Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

44 Grand Old Man 1839-50

'There is not an affair of any kind in which I am not required to be a party.'

AS WELL AS OPPOSING the Government when he felt that opposition was called for, the Duke continued to write reports and memoranda for their guidance upon matters on which he considered himself to be peculiarly or uniquely qualified to speak. He had not been at all disposed to take a Cabinet post of any sort again, though when the Queen asked him if he would consider becoming Foreign minister, ha had intimated that his sense of duty might oblige him to undertake such a responsiblity. Would not the work be too much for him? the Queen wondered. 'I' m able to do anything,' he said as he always did when his health and strength were questioned.

He was thankful, though, that he had not been required to take up office again. As it was, he was still constantly being bothered and badgered by people who wanted his help or advice in one way or another. 'I am the Duke of Wellington,' he was much given to complaining, 'and an officer of the army. But there is not an affair of any kind in which I am not required to be a party . . . There is not an Individual who wants anything of any description; particularly money, who does not apply to me for it. If a church or chapel, Glebe or School House or even Pagoda is to be built, I must patronise and subscribe for it: the same for Canals, Rail Roads, Harbours . . . Rest! Every other animal -- even a donkey, a costermonger's donkey -- is allowed some rest, but the Duke of Wellington never! There is no help for it. As long as I am able to go on, they will put the saddle upon my back and make me go . . . Every Animal in the creation is allowed some relaxation from Exertion . . . except for the Duke of Wellington . . . It is like everything else. Nobody else will do it. The Duke of Wellington must . . . They forget that the Duke of Wellington has only one pair of eyes, and only a certain number of hours in the day like other people

-357-

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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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