'A miserable imitation of a French château.'
FROM PARIS the Duke paid visits to London. On one of these, on the second anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, he was present at the opening by the Prince Regent of John Rennie's Waterloo Bridge, originally known as Strand Bridge, which, almost six years in the building, was described by Canova as 'the noblest bridge in the world, worth a visit from the remotest comer of the earth'. 1 On this occasion it was draped in the flags of the allied nations; and, as the sun shone down in a cloudless sky, there was a salute of 202 guns, the number of French cannon captured in the battle.
As a further celebration of his victory at Waterloo, the Duke was asked to sit for a portrait by James Ward who, although far better known as a painter of animals than of historical scenes, had been awarded a prize by the British Institution for a sketch of an Allegory of Waterloo and had been commissioned to paint a picture from it four times the size of the sketch. Wellington -- evidently wary of being portrayed by a man whose Alderny Bull and Cow was considered the best of the four hundred works he exhibited at the Royal Academy, and many of whose later commissions came from the Royal Agricultural Society -- made the excuse that he was on the point of returning to France. Ward said he would follow him there; but the Duke was adamant: he had so many troops under his command that he did not know where he would be 'one day after another'. He would, however, sit for Mr Ward on his return, as he had already sat for Hoppner, Beechey and Sir Thomas Lawrence.*
Despite all his other commitments, the Duke found time to study Benjamin Dean Wyatt's proposals in their continuing search for a country estate; and, having considered the Jacobean Bramshill House near Hartley Wintney and Misserden Park in Gloucestershire as well____________________