Seeking to bridge these two interlinked wars by examining some of the key characters and moments in each.
Whether on the plains of Maida in 1806, when his famous 20th Regiment played a key role in defeating Napoleon’s ‘Invincibles’, or in his amphibious assault on Washington which promised for a time to be of game changing importance (only for his death at Baltimore to be a pivotal moment in the War of 1812) Robert Ross proved to be a key military figure.
Rostrevor, or Rosstrevor, as it was called in the days of Major General Robert Ross, was once owned by his family and is the location of two monuments erected to his memory, a 100ft imposing obelisk on the shores of Carlingford Lough, almost on the exact spot where he intended to build his retirement home had he made it back from the USA. The other was erected in Kilbroney Parish Church in the village, by the officers and men of the 20th Regiment which he had commanded with such distinction in the Napoleonic Wars. Mrs Ross later called her home in Rosstrevor ‘Bladensburg’ in memory of her husband, while her near neighbour, across the road was a sister of none other than Ned Pakenham who was killed at the Battle of New Orleans.
The conference not only represents an opportunity for scholars to come together to discuss the key personalities and pivotal moments of these two wars, (many on the British side fought in both), but to do so in a location rich with historical heritage and natural beauty. The stunning beauty of Rostrevor inspired William Makepeace Thackeray to claim that it would be a ‘world wonder if it lay upon England’s shore’ while C.S.Lewis acknowledged it as the inspiration for Narnia.