Archive for June, 2013

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Harris, 1st Baron
18 March 1746 – 19 May 1829


George Harris

Harris was the son of the Reverend George Harris, curate of Brasted. He was educated at Westminster School and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned to the Royal Artillery in 1760, transferring to an ensigncy in the 5th foot (Northumberland Fusiliers) in 1762. Three years later he became lieutenant, and in 1771 captain. His first active service was in the American War of Independence, in which he served at Lexington, Bunker Hill and in every engagement of Howe’s army except one up to November 1778.

By this time he had obtained his majority. His next service was under Major-General Medows at Santa Lucia in 1778-1779, after which his regiment served as marines in Rodney’s fleet. Later in 1779 he was for a time a prisoner of war. Shortly before his promotion to lieutenant-colonel in his regiment (1780) he married. After commanding the 5th in Ireland for some years, he exchanged and went with General Medows to Bombay, and served with that officer in India until 1792, taking part in various battles and engagements, notably Lord Cornwallis’s attack on Seringapatam in the Third Anglo-Mysore War.

In 1794, after a short period of home service, he was again in India. In the same year he became major-general, and in 1796 local lieutenant-general in Madras. Up to 1800 be commanded the troops in the presidency, and for a short time he exercised the civil government as well. In December 1798 he was appointed by Lord Mornington, the governor-general, to command the field army which was intended to attack Tipu Sultan, and in a few months of campaigning Harris reduced the Kingdom of Mysore and stormed the great stronghold of Seringapatam, where the Tipu died in its defence.

His success established his reputation as a capable and experienced commander, and its political importance led to his being offered the reward (which he declined) of an Irish peerage. He returned home in 1800, became lieutenant-general in the army the following year, and attained the rank of full general in 1812. He bought Belmont House near Faversham in 1801.

In 1815 he was made a peer of the United Kingdom under the title Baron Harris of Seringapatam and Mysore, and of Belmont in the County of Kent. In 1820 he received the GCB, and in 1824 the governorship of Dumbarton Castle. Lord Harris died at Belmont in May 1829. He had been colonel of the 73rd Highlanders since 1800.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Pinch the Elder
1769 – March 11 1827
Pinch was an architect working mainly in the city of Bath, England. He was surveyor to the Pulteney and Darlington estate and responsible for many of the later Georgian buildings in Bath, especially in Bathwick.

John Pinch was born at Callington, Cornwall where he was christened on 4 January 1769. He started as an architect and builder in the 1790s. He was assistant to Thomas Baldwin as surveyor to the Pulteney estate and succeeded him as surveyor after Baldwin’s bankruptcy in 1793; when the estate passed into the ownership of the Earl of Darlington he retained his position. John Pinch married Martha Cleave in 1792 at and died 11 March 1827 in Bath.

His earliest identified work is Babington House in Babington, Somerset which was built in 1790. A few years later he completed Northampton Street in Bath which had been started by Thomas Baldwin, and was completed by George Phillips Manners.

New commissions included Rockfield House in Nunney in 1805 and various properties in Bath including: New Sydney Place (1807), Daniel Street (1810) and Raby Place (1825), Bathwick.

Norfolk Crescent in Bath was started around 1793 by John Palmer and continued about 1820 by Pinch. A similar completion of Palmer’s designs was Nelson Place.

Pinch also has his own projects in Bath including, between 1808 and 1815 Cavendish Place, Cavendish Crescent (1817–1830), Sion Hill Place (1817–1820), Cleveland Pools (c.1814), St Mary’s Church, Bathwick (1817–1820), Spa Villa, Bathwick Hill (1820), Prior Park Buildings, a terrace of 19 houses off Prior Park Road, built from 1820, St. Michael’s Church, Twerton (1824) and the Royal United Hospital in Beau Street, Bath (1824–1826).

Outside Bath he worked the Wiltshire buildings of St Lawrence’s Church in Hungerford (1814–1816), Corsley House, Corsley (1814), Bishopstrow House (1817–1821) and the Mausoleum for Richard Colt Hoare at St Peter’s Church in Stourton (1819).

