Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

4 A Voyage to India 1796-8

'In person he was about 5 feet 7 inches with a long pale face, a remarkably large aquiline nose, a clear blue eye and the blackest beard I ever saw.'

COLONEL WESLEY was aboard one of the ships that were blown home. He stepped ashore in poorer health than ever in January 1796. He went to see his doctor again when he returned to Dublin to settle his affairs there before taking the 33rd on their next tour of duty, this time in the East Indies rather than the West.

There was much to do before they sailed: he had to instruct his successor in the duties of the Lieutenant-General's aide-de-camp, to write a paper for the guidance of the man who was to take over as Member of Parliament for Trim, to give instructions to the agent who was managing the family's estates in Meath which had not been sold with the castle, to make such arrangements as he could about the liquidation of his debts, which now stood at over £1,000. He was still busy in Dublin when the 33rd were on the point of sailing for India by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He let them go without him. The voyage would take several weeks and, if he sailed after them in a fast frigate, he would be able to catch them up before they got into the Arabian Sea.

He left Dublin for London in June and, taking rooms at 3 Savile Row, he set out for the shops to equip himself for what might prove to be a long absence in the East. There were clothes to buy and, equally important, there were books. For these he went to Faulders, the booksellers and book-binders in Bond Street, and from here and other shops he came away with a library that could surely not have been packed in its entirety in the trunk, complete with 'Cord Etc.', which he bought from Mr Faulder for £1 11s 6d. There were histories of warfare, sieges and military campaigns, an account of the topography of the Indian sub-continent, a copy of the Bengal Army List, books about Egypt and the East India Company, maps and German, Arabic

-17-

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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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