COUNTESS BROWNLOW’S WATERLOO RECOLLECTIONS

From Slight Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian From 1802 to 1815 By Emma Sophia Edgcumbe Cust Brownlow (Countess of)

Countess Brownlow by Richard James Lane, printed by M & N Hanhart, after James Rannie Swinton, lithograph, 1846 – National Portrait Gallery
June.—My father went to Mount Edgcumbe, and I remained, as I frequently did, with Lord and Lady Castlereagh. As days passed on, news came of Bonaparte, at the head of a formidable army, being on his march to the Low Countries, where the Duke of Wellington, with the English, Brunswick, Belgian, and Hanoverian forces, and the Prussian army under Marshal Blucher were ready to receive him.

Reports of battles succeeded each other, all equally unfounded, but on the 19th or 20th, at an evening party at Lansdowne House, much sensation was caused by the report that great battle had certainly been fought, and that the intelligence had been brought, it was said, by pigeon to the Rothschilds.

This suspense ended on the 21st . Never shall I forget that evening! Lord and Lady Castlereagh were dining two or three doors from their own house with Mrs. Boehm, to meet the Prince Regent, and I was sitting quietly alone, when suddenly there came the sound of shouting and the rush of a crowd, and running to the window to discover the cause of all this noise, I saw postchaise and four, with three of the French eagles projecting out of its windows, dashing across the square and to Lord Castlereagh’s door. In moment the horses’ heads were turned, and away went the chaise to Mrs. Boehm’s; leaving me in state of excited wonderment,  but feeling conviction that this haste, and the three eagles, and the cheering of the people, announced victory. Shortly after I received a from Lady Castlereagh, telling me to dress and to join her at Mrs. Boehm’s—this I did quickly.

The ladies had left the dining-room, and I learnt that Major Henry Percy had arrived, the bearer of despatches from the Duke of Wellington, with the intelligence of a glorious and decisive victory of the Allies over the French army, commanded by Bonaparte in person. The despatches were being then read in the next room, to the Prince Regent, and we ladies remained silent, too anxious to talk, and longing to hear more. Lord Alvanley was the first gentleman who appeared, and he horrified us with the list of names of killed and wounded; and such names! great and distinguished in the campaigns of the Peninsula, and become almost household words. There were several for whom I felt true regard. The Guards, he said, had suffered severely—my brother Ernest was in them, but the fate of a subaltern could not be known! I had wished to hear more, and what I heard stupified me; I could scarcely think or speak.

Presently the Prince came in, looking very sad, and he said, with much feeling, words to this effect: ‘It is glorious victory, and we must rejoice at it, but the loss of life has been fearful, and I have lost many friends;’ and while he spoke the tears ran down his cheeks. His Royal Highness remained but short time, and soon after the party broke up; and I must, in justice to Lady Castlereagh, state that the account I read in some book that she went from Mrs. Boehm’s to a ball at Sir George Talbot’s, and spread the news (so heartrending to many) there, was totally false, for immediately on hearing the details from Lord Alvanley, she made me write a note of excuse to Sir George Talbot both for herself and me, as she properly felt that going to a ball under such circumstances was quite out of the question. Lord Alvanley had slipped out of the room, and went to the ball, and he certainly had the credit of having sent half the ladies into fainting fits and hysterics.

I was very anxious to learn something of my brother, and my friends were most kind in going to the Horse Guards and making enquiries respecting him; and they soon assured me that from all they could hear, I might be at ease as to his safety. few evenings after the 21 st (I forget the exact date) I was sent for by Lord Castlereagh and found him writing despatches to the Duke, and Major Percy in full uniform standing on the opposite side of the table ready to start with them. Lord Castlereagh instantly gave me long despatch to copy, which I did as fast as I could, standing by his side, feeling very nervous all the while, with Major Percy staring and looking somewhat surprised at seeing me in the character of secretary. So absorbed was I in the mere mechanical act of writing rapidly, that I had no idea of the subject of the despatch; the only words I remembered being ‘Bavarian Contingent.’