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables. The list of Previous Notables and Upcoming Entries has grown so long that I will post this once a week on Saturdays now.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew Charles Arbuthnot
William Upcott William Huskisson Dominic Serres
Sir George Barlow Scrope Davies Charles Francis Greville
George Stubbs Fanny Kemble Thomas Warton
William Mason Thomas Troubridge Charles Stanhope
Robert Fulke Greville Gentleman John Jackson Ann Radcliffe
Edward ‘Golden Ball’ Hughes John Opie Adam Walker
John Ireland Henry Pierrepoint Robert Stephenson
Mary Shelley Sir Joshua Reynolds Francis Place
Richard Harding Evans Lord Thomas Foley Francis Burdett
John Gale Jones George Parker Bidder Sir George Warren
Edward Eliot William Beechey Eva Marie Veigel
Hugh Percy-Northumberland Charles Philip Yorke Lord Palmerston
Samuel Romilly John Petty 2nd Marquess Lansdowne Henry Herbert Southey
Stapleton Cotton Colin Macaulay Amelia Opie
Sir James Hall Henry Thomas Colebrooke Maria Foote
Sir David Baird Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville Dr. Robert Gooch
William Baillie James Northcote Horatio Nelson
Henry Fuseli Home Riggs Popham John Playfair
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice 3rd Marquess Lansdowne Thomas Douglas 5th Earl of Selkirk Frederick Gerald “Poodle” Byng
Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort John Wolcot (Peter Pindar) Joseph John Gurney
Edward John Eliot Henry Perronet Briggs George Lionel Dawson-Damer
Thomas Foley Mark Robinson Charles Culling Smith
Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram, 3rd Marquess of Hertford Thomas Fowell Buxton Tyrone Power
Richard Cumberland William Philip Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough
Jeffry Wyattville Henry Mildmay Nicholas Wood
Hester Thrale Catherine Hughes, Baroness de Calabrella Admiral Israel Pellew
William Wellesley Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington Henry Moyes Charles Fitzroy
Lord Granville Somerset Lumley St. George Skeffington William Playfair
John Lade Astley Cooper Matthew Gregory Lewis
Edward Pease Thomas Coutts John Urpeth Rastrick
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond Captain William Baillie John Pitt Kennedy
Henry Cline Sarah Clementina Drummond-Burrell Samuel Wyatt
Lord George Lennox George Bussy Villiers Henry FitzRoy 5th Duke of Grafton
John Bell (Surgeon) Robert Smirke (Painter) John Kennedy (Manufacturer)
John Gell Dugald Stewart Louisa Gurney Hoare
William Nicol (Surgeon) William Nicol (Geologist) Edward Hall Alderson
Thomas Hope Richard Cosway Jonathan Backhouse
Lady Sarah Lennox John Byng, 5th Viscount Torrington Harriette Wilson
Andrew Plimer George Henry Borrow Charles Lamb
Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst Skeffington Lutwidge
George Colman the Elder William Hotham Jacob Bell
Charles Heathcote Tatham William Allen (Quaker) John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Henry Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland William Gell Richard Barry, 7th Earl Barrymore
Samuel Bagster the Younger Lady Anne (Wesley) Fitzroy Samuel Gurney
John Liston Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond Luke Howard
Alexander MacKenzie (Explorer) John Pasco Joseph Black
Sir Robert Calder Benjamin Travers John Walker (Cricketer)
John (Johnnie) Walker Joseph Fox the Younger Bishop Beilby Porteus
Sir William Knighton George Rose Edward St. Maur 11th Duke of Somerset
Samuel Bagster the Elder Richard Keppel Craven Edwin Henry Landseer
James Paull (Duelist) Henry Thornton Peter Pond
George Rose (Barrister) William Vincent Humphry Repton
Eliab Harvey Sir George Henry Rose James Kenney
James Kennedy Nevil Maskelyne James Playfair
John Auldjo Thomas Morton (Shipbuilder) Charles Kemble
Sir John Vaughan (Judge) Henry Paget Henry Holland (Cricketer)
Sir Henry Holland (Baronet) Mary Alcock Tom Walker (Cricketer)
Thomas Bradley (Physician) Henry Dundas Trotter Thomas Picton
Sir Charles Middleton William Henry Playfair John Palmer (The 2 Architects)
William Ludlam Thomas Ludlam

