Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

41 Portraits and Painters 1830-50

'I lament the fate of having passed my Manhood acquiring celebrity; and of having to pass my old Age in sitting for Busts and Artists.'

IN THE COUNTRY as a whole Wellington's former unpopularity now appeared to have been largely forgotten. He was loudly cheered at Vauxhall; he was joyously acclaimed by the crowds at a review in Hyde Park; on a visit to Cambridge he was as enthusiastically welcomed by the town as he was by the University. When he appeared at a choral concert in London, 'the singing stopped, the whole audience rose, and a burst of acclamation and waving of handkerchiefs saluted the great old man. Everyone was moved except the Duke himself.' 'The feeling of the people for him seems to be the liveliest of all popular sentiments,' Charles Greville commented. 'Yet he does nothing to excite it, and hardly appears to notice it.'1

In the streets of London gentlemen raised their hats to him; doctors stood on the steps of St George's Hospital opposite Apsley House to watch him pass by; 2 'even the butcher's boy pulled up his cart as he stopped at the gate'; 3 and once a cheering crowd followed him up Constitution Hill to Apsley House where he paused to indicate with an ironic gesture the iron shutters on the windows which had been smashed not so long before.* He gave a bow, touched the brim of his

____________________
*
The Duke left the smashed windows at Apsley House unmended for a long time. He had them reglazed in June 1833 for the annual Waterloo dinner. Some said that he did so because the King was coming as the principal guest, others that he was provoked by a caricature by John Doyle published on 10 June. This, entitled 'Taking an airing in Hyde Park: Framed but not yet Glazed', depicted him staring defiantly through a shattered frame. The iron shutters may have originally given rise to the soubriquet 'the Iron Duke'. In an apparent allusion to these shutters, Punch referred to the 'Wrought-iron Duke' in 1842. The "'Iron Duke'", tout court, seems first to have appeared in print in the Mechanics' Magazine in 1845. Sir Herbert Maxwell ( The Life of Wellington, i, 304) suggested that the soubriquet originated, not so much in the Duke's iron will and often unbending opposition to hidebound Tories, as well as to radicals, as in an iron steamship launched on the Mersey and named The Duke of Wellington. This ship became known as the

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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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