Whitington, called the Mary Anne, and of which Hartnell was Captain, together with a large quantity of goods which were on board the vessel. The Mary Anne was sent to the Falkland Islands, from which place the prisoner took her off to South America, and after so altering her that she could hardly be known, he took a cargo to Cork, where he was seized. The prisoner was sentenced to seven years transportation.”

November 8th, HMS Terror returns to Port Louis with a cargo of timber and young trees; “ .. we had brought away from Hermite Island; the latter amounting to about eight hundred, consisting principally of the deciduous and evergreen beech as timber trees, and others of a more ornamental kind, of shrubby growth, were carefully planted under the protection of the substantial wall that enclosed the burial-ground; and, as nearly all of them put forth fresh buds soon after they were planted, they gave good promise of eventually furnishing these islands with trees which they greatly require.”

November 22nd, Philomel, commanded by Capt. Sullivan, arrives to survey the islands.

December 17th, Capt. Ross and HMS Terror sail for the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica; ‘.. The Inhabitants on shore out of respect to the expedition fired a Royal Salute at which I am sorry to say a serious accident occurred by one of the Guns being fired by some neglect – and by which a Captn of a Merchant Brig had his hand nearly blown off and a Man belonging to the Settlement had his right arm broke & both hands nearly blown off. We hove too and both came onboard of us to get dressed. After which we Stood away with Studding sails low & aloft to the SE. and bid adieu to the Falklands.”

December 27th, at the opening of Congress, President of the Province of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas, restates his claim to the Falkland Islands.

A Return, ‘Accounts of Foreign and Colonial Wool, imported in each year from 1816 to 1843, inclusive…,’ printed by Order of the House of Commons, shows that 112lb of wool was sent to Britain from the Falkland Islands during 1842.

1843  – March 24th, after a good deal of deliberation, Lord Stanley advises Lieut. Moody that he has decided that, “ .. the seat of government should at once be fixed at Port William.”

March 31st, the population comprises 77 men, 20 women and 14 children. Of these 56 are settlers.

In April, an enactment; ‘ to enable Her Majesty to Provide for the Government of Her settlements on the coast of Africa and in the Falkland Islands’ receives Royal assent.

In June, Lieut. Governor Richard Moody is gazetted Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Islands, with powers to appoint officials and judges.

June 2nd, George Whitington goes bankrupt.

June 23rd, Royal Letters Patent provide; .. for the government of the “Settlements in the Falkland Islands and their Dependencies”

June 27th, reported in the Southern Australian newspaper; “ The Colonization Commissioners advertize that they will sell land at the Falkland Islands at 12s per acre.”

Governor Moody reports the presence of 28 foreign ships over a period of a few months. His secretary, Murrel Robinson, employs 2 Argentine gauchos to work on the Islands.

Samuel Lafone writes to Governor Moody with a proposal to exploit the wild cattle.Lafone

July 20th, Henry Joseph Hamblin is appointed surgeon of Her Majesty’s settlements in the Falkland islands.

August 18th, the decision to move the seat of the Falklands’ government to Port William (Stanley) is announced to the colonists by sapper Sergeant Robert Hearnden.

August 28th, Charles Le Blanc, is appointed Magistrate.

December 27th, General Rosas mentions the claim to the Falkland Islands in his speech at the opening of Congress.

December 30th, Governor Moody reports an estimated 300 million cubic feet of peat on the Islands.

1844 – January 8th, William Fishbourne is appointed Magistrate.

February 17th, the Colonial Magazine reports on the bankruptcy proceedings against George T. Whitington; “The Falkland Islands Immigration Association. In re. G.T. Whitington – To us, who have so often enjoyed public applause through the aid of Mr. Whitington’s talents and liberality, the close of his persecution is a subject of sincere gratification. The Judge felt, as we have always done, that he had been too sanguine in his expectations of bringing the Government to consider the hardship of his position, from difficulties, in which generosity and misplaced confidence had involved him …. It is but justice to the bankrupt to state that he alleges, on the face of his balance-sheet, that if the Government settle with him as they have done with the New Zealand Company, he will have a considerable surplus, after paying 20s in the pound; and that the expenses he had incurred by sending ships out to the Islands with emigrants, was for the purpose of enabling the then-existing Government to lay claim to them as a Colony.”