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

  • Victoria
  • Thomas Ludlam
  • Granville Sharp
  • Gerrard Andrewes
  • David Livingstone
  • Elizabeth (Gurney) Fry
  • Daniel Gurney
  • Adam Ferguson of Raith
  • John Palmer (postal Innovator)
  • John Horsley Palmer
  • John Pinch
  • John Palmer (Commissary)
  • Edward Waring
  • Joseph Milner
  • Isaac Milner
  • James Hutton
  • John Boydell
  • Benjamin Tucker
  • Viscount Robert Castlereagh
  • George Canning
  • Henry Blackwood
  • Alexander Ball
  • William Beatty
  • Sir Sidney Smith
  • Sidney Smith (wit)
  • Geroge Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer
  • John Thomas Duckworth
  • Admiral Adam Duncan
  • Edward Berry
  • Robert Linzee
  • David Dundas
  • Sir Hyde Parker
  • Sir Thomas Hardy
  • Charles Stuart (British Army Officer)
  • William Locker
  • Sir Peter Parker
  • William Parker
  • Major General John Dalling
  • William Cornwallis
  • William Baillie (artist)
  • Sir Ralph Abercromby
  • Sir Hector Munro
  • Elizabeth Inchbald
  • George Colman the Younger
  • Thomas Morton
  • Colonel William Berkeley
  • Barry Proctor
  • William Henry West Betty
  • Sir George Colebrooke
  • Charles Hutton
  • Robert Emmet
  • Thomas Fortescue Kennedy
  • William Taylor of Norwich
  • John Romilly
  • Sir John Herschel
  • John Horne Tooke
  • James Mill
  • Robert Owen
  • Jeremy Bentham
  • Joseph Hume
  • Sir Walter Scott
  • John Stuart Mill
  • Thomas Cochrane
  • Edward Jenner
  • Claire Clairmont
  • William Lovett
  • Sir John Vaughan
  • Fanny Imlay
  • William Godwin
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • William Stewart Rose
  • James Edward Smith
  • General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
  • Harriet Fane Arbuthnot
  • Joseph Antonio Emidy
  • James Edwards (Bookseller)
  • William Gifford
  • Sir Joseph Banks
  • Richard Porson
  • Edward Gibbon
  • James Smithson
  • William Cowper
  • Jacob Phillipp Hackert
  • John Thomas Serres
  • Wellington (the Military man)
  • Cuthbert Collingwood
  • Admiral Sir Graham Moore
  • Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
  • Admiral Sir Joseph Sydney Yorke
  • Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
  • William Howe
  • Richard Howe
  • Viscount Sir Samuel Hood
  • Sir Samuel Hood
  • Alexander Hood
  • Thomas Hope
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay
  • Harriet Martineau
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Charles Pepys, Earl of Cottenham
  • Sir Edward Michael Pakenham
  • General Banastre Tarleton
  • Francis Leggatt Chantrey
  • Sir Charles Grey
  • John Constable
  • Thomas Lawrence
  • Sir William Lawrence, 1st Baronet
  • George Cruikshank
  • Thomas Gainsborough
  • James Gillray
  • George Stubbs
  • Joseph Priestley
  • Horace Walpole
  • John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
  • Angela Burdett-Coutts
  • Sir Anthony Carlisle
  • Thomas Rowlandson
  • William Blake
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Sir Marc Brunel
  • Marquis of Stafford Granville Leveson-Gower
  • Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
  • George Stephenson
  • Thomas Telford
  • Joseph Locke
  • Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
  • Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
  • John Nash
  • John Soane
  • Robert Smirke (architect)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Robert Southey
  • Henry Holland
  • Sir Walter Scott
  • Lord Elgin
  • William Windham
  • William Cobbett
  • Madame de Stael
  • John Walker (inventor)(Natural Historian)(Grocer)(Lexicographer
  • James Boswell
  • Edward James Eliot
  • George Combe
  • William Harrison Ainsworth
  • George Harris
  • Sir Harry Smith
  • Thomas Cochrane
  • Warren Hastings
  • Edmund Burke
  • William Petty
  • Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
  • Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
  • Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
  • Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
  • Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
  • Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
  • Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
  • Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
  • John Bell
  • Charles Fitzroy, Baron Southampton
  • Richard Wellesley
  • Henry Wellesley
  • James Wyatt
  • John Blaquiere, 1st Baron de Blaquiere
  • William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley
  • Sir Charles Bagot
  • Lord FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan
  • John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland
  • Robert Smith, 1st Baron Carrington
  • Andrew Meikle
  • James Watt
  • Henry Thrale
  • John Hunter
  • Joseph Pease
  • Richard Trevithick
  • James Foster
  • Emily Lennox
  • Louisa Lennox
  • Thomas Baillie (Royal Navy officer)
  • Charles James Napier
  • John Thelwall
  • Sir William Hotham
  • Beaumont Hotham
  • Matthew Boulton
  • Sir Charles Bell
  • James Gregory
  • Archibald Alison
  • John McMahon
  • Edward Maltby
  • Joseph Chitty
  • Ricahrd Barnewell
  • Charles James Blomfield
  • William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford
  • Maria Hadfield
  • John Byng 1st Earl of Strafford
  • George Byng 6th Viscount Torrington
  • John Russell, 1st Earl Russell
  • Nathaniel Plimer
  • James Spencer-Bell
  • George Brydges Rodney
  • Samuel Pepys Cockerell
  • John Linnell
  • Charles Catton the Younger
  • Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle
  • Benjamin Robert Haydon
  • John Dalton
  • Sir Philip Durham
  • William Hasledine Pepys
  • William Babington
  • Joseph Lancaster
  • Samuel Whitbread
  • Francis Augustus Collier
  • Humphry Davy
  • George Shillibeer
  • Samuel Hoare Jr.
  • Thomas Moore
  • Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
  • William Drummond of Logiealmond
  • Edward Dodwell
  • William Allen (Royal Navy Officer)
  • Archibald Norman McLeod
  • George Vancouver
  • Sir George Simpson
  • William Morgan (actuary)
  • Harry Walker
  • Alexander Walker
  • George Templer
  • Thomas Landseer
  • Sir Robert Inglis
  • Frederick Richard Lee
  • William McGillivray
  • Lucia Elizabeth Vestris
  • John Vaughan
  • Samuel Rogers
  • Thomas Holcroft
  • Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Edward Troughton
  • John Richardson
  • John Forsyth
  • Edward Ellice
  • John MacDonald of Garth
  • Sir Archibald Campbell
  • Simon McGillivray
  • Maria Theresa Kemble
  • Captain William Paget
  • Sir Arthur Paget
  • General Sir Edward Paget
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Paget
  • Berkeley Paget
  • Charles Burney
  • Lord Frederick Beauclerk
  • William George Keith Elphinstone
  • William Fullarton
  • Francis Jeffrey

The Dukes

  •         Duke of Richmond, Charles Gordon Lennox 5th Duke (1791-1860)
  •         Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
  •         Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
  •         Duke of Norfolk, Bernard Edward Howard (1765-1842)
  •         Duke of Norfolk, Henry Charles Howard (1791-1856)
  •         Duke of Somerset, Edward Adolphus Seymour (1804-1885)
  •         Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
  •         Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
  •         Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
  •         Duke of St. Albans,William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke
  •         Duke of Grafton, Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke 1735-1811
  •         Duke of Grafton, George FitzRoy, 4th Duke 1760-1844

The Dandy Club

  •         Beau Brummell
  •         William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley

Patronesses of Almacks

  •         Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
  •         Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
  •         Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
  •         Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
  •         Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
  •         Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

If there are any requests for personalities to be added to the list, just let us know in the comments section

Read Full Post »

As we do on Fridays, when we have an interview, we take a break from the Regency Personality series. It shall of course return. As early as tomorrow.

Today we are fortunate to have with us novelist and poet Sue Millard who writes in historical, humorous, and equestrian genres. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency/early Victorian period.

What moved you to become an author?
I would say it was reading great stories as a child, that took me into different worlds of the imagination. I wanted to record some of the ones I created for myself. I wrote my first novel (a shameless bit of stealing from several equestrian novelists) when I was 12, and sent it to Collins. The local newspaper got hold of the story and I ended up being interviewed by Granada TV, and subsequently chased around school for my autograph! The book, in its original form, deservedly sank, but popped up again to become 61IokLJ8e1L._SL1000_-2013-06-21-07-01.jpg Against the Odds, which J A Allen published in 1995.


Tell us about your current novel, Coachman.
Coachman tells the story of George Davenport, a young coachman in the first year of Victoria’s reign, whose ambitions are foiled as much by the women in his life as by the downturn in coaching work at the dawn of the Railway Age.

How did the story begin to develop in your mind?
I began with the idea that I’d chronicle the life of William James Chaplin, who was a huge force in the London coaching business in the 1820s and 30s. When the railways came to change long-distance travel he was able instantly to step back, reorganize, and rebuild his business in relation to the new technology. The few contemporary stories that are recorded in such books as Driving (Duke of Beaufort, 1890) all show him in an affectionate light, and of course his great-grand-daughter who was a neighbor of ours had nothing but good to say of the man who created her family’s wealth! In 1994 she asked me to transcribe a letter written by Chaplin, which a bookseller had bought at auction and brought to show her. Neither of them could read his writing. I could… Originally the title was “Stagecoach King” with the focus on Chaplin himself.

