General Bernardo O’Higgins (1778-1842) was the South American hero who liberated Chile from Spanish rule and became Chile’s first head of state in 1818. O’Higgins lived and studied at Clarence House in Richmond from 1794-1796, aged 16 to 18 While completing his studies there he developed ideas on nationalism and liberalism, in an era that had seen the 1776 independence of America from the UK and the 1789 French Revolution followed by Napoleon’s rise to power.
In August each year there is an annual ceremony to honour his memory.
Clarence House at 2 The Vineyard still stands. The blue plaque records his time studying there. He want sent to the UK by his father for the purpose of completing his education. While in the UK he was influenced by others, not least the Venezuelan revolutionary Fransisco Miranda as well as Simon Bolivar, the driving force behind the liberation of all South America. They with others were in London at the time to seek British support for independence from Spain in the wake of Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808. More here.
From Bernardo O’Higgins statue to Clarence House:
The O’Higginiano Institute of Chile promotes his memory worldwide.
The UK continues its strong links with Chile through organisations such as the Anglo-Chilean Society.