The Times reports “general hilarity” when, during the proceedings, Whitington claims that Buenos Aires had granted him land on East Falkland to the value of £200,000.

In April, Harvey Watterson is sent to Buenos Aires as a “Special Agent” of the US State Department with instructions to seek the resumption of full diplomatic relations.

Sir William Gore Ousley goes to Buenos Aires to be the British Minister there.

April 19th, in the House of Commons; “£9812 were voted for the Falkland Islands. Mr. Roebuck expressed a wish to be informed whether we had any clear right to these islands. Lord Stanley declared that this could not be disputed; and the colony was useful for furnishing our ships with fresh meat &c.”

On Watterson’s arrival, his proposals are met with enthusiasm by President Rosas whose territorial ambitions are struggling in the face of an informal coalition of France, England, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. No mention of the Lexington dispute is made by either side.

April 22nd, Capt. John James Onslow re-visits the Falklands while commanding HMS Daphne.

In May, Samuel Lafone’s proposals arrive in Stanley for the consideration of the Governor

June 14th, diplomatic relations between the Argentine Republic and the USA resume with the appointment of William Brent as charge d’affaires.

October 7th, Governor Moody reports that he has issued inconvertible notes for 2s.2d. each; redeemable at will and not on demand, to be made legal tender; in order to cover a shortfall in the monies voted by Parliament for the Falklands.

“No. 159 Anson, Falkland Islands. I promise to pay the bearer the sum of two shillings and two-pence, on the part of the Colonial Government. (Signed) R.C. Moody, Lieutenant-Governor”

October 24th, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper; “The Falkland Islands: The population of these islands, according to the last accounts, consists of 11 individuals, including Government officers, military, and seamen, but of permanent settlers there were only 56, of whom 31 were from the United Kingdom.”

November 22nd, William Henry Moore is appointed as Stipendiary Magistrate to the Falkland Islands.

November 30th, a report in The Australian says; “… It is a matter of infinite gratification to lean, that Her Majesty’s ministers have at length become fully alive to the vital importance of the Falkland Islands, and have, (according to a generally accredited report) decided upon their immediate colonization and simultaneous formation of a strong naval depot. This is, indeed, an object of vast consequence to the nation, placing a new Gibraltar within her grasp – a haven of safe retreat to her friends – an arsenal of certain annoyance and destruction to her foes….”

Lord Stanley responds to the issue of inconvertible notes; “In respect to your second suggestion, viz, the issue of paper money, Her Majesty’s Government regrets that, even for a temporary purpose, you should have entertained such a project, much more that, as would appear from your despatch of the 7th October, No. 31, you should have carried it into operation to the extent of £1000. The estimate about to be submitted to Parliament, will, if approved, afford the means of redeeming all this paper, and you will understand that you are not hereafter, on any consideration whatever, again resort to such an expedient “

December 27th, General Rosas makes his annual claim to the Falkland Islands.

1845 –  January 14th, the Mary Grey, loaded with sugar, founders on Pebble Island.

Spain attempts unsuccessfully to open negotiations with Argentina for a treaty of recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations.

January 17th, the newspaper La Gaceta Mercantile de Buenos Ayres reports; The support of the perfect right of the Republic to the territory of the Falkland Islands that the government perseveres to is not contradicted by the fact that the British government has not settled so just claim… “

July 18th, on the Falklands, the new capital is named after Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

September 18th, a blockade of the Rio de la Plata is declared by French and British forces.

September 19th, HMS Herald and HMS Pandora visit the Falkland Islands during their circumnavigation.

September 23rd, the Reverend James Moody is gazetted as Her Majesty’s Colonial Chaplain in the Islands.

On the same day, a letter written by resident Thomas Edmondston, puts the population at 150 men, women and children.

September 25th, in Rio de Janeiro, Tomas Guido has a long conversation with Uruguay’s charge d’affaires, Carlos Creus in which the charge tells the Argentine Minister that; “ .. any treaty in which Spain recognized the independence of Argentina, would recognize the (Falkland Islands) as an integral part of it, for Spain, with possession, was the only country that could renounce it.”