Then I realized how damn boring that story would be.

I had to invent someone whose life would touch his, so I could show what might have happened to the drivers, stablemen and horses when railways took the heart out of coaching. My own great-grandfather was a coachman, who lived 50 years after Chaplin’s time, but he gave me a name to hang my story on: George Davenport.

What did you find most challenging about this book?
No novel has ever taken me so long to research and write as Coachman – given that my starting date was 1994 and publication was in 2012. Much of the information I needed to paint the complete picture was held in old, out of print and hugely expensive books. It wasn’t until digital content was made available freely online by Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive that I was able to access the books that gave me anecdotes, scenarios and facts to build my story. Achieving historical accuracy is far more demanding than creating a world that is totally fictional. For instance, Dragon Bait 91bfW00S-jL._SL1500_-2013-06-21-07-01.jpg wrote itself in about six weeks compared to Coachman’s 18 years.

How did you choose your publishing method?
I think it chose me. I’d been published previously by both small presses and a specialist London house, but with the economic downturn and the continual absorption of smaller publishers into the Big Six (now the Big Five) direct submission to publishers is well nigh impossible. Agents are becoming as difficult to find as publishers used to be… Looking at the services offered by assisted publishing, I already had many of the necessary skills. Not only could I handle web design, illustration, photography, writing (of course) and editing, working on social media and desk top publishing – I had taught many of them up to BSc level. I’ve always been happiest combining arts and sciences, so it seemed obvious to employ my skills for my own writing.

Tell us a little about yourself?
Born in Cheshire, I’ve lived up here in Cumbria since 1975 in what my husband calls “a very small hamlet at the end of the world.”  We have a grown-up married daughter and a son, and a red-headed grandson with a permanent grin. At various times I’ve designed embroidery canvases, painted murals, taught BSc computing and built websites. My favorite recreation is carriage driving – I made competition driving harnesses for 14 years and I enjoy teaching people how to carriage drive safely – so my hands-on knowledge of how horses, harness and carriages “tick” is a big component of the background of Coachman. I was a regular contributor to Carriage Driving Magazine, was a cartoonist and wrote for the pony magazine Going Native until its closure in 1995, and I still contribute occasionally to its successor Native Pony and other equestrian magazines.

What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.
The very next project is the publication of a poetry pamphlet, Ash Tree, by Prole Books in August 2013. I’m also working hard on promoting my current novels, Coachman, Dragon Bait, and The Forthright Saga. 71788L46msL._SL1360_-2013-06-21-07-01.jpgI’m in the process of writing a series of children’s stories, some historical, told through the experience of working horses – after all, until the 1820s no human could travel fast, go to war or transport large amounts of goods without a horse being involved. There will also be a sequel to Against the Odds, and at some time I’ll explore what happened in George Davenport’s life after he had to leave London…

8) In the current work, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.
As part of my research for Coachman I took part in a coaching run with the Bowman family in 2011 (see Facebook album listed at end, Top Hats to Cowboy Hats). Here is Sarah Chaplin, riding beside George Davenport on the box seat of his coach, separated by the rainy weather from her chaperone sheltering inside — and flirting hard!

“All right behind? Trot on!” With the horses moving and the coach on the road, George glanced at Sarah and said, “You ought to be inside.”

She broke into laughter at his disapproving face. “Who’s in charge of these horses, Mr Davenport? And how many brandies have you had?”

“The rain soon washes it out of you.”

“Well, as for that, I would hold the umbrella over both of us, but I fear we would then get equally wet.”

“Oh! No. You don’t need to worry about me, Miss Chaplin.”

She continued to smile, which he found unsettling – as though she had foreseen his rebuff, and discounted it. She watched the steadily trotting team and said, “How well they work in your hands, George.”


“Stop it. You’re playing a very brazen game.”

“No game. I am complimenting you on your driving, as I’m sure many other box-seat passengers will have done.”

So many replies crowded his tongue that for a moment he was unable to speak. He remembered Lucy refusing to climb to the box-seat. And this girl assumed it by right – which he wasn’t sure was true. Months ago, George had trembled at the idea of driving with William Chaplin on the box-seat. Now he had Chaplin’s daughter beside him, and he wished with all his heart that her father were there instead.

“I’ve never had a lady compliment my driving.”

“Not even your wife?”

He flushed. Then embarrassment gave way to relief. Even Sarah’s advances could be held at bay by that simple word.

“No,” he said. “Not even my wife.”

“But you will have been told how well you drive.”

“Now and then.” He forced himself not to follow Sarah’s hints. “You know, this could be the best team I have, maybe even better than the last stage into the city. You’ll remember Anderson? He pretty well ruined the old team for this coach. These new leaders are still very green but they learn fast, and they want to please you. This wheeler on the nearside, she’s half thoroughbred.” Cinnamon, the willful mare who had a piece of his heart. “We got her cheap because she ran away in single harness, but I think she’s a damn good horse.”

For a moment he suffered a kind of double vision – the strong game mare, the unpredictable girl. He must be tired, to confuse the two. Keep talking.

“The off wheeler is the only one of that old team that was still worth anything. Mind you, on the middle ground you have to drive all sorts,” he said, “especially on the night stages. You know – the poor worn-out old things with wreckage for legs.”

“I must have seen some of them in the down coach this morning. Broken knees, harness galls and all.”

“It’s no fun driving them, I can tell you.”

Again, that shift of the umbrella, revealing the honey-brown, appraising eyes. “But it takes real skill to make a team out of wreckage. Anyone can drive good horses down a straight road.”

