All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

British in Iberia

British history and stories in Spain and Portugal.

Robert Boyd – the passionate conspirator.
07 April 2010 @ 14:43

As was the case of Lord Byron and his passion for Greek freedom and independence, a longing for Spanish liberty was what made Englishman , Robert Boyd get involved with and fight for such issues in a Spain which enjoyed very few liberties (ruled by Fernando VII).  This burning passion for all things hispanic ultimately led to his death after he dedicdated his life to the Spanish exiled in London in the latter years of the reign of King Fernando VII.

The Spanish General Torrijos, with his studies, his passion for reading and a great ability for learning languages, combined with his elocuency, his courtesy and aristocratic poise
 was of great interest to the English.  In order to make some money during very difficult economic times whilst exiled in London, he translated various works of literature to which his intellect came to the fore in many of the prologues he wrote.  Torrijos became closely involved with a group of English intellectuals who, since studying at Cambridge University, were known as the Cambridge Apostles.  The group, which centred around the poet John Sterling, had created a student debating society characterised politically by fierce international liberalism.  Amongst others in the group, including Sterling, were Maurice, Alfred Tennyson, Arthur Hallam, John Kemble and Richard C. Trench.

Torrijos, who valued the freedom of his homeland above anything else, was exactly the archetypal hero who made a large impression in the minds of these enthusiastic, liberal and romantic youngsters.   They were equally impressed by his powerful intellect as by his physical presence, his exquisite skills, his manners, his impressive education, being a learned man who also spoke fluent French and English.

In early 1830 in London was held the Supreme Junta for the Spanish uprising, set up in January of the previous year and amongst which were the militants General Torrijos, Don Manuel Flores Calderon and Don Evaristo San Miguel who were looking for support for the Spanish revolutionary movement.  Through the friendship he had struck up with John Sterling,Torrijos was introduced to Robert Boyd, a former officer in the Britsh army in India and who had fought in the Greek war of independence.  Boyd was as passionate in his actions as was Torrijos and committed himself, both physically and financially, to help the Spaniard win back liberty for Spain.    Supported  by the so-called “Cambridge Aspostles”, and on hearing of the Irishman’s pledge to help, Torrijo immediately went with a committee to see Robert Boyd to accept his offer, “Your offer is accepted and we give you our most heart-felt thanks for your generosity and heroic decision, in the hope that one day a free Spain will be able to thank you in the way fitting for a great nation”. 

From that day onwards, Boyd never left the side of either Torrijos or of Flores Calderón.  First from London and then from Gibraltar, together they coordinated the conspiracy and on the night of the 30th November, 1830, they left Gibraltar to begin their revolution in Spain.  Robert Boyd under order from the King, was shot alongside Torrijos and Flores Calderón on the beaches of San Andrés in the city of Malaga. 

His grave can be found in the protestant cementary in Malaga, otherwise known as the English cementary.  It is a gothic obelisc surrounded by railings and upon which is engraved, “In the memory of Robert  Boyd Esquire, of Londonderry, Ireland.  Friend and fellow martyr of Torrijos, Calderón etc.. who died in Malaga in the sacred cause of freedom on the 11th December, 1831 at 26 years of age”.

In 2004, the Torrijos 1831 Association established an annual tribute to Robert Boyd in the English cementary in Malaga and to which the group invited three members of Boyd’s family who travelled from France and England to attend the ceremony.  A street in Malaga has also been named after him.

Written by Jesús Castro

Translated by Rachael Harrison

Sponsored by

Logo Costa Luz Lawyers

Like 0


rottensociety said:
27 January 2013 @ 15:11

So, Robert Boyd was a member of a secret society pushing "fierce international liberalism". That just reeks of the Elders of Zion and their Protocols.

You call Boyd a "passionate conspirator", I call him a dirty Communist traitor who deserved to be shot.

SwedyMagroo said:
08 February 2013 @ 13:16

To which country exactly is he supposed to be a traitor? Nowhere in the above text does it say he ran against the Crown and Government of England, and he can hardly be a traitor to Spain as he was clearly described as an Englishman.

In addition where exactly are you getting the information that he was a member of a secret society? The Cambridge Apostles are not described as such above.

You may call Robert Boyd a "dirty Communist traitor who deserved to be shot", I call you a ignorant conspiracy theorist spouting drivel on the internet!

Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x