December 27th, General Rosas, on the opening of Congress, reasserts his annual claim to the Falkland Islands.

1846 – February 25th, Governor Moody reports; “My Lord, – It is with pleasure I am enabled to inform your Lordship of the entire satisfaction with which the removal of the settlement from Anson to the present site is now regarded by, I believe, every individual in the colony. The first impression is completely removed, and the great superiority of this site in every respect is daily becoming more and more manifest, far exceeding even my own expectations. … a quantity of English grass seed, sown at the latter end of speing, is shooting up, and the ground itself is perfectly dry. Three jetties have been constructed at an expense to government of (in all) £293 6s 7d; and now the expense in landing stores here is only about one-third the expense of landing them at Anson…. Seven town and four suburban allotments have already been purchased from the Crown, and these again subdivided among individuals; in addition to which one town allotment is rented by a Government officer, and five are occupied by settlers, in exchange for town lands at Anson….”

March 16th, Samuel Lafone, is contracted to hunt the wild cattle on East Falkland; ” .. Her Majesty Queen Victoria sells to Lafone that part of East Falkland lying south of the isthmus in Choiseul Sound, Also the islands in Choiseul Sound, and all other islands adjacent to the coast purchased ; also Beauchene Island; also one town allotment of half an acre, and one suburban allotment of twenty-five acres in the principal town. 

For six years and six months from this date, Lafone to have absolute dominion over all wild cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and swine on east Falkland.

For the above advantages, Lafone is to pay her said Majesty Queen Victoria, £60,000 by installments …”

In May, a negotiator, Mr. Hood, is sent to try and resolve the problems at the Rio de la Plata.

At Port Stanley, Legislative and Executive Councils are formed, a police force is introduced and a room in the barracks designated as a school. Stipendiary Magistrate Moore is suspended.

August 25th, Oliver Byrne is appointed Surveyor to the settlements in the Islands.

In November, Lafone sends a party of gauchos to the Islands to hunt wild cattle.

December 27th, General Rosas makes his annual claim to the Falkland Islands upon the opening of Congress.

1847 – at Port Stanley, Government House opens as an administrative center. Governor Moody introduces a grazing scheme to encourage small-scale farming while Napoleon and Vigilante set out from Montevideo with more gauchos employed by Samuel Lafone. Aboard Napoleon are 12 Argentine gauchos together with 4 wives and a child; on the Vigilante are 14 gauchos plus 4 boys. Families from Spain and Uruguay are also on board.

In May, the French Count, Walewski, and an Englishman, Lord Howden, arrive in Buenos Aires to negotiate a settlement of the dispute and the lifting of the Anglo-French blockade.

Samuel Lafone’s manager, Williams, arrives in the Islands with 102 workers for the new venture.

July 15th, following some differences between the French and British representatives, and a failure to get agreement in either Buenos Aires or Montevideo, Lord Howdon instructs Commodore Sir Thomas Herbert to raise the British blockade of the Rio de la Plata; “ the blockade, having entirely lost its original character of a coercive measure against General Rosas, has become exclusively a mode of supplying with money, partly the Government of Monte Video, and partly certain foreign individuals there, to the continued detriment of the extensive and valuable commerce of England in these waters; I hereby request you, Sir, to raise the blockade of both sides of the River Plate, …”

The British forces withdrew from this intervention in mid-1847, probably because British merchants in Buenos Aires finally made their protests heard. Thereafter the French had but a single warship stationed off Buenos Aires, and this quasi-blockade ended in midwinter of 1848 …”  (Kroeber 1956)

July 17th, reported in The Courier, Hobart; “The lands in the Falkland Islands are now for sale. ..The upset price of country lands is, for the present, 8s per acre. Town lots of half an acre each, and suburban lots of fifty acres each, will be put up at £50….. depositors will be entitled to nominate for a free passage for six, instead of four, adult labourers for every £100 deposited.”

In December, in an attempt to revive Latin American solidarity, Ministers from Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru meet at Lima. The US sends an observer, while Buenos Aires sends only minor officials.

December 15th, Lieut. George Rennie takes over as Governor in the Falkland islands.

60 houses are now in use at Port Stanley. Whitington has a small farm of sheep and cattle near the old Port Louis. The population is reported as 270, of which 106 are employed by Samuel Lafone.