He didn’t speak for three beats of the horses’ hooves, then he said roughly, “Shut up your umbrella. Put it on the footboard, behind my boots.”


“You’re going to drive.”

He was getting tired of her constant challenges. He would find out whether she was thoroughbred, or just contrary.

“Hold out your left hand. These two reins go either side of your first finger. These two either side of your second finger. Curl your hand a little, so… ”

He managed to transfer the reins without touching her at all. She handled the leather like a workman, no foolery, no teasing, her gloved fingers both quick and firm as they accepted control. He had to admit that although she was tense with excitement, she did as she was told. The team, released by her lighter contact, trotted faster.

“Oh!” There was that little thrill in her voice, that he had heard at the Mail Procession. “You can almost feel what they are thinking! Oh George, the power they give you!”

Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like
Malcolm MacDonald is one of my favorite historical authors and his ability to weave a narrative around the facts of history constantly excites my admiration. K M Peyton, ditto – though I have had to avoid reading The Right Hand Man The_Right-Hand_Man_cover-2013-06-21-07-01.jpg while writing the story of George Davenport.

When writing, what is your routine?
I write best when the house is quiet, so late nights and early mornings work for me. Editing last night’s stuff first thing then moving on to write the next pages. Trying to do NaNoWriMo last year proved to me that I’m a relatively slow writer, because I found I didn’t enjoy pushing out large quantities of substandard sentences against a flicking calendar. I’d rather tinker a bit and get the sense and the shape right, the way I do with poems, so the story doesn’t go too far off track. I don’t like having to send out work that hasn’t gone through the “6-weeks-in-a-drawer” system, so I appreciate the functionality of my Kindle for e-mailing myself a differently-formatted version of the MS to read through at that stage.

Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?
Definitely both. Burgess wrote that “Art depends on craft, and there is no art until craft has been mastered.” I’ve always inhabited the boundaries between art, craft and science. If I had discovered re-enactment earlier in life I would certainly have had a go at that, for the informative aspect.I like to do things myself, learning how the theoretical side informs the practical, and often debunking hypothetical explanations of how or why things were done in the past.

Where should we look for your work?


Facebook photos, http://www.facebook.com/sue.millard.9/photos_albums
See the albums Profile pics, Cover photos, Top Hats to Cowboy Hats coaching run

Amazon author page


Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Ludlam
1775–July 25 1810

Thomas Ludlam was the the elder surviving son of William Ludlam.

After serving an apprenticeship to a printer, Ludlam entered the service of the Sierra Leone Company, and going out to the colony became a member of the council, and twice governor for the company.

He was, further, acting governor for the company from November 1805 until 1 January 1808 when the company’s rights were ceded to the British government and governor of the crown colony until 27 July 1808.

Subsequently he was commissioned to explore the neighbouring coast of Africa. He died on board HMS Crocodile frigate at Sierra Leone, 25 July 1810.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Ludlam
1717-March 16 1788

Born at Leicester, he was elder son of the physician Richard Ludlam (1680–1728), who practised there; Thomas Ludlam was his youngest brother. His mother was Anne, daughter of William Drury of Nottingham. His uncle, Sir George Ludlam, was chamberlain of the city of London, and died in 1726. One of his sisters became stepmother of Joseph Cradock, another married Gerrard Andrewes, and was mother of Gerrard Andrewes the dean of Canterbury.

Ludlam, attended Leicester grammar school, and then became a scholar of St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was elected to a fellowship in 1744. He matriculated in 1734 and graduated B.A. 1738, M.A. 1742, and B.D. 1749.

In 1749 he was instituted to the vicarage of Norton-by-Galby in Leicestershire, on the nomination of Bernard Whalley. From 1754 to 1757 he was junior dean of his college, and from 1767 to 1769 he was Linacre lecturer in physic.

In 1760 Ludlam unsuccessfully contested the Lucasian chair of mathematics with Edward Waring. In 1765 he was one of ‘three gentlemen skilled in mechanics’ appointed to report to the Board of Longitude on the merits of John Harrison’s watch; His report is given in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1765. Ludlam enjoyed a reputation at the time for his skill in practical mechanics and astronomy, as well as for his mathematical lectures.

In 1768, having accepted from his college the rectory of Cockfield in Suffolk, thereby vacating his fellowship, Ludlam removed to Leicester, where he spent the remaining twenty years of his life.

At first he lived with his brother Thomas in Wigston’s Hospital, but in 1772 he married (at the age of 55). He appears in the Life of Thomas Robinson by Edward Thomas Vaughan, who was then vicar of St. Mary’s, Leicester.

Ludlam died on 16 March 1788, and was commemorated in a tablet on the south wall of St. Mary’s.

Ludlam may have contributed in early life to the Monthly Review, but most of his writings were in his time at Leicester. His Rudiments of Mathematics (1785) became a standard Cambridge text-book, passed through several editions. His Essay on Newton’s Second Law of Motion (1780), suggesting an explicit statement of the physical independence of forces, was rejected by the Royal Society. Other publications were:

  • Astronomical Observations made in St. John’s College, 1767 and 1768, with an Account of Several Astronomical Instruments, 1769.
  • Two Mathematical Essays; the first on Ultimate Ratios, the second on the Power of the Wedge, 1770.
  • Directions for the Use of Hadley’s Quadrant, with Remarks on the Construction of that Instrument, 1771.
  • The Theory of Hadley’s Quadrant, or Rules for the Construction and Use of that Instrument demonstrated, 1771.
  • An Introduction to and Notes on Mr. Bird’s Method of Dividing Astronomical Instruments, 1786.
  • Mathematical Essays on (i.) Properties of the Cycloid, (ii.) Def. i.; Cor. i. Prop. x.; Cor. i. Prop. xiii. of Book I. of Newton’s Principia, 1787.