 

Note: Lord Castlereagh was Emma’s uncle:

Lady Emma Sophia Edgcumbe, Countess Brownlow (1791-1872), eldest daughter of Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764-1839) and Lady Sophia Hobart (1768-1806), third daughter of John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire (1723-1793); married in 1828, as his third wife, John Cust, 1st Earl Brownlow (1779-1853), but bore him no children. She had spent her youth trailing around Europe with her uncle, Lord Castlereagh, on his official visits as Foreign Secretary. She held the office of Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Adelaide between 1830 and 1849 and formed a close relationship with her. The widowed Adelaide came to stay at Belton and a bedchamber was redecorated for the occasion and duly renamed the Queen’s Bedroom. Lady Emma wrote Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian which was published in 1868.

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN . . . .Part Two

In retirement Copenhagen must have become somewhat mellowed because he was regularly ridden by friends and children at the Duke’s country estate of Stratfield Saye (above), although Lady Shelley said he was the most difficult to sit of any horse she had ever ridden. The Duchess (of Wellington) often fed him with bread and this it was said gave him the habit of approaching every lady with the most confiding familiarity. Over the years hair had been taken from the horse and made into bracelets for the ladies.

Lady de Ros, the last survivor of those who danced at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels on the evening before the battle of Waterloo, also the last among those who had mounted “Copenhagen,” published a little volume of recollections of Wellington which contained the following extract:

“We often stayed with the Duke at Abbaye, Mount St. Martin, Cambrai, and one morning he announced that there would be a sham battle, and that he had given orders to Sir George Scovell that the ladies riding should be taken prisoners, so he recommended our keeping close to him. I had no difficulty in doing so, as I was riding the duke’s Waterloo charger “Copenhagen,” and I found myself the only one within a square where they were firing. To the Duke’s great amusement, he heard one of the soldiers saying to another: “Take care of that ‘ere horse; he kicks out. We knew him well in Spain,” pointing to Copenhagen. He was a most unpleasant horse to ride, but always snorted and neighed with pleasure at the sight of troops. I was jumping with him when the stirrup broke, and I fell off. In the evening the Duke had a dance, and said to me, “Here ‘s the heroine of the day—got kicked off, and didn’t mind it.”

This passage from a letter by Lady Shelley indicates that she concurred with Lady de Ros regarding Copenhagen’s merits as a mount:  “I dined at three o’clock to-day, in order to ride with the Duke, who offered to mount me on Copenhagen. A charming ride of two hours. But I found Copenhagen the most difficult horse to sit of any I had ever ridden. If the Duke had not been there I should have been frightened. He said: “I believe you think the glory greater than the pleasure in riding him!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Duchess of Wellington (above), with whom Copenhagen was a great favorite, wore a bracelet of his hair, as did several of her friends. Her daughter-in-law, the second Duchess, who was much admired by the great Duke, accompanied author James Grant Wilson on his last visit to the field of Waterloo and gifted him with a bracelet and breastpin made of Copenhagen’s mane. On his last visit of several days at Strathfieldsaye in September, 1883, Wilson received from the second Duke as a parting gift a precious lock of the Waterloo hero’s hair and a sheaf of the charger’s tail.

 

A portion of the old stables at Stratfield Saye, as seen in 2010.

In his latter days, Copenhagen became blind and his oats were broken for him, and “the Duchess” used regularly to hand feed him bread. When the great horse died in 1836, at the remarkable age of 29, the Duke of Wellington directed that he be given a funeral with full military honors.

But the day of the burial was worsened for the Duke, who noticed that one hoof had been removed from the body and flew into a  terrible passion about the mutilation. After the Duke’s own death, the guilty servant who had taken the hoof as a memento came forward to confess and presented it to the second Duke who had it made into an inkstand. As the second Duke explained, “Several years after my father’s death an old servant of the family came to me in the library, and, producing a paper parcel, spoke as follows: `Your Grace, I do not believe that I have long to live, and before I die I wish to place in your hands what belongs to you.’ With no small degree of surprise I inquired what it was, and when he opened the package and produced a horse’s hoof he said: `Your Grace, when Copenhagen died I cut off this hoof. None of us imagined that the duke would trouble his head about the body of the war-horse, but, to our great surprise, he walked down to the stables on his sudden return from London to see him buried. He instantly observed that his right forefoot was gone, and was in a fearful passion. No one dared tell him how it happened. I have preserved the hoof carefully for thirty years, and I now return it to your Grace.’ The inkstand is now on display at Apsley House, London.

