Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

11 Ireland and Denmark 1806-7

'Show me an Irishman and I'll show you a man whose anxious wish it is to see his country independent of Great Britain.'

GENERAL WELLESLEY returned to his duties in Hastings, but his eyes were now firmly set on that more imposing stage on the Continent which Lord Longford had rather doubted he would ever ascend. His brother, the Marquess, however, now returned from India, was in much need of his family's support in the House of Commons where he was under sustained attack from the Member for Newtown who was intent upon blackening Wellesley's name and record as Governor-General in India. This disputatious Member was James Paull, the dapper little son of a Scottish tailor who had done very well for himself as a merchant in India where he had fallen foul of the Governor-General. The Marquess's brother William had been Member for Queen's County since 1801; but William needed support in his defence of the reputation of the family which, if lost, would damage the prospects of them all. So Sir Arthur offered himself as candidate for Parliament at Rye and was duly elected, after paying for much wine and many dinners for the electors and their wives and families, and contributing £50 to the 'Poor in lieu of Garlands etc., etc.' 1

In Parliament he staunchly defended his brother against the accusations of Mr Paull, and when Paull widened his charges to include condemnation of the behaviour in India of the 'indiscreet Knight of the Bath', he firmly defended himself, asserting roundly that 'what he did in India was in obedience to the orders he had received; and for the manner of that obedience, and its immediate result, he was ready to answer whether to the House or to any other tribunal in the realm'. 2

Throughout the session he was regular in his attendance at the House and could often be seen walking with brisk step across St James's Park. He spoke upon Indian affairs when called upon to do so and occasionally upon military matters, once warmly supporting a proposed

-58-

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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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