Ludlam contributed to the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1772 “A Short Account of Church Organs“, and in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society appear papers by him.

He was also the author of Four Theological Essays on the Scripture Metaphors and other Subjects, 1787, and Two Essays on Justification and the Influence of the Holy Spirit, 1788. These essays, with four others by him, are published in Essays, Scriptural, Moral, and Logical, by W. and T. Ludlam, 2 vols. 1807.

In the two essays which were issued in the year of his death appear strictures on certain passages in Joseph Milner’s Tract in Answer to Gibbon.

Of a numerous family only two sons survived Ludlam; one was Thomas Ludlam.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Palmer (The 2 Architects)

John Palmer
1738 – 19 July 1817
Palmer was an English architect who worked on some of the notable buildings in the city of Bath in England. He succeeded Thomas Baldwin as City Architect in 1792. He died in Bath in 1817.
His works

  • St James’ Church, Bath on Stall Street (1768–1769)
  • Cottles House (now Stonar School, Atworth, Wiltshire (1775)
  • St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, The Paragon, Bath (1777–1780)
  • Shockerwick House, Bathford, Somerset (1785)
  • Lansdown Crescent, Bath (1789–1793)
  • Grand Pump Room, begun in 1789 by Thomas Baldwin and Palmer continued .
  • Cumberland House (Norfolk Crescent), Bath c. 1790–1800
  • Nelson Place West, Bath c. 1800–1820
  • Stall Street, Bath c. 1790–1800
  • St James’s Square, Bath (1791–1794)
  • Royal Mineral Water Hospital additions, Bath (1793)
  • Kensington Chapel, London Road, Walcot, Bath (1794)
  • Kensington Place, Bath, London Road, Walcot, Bath (1795)
  • Christ Church, Bath (1798)
  • Theatre Royal, Bath (1804–1805)
  • New Bond Street, Bath (1805–1807)

John Palmer
28 January 1785– 23 August 1846
Palmer was born in Bishop Middleham, County Durham. He was an architect who practised in Manchester. He died in 1846 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester)
His works

  • Manchester Cathedral alterations (1814-1815)
  • Pleasington Priory, Lancashire
  • St Peter’s Chapel, Blackburn
  • St Augustine’s Chapel, Manchester
  • Blackburn Cathedral (1820-1826)
  • St Anne’s, Turton, Lancashire (1840–41)

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Henry Playfair
15 July 1790 – 19 March 1857


William Henry Playfair

Playfair was one of the greatest Scottish architects of the 19th century, designer of many of Edinburgh’s neo-classical landmarks in the New Town.

He was born in 15 July 1790 in Russell Square, London, to James Playfair and Jessie Graham. Playfair’s father was also an architect, and his uncles were John Playfair, the scientist, and William Playfair, an economist and pioneer of information graphics.

Two of William Henry’s finest works are the neo-classical buildings of the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy which are situated in the centre of Edinburgh. The Playfair Project completed in 2004 joined the two historic buildings with an underground link.

Playfair joined the Free Church following the Disruption of 1843, losing his right to burial in the parish churchyard.

Playfair took David Cousin under his wing and was responsible for the latter part of his training.

Playfair died in Edinburgh in 1857, and is buried in Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery, where he designed a number of monuments for others, including Lord Jeffrey.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Charles Middleton
14 October 1726 – 17 June 1813


Middleton was born at Leith, to Robert Middleton, a customs collector of Bo’ness, Linlithgowshire, and Helen, daughter of Captain Charles Dundas RN and granddaughter of Sir James Dundas of Arniston.

Middleton entered the Royal Navy in 1741 as captain’s servant aboard HMS Sandwich and HMS Duke, and later served aboard HMS Flamborough as midshipman and master’s mate. He became lieutenant in 1745, serving aboard the frigate HMS Chesterfield, after 1748 on the west Africa station.

During the Seven Years’ War, from 1754, Middleton was stationed aboard HMS Anson during her apprehension and capture of two French ships at Louisbourg, after which he was stationed in the Leeward Islands. In January 1757, an incident over rum rations, during which Middleton lost his temper and physically attacked a sailor ended with the sailor being court martialled and Middleton being transferred and promoted to command of the sloop HMS Speaker.

In 1759 he was given command of the frigate HMS Arundel being promoted to post-rank. The following year, while in command of HMS Emerald, distinguished himself in the West Indies, taking sixteen French ships and several privateers, and received the gratitude of the merchants in the British colony of Barbados. From March 1762 Middleton took command of the frigate Adventure, patrolling the coast of Normandy.

In December 1761 Middleton married Margaret Gambier, niece of Captain Mead, who he had encountered aboard HMS Sandwich some twenty years earlier. Margaret moved to Teston in Kent, to be close to her friend Elizabeth Bouverie. In 1763, after service aboard the Adventure, he moved to join Margaret at Teston, and for the next twelve years he farmed the land belonging to Mrs Bouverie, taking on the role of a country gentleman.

In 1775, at the outbreak of the American War of Independence, Middleton was given a guardship at the Nore, a Royal Navy anchorage in the Thames Estuary, and was subsequently appointed Comptroller of the Navy in 1778, a post he held for twelve years. In 1781 was created a baronet, with a special remainder, failing any male issue, to his son in law, Gerard Noel.

In 1784, Sir Charles Middleton was elected Tory Member of Parliament for Rochester, a seat he held for six years, and three years later was promoted Rear Admiral. By 1793 a Vice Admiral, he was the following year made a Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1795 became Admiral of the Blue. He was finally, in 1805, appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, and was created Baron Barham, of Barham Court and Teston in the County of Kent, with a special remainder, failing male issue, to his only child, his daughter, Diana Noel, 2nd Baroness Barham, and her male heirs. In September 1805, Lord Barham attained the rank of Admiral of the Red. He died eight years later, aged 86, at his home of Barham Court.