December 27th, General Rosas repeats his annual claim to the Falkland Islands, to Congress.

1848– January 29th, reported in Perth; “ The official and private accounts from Anson, the chief settlement of the Falkland Islands colony, have been so gloomy and discouraging for some time past, that many persons have doubted the probability of continued possession; and few persons nave been found adventurous enough to enter personally upon the work of colonization there. We learn, however, that since the substitution of Stanley for Anson, as the chief settlement, some very marked alterations and improvements have become apparent in the position and a prospect of the settlers; and Governor Moody has taken fresh courage, instead of applying to be recalled. Wells have been successfully sunk, and extensive drainage of the marsh lands living been resorted to, the herbage has become improved, and the cattle have thriven amazingly. The amount invested by the Government ,and individual colonists at the new settlements is between £10,000 and £20,000; and the prejudices which had well-nigh proved fatal to the whole scheme of colonization having given way before a more accurate examination of the local resources, we shall not be surprised to learn that a considerable increase of population has taken place.”[The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News]

January 31st, Arthur Bailey is appointed Surveyor General in the Falklands.

In March, the Lima Conference concludes. The final agreement adopts a political agreement to recognise the borders between the conferring States as being based on the colonial boundaries as set by Spain; “Art. 7. –The confederated Republics declare that they have a perfect right to the conservation of their territories as they existed at the time of independence from Spain, those of the respective Viceroyalties, captaincies-general or presidencies into which Spanish America was divided.”

Uti possidetis juris was a rough and ready agreement between the new Latin American states to establish their respective territorial limits. As a principle, it could be applied only to a dispute between Latin American nations. For example, it could be invoked if Uruguay claimed the Falklands on the grounds that, at the ‘ critical date ‘, the islands were, in fact, administered from Montevideo, and it was the Governor of Montevideo who withdrew the garrison and settlers. Whether it is applicable in a dispute with a non-Spanish American nation is open to doubt.” (Metford 1968)

.. the Uti possidetis principle, .. is essentially an accord on boundaries between successor states of the same (Spanish) empire, not an assertion of sovereignty against outsiders.” (Deas 1982)

Another agreement is that all disputes should go to arbitration; “… if the parties cannot reach an agreement by diplomatic negotiations or through the interposition of the good offices of other nations for the purpose of conciliation, such questions shall be submitted to the arbitral decision of one of the Republics or to a Congress of Plenipotentiaries.”

June 27th, Governor George Rennie arrives in the Islands.

July 25th,  Sir William Molesworth, the colonial reformist and Radical, delivers a long speech in the House of Commons on the subject of colonial expenditure. It is widely circulated at the time by the Financial Reform Association, and described as ‘a complete and searching exposure of colonial administration.‘ He details the monies spent on all the colonies and eventually gets to the Falkland Islands, “…  I will now conclude the catalogue of the military stations with the Falkland Islands. On that dreary, desolate, and windy spot, where neither corn nor trees can grow, long wisely abandoned by us, we have, since 1841, expended upwards of £35,000; we have a civil establishment there at the cost of £5000 a year; a governor who has erected barracks and other ‘necessary’ buildings, well loop-holed for musketry; and being hard up for cash, he issued a paper currency, not, however, with the approbation of the Colonial office….. What I propose to the House is this …. to acknowledge the claim of Buenos Ayres to the Falkland Islands.”

September 1st, Ambassador Moreno enthusiastically reports Molesworth’s speech to Buenos Aires.

“ … after the first enthusiasm, attention waned again. The English Admiralty certainly felt very different than that member of the House of Commons, especially so in a time when two powers competed to occupy not only productive regions but islands that could serve as naval bases.”

In October, Henry Southern, arrives in Buenos Aires with instructions negotiate with General Rosas.

November 3rd, Capt. Hiram Clift in Hudson, sails from Mystic, Connecticut, to hunt whales at the Falklands.

