Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

36 Riots and Repression 1830-2

'Beginning Reform is beginning Revolution.'

'LOOK AT THAT IDIOT!' the late King had once whispered in Mme de Lieven's ear at the dinner table, indicating his brother, the Duke of Clarence, whose red-thatched face -- 'like a frog carved on a coconut' -- could be seen at the other end of the table. 'They will remember me, if he is ever in my place.' 1

Now that King William IV was in his brother's place, Wellington endeavoured to establish as reasonably satisfactory relations as he had done with George IV. There were some doubts that he would be able to do so as Wellington had already felt in duty bound to check the eccentric behaviour of King William as Lord High Admiral and had accepted his resignation in August 1828. But, as it happened, the Duke got on perfectly well with the new King whom he found, while eccentric, unpredictable and naive, quite reasonable and manageable. In fact, so Wellington told Charles Greville, he could do more business with him in ten minutes than he could in ten days with King George IV who had constantly wandered off into digressions on every kind of subject except that which was meant to be under discussion. 'If I had been able to deal with my late master as I do with my present,' the Duke said, 'I should have got on much better.'2

King William seemed to share the Duke's political views, and showed no eagerness to press for the admission of Lord Grey into the Government as Wellington feared he would do.

At a dinner party at Apsley House, to which his Majesty had invited himself together with the King and Queen of Württemberg, he delivered himself of one of those inordinately long and inconsequential speeches to which he was addicted, elaborating upon the virtues of the married state which, intended to please the German guests, was naturally not so welcome to their host, and, having asked the band to play See the Conquering Hero Comes and made allusion to the Duke's conquest of the French, had to modify his words on recollecting that

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Wellington: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xi
  • I - 1769-1815 1
  • 1 - Eton, Dublin and Angers 1769-87 3
  • 2 - An Officer in the 33rd 1787-93 9
  • 3 - The First Campaign 1794-5 13
  • 4 - A Voyage to India 1796-8 17
  • 5 - The Tiger of Mysore 1799 23
  • 6 - The Governor of Mysore 1799 30
  • 7 - The Sultan's Palace 1800-1 36
  • 8 - Assaye 1802-5 41
  • 9 - Return to London 1805-6 47
  • 10 - Kitty Pakenham 1790-1806 54
  • 11 - Ireland and Denmark 1806-7 58
  • 12 - Portugal 1808 66
  • 13 - Board of Enquiry 1808 77
  • 14 - Across the Douro 1809 82
  • 15 - 'A Whole Host of Marshals' 1809 - 10 92
  • 16 - From Bussaco to El Bodon 1810-11 101
  • 17 - Life at Headquarters 1810-12 108
  • 18 - Badajoz, Salamanca and Madrid 1812 117
  • 19 - Retreat to Portugal 1812 126
  • 20 - From Vitoria to the Frontier 1812-13 133
  • 21 - St Jean De Luz 1813 144
  • 22 - In London Again 1814 151
  • 23 - Paris and Vienna 1814-15 160
  • 24 - Brussels 1815 167
  • 25 - Waterloo 1815 174
  • II - 1815-52 187
  • 26 - The Ambassador 1815 189
  • 27 - Cambrai and Vitry 1815-18 202
  • 28 - Stratfield Saye 1818-20 213
  • 29 - King George IV and Queen Caroline 1820-1 220
  • 30 - Husband and Wife 1821 226
  • 31 - Vienna and Verona 1822-4 241
  • 32 - St Petersburg and the Northern Counties 1825 - 7 251
  • 33 - The Prime Minister 1828-9 264
  • 34 - Battersea Fields and Scotland Yard 273
  • 35 - The Death of the King 1829-30 278
  • 36 - Riots and Repression 1830-2 287
  • 37 - A Bogy to the Mob 1832 296
  • 38 - Oxford University and Apsley House 1832-4 306
  • 39 - Lady Friends 1834 313
  • 40 - The Foreign Secretary 1834-6 319
  • 41 - Portraits and Painters 1830-50 326
  • 42 - Life at Walmer Castle 1830-50 338
  • 43 - The Young Queen 1837-9 348
  • 44 - Grand Old Man 1839-50 357
  • 45 - The Horse Guards and the House of Lords 1842-50 367
  • 46 - Hyde Park Corner 1845-6 373
  • 47 - Disturbers of the Peace 1846-51 378
  • 48 - Growing Old 1850-1 385
  • 49 - Last Days 1851-2 394
  • 50 - The Way to St Paul's 1852 399
  • References 405
  • Sources 426
  • Index 439
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