William Godwin's Diary


An allied army of British, Portuguese, and Spanish troops, under Wellington defeated French forces in a significant battle which heralded the end of the Peninsular War with Napoleon. The undisciplined plunder of abandoned French wagons led Wellington to make his famous description of the common soldiers as 'the scum of the earth'.

See Rory Muir, Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, 1807-1815 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996), pp. 264-65.