In December, the United Services Gazette reports; “The Falkland Islands – We stated some time since that, for the better protection of these islands, the Admiralty had ordered a man-of-war to visit the island occasionally. A body of military pensioners are about to be sent there to form the police of the island, but, in the meanwhile, it has been deemed advisable to order a man-of-war, with some marines from Commodore Sir Thomas Herbert’s squadron at Monte Video, to take care of the island until their arrival. In such remote places as the Falklands, the absence of a British pendant is too often the excuse for the indulgence of lawless conduct on the part of the discontented and ill-disposed, as it affords also an opportunity for reckless and insolent merchant- men of all nations to break through the rules and regulations of the island with impunity. No islands of the extent of the Falkland Islands, in any part of the British dominions, should be without a man-of-war pendant occasionally flying in one or other of their ports.”

December 2nd, HMS Dido, commanded by Capt. Maxwell, arrives in the Falkland Islands. She left Auckland on November 1st, and rounded the Cape on the 21st; “Her run, it will be seen, was one of extraordinary speed.”

December 27th, General Rosas sends his annual message to Congress, referring to the situation with France and Britain, and citing the 1825 Treaty of Amity. He also makes mention of the arrival of Henry Southern and the; “unquestionable rights of the Republic to the Falkland islands.”

1849 – in early March, General Rosas submits the terms under which he will be willing to settle the outstanding issues in the Rio de la Plata to Henry Southern.

.. H. E. Henry Southern Esq., by a note of date the 6th March last, … had signified his conformity in transmitting to the Government of H.B.M. the confidential draft of Convention, which that of this Republic presented to him.”

Rosas (sought) to buy with the Falkland Islands, which were already in the hands of England, the abstention of the Englishmen in the matter of the Rio de la Plata.” [Rosas y Thiers: La diplomacia europea en el Río de la Plata (1838-1850) Carlos Pereyra, Madrid 1919, p.202. Republished in Buenos Aires in 1944]

March 25th, Hudson moors at New Island, where Capt. Clift writes to his his brother William; “.. I have always heard that there was plenty whale there and I know of no one that has ever whaled there, I think my best chance is there. At any rate I shall try it one season … I have got a good chart, the last English survey and I find it very correct …”

In April, Governor Rennie, incensed at breaches of contract – including the failure to repatriate who wished to return to the mainland – Governor Rennie shuts down all of Lafone’s operations.

April 23rd, the Earl of Harrowby, in the House of Lords, raises the issue of the negotiations taking place between Buenos Aires and London,  and demands to know the what is happening; “ .. It will not be enough for the noble Marquess opposite to tell us that this information cannot be given, on account of public inconvenience, arising from the circumstances that negotiations are now pending, that Her Majesty’s Government are sanguine of success, that they believe the President of the Argentine Confederation will alter his tone, and receive our addresses in a more conciliatory manner than he has hitherto evinced. … Are we to agree to give a compensation of about three millions sterling for the very grave offences and the very serious damages which our Government, in concert with that of France, has inflicted on Buenos Ayres during the Anglo-French intervention? Are we prepared to give up the Falkland Isles? Or to make the whole settlement of affairs in that country dependent upon the good will of General Oribe? For these, it appears, are the only terms upon which President Rosas will deign to receive an accredited Minister from Her Majesty? In what position are our interests now?”

The Marquess of Lansdowne replies on behalf of the Government; “ .. negotiations are now pending, and proceeding upon terms contained not only in the instructions recently issued, but in the instructions issued by the noble Earl formerly at the head of the Foreign Department to Mr. Hood;… , and upon which it has recently assumed a very promising aspect, so far as it relates to the probability of the modifications founded upon the basis of Mr. Hood being agreed to. .. What those modifications are, the noble Earl cannot expect, nor can any one of your Lordships expect, that I should now state. I can only say that those modifications do not go at all to the extent that the noble Earl has assumed Rosas is likely to ask. .. It is said, however, that Mr. Southern is not formally received by General Rosas. It is true he is not; but I am not here to state the particular motives that may call for General Rosas’ conduct. I believe his opinion is (expressing, at the same time, the utmost anxiety for the event), that the most proper moment to receive him is when the arrangement in contemplation is absolutely concluded. But, in the meantime, there is no sort of personal honour that could be conferred on Mr. Southern—either as to the mode of his reception, or with respect to the manner in which he is lodged, provided for, and communicated with—that has not been shown to him; thus exhibiting the desire of the Government and inhabitants of the country to show the high respect in which they hold the gentleman who is known to be commissioned to attend there by Her Majesty’s Government. ..