Copenhagen’s grave, which can be seen today, is marked by a magnificent turkey oak tree planted in 1843 by Mrs. Apostles, the Duke’s housekeeper. As a mark of respect the second Duke erected a stone marker on the grave where it remains to this day. A few years ago, Victoria and I had the honour of placing roses on the grave during Number One London’s Duke of Wellington Tour.

At one time, the War Museum approached the Duke about disinterring Copenhagen in order to keep his skeleton in the Museum alongside the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse, Marengo. But the Duke thwarted the idea by saying he was not sure exactly where the horse had been buried. Of course, he knew precisely where Copenhagen’s remains were under the turkey oak in the Ice House Paddock at Stratfield Saye, but he obviously preferred to keep his loyal friend at home with him.

When the painter Haydon was working on a portrait of the Duke and Copenhagen after the horse’s demise, he ran into creative difficulties before he could design his rough sketch of the horse and his rider. These would have been greatly increased if Lord FitzRoy Somerset had not been induced by Lady Burghersh to call at the painter’s studio. Here are some extracts from Haydon’s Diary:

“July 8th, 1839.—Lord FitzRoy Somerset called yesterday with his daughter to see my sketch of Copenhagen, whom I had studied from the pictures of other artists who had painted him, and especially that done by Webb in 1824. Lord FitzRoy’s daughter is as good a judge of a horse as he is, and they both thought Copenhagen too leggy and too big in the body, which gave him a heavy look. Lord FitzRoy said:
‘The Duke never holds his own horse. Copenhagen came out to Lisbon with Lord Londonderry, and the Duke bought him for 200 or 250 guineas. . . . the Duke never rode upon a battle-field without being accompanied by an orderly dragoon. At Waterloo his dragoon was killed, and Major Canning asked, ‘What shall I do with the Duke’s little desk, now the orderly is killed?’ ‘ Keep it yourself,’ answered Lord FitzRoy. Presently Major Canning was also killed, and the desk was found next morning with the lock broken open. This was the rough little wooden desk which attracted so much notice at Apsley House when it was first opened to the public.”

A few days later, Count D’Orsay (left), a painter in his own right who had himself painted a portrait of the Duke, called on Haydon, having been asked to do so by Somerset.

“July 10th, 1839.—Count D’Orsay  came to my studio, and pointed out several things to correct in the horse. I hastily executed them, but he took my brush in his dainty gloved hand and lowered the hind-quarters by bringing in a bit of the sky. Such a dress! White great coat, blue satin cravat, hair oiled and curling, hat of a wonderful curve; gloves scented with eau de jasmin, primrose in tint, skin-like in tightness. Yet this primest of dandies took up a nasty, oily, dirty hog-brush, and improved Copenhagen by touching the sky. After he had gone I thought, ‘This will never do ! A Frenchman sketching Copenhagen !’ So I rubbed out all he had touched, and adopted his hints myself with modifications.”

After Copenhagen’s death, the horse the Duke preferred during the last twenty years of his life was a hunter class of animal, a good walker, ridden in a snaffle-bridle, like a huntsman’s horse, without a thought of showing off the animal’s paces. Before age had bent him the Duke’s seat was remarkably upright; lost in thought, he passed along, mechanically acknowledging with his upraised forefinger the many hats raised to salute the Great Duke.

Count D’Orsay’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington.

As he grew old and infirm, instead of bending forward like most old men, he leant back in the saddle and literally hung on by the bridle, generally going down St. James’s Park to the Horse Guards at a huntsman’s shog-trot.

 


Wellington and Copenhagen have been immortalized as a pair in various art mediums. The statue of Wellington astride Copenhagen now at Aldershot was first destined to stand at Hyde Park Corner. Wellington himself sat for the sculptor, Wyatt. Fittingly, much of the bronze in the statue is derived from French cannon captured at Waterloo and remelted in Wyatt’s foundry. Copenhagen, however, had died and a substitute horse, a mare called Rosemary was used as a model, offending many at the time who saw a poor likeness to Copenhagen in the statue. In 1846 the statue was moved with great pagaentry from Wyatt’s workshop to Hyde Park Corner. It was moved on a huge low carriage that had wheels 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter and had been constructed by H. M. Dockyards at Woolwich. The carriage was hauled by a hundred men of the Scots Fusilier Guards; as it emerged onto the road, it was greeted by enthusiastic cheers from the crowd of sightseers. Twenty nine horses then drew the carriage to Hyde Park Corner. It took some hours to get the statue into position for hoisting and the final lift and fixing into position on the as yet unfinished victory arch was completed the following day.