In addition to his service in the Royal Navy, Sir Charles Middleton played a crucial role in the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. He had been influenced by a pamphlet written by Rev. James Ramsay, who served as a surgeon under Middleton aboard HMS Arundel in the West Indies. When Ramsay returned to Britain he briefly lived with Sir Charles and Lady Middleton at Teston. He later became vicar of Teston and rector of Nettlestead, Kent, the livings being in the gift of Middleton.

Ramsay’s pamphlet especially affected Lady Middleton. Feeling inadequate to take up the issue of the slave trade in Parliament himself, and knowing that it would be a long, hard battle, Sir Charles Middleton suggested the young Member of Parliament William Wilberforce as the one who might be persuaded to take up the cause. In 1787 Wilberforce was introduced to James Ramsay and Thomas Clarkson at Teston, as well as meeting the growing group of supporters of abolition, which also included Edward Eliot, Hannah More, the evangelical writer and philanthropist and Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London.

Clarkson had first made public his desire to spend his life fighting for emancipation at Middleton’s home, Barham Court, overlooking the River Medway at Teston, Kent. Barham Court was effectively used for planning the campaign by Lord and Lady Barham, with numerous meetings and strategy sessions attended by Wilberforce, Clarkson, Eliot and Porteus before presenting legislation to Parliament. While Middleton never played a direct role in the effort to abolish the slave trade (finally accomplished in 1807) and slavery itself (in 1833) he played a very important part as a behind the scenes facilitator. His efforts were motivated by his evangelical faith.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Picton
24 August 1758 – 18 June 1815


Thomas Picton was a British Army officer who fought in a number of campaigns for Britain, and rose to the rank of lieutenant general. According to the historian Alessandro Barbero, Picton was “respected for his courage and feared for his irascible temperament.” He is chiefly remembered for his exploits under the Duke of Wellington in the Iberian Peninsular War and at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was mortally wounded while his division stopped d’Erlon’s corps attack against the allied centre left, and as a result became the most senior officer to die at Waterloo.

Thomas Picton was the seventh of twelve children of Thomas Picton (1723–1790) of Poyston, Pembrokeshire, Wales, and his wife, Cecil née Powell (1728–1806). He was born in Haverfordwest. In 1771 he obtained an ensign’s commission in the 12th Regiment of Foot, but he did not join until two years later. The regiment was then stationed at Gibraltar, where he remained until he was made captain in the 75th in 1778, at which point he then returned to Britain.

The regiment was disbanded five years later, and Picton quelled a mutiny amongst the men by his prompt personal action and courage, and was promised the rank of major as a reward. He did not receive it, and after living in retirement on his father’s estate for nearly twelve years, he went out to the West Indies in 1794 on the strength of a slight acquaintance with Sir John Vaughan, the commander-in-chief, who made him his aide-de-camp and gave him a captaincy in the 17th foot. Shortly afterwards he was promoted major in the 58th foot.

Under Sir Ralph Abercromby, who succeeded Vaughan in 1795, he was present at the capture of St Lucia (after which he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 56th Foot) and then that of St Vincent.
After the reduction of Trinidad, Abercromby made Picton governor of the island. For the next 5 years he held the island with a garrison he considered inadequate against the threats of internal unrest and of reconquest by the Spanish. He ensured order by vigorous action, viewed variously as rough and ready justice or as arbitrary brutality. In 1801 he was gazetted brigadier-general. During the negotiations leading to the Peace of Amiens, many of the British inhabitants petitioned against the return of the island to Spain; this together with Picton’s and Abercromby’s representations, ensured the retention of Trinidad as a British possession.

By then, reports of arbitrariness and brutality associated with his governorship had led to a demand at home for his removal. (Picton was also making money from speculation in land and slaves and his mulatto mistress was believed to be corruptly influencing his decisions.) Furthermore, Trinidad no longer faced any external threat, the Pitt ministry had fallen and the new Addington administration did not want Trinidad to develop the plantation economy Picton favoured. In 1802, William Fullarton was appointed as the Senior Member of a commission to govern the island, Samuel Hood became the second member, and Picton himself the junior.

Picton’s policy with respect to various sections of the island population had effectively been “let them hate so long as they fear” and he and Fullarton rapidly fell out. Fullarton commenced a series of open enquiries on allegations against Picton and reported his unfavourable views on Picton’s past actions at length to meetings of the commission. Picton thereupon tendered his resignation and was soon followed by Hood (1803).

Picton joined Hood in military operations in St Lucia and Tobago, before returning to Britain to face charges brought by Fullarton. In December 1803 he was arrested by order of the Privy Council and promptly released on bail set at £40,000 (Picton was able to give surety for half of this; two West Indies plantation owners covered the remainder).

The majority of the charges against Picton were dealt with by the Privy Council. They related principally to excessive cruelty in the detection and punishment of practitioners of obeah, severity to slaves, and of execution of suspects out of hand without due process. Only the latter class of charge seems to have seriously worried the Privy Council, and here Picton’s argument that either the laws of Trinidad, then still the laws of the former Spanish colonial power, or ‘the state of the garrison’ justified the immediate execution in the cases specified eventually carried the day.

He was, however, tried in the court of King’s Bench before Lord Ellenborough in 1806 on a single charge; the misdemeanor of having in 1801 caused torture to be unlawfully inflicted to extract a confession from Luisa Calderon, a young free mulatto girl suspected of assisting one of her lovers to burgle the house of the man with whom she was living, making off with about £500. Torture (but not the specific form) had been requested in writing by a local magistrate and approved in writing by Picton. The torture applied (“picketing”) was a version of a British military punishment and consisted in principle of compelling the trussed up suspect to stand on one toe on a flat-headed peg for one hour on many occasions within a span of a few days. In fact Luisa was subjected to one session of 55 minutes, and a second of 25 minutes the following day.

