Wellington: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

50 The Way to St Paul's 1852

'One cannot realize at all the possibility of his being no longer with us, or think of England without him.'

THE DUKE'S BODY lay embalmed at Walmer Castle where the Lord Warden's flag flew above the battlements at half-mast as muffled church bells tolled. Death masks were taken and, since the Duke's false teeth had been removed, the casts, made by the sculptor George Gammon Adams -- who came to the castle equipped with a camera lucida 1 -- give to the mouth a sadly sunken appearance. The dead man's hands were modelled -- it was said that Lord Clanwilliam had asked for the right hand itself -- the false teeth of walrus ivory were given to his daughter-in-law, Lady Douro, now Duchess of Wellington, who had been abroad at the time of her father-in-law's death; locks of hair were cut off for numerous friends and relations, so much hair, indeed, that a manservant had to apologize to one recipient for the small amount he was able to send, the demands from the family and other friends 'being so great'.*2

' Lord Douro, the present Duke, told me that Her Majesty was desirous for a piece of the poor Duke's hair,' Kendall wrote on sending a few strands to Windsor where the Queen was to have them enclosed in a gold bracelet. 'The last Hand laid on the Body was mine to cut off a Lock of Hair from the Head . . . The coffin was instantly soldered down, the poor Duke's remains never to be seen more.' 3

For two days in the second week of November hundreds of local people were admitted to Walmer Castle to file past the coffin before

____________________
*
The Duke had submitted to having locks of his hair cut off during his lifetime: 'We dined today at Lady Shelley's. She has got a medallion of the Duke framed with a Garter he has worn for some years, and she wanted some of his hair. So she had him to dinner the first of the month, as he said that was his day for having his hair cut, and I cut off two pieces for her, one quite brown & the other as white as silver, with which she was quite overjoyed & meant to put into the frame and keep as an heirloom in the family for ever' ( The Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot, ii, 180).

-399-

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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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