The noble Earl has referred to a speech lately made by General Rosas. I believe the noble Earl has overrated the importance of that address. It is not from speeches made by General Rosas to his council or to his parliament, whatever the importance of that council or parliament may he, but it is from the direct communication of General Rosas himself, that his intentions are to be judged; and certainly from those communications I have recently received, I cannot but believe there is a desire—I had almost said, an intention—on the part of Rosas to come to a satisfactory arrangement with this country—an arrangement which, most undoubtedly, must include a due regard to the interests of persons on the other side of the river. …

May 12th, Dido ‘s Captain writes to the Admiralty extolling the virtues of a stop at the Falkland Islands when using the Cape Horn route from New Zealand – claiming this shortens the journey by 20 days.

May 17th, the Colonial Land and Emigration Commission estimate , in its annual report, that 14 more settlers had departed for the Falkland Islands in 1848.

The War Office issue a – Memorandum of Conditions on Which it is Proposed to Enrol Penshioners for Service in the Falkland Islands.

.. in sending out this handful of men, the object is not to form a fortified post, but merely to obtain the presence of a few steady and loyal subjects trained to arms, who could supress any sudden tulmult or repel any insult from any wandering vessel.”

June 1st, in a Parliamentary debate on the costs of the various colonies, Mr. Cobden says he; “ .. could not refrain from reading over the manner in which the money was expended in the government of those islands. There was a governor, 800l; magistrate, 400l.; chaplain, 400l.; surgeon, 300l.; first clerk, 200l.; second clerk, 150l.; schoolmaster, 20l.; surveyor’s department, 1,230l.; public works, 1,050l.; Guachos, 300l.; purchase of stores, freight of vessels, and incidental expenses, 1,100l.; rations, 750l.—in all, 5,700l. Really, if this country had more money than it knew what to do with—if it were the most flourishing nation in the world, it would be impossible to throw away its money in a more wanton manner than they were doing.”

The Government response is that the islands are not held simply for colonial or commercial purposes, but that there are political considerations as well.

The 9th General Report of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners is published; “In the course of the year we have received a remittance, amounting to £675 11s 6d from the colony for the value of land sold there up to the present time. A deposit of £100 has been made here for the purchase of land. These sums, in addition to a balance on Mr. Lafone’s first instalment, will be available for the introduction of labour. Measures are in progress for settling in the islands a small body of military pensioners, with their families, who will be judiciously selected from districts in Scotland, where their present habits and mode of life are likely to make them a valuable acquisition in this colony. … Captain Sulivan, R.N., who was so long stationed about the Falklands, has proceeded thither, aided by some friends, who also take an interest in these islands, with a view to form a grazing establishment…”

July 27th, The Times reports Lord Palmerston’s answer to a question put by an MP; ” … a claim had been made many years ago, on the part of Buenos Ayres, to the Falkland Islands, and had been resisted by the British Government. Great Britain had always disputed and denied the claim of Spain to the Falkland Islands, and she was not therefore willing to yield to Buenos Ayres what had been refused to Spain. 10 or 12 years ago the Falkland Islands, having been unoccupied for some time, were taken possession of by Great Britain, and a settlement had ever since been maintained there; and he thought it would be most unadvisable to revive a correspondence which had ceased by the acquiescence of one party and the maintenance of the other.”

July 31st, Argentina’s Ambassador, Manuel Moreno, protests, stating that the discontinuance of correspondence should not be interpreted as acquiescence; “.. the Government of Buenos Aires and Confederation Argentina has never consented to the divestment of its sovereignty in the Falkland Islands made by the English Government in 1833; and that far from withdrawing their protest on June 17 of that year, reiterated in the (letter) of 29 December 1834 he has kept his undisputed rights to that possession by all media who have been  in his possession, and constantly has stated its just complaint for lack of satisfaction…”

August 8th, Palmerston responds; “… the reply which I was reported by some of the London Newspapers, to have made to a question put to me by Mr. Baille in the House of Commons on the 27th of July, did not correctly describe the State of the question between the British Government and the Government of Buenos Aires respecting the Falkland Islands … whatever the Newspapers may have represented me as having said on the occasion above referred to, I have always understood the matter in question to stand exactly in the way described by you in your letter.”