The period between Picton’s return and the trial had seen a pamphlet war between the rival camps, and the widespread sale of engravings showing a curious British public what a personable 14-year-old mulatto girl being trussed up and tortured in a state of semi-undress might look like. The legal arguments, however, revolved on whether Spanish law permitted torture of suspects: on the evidence given, the jury decided that it did not and Picton was found guilty.

Picton promptly sought a retrial, which he got in 1808. At this, other credible witnesses were brought forward by Picton’s supporters to testify to the (Spanish) legality of torture, its application in the recent past, and that Luisa Calderon had been old enough to be legally tortured. The jury reversed the verdict of the earlier trial but asked for the full court to consider the further argument of the prosecution that torture of a free person was so repugnant to the laws of England that Picton must have known he could not permit it,whatever Spanish law authorised. (The full court never reached a decision on this; there were legal precedents to this general effect from the British occupation of Minorca—and a practical precedent from the British seizure of the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch, but it remained to demonstrate that Picton should have known this, and by now Fullarton was dead and Picton a war hero.)

Friends of Picton in the military and among slave owners subscribed towards his legal expenses. Picton contributed the same sum to a relief fund after a widespread fire in Port of Spain. He had meanwhile been promoted major-general, and in 1809 he had been governor of Flushing in the Netherlands during the Walcheren expedition.

In 1810, at Wellington’s request, he was appointed to command a division in Spain. For the remaining years of the Peninsular War, Picton was one of Wellington’s principal subordinates. In the resolute, thorough and punctual execution of a well-defined task Picton had no superior in the army. His debut, owing partly to his naturally stern and now embittered temper, and partly to the difficult position in which he was placed, was unfortunate. On the River Coa in July 1810 Craufurd’s division became involved in an action, and Picton, his nearest neighbour, refused to support him, as Wellington’s direct orders were to avoid an engagement. Shortly after this, however, at Busaco, Picton found and used his first great opportunity for distinction. Here he had a plain duty, that of repulsing the French attack, and he performed that duty with a skill and resolution, which indicated his great powers as a troop-leader.
After the winter in the lines of Torres Vedras, he added to his reputation and to that of his division, the ‘Fighting’ 3rd, at the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro. In September he was given the local rank of lieutenant-general, and in the same month the division won great glory by its rapid and orderly retirement under severe pressure from the French cavalry at the engagement at El Bodon. In October Picton was appointed to the colonelcy of the 77th Regiment of Foot.

In the first operations of 1812 Picton and Craufurd, side by side for the last time, stormed the two breaches of Ciudad Rodrigo, Craufurd and Picton’s second in command, Major-General Henry Mackinnon, being mortally wounded. At Badajoz, a month later, the successful storming of the fortress was due to his daring self-reliance and penetration in converting the secondary attack on the castle, delivered by the 3rd Division, into a real one. He was himself wounded in this terrible engagement, but would not leave the ramparts, and the day after, having recently inherited a fortune, he gave every survivor of his command a guinea. His wound, and an attack of fever, compelled him to return to Britain to recoup his health, but he reappeared at the front in April 1813. While in Britain he was invested with the collar and badge of a Knight of the Order of the Bath by the Prince Regent George, and in June he was made a lieutenant-general in the army.

At the Battle of Vitoria, Picton led his division across a key bridge under heavy fire. According to Picton, the enemy responded by pummeling the 3rd with 40 to 50 cannon and a counter-attack on their right flank (which was still open because they had captured the bridge so quickly) causing the 3rd to lose 1,800 men (over one third of all Allied losses at the battle) as they held their ground. The conduct of the 3rd division under his leadership at the battle of Vittoria and in the engagements in the Pyrenees raised his reputation as a resolute and skilful fighting general to a still higher point. Early in 1814 he was offered, but after consulting Wellington declined, the command of the British forces operating on the side of Catalonia. He thus bore his share in the Orthez campaign and in the final victory before Toulouse.

On the break-up of the division the officers presented Picton with a valuable service of plate, and on 24 June 1814 he received for the seventh time the thanks of the House of Commons for his great services. Somewhat to his disappointment he was not included amongst the generals who were raised to the peerage, but early in 1815 he was made a G.C.B.

When Napoleon returned from Elba, Picton, at Wellington’s request, accepted a high command in the Anglo-Dutch army. He was severely wounded at Quatre Bras on 16 June, but concealed his wound and retained command of his troops. His name stands in the list of invited characters to the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball that was held on June 15th, the eve of the Battle of Quatre Bras.

At Waterloo two days later, while in command of the 5th Infantry Division, while repulsing with impetuous valour “one of the most serious attacks made by the enemy on our position”, he was shot through the temple by a musket ball, making him the highest ranking victim of the battle on the allied side. Since his luggage had not arrived in time, he had fought the battle wearing civilian clothes and a top hat. Welsh folklore says that his top hat was shot off by a cannon-ball moments before his death. Family folklore contends that he did not ride out in tails but in his night shirt and top hat because he had overslept, and he died at the hands of one of his own men who shot him in the back of the head because they hated him so much.

Announcing his death in his typically laconic style, Wellington wrote to Minister of War, Lord Bathurst:

Your lordship will observe, that such a desperate action could not be fought, and such advantages could not be gained, without great loss; and, I am sorry to add, that ours has been immense. In Lieutenant-general Sir Thomas Picton, his majesty has sustained the loss of an officer who has frequently distinguished himself in his service; and he fell, gloriously leading his division to a charge with bayonets, by which one of the most serious attacks made by the enemy of our position was defeated.

His body was brought home to London, and buried in the family vault at St George’s, Hanover Square. A public monument was erected to his memory in St Paul’s Cathedral, by order of parliament, and in 1823 another was erected at Carmarthen by subscription, the king contributing a hundred guineas.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »