The defenders were dispirited and torn by sedition and dissensions, and the emperor could rely on little more than 8000 fighting men, while the assailants, 200,000 strong, were animated by the wildest fanatical zeal.
The pretender led off his horde to meet the relieving force, but when he reached Taunton he found that his followers were so dispirited that disaster was certain.
The whole force under his orders when he escaped from Pamplona on the night of the 29th of October 1833, and took the command next day in the Val de Araquil, was a few hundred ill-armed and dispirited guerrilleros.
He was proclaimed king at Carlisle, joined by the earl of Derby in Lancashire, evaded the troops of Lambert and Harrison in Cheshire, marched through Shropshire, meeting with a rebuff at Shrewsbury, and entered Worcester with a small, tired and dispirited force of only 16,000 men (22nd of August).
Some of Rupert's foot regiments made their way to York, but the dispirited garrison only held out for a fortnight.