This lock of hair resides at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke, near the Duke of Wellington’s home, Stratfield Saye, and is said to come from the mane of Copenhagen and to have been presented to Miss Charlotte Pigot by Wellington himself. Miss Pigot was an ancestor of the Hon. Mrs Bunbury, who gave the hair to the Museum. Also on display is one of Copenhagen’s horseshoes and a piece of the Wellington oak, said to have come from the tree under which Wellington established a position at Waterloo.

As a further memorial, the Copenhagen Building in Glasgow, Scotland, was named for the Duke’s horse and his contribrution to British history. There is a memorial to the horse in the lobby.

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN . . .

Copenhagen was the name of the horse the Duke of Wellington rode at the Battle of Waterloo. Born in 1808, Copenhagen was a chestnut stallion of 15 hands and was sired by Meteor, who was second in the Derby of 1786. Copenhagen was a failed race horse who’d won only one minor race at Newmarket in 13 outings. He was then shipped off to Spain during the Peninsular War and it was here that he was purchased by Wellington in 1813.

When not in a battle situation Copenhagen was tetchy and difficult and totally unimpressed with situation or status. His cantankerous temperament gave many a groom a bad moment and even nearly gave the Duke himself a severe injury. He had dismounted after the final battle of Waterloo and moved to the rear and patted Copenhagen on the rump in thanks for a fine day s work. The horse responded with a savage kick, just missing the General who had already just missed death many times that day.

But Copenhagen was a superb battle horse. Unflinching amidst gunfire he repeatedly exhibited great stamina and fortitude. On one occasion he carried the General Duke into a square of infantrymen under cannon fire, both remaining perfectly composed. Later the Duke said of him: “There may have been many faster horses, no doubt many handsomer, but for bottom and endurance I never saw his fellow.” Wellington and Copenhagen were commemorated on the field of Waterloo by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1818. A compliment indeed from an experienced horseman who loved mounted sports at home and had a string of eight chargers for battle.

Copenhagen had been a surprise foal. His dam was Lady Catherine, who was by John Bull, a thoroughbred, and out of a mare by the Rutland Arabian. Lady Catherine was the only halfbred broodmare to be accepted into the General Stud Book (UK’s Thoroughbred register). Her owner had taken Lady Catherine on the British military expedition to Denmark in 1807 not knowing she was in foal. At that time the Duke of Wellington was in charge of a division in the force that occupied the city of Copenhagen and seized the Danish fleet. Once home the mare produced a strong chestnut foal who was named in honor of the Copenhagen siege. The colt was by the famous Meteor who was a son of the even more famous Eclipse, the legendary race horse of the 18th century.

In The Life of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington: In two volumes …, Volume 2 by J. H. Stocqueler we are told that Copenhagen derived his name from the city in which he was foaled, his dam having been taken ont there in the expedition of 1807, by Field-Marshal Grosvenor. . . In the hands of General Grosvenor Copenhagen did not remain long, for he was sold by him to the Marquis of Londonderry, then Adjutant-General to the Peninsular army, who sent him with other horses to Lisbon, in 1813. On the memorable day of Waterloo, though the great captain had been on his back for eighteen hours, yet Copenhagen gave little signs of his being beaten, for on the Duke’s patting him on the quarters as he dismounted after the battle, the game little horse struck out as playfully as if he had only had an hour’s ride in the Park. For endurance of fatigue, indeed, he was more than usually remarkable; and for the duty he had to fulfil as proportionately valuable. However hard the day, Copenhagen never refused his corn, though he eat it after a very unusual manner with horses, lying down. Copenhagen, whose colour was a full rich chesnut, was a small horse, standing scarcely more than 15 hands high; he possessed, however, great muscular power. His general appearance denoted his Arabian blood, which his enduring qualities served further to identify. Though not much suited, from his size, for crossing the country, the Duke did oceasionally ride him to hounds.

Bell’s Life in London gives a different account of the pedigree of the horse. That journal —the highest authority in such matters—says :—”The horse was bred in the year 1808 by the late Field-Marshal Grosvenor; his sire was the famous little racer Meteor, son of Eelipse. Meteor hardly exceeded 14 hands; he was, however, very strong and handsome, with a remarkably good constitution and legs, which enabled him to stand the wear and tear of training for seven years. Meteor was just a little short of the first class or form of racehorses, running well at all weights and distances. His illustrious progeny, Copenhagen, appears to have inherited the stoutness of his sire in no slight degree, although very unsuccessful as a race-horse upon the turf. His dam was a mare whose name was given in the ‘ Stud-book’ as Lady Catherine, by John Bull, a very large, strong bone, the winner of the Derby Stakes in 1792; who, as well as Meteor, was in the stud of Lord Grosvenor, the grandfather of the present Marquis of Westminster. By those who are versed in the mysteries of the ‘ Equine Peerage,’ Lady Catherine was always considered to be entitled to the ‘bend sinister.’ In fact, she was not quite thoroughbred. The newspapers have informed us that the Duke’s charger was named in consequence of his having been foaled in Copenhagen, which we must beg leave to doubt; for, even supposing Field-Marshal Grosvenor to have visited the Danish capital in 1808, either in a military or a civil capacity, which does not anywhere appear to be the case, it is hardly possible that he would have taken a broodmare as a part of his travelling establishment. At that time it was a very common circumstance to name race-horses after some illustrious event happening during the war. Thus we have the names of Albuera, Waterloo, Smolensko, St. Vincent, and many others. For a similar reason Copenhagen most probably reccived that title. At the time Copenhagen was foaled, Meteor was twenty-five years old. Copenhagen was taller than his sire, being very nearly, if not quite, 15 hands, but neither so strong nor so handsome.”

Wellington himself told Croker, “He was not named from my having ridden him at Copenhagen; his dam was a blood mare which Tom Grosvenor had in the expedition to Copenhagen, and he called her foal by that name, so that he must have been foaled after 1806. Grosvenor sold him to Charles Stuart, now Londonderry, of whom, when he left the Peninsula, I bought him, and rode him throughout the rest of the war, and mounted no other horse at Waterloo.”

Speaking of this horse in 1833, Wellington is recorded to have told the following anecdote. He had commenced by saying that although no doubt many horses were faster and many handsomer, yet “for bottom and endurance I never saw his fellow.” ” I’ll give you a proof of it,” he goes on to say : “On the 17th” (morning after Quatre Bras) I had a horse shot under me; few knew it, But it was so. I got on Copenhagen’s back. Neither he nor I were still for many minutes together. I never drew bit, and he never had a morsel in his mouth, till eight p.m., when Fitzroy Somerset came to tell me dinner was ready in the little neighbouring village of Waterloo. The poor beast I saw myself, stabled and fed. I told my groom to give him no hay, but, after a few godowns of chilled water, as much corn and beans as he had a mind for. . . . Somerset and I despatched a hasty meal, and as soon as we had done I sent off Somerset on an errand. This I did, I confess, on purpose that I might get him out of the way; for I knew that if he had the slightest inkling of what I was up to he would have done his best to dissuade me from my purpose, and want to accompany me.

“The fact was, I wanted to see Blucher (right), that I might learn from his own lips at what hour it was  probable he would he able to join forces with us next day. Therefore, the moment Fitzroy’s back was turned I ordered Copenhagen to be resaddled, and told my man to get his own horse and accompany me to Wavre, where I had reason to believe old ‘ Forwards’ was encamped. Now, Wavre being some twelve miles from Waterloo, I was not a little disgusted, on getting there, to find that the old fellow’s tent was two miles still farther off. However, I saw him, got the information I wanted from him, and made my way homewards. Bad, however, was the best; for, by Jove, it was so dark that I fell into a deepish dyke by the roadside; and if it had not been for my orderly’s assistance, I doubt if I ever should have got out. Thank God, there was no harm done either to horse or to man! Well, on reaching headquarters, and thinking how bravely my old horse had carried me all day, I could not help going up to his head to tell him so by a few caresses. But, hang me, if when I was giving him a slap of approbation on his hindquarters, he did not fling out one of his hind-legs with as much vigour as if he had been in the stable for a couple of days! Remember, gentlemen, he had been out, with me on his back, for upwards of ten hours (during the day), and had then carried me eight-and-twenty miles besides. I call that bottom! Eh?”

The names of Copenhagen and the Duke became synonymous and even in retirement from war they remained together. Wellington became Prime Minister of Britain in 1828 and rode Copenhagen up Downing Street to No.10 to take up his new position of leadership.

More on Copenhagen in retirement in Part Two . . . . coming soon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. BRUMMELL

” A person, my dear, will probably come and speak to us; and if he enters into conversation, be careful to give him a favourable impression of you, for,” and she sunk her voice to a whisper, ‘he is the celebrated Mr. Brummell.
Life of Beau Brummell by Captain Jesse

Born on 7 June, 1778, Beau Brummell endures as a style icon, a matchless wit and an enigma. Was Brummell a caring friend, as experienced by Frederica, Duchess of York, or a sarcastic louse, as portrayed in the following passage from The Cornhill Magazine –

“Brummell’s rise to social autocracy is the more astounding that he had no sort of family to boast of, and that in his day the fashionable drawingrooms and clubs were jealously closed to upstarts and parvenus. Making every allowance for matchless assurance and extraordinary opportunities turned to excellent account, there must have been much in a man who not only became the ami intime of the Prince of Wales, but secured the attachment of a host of friends who stood by him staunchly when in extremity of adversity. Thackeray knew the world well, and he was right when he said that the world is really very good-natured. For whatever the qualities of Brummell, he had no heart to recommend him; he had nothing of that genuine touch of nature which wins affection irresistibly, and makes all mankind akin. He was frivolous, selfindulgent, and ostentatiously selfish. He could attach himself to the dogs who were helplessly dependent; he could pet a mouse and make friends with a cockatoo; but he was cursed with the superficial wit which loved to wound, and he seldom missed an opportunity of saying some bitter thing. If the smart rankled, so much the better. He swaggered cruelly on the strength of his social ascendency, though, to do him simple justice, he spared the strong as little as the weak. Perhaps there never was a less lovable character than that of the dandy who luxuriated for years on disinterested charity and never altogether exhausted it, although he offered his benefactors the most irritating provocation.”


Perhaps in the end Brummell was just like the rest of us – a complex person who could be, and was, many things to many people. Certainly, the Duchess of York and her brother-in-law, the Prince of Wales, had different views on him. However, one view that seems to be universal is that Brummell was the quintessential dandy – or was he? William Pitt Lennox declared that it was a libel to call Brummell a “Dandy,” since he differed entirely from all that species. “Of all my acquaintances, he was the quietest, plainest, and most unpretending dresser,” Pitt wrote. “Those who remember him in his palmy days will bear testimony to the truth of this assertion; it was the total absence of all peculiarity, and a rigid adherence to the strictest rules of propriety in costume, which gained for him the homage due to his undisputed taste. He eschewed colours, trinkets, and gew-gaws; his clothes were exquisitely made, and, above all, adapted to his person; he put them on well too, but for all this there was no striving for effect—there was an unusual absence of study in his appearance.”

A favorite parlor game played by myself, Victoria Hinshaw and Jo Manning is not Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit or even the Oijua Board. No, our favorite game, especially when we are with new people whose opinions we haven’t heard before, always begins with the same question, “Beau Brummell: Straight, gay, bisexual or A-sexual?” I promise you, coupled with a few glasses of port, a cozy chair and the right people, this question can keep you entertained for hours. Granted, you have to have a group of people with the same mind set, people who have actually heard of Beau Brummell and who know the facts surrounding him, but this is not as difficult as it might seem. Two centuries after his death Brummell is still being written about, as both fact and fiction, not to mention the many films which have portrayed his fascinating, fashionable and foible filled life.

Whether portrayed by John Barrymore, Stewart Granger or
James Purefoy, the Brummell flair always manages to come through.  

In fact, the Brummell flair is still so powerful, his name still so instantly associated with all things exquisite and fashionable that Brummell, who would be 232 years old today, continues to have his name bandied about in order to sell all manner of goods, including after shave, ties, shirts, suits, watches, razors, early 20th century hand soap dispensers and a Cincinnati office building.

Not to mention a show poodle, which, when you think of it, is infinitely more fitting than a soap dispenser. By the way, there have also been many horses named Beau Brummell – one of them has a race video on YouTube.

No . . .  I’m not kidding.  

I must say I’ve never heard of Brummell’s having been musicially inclined, though I could be wrong.

And how about . . . . . . .
  I’m telling you, I couldn’t make this stuff up . . . . . .
Brummell would be gratified to learn that he can still draw a crowd, as evidenced by this photo of his statue in Jermyn Street.
Brummell was one of the most talked about men of his day and I like to think that, wherever he is now, it amuses him to no end that his name still holds some cachet. And I think it makes him guffaw outright to know that while everyone still recognizes his name – nay uses his name in order to sell all manner of goods – the number of George IV branded items is rather limited. The Duke of York even has more pubs named after him than Prinny does. It’s a shame really – My Fat Friend’s Place would have made a much better name for a restaurant, what?

SUFFRAGETTE KILLED BY KING’S HORSE – 4 June 1913



Emily Davison



From The Times, 5 June 1913, Page 9 –
“The desperate act of a woman who rushed from the rails on to the course as the horses swept round Tattenham Corner, apparently from some mad notion that she could spoil the race, will impress the general public even more, perhaps, than the disqualification of the winner. She did not interfere with the race, but she nearly killed a jockey as well as herself, and she brought down a valuable horse. She seems to have run right in front of Anmer, which JONES was riding for the KING. It was impossible to avoid her. She was ridden down, the horse turned a complete somersault and fell upon his rider. That the horse was the KING’S was doubtless an accident: it would need almost miraculous skill or fortune to single out any particular animal as they passed a particular point. Some of the spectators close to the woman supposed that she was under the impression that the horses had all gone by and that she was merely attempting to cross the course. The evidence, however, is strong that her action was deliberate, and that it was planned and executed in the supposed interests of the suffragist movement.
“Whether she intended to commit suicide, or was simply reckless, it is hard to surmise. She very nearly took JONES’S life and her own. Had Anmer brought down the other horses which were close behind him, a scene might have followed of which it is horrible even to think, and nobody could have maintained, had it occurred, that it was not a natural consequence of what she did. She is said to be a person well known in the suffragist movement, to have had a card of a suffragist association upon her, and to have had the so-called “Suffragist colours” tied around her waist. It is further alleged that just after she had run out in front of the horses, holding her hands above her head, a placard with the words “Votes for Women” was raised by some person in the crowd. The circumstances are not, of course, conclusive, but they are, to say the least, suggestive.

“The case will, of course, become the subject of investigation by the police, and we may possibly learn from the offender herself what exactly she intended to do and how she fancied that it could assist the suffragist cause. A deed of the kind, we need hardly say, is not likely to increase the popularity of any cause with the ordinary public. Reckless fanaticism is not regarded by them as a qualification for the franchise. They are disposed to look upon manifestations of that temper with contempt and with disgust. When these manifestations are attended by indifference to human life, they begin to suspect that they are not altogether sane. They say that persons who want only destroy property and endanger innocent lives must be either desperately wicked or entirely unbalanced. Where women are concerned, the natural gallantry of the public always inclines them to take a favourable view, and accordingly they are gradually coming to the conclusion that many of the militant suffragists are not entirely responsible for their acts. The growth of that belief will not improve the prospects of woman suffrage. The bulk of the suffragist party, and the abler of its leaders, are doubtless conscious of this truth. They seem, however, to be quite unable to lay the spirit which some of them have helped to raise, and to prevent the perpetration of crimes, the utter inanity of which as a means of political propaganda is even more striking than their wickedness. We are much mistaken if yesterday’s exhibition does not do more hurt to the cause of woman suffrage than years of agitation can undo. The militant school will long have reason to remember Aboyeur’s Derby.”
A video explaining the history of this particular race and footage of the accident itself can be viewed here.
Emily never regained consciousness and died from her injuries on June 8th at Epsom Cottage Hospital. Doubts remain as to her exact intentions on the fateful day, some saying it was suicide, others disputing that theory as she had a return train ticket in her pocket.

 On June 13, 5,000 women marched in Davison’s funeral procession. Video of the event can be seen here.

The King’s jockey, Herbert Jones (b. 1880), was known as ‘Diamond’ Jones after winning the racing triple crown in 1900 when he rode the future King Edward VII’s horse, ‘Diamond Jubilee.’ Jones suffered a mild concussion in the accident and recovered. He died in his kitchen of gas inhalation in 1951. 
The horse involved in the incident, Anmer, went on to race again, always placing and never winning and one presumes he went on to a peaceful retirement.