Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

30 Husband and Wife 1821

'She made his house so dull that nobody wd go to it.'

THE DUKE, who had been busy formulating plans for a police force when the Guards had seemed on the verge of mutiny the year before, could now devote more of his time to the decorations and furnishings of Apsley House and Stratfield Saye. He had brought furniture with him from Paris, pictures from Spain, objets d'art from Belgium. At picture galleries and auction rooms he had purchased several paintings of the Dutch school and other Old Masters. In the hall at Apsley House stood Canova's huge nude statue of Napoleon, which, rejected by Napoleon, had been stored in the Louvre until bought by the British Government for 66,000 francs and presented to the Duke by the Prince Regent. In the rooms above were numerous works of art given to the Duke as well as those bought by him and the treasures found in Joseph Bonaparte's carriage after the battle of Vitoria,* paintings, busts, trophies, decorations, plate and porcelain, snuff boxes and field marshal's batons from every major army in Europe. There were two diamond-mounted swords, one of them a present from the Tsar, the other from the inhabitants of Bengal after the battle of Assaye. There were dessert services given by the Emperor of Austria and the Kings of France, Prussia and Saxony, as well as the Portuguese service of silver parcel-gilt in the Waterloo Gallery. In display cases on the ground floor were silver-gilt table ornaments given by the City of London, by the British army in India and by officers who had fought with the Duke at Waterloo. 1

These splendid possessions so prominently displayed heightened his

____________________
*
The Duke offered to return these treasures from the royal Spanish collection, which included four paintings by Velasquez and a particularly fine Correggio, to the King of Spain who, 'touched by the Duke's delicacy, begged him to keep property which had come into his hands in a manner as just as it was honourable' ( Gerald 7th Duke of Wellington , Collected Works, 96-7).
This was stolen in 1948 while on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

-226-

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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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