[ In other words, Argentina had never consented; had asserted its rights within its own media (the Gazette and Argentine press) and had constantly complained about the lack of any satisfaction. Palmerston appears to be being coy. The peace treaty had yet to be signed and, Rosas being Rosas, the situation remained fluid until it was. The Argentine dictator distrusted politicians, and kept negotiations within his own remit. Moreno, unaware of the state of those talks, wrote to Felipe Arana informing the minister that he had ‘defended’ Argentina’s title to the Falklands.]

August 11th, the Robert Fulton is wrecked off Prong Point, Lively Island.

In October, the population in Stanley rises to 200 with the addition of 30 Chelsea Pensioners and their families. Wooden cottages are shipped over with them and each is given 10 acres of land.

October 20th, in Argentina, The Times report is reproduced in the British Packet and Argentine News.

November 24th, a treaty, the; “ Convention for re-establishing the perfect Relations of Friendship between Her Britannic Majesty and the Argentine Confederation”, otherwise known as the ‘Southern-Arana Treaty’, is agreed and signed in Buenos Aires.

Under the terms of this peace treaty the occupied island of Martin Garcia is returned to Argentina but no specific mention is made of the Falkland archipelago, which remains in British hands. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

8º: (No escrita). Inglaterra se quedaba con las islas Malvinas” [Pereyra 1919]

.. a concession to Britain or a culpable oversight?” [Rojas 1950]

Rosas signed the treaty of friendship with Queen Victoria. There it says: “Under this convention perfect friendship between Her Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Government of the Confederation, is restored”. In no article or detail of the document is there any proviso for the restitution of the islands iniquitously usurped.” [Cresto 2011]

The treaty was not imposed on Argentina by Britain; the Argentine leader General Juan Manuel Rosas humiliated Britain by prolonging negotiations for nine months (October 1848 to July 1849) until he got everything he saw as important, including recognition of Argentina as a sovereign power in which European powers were no longer to intervene at will, and sovereignty over the River Paraná, which he particularly wanted in order to isolate separatist rebels in Paraguay and Corrientes. Argentine historians generally regard the Convention of Settlement as a triumph of Argentine diplomacy, though some have criticised it for omitting Argentina’s claim to the Falklands. In fact Rosas had long regarded Argentina’s claim as something that could be traded away in exchange for more direct advantages.” (Pascoe & Pepper 2012)

December 27th, in his annual Message, General Rosas, in a departure from his previous speeches, outlines the British attitude of not conceding to Buenos Aires what Britain would not give to Spain.

[Author’s note: This was the last mention in the Message to Congress for 91 years. ]

All the correspondence relating to the agreement is laid before the Chamber of Representatives by Governor Rosas; The Government in discharge of its duty has the honour of presenting to your enlightened examination and sovereign decision the following state documents … The confidential correspondence held with HE the Minister Plenipotentiary of H.B.M appointed to reside in this Capital Henry Southern Esqre. respecting the settlement of the differences between the Argentine Confederation and Great Britain originated from the armed intervention of England and France in the Plate. The correspondence exchanged upon the same subject between the Argentine Government and its ally HE the President of the Oriental State of the Uruguay Brigadier Don Manuel Oribe. The absolute and unlimited Credential under the Great Seal which Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland granted to HE the Honourable Henry Southern Esqre. to sign and conclude the Convention of Peace.”

On the same day, US Secretary of State, John Clayton, writes to William A. Harris, his charge d’affaires at Buenos Aires; I transmit a copy of a letter under date the 24th instant and of the memorial which accompanied it, addressed to this Department by Mr Seward of the Senate, asking for the interposition of this Government in behalf of Isaac P. Waldron and William H. Smyly, who were injured in their persons and property at the Falkland Islands in 1832, by Louis Vernet who claimed to be the Governor of those Islands under the authority of the Buenos Ayrean Government. You will press this case for an adjustment at the same time with those of the other citizens of the United States who were aggrieved by Vernet at those Islands.”

During the course of the year, 12 English vessels stop off at the Falkland Islands.

Written by Junius

October 22, 2011 at 6:14 am

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