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Title: A Week at Waterloo in 1815 - Lady De Lancey's Narrative: Being an Account of How She - Nursed Her Husband, Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey, - Quartermaster-General of the Army, Mortally Wounded in the - Great Battle
Author: Lancey, Magdalene de
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Week at Waterloo in 1815 - Lady De Lancey's Narrative: Being an Account of How She - Nursed Her Husband, Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey, - Quartermaster-General of the Army, Mortally Wounded in the - Great Battle" ***

[Transcriber's Note: A table of contents has been added for the
reader's convenience. Minor, obvious printer errors have been
corrected without note. Numbers in brackets are footnotes, which are
set forth below the paragraphs in which they appear. Numbers in
parentheses appearing in the narrative are endnotes, which can be
found in the Notes to Lady De Lancey's Narrative.]






[Illustration: Major William Howe De Lancey

45th Regiment c. 1800.]

     "Dim is the rumour of a common fight,
     When host meets host, and many names are sunk;
     But of a single combat Fame speaks clear."

     --_Sohrab and Rustum._


APPENDIX A--Letters to Captain Basil Hall, R.N., from Sir Walter Scott
  and Charles Dickens
APPENDIX B--Bibliography of Lady De Lancey's Narrative


Foot, c. 1800. _From a miniature in the possession
of Wm. Heathcote De Lancey of New York_                 _Frontispiece_

after serving in the Peninsular War, with
clasps for Talavera, Nive, Salamanca, San
Sebastian, and Vittoria. _In the possession of
Major J.A. Hay_                                           _Face p._ 10

LADY DE LANCEY. _From a miniature after J.D.
Engleheart_                                                   "     24

SCOTT                                                         "     34


COLONEL SIR WILLIAM HOWE DE LANCEY, _c._ 1813                 "     38

MAP OF PART OF THE BATTLEFIELD OF WATERLOO                    "    110

THE VILLAGE OF MONT ST JEAN, 1815                             "    113

THE WATERLOO MEMORIAL IN EVERE CEMETERY                       "    118



The following narrative, written over eighty years ago, and now at
last given to the world in 1906, is remarkable in many respects.

It is remarkable for its subject, for its style, and for its literary

The subject--a deathbed scene--might seem at first sight to be a trite
and common one. The _mise-en-scène_--the Field of Waterloo--alone
however redeems it from such a charge; and the principal actors play
their part in no common-place or unrelieved tragedy. "Certainly," as
Bacon says, "Vertue is like pretious Odours, most fragrant when they
are incensed or crushed: For _Prosperity_ doth best discover Vice; But
_Adversity_ doth best discover Vertue."

As to the style, it will be sufficient to quote the authority of
Dickens for the statement that no one but Defoe could have told the
story in fiction.

Its literary history is even more remarkable than either its style or
its subject.

It is no exaggeration to say of the narrative--as Bacon said of the
Latin volume of his Essays--that it "may last as long as Bookes last."
And yet it has remained in manuscript for more than eighty years. This
is probably unique in the history of literature since the Invention of

As regards the hero of the narrative, the Duke of Wellington once said
that he "was an excellent officer, and would have risen to great
distinction had he lived."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington_, by
Earl Stanhope, p. 183.]

Captain Arthur Gore, who afterwards became Lieutenant-General Gore,
alludes to him in the following terms: "This incomparable officer was
deservedly esteemed by the Duke of Wellington, who honoured him with
his particular confidence and regard."[2]

[Footnote 2: _Explanatory Notes on the Battle of Waterloo_, by Captain
Arthur Gore, 1817, p. 83.]

His ancestors, for several generations, had been men of great
distinction, and he undoubtedly inherited their great qualities in a
very high degree.

The De Lancey family is one of Huguenot origin, the founder of the
family,[3] Etienne De Lancey, having fled from France at the time of
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

[Footnote 3: In French annals the family can be traced back to the
time of the Hundred Years' War. The first of the name, of whom there
is any authentic record, was Guy de Lancy, Vicomte de Laval et de
Nouvion, who in 1432 held of the Prince Bishop of Laon and Nouvion,
villages and territories a few miles south of that city. See _History
of New York during the Revolutionary War_, by Thomas Jones, edited by
Edward Floyd De Lancey, vol i., p. 651, and _Dictionnaire de la
Noblesse de France_, vol. viii., title "Lancy."]

The following extracts treating of the family history are taken from
Appleton's _Cyclopædia of American Biography_.

The author of the articles, Edward Floyd De Lancey,[4] was born in
1821, and died at Ossining, N.Y., on the 7th April 1905. At one time
he held the position of President of the New York Genealogical
Society, and has done a great deal of work in the field of historical

[Footnote 4: For biographical sketch, _see_ Appleton's _Cyclopædia_,
vol. ii., p. 130.]

"Etienne De Lancey (great-grandfather of Sir William De Lancey), was
born in Caen, France, 24th October 1663; and died in the city of New
York, 18th November 1741. Having been compelled, as a Protestant, to
leave France on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (18th October
1685), he escaped into Holland. Deciding to become a British subject
and to emigrate to America, he crossed to England and took the oath of
allegiance to James II. He landed in New York, 7th June 1686. His
mother had given him, on his departure from Caen, a portion of the
family jewels. He sold them for £300, became a merchant, and amassed a
fortune of £100,000. He married Anne, second daughter of Stephanus van
Cortlandt, 23rd January 1700. He took a prominent part in public
affairs, representing the fourth ward of New York as alderman in
1691-93, and was a member of Assembly for twenty-four years. While
sitting in the latter body he gave his salary, during one session, to
purchase the first town-clock erected in New York; and with the aid of
his partner imported and presented to the city the first fire-engine
that had been brought into the province. The De Lancey house, built by
Etienne in 1700 upon a piece of land given to him by his
father-in-law, is now the oldest building in the city of New
York."[5] Mr De Lancey was buried in the family vault in Trinity
Church, New York.

[Footnote 5: Appleton's _Cyclopædia_, vol. ii., p. 129.]

Three of his sons, James, Peter, and Oliver, left descendants.
Descendants of the eldest son, James, amongst whom were included
Edward Floyd De Lancey, the historian of the family, are resident in
the city of New York, and also at Ossining, N.Y. Descendants of the
second son, Peter, are now living in the county of Annapolis, Nova

[Footnote 6: For further details of this branch of the family, _see_
the _History of the County of Annapolis_, by Calnek and Savary, pp.
339-344 and 499.]

The third son, Oliver, grandfather of the hero of the present
narrative, went to England after the Revolutionary War. No direct
descendants of his in the male line would appear to be now living.

The following is the account of his life as given in Appleton's

"Oliver, the youngest son of Etienne, was born in New York City, 16th
September 1708; and died in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 27th
November 1785. He was originally a merchant, being a member of the
firm founded by his father. He early took an active part in public
affairs, and was noted for his decision of character and personal
popularity. He represented the city of New York in the Assembly in
1756-60, and served as alderman of the out-ward from 1754 till 1757.
He was active in military affairs during the entire French War, and,
in 1755, obtained leave from Connecticut to raise men there for
service in New York, for which he received the thanks of the Assembly
of his own province. In March 1758 he was appointed to the command of
the forces then being collected for the expedition against Crown
Point, and succeeded in raising the entire New York City regiment
within ten days. He was placed at the head of the New York contingent,
under General Abercrombie (about 5000 strong), as Colonel-in-Chief. In
the attack on Fort Ticonderoga, 8th July 1758, he supported Lord Howe,
and was near that officer when he fell mortally wounded. In November
of the same year the Assembly of New York again voted him its thanks
'for his great service, and singular care of the troops of the colony
while under his command.' In 1760 he was appointed a member of the
Provincial Council, retaining his seat until 1776. In 1763 he was
made Receiver-General, and in 1773 Colonel-in-Chief of the Southern
military district of the province. 'In June 1776,' says the historian
Jones, 'he joined General Howe on Staten Island; and, had that officer
profited by his honest advice, the American War, I will be bold to
say, would have ended in a very different manner to what it did.' In
September of that year he raised three regiments of Loyalists, largely
at his own expense, of 500 men each, known as 'De Lancey's
battalions.' Of these regiments a brigade was formed, and Colonel De
Lancey was commissioned Brigadier-General in the Loyalist service. He
was assigned to the command of Long Island, where he remained during
the war. One of his battalions served in the South with great credit,
under his son-in-law, Colonel John Harris Cruger, doing effective
service in the defence of Fort Ninety-six against General Greene. In
November 1777, his country-seat at Bloomingdale, on the Hudson, was
robbed and burned at night by a party of Americans from the
water-guard at Tarrytown, his wife and daughters being driven from the
house in their night-dresses and compelled to spend the night in the
fields, now the Central Park. Having been attainted, and his immense
estates in New York and New Jersey confiscated, General De Lancey
retired to England, where he resided in Beverley until his death. Of
his four daughters, Susanna married Sir William Draper, while
Charlotte became the wife of Sir David Dundas, K.C.B., who succeeded
the Duke of York as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army."[7]

[Footnote 7: Appleton's _Cyclopædia_, vol. ii., p. 132.]

In the Life of Van Schaak, his decease is mentioned thus by a
fellow-Loyalist: "Our old friend has at last taken his departure from
Beverley, which he said should hold his bones; he went off without
pain or struggle, his body wasted to a skeleton, his mind the same.
The family, most of them, collected in town (London). There will
scarcely be a village in England without some American dust in it, I
believe, by the time we are all at rest."[8]

[Footnote 8: _Loyalists of the American Revolution_ (Sabine), vol. i.,

Stephen, the eldest son of Brigadier-General Oliver De Lancey, and
father of Sir William De Lancey, was born in New York City about 1740;
and died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, December 1798. He was educated
in England, and practised law in New York before the Revolutionary
War, during which he served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the "De Lancey's"
second battalion. After the war he was appointed Chief Justice of the
Bahama Islands, and subsequently was made Governor of Tobago and its
dependencies. His health becoming impaired while he held the latter
office, he sailed for England to rejoin his family. But he grew
rapidly worse on the voyage, and, at his own request, was transferred
to an American vessel bound for Portsmouth, N.H., where he died, and
was buried a few days after his arrival.[9]

[Footnote 9: The following is an extract from the Parish Register of
St John's Church, Portsmouth, N.H.

"1798.           |  RECORD OF DEATHS.
Decbr. 6th       |  His Excellency, _Stephen De Lancy_, Governour of
                 |  Tobago, who died, the night after his arrival
                 |  in the harbour of this town, of a decline which
                 |  had been upon him for six months, aged 50
                 |  years."

Mr De Lancey was buried in the Wentworth tomb, in St John's
Churchyard, where many of the Wentworth Governors of New Hampshire and
their families are buried.--ED.]

Sir William De Lancey, soldier, only son of the preceding, was born in
New York about 1781,[10] and died in June 1815, in consequence of
wounds received at the battle of Waterloo. He was educated in England,
and early entered the British army. He served with great distinction
under Wellington in Spain, and was several times honourably mentioned
in his despatches.[11]

[Footnote 10: This date agrees with the tradition handed down in the
family with Lady De Lancey's narrative, to the effect that he was only
thirty-four at the time of his death at Waterloo.--ED.]

[Footnote 11: _Vide_ Gurwood's _Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_,
2nd edition, vol. iii., pp. 227 and 229; vol. v., p. 476; vol. vi., p.
542. Sir Harry Smith, a soldier of soldiers--"inter milites
miles"--speaks of him in his Autobiography as "that gallant fellow De
Lancey." (_Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith_, vol. i., p. 266.)]


Received after serving in the Peninsular War.

_In the possession of Major J.A. Hay._]

At the close of the war he was made a Knight of the Bath. When
Napoleon landed from Elba, Wellington, in forming his staff, insisted
on having De Lancey appointed as his Quartermaster-General. The
officer really entitled to the promotion was Sir William's
brother-in-law, Sir Hudson Lowe;[12] but as Wellington had conceived
a dislike for him, he refused to accept that officer in that capacity.
The military authorities, however, insisted on his appointment, and it
was only when Wellington made the promotion of De Lancey a _sine quâ
non_ of his acceptance of the supreme command that the former
yielded.[13] Six weeks before the battle of Waterloo, Sir William
married the daughter of Sir James Hall[14] of Dunglass, the Scottish
scientist. His bride accompanied him on the Continent. On the second
day of the battle[15] Sir William was knocked from his horse by a
spent cannon-ball, and it was at first supposed that he had been
instantly killed. Thirty-six hours afterwards he was discovered, still
alive and in his senses, but incapable of motion, although without any
visible wound. Notwithstanding the skill of the surgeons, and the
tender care of his wife, he succumbed to his injuries nine days after
the battle.[16]

[Footnote 12: It was not till the 16th December 1815--six months after
Waterloo--that Sir Hudson Lowe married Mrs Susan Johnson, sister of
Sir William De Lancey. (_Dictionary of National Biography_, vol.
xxxiv., p. 191.) See also _The Creevey Papers_, Third Edition (1905),
p. 247.]

[Footnote 13: "Wellington assumed command in the Netherlands early in
April 1815, and Lowe, who had been acting as Quartermaster-General in
the Low Countries under the command of the Prince of Orange, remained
for a few weeks under him as his Quartermaster-General; but having
been nominated to command the troops in Genoa designed to co-operate
with the Austro-Sardinian armies, he was replaced in May by Sir
William Howe De Lancey." (_Dictionary of National Biography_, art.
"Lowe, Sir Hudson," vol. xxxiv., p. 191.) See also _The Creevey
Papers_, Third Edition (1905), p. 247.

The following extract of a letter from Major-General Sir H. Torrens to
Earl Bathurst, Secretary for War, dated Ghent, 8th April 1815, alludes
to the hitch about Sir Hudson Lowe: "I shall communicate fully with
the Commander-in-Chief upon the Duke of Wellington's wishes respecting
his Staff.... As you were somewhat anxious about Sir Hudson Lowe, I
must apprise you that he will not do for the Duke." (_Supplementary
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_, vol. x., pp. 42 and 43.) (_Cf._
_The Creevey Papers_, Third Edition (1905), p. 289.)

Evidently Sir Hudson Lowe was no more of a _persona grata_ to
Wellington than he afterwards became to Napoleon!

A letter from Major-General Sir H. Torrens, who appears to have been
acting at the time as Military Secretary to the Duke of York,
Commander-in-Chief at the Horse Guards, written to the Duke of
Wellington from London on the 16th April 1815, shows the high
estimation in which the Duke held De Lancey's services:--

"De Lancey is in town on his way to go out.... I told him the very
handsome and complimentary manner in which you asked for his services,
and assured him that nothing could be so gratifying, in my view of the
case, to his military and professional feelings as the desire you
expressed to me of having him again with you." (_Supplementary
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_, vol. x., p. 130.)

That the Duke felt deeply the interference of Headquarters with his
selection of Staff Officers is clearly shown by the following letter,
written by him to Earl Bathurst, Secretary for War, dated Bruxelles,
4th May 1815:--

"To tell you the truth, I am not very well pleased with the manner in
which the Horse Guards have conducted themselves towards me. It will
be admitted that the army is not a very good one, and, being composed
as it is, I might have expected that the Generals and Staff formed by
me in the last war would have been allowed to come to me again; but
instead of that, I am overloaded with people I have never seen before;
and it appears to be purposely intended to keep those out of my way
whom I wished to have. However I'll do the best I can with the
instruments which have been sent to assist me." (_Supplementary
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_, vol. x., p. 219.)]

[Footnote 14: See _Dictionary of National Biography_, vol. xxiv., p.

[Footnote 15: On the 18th June, at Waterloo; the battle of Quatre Bras
having been fought on the 16th.--ED.]

[Footnote 16: Appleton's _Cyclopædia_, vol. ii., pp. 132, 133.]

There are several references to De Lancey's death in the "_Letters of
Colonel Sir Augustus S. Frazer, K.C.B._, commanding the R.H.A. in the
army under the Duke of Wellington, written during the Peninsular and
Waterloo campaigns," edited by Major-General Sir Edward Sabine, R.A.
On the 29th June Sir Augustus writes to Lady Frazer from Mons: "I
regret to state that poor De Lancey is dead; so Hume, the Duke's
surgeon, told me. He had opened the body; eight ribs were forced from
the spine, one totally broke to pieces, and part of it in the lungs.
Poor De Lancey! He is our greatest loss; a noble fellow and an
admirable officer," p. 582.

In connection with the foregoing, it will be interesting to compare
the account of De Lancey's wound given in the _Dictionary of National

    "The Duke of Wellington gave the following version of the
    occurrence to Samuel Rogers: 'De Lancey was with me, and
    speaking to me when he was struck. We were on a point of land
    that overlooked the plain. I had just been warned off by some
    soldiers (but as I saw well from it, and two divisions were
    engaging below, I said "Never mind"), when a ball came
    bounding along _en ricochet_, as it is called, and, striking
    him on the back, sent him many yards over the head of his
    horse. He fell on his face, and bounded upwards and fell
    again. All the staff dismounted and ran to him, and when I
    came up he said, 'Pray tell them to leave me and let me die
    in peace.' I had him conveyed to the rear, and two days
    after, on my return from Brussels, I saw him in a barn, and
    he spoke with such strength that I said (for I had reported
    him killed), 'Why! De Lancey, you will have the advantage of
    Sir Condy in "Castle Rackrent"--you will know what your
    friends said of you after you were dead.' 'I hope I shall,'
    he replied. Poor fellow! We knew each other ever since we
    were boys. But I had no time to be sorry. I went on with the
    army, and never saw him again."[17]

[Footnote 17: "Recollections of Samuel Rogers," under "Waterloo." From
the article on "Sir William De Lancey," by H. Manners Chichester, in
the _Dictionary of National Biography_, vol. xiv., pp. 304, 305.]

The following is the extract from Wellington's official despatch of
the 19th June, referring to De Lancey:--

    "I had every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of the
    Adjutant-General, Major-General Barnes, who was wounded, and
    of the Quartermaster-General, Colonel De Lancey, who was
    killed by a cannon-shot in the middle of the action. This
    officer is a serious loss to His Majesty's service, and to me
    at this moment."[18]

[Footnote 18: Gurwood, vol. viii., p. 150. _Cf._ _Letters of Colonel
Sir Augustus S. Frazer, K.C.B._, dated Nivelles, June 20: "De Lancey
is said to be dead: this is our greatest loss, none can be greater,
public or private," p. 550.]

At the end of the despatch there is a _P.S._ announcing the death of
Major-General Sir William Ponsonby, followed by a second _P.S._
couched in the following terms: "I have not yet got the returns of
killed and wounded, but I enclose a list of officers killed and
wounded on the two days, as far as the same can be made out without
the returns; and I am very happy to add that Colonel De Lancey is not
dead, and that strong hopes of his recovery are entertained."

That the Duke felt keenly his severe losses in killed and wounded,
especially amongst the members of his Staff, is shown by the following
reminiscence of General Alava,[19] as told by him, two years after the
battle, to Sir Harry Smith and his wife--the lady now immortalised by
the name Ladysmith, emblazoned on the colours or accoutrements of
thirty-five British regiments.

[Footnote 19: A Spanish naval officer who served on the Staff of the
Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War and at Waterloo. Alava
enjoyed the unique distinction of having been present both at
Trafalgar and Waterloo. At the former battle he commanded a Spanish
line-of-battle ship.--ED.]

On the evening of the battle, "the Duke got back to his quarters at
Waterloo about nine or ten at night. The table was laid for the usual
number, while none appeared of the many of his Staff but Alava and
Fremantle. The Duke said very little, ate hastily and heartily, but
every time the door opened he gave a searching look, evidently in the
hope of some of his valuable Staff approaching. When he had finished
eating, he held up both hands in an imploring attitude and said, 'The
hand of Almighty God has been upon me this day,' jumped up, went to
his couch, and was asleep in a moment."[20]

[Footnote 20: _Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith_, vol. i., p. 291.]

The following is from General Alava's official report of the action:
"Of those who were by the side of the Duke of Wellington, only he and
myself remained untouched in our persons and horses. The rest were all
either killed, wounded, or lost one or more horses. The Duke was
unable to refrain from tears on witnessing the death of so many brave
and honourable men, and the loss of so many friends and faithful

[Footnote 21: From the _Supplement to the Madrid Gazette_ of the 13th
July 1815, quoted in the London _Evening Mail_ of August 2 to August
4, 1815.]

The next morning, the Duke wrote the following note to Lady Frances W.
Webster, dated

     "BRUXELLES, 19_th_ _June_ 1815.

     "Half-past 8 in the morning.


     "Lord Mount-Norris may remain in Bruxelles in perfect
     security. I yesterday, after a most severe and bloody
     contest, gained a complete victory, and pursued the French
     till after dark. They are in complete confusion; and I have,
     I believe, 150 pieces of cannon; and Blücher, who continued
     the pursuit all night, my soldiers being tired to death,
     sent me word this morning that he had got 60 more. My loss
     is immense. Lord Uxbridge, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, General
     Cooke, General Barnes, and Colonel Berkeley are wounded:
     Colonel De Lancey, Canning, Gordon, General Picton
     killed.[22] The finger of Providence was upon me, and I
     escaped unhurt.--Believe me, etc.,[23]


[Footnote 22: All the foregoing were on the General Staff of the Army
or on the Duke's personal Staff.--ED.]

[Footnote 23: _Supplementary Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_,
vol. x., p. 531.]

Captain Gronow--a subaltern of the 1st Guards at Waterloo--gives us
the following glimpse of the Duke and his Staff, on the morning of the
18th, before the opening of the battle:--

    "The road was ankle-deep in mud and slough; and we had not
    proceeded a quarter of a mile when we heard the trampling of
    horses' feet, and on looking round perceived a large
    cavalcade of officers coming at full speed. In a moment we
    recognised the Duke himself at their head. He was accompanied
    by the Duke of Richmond, and his son, Lord William Lennox.
    The entire Staff of the army was close at hand: the Prince of
    Orange, Count Pozzo di Borgo, Baron Vincent, the Spanish
    General Alava, Prince Castel Cicala, with their several
    aides-de-camp; Felton Hervey, Fitzroy Somerset, and De Lancey
    were the last that appeared. They all seemed as gay and
    unconcerned as if they were riding to meet the hounds in some
    quiet English county."[24]

[Footnote 24: _Recollections and Anecdotes_, by Captain Gronow, p.

Colonel Basil Jackson, who in 1815 was a lieutenant in the Royal Staff
Corps, attached to the Quartermaster-General's department (see
Dalton's _Waterloo Roll Call_, p. 38), gives the following interesting
reminiscences of De Lancey on the 17th, at Quatre Bras, and during the
retreat to Waterloo on the same day: "Some few changes were made in
the disposition of the troops after the Duke of Wellington arrived on
the ground, soon after daylight; arms were then piled, and the men,
still wearied with their exertions of marching and fighting on the
preceding day, lay down to snatch a little more rest. The Duke, too,
after riding about and satisfying himself that all was as it should
be, dismounted and stretched himself on the ground, very near the
point where the road from Brussels to Charleroi crossed that leading
from Nivelles to Namur, forming thereby the _Quatre Bras_....

"I remained for some time at a short distance from the great man, who
occasionally addressed a few words to Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Sir E.
Barnes, De Lancey, and others of his principal officers. He was then
awaiting the return of Sir Alexander Gordon, who had gone off by the
Namur road, some time between 6 and 7 o'clock, escorted by a squadron
of the 10th Hussars. I had seen this detachment start at a round trot,
but of course knew not the object of despatching it; which, as we
learned afterwards, was to gain intelligence of Blücher's operations,
whose defeat at Ligny we, that is, the army generally, were ignorant
of, though the Duke was aware of it.

"I availed myself of this period of quietness to go and examine
particularly the ground which had been so hardly contested the day

"Returning to the place where I had left the Duke when I set out on my
ramble round the outposts, I found him still on the same spot; where
he remained till Gordon and his escort came in with jaded horses, soon
after 10 o'clock. On hearing his report, the Duke said a few words to
De Lancey, who, observing me near him, directed me to go to Sir Thomas
Picton, and tell him the orders were to make immediate preparation for
falling back upon Waterloo....

"Just as the retreat commenced (about noon), I was ordered off to
Mont St Jean, where I was told I should meet the Quartermaster-General;
accordingly I made for Genappe, and as the high road was by that time
filled with troops, being, moreover, careless of the farmer's
interest, I took a short cut through the corn-fields, in such a
direction as enabled me to strike into that village about its centre.
There I found sad confusion prevailing; country waggons with stores,
ammunition tumbrils, provision waggons, and wounded men, choked up the
street, so that it was impossible for any one to pass. Aware of the
great importance of freeing the passage at a time when the retiring
troops might be pressed by the enemy, I at once set to work to remedy
the disorder that prevailed. Let the reader picture to himself Police
Constable 61 C posted at the pastry-cook's corner where Gracechurch
Street enters Cheapside, at a moment when those passages, together
with Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Streets are blocked up by 'buses,
drays, waggons, carts, advertising locomotives, private carriages, and
dodging cabs, when that unhappy functionary is vainly striving to
restore order and clear the ways, and he will have some idea of the
difficulty I experienced in executing my self-imposed task. Happily, I
was acquainted with some pithy expressions in two or three languages,
which were familiar to the ears of those I had to deal with; and
these, together with the flat of my sword, proved very efficacious in
the end. While in the thick of this scene of tumult and confusion, I
felt some one clap me on the shoulder, and on looking round saw Sir W.
De Lancey. 'You are very well employed here,' said he; 'remain, and
keep the way clear for the troops; I shall not want you at Waterloo.'
Encouraged by my chief's commendation I redoubled my efforts, and had
soon the satisfaction of seeing the defile free."[25]

[Footnote 25: "Recollections of Waterloo," by a Staff Officer, in
_United Service Journal_ for 1847, Part III., p. 11.]

"A week after the battle"--to quote again from the article by H.
Manners Chichester in the _Dictionary of National Biography_--"De
Lancey succumbed to his injuries, in a peasant's cottage in the
village of Waterloo, where he was tenderly nursed by his young wife,
who had joined him in Brussels a few days before the battle.
According to another account, De Lancey was laid down at his own
request when being conveyed to the rear, and so was left out untended
all night and part of the next day. Rogers, in a note, states that he
was killed by 'the wind of the shot,' his skin not being broken; and
also that Lady De Lancey left a manuscript account of his last days."

[Illustration: Lady de Lancey

From a miniature after J.D. Engleheart]

This manuscript account was written in the first instance by Lady De
Lancey for the information of her brother, Captain Basil Hall, R.N.
The original manuscript has been lost sight of. An early copy, which
was made by Mrs Basil Hall, is now in the possession of their
grand-daughter, Lady Parsons. Copies would appear to have been made by
members of the family at various times; but the existence of the
narrative was apparently not known to Edward Floyd De Lancey, the
historian of the family in Appleton's _Cyclopædia_. Besides the copy
of the narrative made by Mrs Basil Hall, another copy came into the
possession of the poet Rogers. This copy is now owned by W. Arthur
Sharpe, Esq., Highgate, N. Both the above versions--which contain only
slight variations--have been consulted in the present edition of the

Captain Basil Hall, R.N. (vide _Dictionary of National Biography_,
vol. xxiv., p. 58), was a well-known author in his day, his best known
work being _Fragments of Voyages and Travels_, published in three
series between 1831 and 1833, and frequently reprinted since.

In Volume II. of the first series, Captain Hall alludes to his first
meeting with De Lancey. It occurred on board H.M.S. _Endymion_ on the
morning of the 18th January 1809, when the British troops had all been
safely embarked on the transports, the second day after the battle of

Basil Hall--then a lieutenant in the navy--and De Lancey[26] struck up
a great friendship on the _Endymion_, and the former introduced his
soldier friend after the voyage home to his family in Scotland. The
marriage of De Lancey six years afterwards to Basil Hall's sister
Magdalene was a result of this introduction.

[Footnote 26: De Lancey was at this time a lieutenant-colonel and
permanent assistant in the quartermaster-general's department (Army
List, 1809, p. 323).

His first commission as a cornet in the 16th Light Dragoons bore the
date 7th July 1792 (Army List, 1793, p. 50), when he was only eleven
years old.

He was gazetted lieutenant in the same regiment on the 26th February
1793, and was subsequently transferred to the 80th Foot.

On the 20th October 1796 he was gazetted captain in the 17th Light
Dragoons, of which regiment his uncle, General Oliver De Lancey, was
then colonel.

He obtained a majority in the 45th (or Nottinghamshire) Regiment of
Foot on the 17th October 1799. He was by this time eighteen years of
age, and up to this date had probably no connection with the army at
all beyond drawing his pay and figuring in the Army List. Even now he
does not appear to have joined his regiment until its return from the
West Indies, a year or two afterwards (_Dict. Nat. Biog._, vol. xiv.,
p. 305). His first uniform was probably that of the 45th Foot, and the
portrait, forming the frontispiece of this volume, was in all
likelihood painted on his first joining the regiment as a major in
1800 or 1801.

In the Army List of 1804 he is shown on page 31 as an assistant
quartermaster-general. His actual regimental service can therefore
hardly have exceeded two or three years. Until his death in 1815, he
was continuously on the staff of the army in the quartermaster-general's

The following extract from Captain Basil Hall's _Fragments of Voyages
and Travels_, gives an account of the first meeting of the two friends
on board the _Endymion_, and of the dramatic circumstances under
which Captain Hall heard the news of his sister's marriage, and of De
Lancey's death at Waterloo:--

"As we in the _Endymion_ had the exclusive charge of the convoy of
transports, we remained to the very last, to assist the ships with
provisions, and otherwise to regulate the movements of the stragglers.
Whilst we were thus engaged, and lying to, with our main-topsail to
the mast, a small Spanish boat came alongside, with two or three
British officers in her. On these gentlemen being invited to step up,
and say what they wanted, one of them begged we would inform him where
the transport No. 139 was to be found.

"'How can we possibly tell you that?' said the officer of the watch.
'Don't you see the ships are scattered as far as the horizon in every
direction? You had much better come on board this ship in the

"'No, sir, no,' cried the officers; 'we have received directions to go
on board the transport 139, and her we must find.'

"'What is all this about?' inquired the captain of the _Endymion_;
and being told of the scruples of the strangers, insisted upon their
coming up. He very soon explained to them the utter impossibility, at
such a moment, of finding out any particular transport amongst between
three and four hundred ships, every one of which was following her own
way. We found out afterwards that they only were apprehensive of
having it imagined they had designedly come to the frigate for better
quarters. Nothing, of course, was farther from our thoughts; indeed,
it was evidently the result of accident. So we sent away their little
boat, and just at that moment the gun-room steward announced
breakfast. We invited our new friends down, and gave them a hearty
meal in peace and comfort--a luxury they had not enjoyed for many a
long and rugged day.

"Our next care was to afford our tired warriors the much-required
comforts of a razor and clean linen. We divided the party amongst us;
and I was so much taken with one of these officers, that I urged him
to accept such accommodation as my cabin and wardrobe afforded. He
had come to us without one stitch of clothes beyond what he then wore,
and these, to say the truth, were not in the best condition, at the
elbows and other angular points of his frame. Let that pass--he was as
fine a fellow as ever stepped; and I had much pride and pleasure in
taking care of him during the passage.

"We soon became great friends; but on reaching England we parted, and
I never saw him more. Of course he soon lost sight of me, but his fame
rose high, and, as I often read his name in the Gazettes during the
subsequent campaigns in the Peninsula, I looked forward with a
gradually increasing anxiety to the renewal of an acquaintance begun
so auspiciously. At last I was gratified by a bright flash of hope in
this matter, which went out, alas, as speedily as it came. Not quite
six years after these events, I came home from India, in command of a
sloop of war. Before entering the Channel, we fell in with a ship
which gave us the first news of the battle of Waterloo, and spared us
a precious copy of the Duke of Wellington's despatch; and within five
minutes after landing at Portsmouth, I met a near relation of my own.
This seemed a fortunate rencontre, for I had not received a letter
from home for nearly a year--and I eagerly asked him--

"'What news of all friends?'

"'I suppose,' he said, 'you know of your sister's marriage?'

"'No, indeed! I do not!--which sister?'

"He told me.

"'But to whom is she married?' I cried out with intense impatience,
and wondering greatly that he had not told me this at once.

"'Sir William De Lancey was the person,' he answered. But he spoke not
in the joyous tone that befits such communications.

"'God bless me!' I exclaimed. 'I am delighted to hear that. I know him
well--we picked him up in a boat, at sea, after the battle of Corunna,
and I brought him home in my cabin in the _Endymion_. I see by the
despatch, giving an account of the late victory, that he was badly
wounded--how is he now? I observe by the postscript to the Duke's
letter that strong hopes are entertained of his recovery.'

"'Yes,' said my friend, 'that was reported, but could hardly have been
believed. Sir William was mortally wounded, and lived not quite a week
after the action. The only comfort about this sad matter is, that his
poor wife, being near the field at the time, joined him immediately
after the battle, and had the melancholy satisfaction of attending her
husband to the last!'"[27]

[Footnote 27: _Fragments of Voyages and Travels_, by Captain Basil
Hall, R.N., 1831, vol. ii., pp. 367-371.]

It was, as before stated, at Captain Hall's request that Lady De
Lancey wrote the memorable Waterloo narrative.

In order to satisfy the natural curiosity of friends--who had probably
heard of the narrative in Captain Hall's possession--Lady De Lancey
prepared an abridged version, in more general terms, and of a much
more reserved character than the original account, written for her
brother only.

This condensed account was found amongst the papers of her nephew,
General De Lancey Lowe, after his death in 1880. His widow published
it in the _Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine_ for 1888, p. 414.

In some few instances this abridged account contains descriptive
touches not given in the original narrative. These variations are
given in the form of notes to the present edition of the narrative.

Thomas Moore in his diary for the 29th August 1824 describes the
circumstances under which Captain Hall lent him his copy of the
narrative as follows:--

"A note early from Lord Lansdowne, to say that Capt. Basil Hall, who
is at Bowood, wishes much to see me; and that if I cannot come over
to-day to either luncheon or dinner, he will call upon me to-morrow.
Answered that I would come to dinner to-day. Walked over at five....
Company, only Capt. Basil Hall, Luttrel, and Nugent, and an _ad
interim_ tutor of Kerry's.... Hall gave me, before I came away, a
journal written by his sister, Lady De Lancey, containing an account
of the death of her husband at Waterloo, and her attendance upon him
there, they having been but three months married. Walked home; took
the narrative to bed with me to read a page or two, but found it so
deeply interesting, that I read till near two o'clock, and finished
it; made myself quite miserable, and went to sleep, I believe, crying.
Hall said he would call upon me to-morrow."[28]

[Footnote 28: _Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore_,
edited by Lord John Russell, vol. iv., p. 239.]

Earl Stanhope, in his _Notes of Conversations with the Duke of
Wellington_, p. 182, writes as follows: "I mentioned with much praise
Lady De Lancey's narrative of her husband's lingering death and of her
own trials and sufferings after Waterloo. The Duke told me that he had
seen it--Lord Bathurst having lent it him many years ago." This
conversation took place on the 12th October 1839.

The two most famous literary men to whom Captain Basil Hall lent the
narrative, were, however, Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens.

Sir Walter Scott writes under date Abbotsford, 13th October 1825, that
his publisher, Constable, thinks that the narrative "would add very
great interest as an addition to the letters which I wrote from Paris
soon after Waterloo, and certainly I would consider it as one of the
most valuable and important documents which could be published as
illustrative of the woes of war."[29]


     "I never read anything which affected my own feelings more
     strongly, or which, I am sure, would have a deeper interest
     on [_sic_] those of the public....

     "Perhaps it may be my own high admiration of the contents of
     this heartrending diary, which makes me suppose a
     possibility that after such a lapse of years, the
     publication may possibly (as that which cannot but do the
     highest honour to the memory of the amiable authoress) may
     [_sic_] not be judged altogether inadmissible....--Most
     truly yours,

     "WALTER SCOTT."[30]

[Footnote 29: Perhaps the _Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de
Larochejaquelein_ of which four editions were published between 1814
and 1817--one of the noblest and most touching of autobiographies--is
the nearest parallel in literature to Lady De Lancey's narrative. The
French Marchioness describes her experiences in Paris in 1789, and
during the Insurrection of La Vendée in 1793.--ED.]

[Footnote 30: The complete letter will be found in Appendix A of this


The following is a transcript of the most remarkable passages in
Dickens' letter:--


     _"Tuesday evening_, 16_th_ _March_ 1841.

     "MY DEAR HALL, ...

     "I have not had courage until last night to read Lady De
     Lancey's narrative, and, but for your letter, I should not
     have mastered it even then. One glance at it, when, through
     your kindness, it first arrived, had impressed me with a
     foreboding of its terrible truth, and I really have shrunk
     from it in pure lack of heart.

     "After working at Barnaby all day, and wandering about the
     most wretched and distressful streets for a couple of hours
     in the evening--searching for some pictures I wanted to
     build upon--I went at it, at about ten o'clock. To say that
     the reading that most astonishing and tremendous account has
     constituted an epoch in my life--that I shall never forget
     the lightest word of it--that I cannot throw the impression
     aside, and never saw anything so real, so touching, and so
     actually present before my eyes, is nothing. I am husband
     and wife, dead man and living woman, Emma and General
     Dundas, doctor and bedstead--everything and everybody (but
     the Prussian officer--damn him) all in one. What I have
     always looked upon as masterpieces of powerful and
     affecting description, seem as nothing in my eyes. If I live
     for fifty years, I shall dream of it every now and then,
     from this hour to the day of my death, with the most
     frightful reality. The slightest mention of a battle will
     bring the whole thing before me. I shall never think of the
     Duke any more but as he stood in his shirt with the officer
     in full-dress uniform, or as he dismounted from his horse
     when the gallant man was struck down. It is a striking proof
     of the power of that most extraordinary man, Defoe, that I
     seem to recognise in every line of the narrative something
     of him. Has this occurred to you? The going to Waterloo with
     that unconsciousness of everything in the road, but the
     obstacles to getting on--the shutting herself up in her room
     and determining not to hear--the not going to the door when
     the knocking came--the finding out by her wild spirits when
     she heard he was safe, how much she had feared when in doubt
     and anxiety--the desperate desire to move towards him--the
     whole description of the cottage, and its condition; and
     their daily shifts and contrivances, and the lying down
     beside him in the bed and both _falling asleep_; and his
     resolving not to serve any more, but to live quietly
     thenceforth; and her sorrow when she saw him eating with an
     appetite, so soon before his death; and his death
     itself--all these are matters of truth, which only that
     astonishing creature, I think, could have told in fiction.

     "Of all the beautiful and tender passages--the thinking
     every day how happy and blest she was--the decorating him
     for the dinner--the standing in the balcony at night and
     seeing the troops melt away through the gate--and the
     rejoining him on his sick-bed--I say not a word. They are
     God's own, and should be sacred. But let me say again, with
     an earnestness which pen and ink can no more convey than
     toast and water, in thanking you heartily for the perusal of
     this paper, that its impression on me can never be told;
     that the ground she travelled (which I know well) is holy
     ground to me from this day; and that, please Heaven, I will
     tread its every foot this very next summer, to have the
     softened recollection of this sad story on the very earth
     where it was acted.

     "You won't smile at this, I know. When my enthusiasms are
     awakened by such things, they don't wear out....--Faithfully


[Footnote 31: The complete letter will be found in Appendix A of this

Many literary and artistic masterpieces have grouped themselves round
Waterloo. One of the most striking passages in _Vanity Fair_ refers to
an imaginary incident in connection with the battle. Sir Walter Scott
once said that in the whole range of English poetry there was nothing
finer than the stanzas in _Childe Harold_, commencing with the line--

     "There was a sound of revelry by night,"

and ending with the words--

     "Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial blent."

Tennyson's _Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington_ ranks as a
funeral dirge with _Lycidas_ and _Adonais_. Napoleon's tomb in the
Invalides may hold its own almost with the Tàj. Yet, when all is said
and done, the fact remains that no hero of the battle, and indeed few
victims of war, have ever received a more touching memorial than the
one here set forth in the sight of all future generations of men by
the love and the literary genius of Lady De Lancey.


  _April_ 1906.

[Illustration: COLONEL SIR WILLIAM HOWE DE LANCEY (_c._ 1813).]


I arrived at Brussels on Thursday, 8th June 1815, and was much
surprised at the peaceful appearance of that town, and the whole
country from Ostend. We were billeted in the house of the Count de
Lannoy, in the Park, which is a square of very beautiful houses with
fine large trees in the centre. The Count de Lannoy was very
attentive, and we had a suite of very excellent rooms, up four
stories, which is the fashion in that country, I believe. It was
amusing enough, sometimes, to see from our windows the people parading
in the Park. I saw very little of the town, and still less of the
inhabitants; for notwithstanding Sir William's belief that we should
remain quietly there for a month at least, I have the comfort of
remembering that, as there was a chance we might separate in a few
days, I wasted no time in visiting or going to balls, which I did not
care for, and therefore I never went out, except for an hour or two
every afternoon, to walk with Sir William.

The people in general dined between three and four, we dined at six;
we walked while others were at dinner, so that literally I never saw
anybody, except some gentlemen, two or three of whom dined with us
every day--Sir William's friends, whom he brought to introduce to me.

I never passed such a delightful time, for there was always enough of
very pleasant society to keep us gay and merry, and the rest of the
day was spent in peaceful happiness.

Fortunately my husband had scarcely any business to do, and he only
went to the office for about an hour every day. I then used to sit and
think with astonishment of my being transported into such a scene of
happiness, so perfect, so unalloyed!--feeling that I was entirely
enjoying life--not a moment wasted. How active and how well I was! I
scarcely knew what to do with all my health and spirits. Now and then
a pang would cross my mind at the prospect of the approaching
campaign, but I chased away the thought, resolved not to lose the
present bliss by dwelling on the chance of future pain. Sir William
promised to let me know as soon as he knew himself, everything
concerning the movement of the army; and accordingly he gave me every
paper to read, to keep my mind easy. After some consideration, he
decided that upon the commencement of hostilities I should go to
Antwerp, and there remain till the end of the campaign, which might
last months. He wished me not to think of going along with him,
because the rear of a great army was always dangerous, and an unfit
situation for a woman; and he wished not to draw me into any scenes,
or near any danger, more than if I had remained in England. He little
thought I should be in the midst of horrors I would not pass again for
any being _now_ living; and alas, the cautious anxiety he expressed
that I should avoid being shocked, only made me feel more desolate and
miserable when I found myself in the midst of most terrible scenes.

Several other officers, on hearing that he designed to send me to
Antwerp, fixed that their wives should go there too. It is a very
strongly fortified town, and likewise having the sea to escape by, if
necessary, it was by far the safest place; and being only twenty-five
miles from Brussels, it added so little to the time of hearing from
him, if separated, that I acquiesced cheerfully. After this was
arranged, we never thought more about it, and enjoyed each hour as it
passed with no more anxiety than was sufficient to render time

On Wednesday the 14th, I had a little alarm in the evening with some
public papers, and Sir William went out with them, but returned in a
short time; and it passed by so completely, that Thursday(1) forenoon
was the happiest day of my life; but I cannot recollect a day of my
short married life that was not perfect. I shall never get on if I
begin to talk of what my happiness was; but I dread to enter on the
gloomy past, which I shudder to look back upon, and I often wonder I
survived it. We little dreamt that Thursday was the last we were to
pass together, and that the storm would burst so soon. Sir William had
to dine at the Spanish Ambassador's,(2) the first invitation he had
accepted from the time I went; he was unwilling to go, and delayed and
still delayed, till at last when near six, I fastened all his medals
and crosses on his coat, helped him to put it on, and he went.(3) I
watched at the window till he was out of sight, and then I continued
musing on my happy fate; I thought over all that had passed, and how
grateful I felt! I had no wish but that this might continue; I saw my
husband loved and respected by everyone, my life gliding on, like a
gay dream, in his care.

When I had remained at the window nearly an hour, I saw an
aide-de-camp ride under the gateway of our house. He sent to enquire
where Sir William was dining. I wrote down the name; and soon after I
saw him gallop off in that direction. I did not like this appearance,
but I tried not to be afraid. A few minutes after, I saw Sir William
on the same horse gallop past to the Duke's,(4) which was a few doors
beyond ours. He dismounted and ran into the house--left the horse in
the middle of the street. I must confess my courage failed me now, and
the succeeding two hours formed a contrast to the happy forenoon.

About nine,(5) Sir William came in; seeing my wretched face, he bade
me not be foolish, for it would soon be all over now; they expected a
great battle on the morrow; he would send me to Antwerp in the
morning, and desired me to be ready at six. He said that though he
expected it would be a decisive battle, and a conclusion of the whole
business, he thought it best I should keep the plan of going to
Antwerp, to avoid the alarms that he knew would seize everyone the
moment the troops were gone; and he said he would probably join me
there, or send for me to return the same evening. He said he should be
writing all night, perhaps: he desired me to prepare some strong green
tea in case he came in, as the violent exertion requisite to setting
the whole army in motion quite stupefied him sometimes. He used
sometimes to tell me that whenever the operations began, if he thought
for five minutes on any other subject, he was neglecting his duty. I
therefore scrupulously avoided asking him any questions, or indeed
speaking at all.(6) I moved up and down like one stupefied myself.

He went to the office, and returned near twelve,(7) much fatigued, but
he did not attempt to sleep; he went twice to the Duke's; the first
time he found him standing looking over a map with a Prussian
general,(8) who was in full-dress uniform--with orders and crosses,
etc.--the Duke was in his chemise and slippers, preparing to dress for
the Duchess of Richmond's ball; the two figures were quite admirable.
The ball took place notwithstanding the reveille played through the
streets the whole night. Many of the officers danced, and then
marched(9) in the morning.

About two, Sir William went again to the Duke, and he was sleeping
sound! At three the troops were all assembled in the Park, and Sir
William and I leant over the window, seeing them march off--so few to
return. It was a clear refreshing morning, and the scene was very
solemn and melancholy.(10) The fifes played alone, and the regiments
one after another marched past, and I saw(11) them melt away through
the great gate at the end of the Square. Shall I ever forget the tunes
played by the shrill fifes and the buglehorns which disturbed that

At six in the morning, Friday the 16th, I went to Antwerp: Sir William
gave me a letter to Captain Mitchell, in the Q.M.-General's
department, requesting him to take charge of me. Accordingly, soon
after we arrived I was settled in very comfortable apartments. I was
at first for an hour in the inn,(12) and I lay down in a small back
room. In the evening I sent my maid from the lodgings to get some wine
at the inn; when wandering in the passage to find some English person,
she opened the door of the room I had been in, and saw the body(13) of
the Duke of Brunswick on the very bed.

I was fortunate enough to have a room at the back, so shut in with
buildings that I could not hear any noise in the streets. Sir William
had made me promise to believe no reports, and not upon any account to
move without his written order for it. I thought it was best not to
listen to any stories, so I told my maid Emma not to tell me any, and
to do her best to get no alarms herself. Captain Mitchell I found of
great service; he is a very sensible and seemingly good-hearted man.
There was a calmness in his manner which was of infinite use to me
when I could not entirely get the better of fears but too well
founded. Though he was afterwards oppressed with business, night and
day, he never failed to come to me when he had heard any accounts he
could depend upon. But I may say I never saw so much kindness, and
softness indeed, as during that miserable time.

The general and individual distress that rapidly followed the battles
then fought, seemed quite to unman them; and one grew accustomed to
see men weep, without their attempting to conceal it. The same evening
the Town Major, Machel, called. He knew Sir William, and he brought a
Mrs ---- to call. She very kindly asked me to go and visit her in the
country about a mile. I was much obliged to her, but said I hoped to
return to Brussels so soon that I should not have time. She apologised
for Mr ----; he would have called on me, but the report I had brought
of the marching of the troops had given him a great deal of business.
The town was now very bustling, though when I arrived there was
nothing but quiet. Captain Mitchell told me in the evening that the
battle had taken place; that the English had gained a victory, but he
believed there was to be more fighting. He promised to send me any
letter, or if he heard of Sir William. I sat up late, but none came.

On Saturday the 17th, Antwerp was truly a scene of confusion--by the
servant's account, for I would not stir out of my room. Not one of the
ladies who had intended to come to Antwerp at first, kept their
resolution; and in consequence they got a great alarm, which was what
my husband wished me to escape. There was a battle fought on Friday
the 16th, near Brussels, and I was told the noise of the cannon was
tremendous--the houses shook with it. It was distinctly heard at
Antwerp; but I kept the windows shut, and tried not to hear. I only
heard a rolling like the sea at a distance.(14) Poor Emma, urged by
curiosity, stood in the street listening to terrible stories, seeing
wounded men brought in, carriages full of women and children flying
from Brussels, till she was completely frightened. She came and told
me that all the ladies were hastening to England by sea, for the
French had taken Brussels. I saw I must take my time to alarm her, and
I said, "Well, Emma, you know that if the French were firing at this
house, I would not move till I was ordered; but you have no such duty,
therefore go if you like. I dare say any of the families will let you
join them."

Emma was shocked at my supposing she would be so base as to desert me,
and declared that if she was sure she had to remain in a French prison
for five years, she would not leave me. My reproof had all the effect
I intended; for she brought me no more stories, and I am certain she
never was frightened after, even when we were in far greater danger.

Though I had little reason to expect a letter from my husband, I sat
up late in hopes. At midnight, what was my joy to get a little note
from him, written at Genappe,(15) after the battle of the 16th. He
said he was safe, and in great spirits; they had given the French a
tremendous beating. I wrote to him every day, and Captain Mitchell
sent my letters, but they never reached him.

On Sunday, Captain Mitchell told me he had heard the last effort was
to be made. I cannot attempt to describe the restless unhappy state I
was in; for it had continued so much longer than I had expected
already, that I began to find it difficult to keep up my spirits,
though I was infatuated enough to think it quite impossible that he
could be hurt. I believe mine was not an uncommon case, but so it was.
I might be uneasy at the length of the separation, or anxious to hear
from him; but the possibility of his being wounded never glanced into
my mind, till I was told he was killed.

On Sunday the 18th June, there was to be a great battle. It began
about eleven;(16) near three,(17) when Sir William was riding beside
the Duke, a cannon ball struck him on the back, at the right shoulder,
and knocked him off his horse to several yards distance. The Duke at
first imagined he was killed; for he said afterwards, he had never in
all the fighting he had ever been in seen a man rise again after such
a wound. Seeing he was alive (for he bounded up again and then sank
down), he ran to him, and stooping down, took him by the hand.(18)

Sir William begged the Duke, as the last favour he could have it in
his power to do him, to exert his authority to take away the crowd
that gathered round him, and to let him have his last moments in peace
to himself. The Duke bade him farewell, and endeavoured to draw away
the Staff, who oppressed him; they wanted to take leave of him, and
wondered at his calmness. He was left, as they imagined, to die; but
his cousin, Delancey Barclay,(19) who had seen him fall, went to him
instantly, and tried to prevail upon him to be removed to the rear, as
he was in imminent danger of being crushed by the artillery, which was
fast approaching the spot; and also there was danger of his falling
into the hands of the enemy. He entreated to be left on the ground,
and said it was impossible he could live; that they might be of more
use to others, and he only begged to remain on the field. But as he
spoke with ease, and Colonel Barclay saw that the ball had not
entered, he insisted on moving him, and he took the opinion of a
surgeon, who thought he might live, and got some soldiers to carry him
in a blanket to a barn(20) at the side of the road, a little to the
rear. The wound was dressed, and then Colonel Barclay had to return
to the Division; but first he gave orders to have Sir William moved to
the village;(21) for that barn was in danger of being taken possession
of by the enemy. Before Colonel Barclay went, Sir William begged him
to come quite close to him, and continued to give him messages for me.
Nothing else seemed to occupy his mind. He desired him to write to me
at Antwerp; to say everything kind, and to endeavour to soften this
business, and to break it to me as gently as he could. He then said he
might move him, as if he fancied it was to be his last effort. He was
carried to the village of Waterloo, and left in a cottage, where he
lay unheeded all night, and part of next day. Many of his friends were
in the village, and no one knew where he was, or that he was alive
even. It was by chance that an officer of the Staff Corps found him
next morning, and sent to inform Sir George Scovell.(22) The evening
before,(23) the Duke had written the despatches, and had inserted De
Lancey as killed. Interest was made that he should alter them, when he
was told that he had been carried off the field alive. Some kindly
thought this might benefit me; but I was not so fortunate. Sad scenes
were passing at Antwerp in the meantime.

On Monday morning, Captain Mitchell, at nine o'clock, came to tell me
that the last battle was over, and the French entirely defeated, and
that Sir William was safe. I asked him repeatedly if he was sure, and
if he had seen any of his writing, or if he had heard from him. He had
not; but had read a list of the killed and wounded, and could assure
me his name was not in it. Captain Mitchell was quite sincere; and was
afterwards much grieved that he had added to the accumulation of
misery, for this only made the dash down more severe. I now found how
much I had really feared by the wild spirits I got into. I walked up
and down, for I could not rest, and was almost in a fever with
happiness, and for two hours this went on.

At eleven a message came that Lady Hamilton wished to see me. I went
down to the parlour, and found her and Mr James. I did not remark
anything in her countenance, but I think I never saw feeling and
compassion more strongly marked than in his expression. I then said I
hoped Lady Emily was well. He answered that she was so, with a tone of
such misery that I was afraid something had happened, I knew not what,
to somebody. I looked at Lady Hamilton for an explanation. She seemed
a little agitated too, and I said, "One is so selfish: I can attend to
nothing, I am so rejoiced Sir William is safe."

Mr James walked to the other end of the room. I did not know what to
do. I feared that my gay voice grieved them, for I saw something had
made them unhappy. Little did I think the blow was falling on my own
unfortunate head.

Lady Hamilton said, "Poor Mr James! He has lost a brother and I a
nephew. It was a dreadful battle!--so many killed."

I thought it cruel of them to come to me to tell all this to, when I
was so merry; but I tried to be polite, and again apologised for
appearing glad, on account of my own good fortune.

Lady Hamilton said, "Did you hear from him?"

"No, but Captain Mitchell saw the list, and his name was not in it."

Mr James went out of the room. Lady Hamilton said, "He is gone to see
it, I suppose," and then began to talk about the list, and what were
the first names, and a great deal about whether I had any friends in
that country, etc. She then asked what I intended to do if the
fighting continued, and if I should go to England? I was a little
surprised at these enquiries, but assured her I would not move until
Sir William came or sent for me. She found me so obstinately confident
that she began[32]...--and after a short time a suspicion darted into
my mind. What a death-like feeling was that!

[Footnote 32: Here there is a hiatus in the MS.]

Lady Hamilton confessed she had written the list, and with a most
mistaken kindness had omitted several of the names, Sir William's
among the rest. A general had come from the field and named them; and
she, knowing I was in the country, had left his out, fearing that I
should be suddenly informed. But such information would not be
otherwise than a shock whatever way it was told, and the previous
account of his safety only tortured me the more. But it is needless to
dwell upon it now; and though I believe she thinks I never forgave
her, I now recollect only the motive, which was kind.

My difficulty then was to find out, or rather to believe the truth.
She assured me he was only wounded. I looked at her keenly, and said,
"Lady Hamilton, I can bear anything but suspense. Let me know the very
worst. Tell me, is he killed?"

She then solemnly assured me he was only desperately wounded.

I shook my head and said, "Ah, it is very well to say so. Yes, he must
be wounded first, you know." And I walked round the room fast. "Yes,
yes, you say so, but I cannot believe what you say now."

She was terrified, for I could not shed a tear. She declared upon her
word of honour that when General Alava left the field he was alive,
but was not expected to live.

This I felt sounded like truth, and I stood before her and said,
"Well, Lady Hamilton, if it is so, and you really wish to serve me,
help me to go to him instantly. I am sure Mr James will be so good as
to hurry the servant. Oh, how much time has been lost already! If
Captain Mitchell had but known, I should have gone at nine. Every
moment may make me too late to see him alive."

She was glad to try to do anything for me, and was going. I stopped
her at the door, and said, "Now, if you are deceiving me, you may
perhaps have my senses to answer for."

She repeated her assurances, and I said I would send my servant for
the carriage, which was at the Town Major's, if she would see anybody
to get horses, and I was ready. She said she would offer to go with
me, but she knew it would oppress me.

I said, "Oh no, let me be alone," and I ran upstairs.

No power can describe my sufferings for two hours before I could set
out. Captain Mitchell requested a friend of his to ride forward to
Brussels, and to gallop back with information of where Sir William
was, and whether it was still of any avail for me to proceed: he was
expected to meet us at Malines, half-way. We at last left Antwerp; but
bribing the driver was in vain. It was not in his power to proceed;
for the moment we passed the gates, we were entangled in a crowd of
waggons, carts, horses, wounded men, deserters or runaways, and all
the rabble and confusion, the consequence of several battles.(24)
Every now and then we went several miles at a walk; and the temper of
the people was so irritable that we feared to speak to them; and I had
to caution my servant to be very guarded, because they were ready to
draw their swords in a moment. Two men got on the back of the
carriage, and we dared not desire them to get off; and this was no
imaginary terror, as I afterwards experienced.

When we were within a mile or two of Malines, the carriage stopped,
and the servant said, "It is the Captain." I had drawn the blinds to
avoid seeing the wretched objects we were passing. I hastily looked
out, and saw Mr Hay.(25) When he saw me he turned his head away.

I called out, "Mr Hay, do you know anything?"

He hesitated, and then said, "I fear I have very bad news for you."

I said, "Tell me at once. Is he dead?"

"It is all over."

I sank into the carriage again, and they took me back to Antwerp. When
I had been a short time there, Mr Hay sent to know if I had any
commands to Brussels, as he was going to return, and would do anything
for me there. At first I said I had none, and then I sent for him, and
asked repeatedly if he were sure of what he said; if he had seen him
fall. He had not been in the action,(26) and of course was not near
Sir William, "who was surrounded by Lord Wellington's Staff; but in
the middle of the action he was struck in the breast by a cannon ball,
and instantly fell. The Duke went and leant over him, and he died like
a soldier."

I then begged Mr Hay to make a point of seeing someone who had been
near him; and if possible to learn if he had spoken, and if he had
named me. Mr Hay promised this, and then asked if I would choose to go
to England. I said: "Instantly." He then said if he had twelve hours
to search the field once more--for his brother was missing--he would
be ready to take a passage for me, and to accompany me if I chose. He
said Lady Hamilton and Mrs B. were below, anxious to be of use.

I said I greatly preferred being alone, and was always much better
alone. About half an hour after, Mrs B. contrived to get into the
room. I was terrified, and called out, "Go away, go away, leave me to
myself." She prayed and entreated me to hear her, and then said if I
was ill would I send for her. I said, "Oh, yes, yes; but the only
thing anybody can do for me is to leave me alone." She was alarmed at
my violent agitation and went away. I locked the outer door, and shut
the inner one, so that no one could again intrude. They sent Emma to
entreat I would be bled; but I was not reasonable enough for that, and
would not comply. I wandered about the room incessantly, beseeching
for mercy, though I felt that now, even Heaven could not be merciful.
One is apt to fix on a situation just a little less wretched than
one's own, and to dwell upon the idea that one could bear that better.
I repeated over and over that if I had seen him alive for five
minutes, I would not repine. At night Emma brought her bed into my
room, as she feared I should be ill. Towards morning I fancied I heard
a sound of someone trying to get into the room. I heard it a long
while, but thinking it was somebody coming to visit me, I made no

About two hours after, the attempt was repeated. I said to Emma,
"There is a noise at the door. Don't let Mrs B. in, or Lady Hamilton."

She went, and returning in a few minutes said, "I am desired to tell
you cautiously"--

I said, "O Emma! go away. Don't tell me anything, any more."

"Nay, but I must tell you. I have good news for you."

"How can you be so inhuman! What is good news for me now?"

"But--Sir William is not dead."

I started up, and asked what she was saying, for she would make me
mad. She told me that General M'Kenzie(27) was below, and had a
message from Brussels, requesting him to inform me that Sir William
was alive, and that there were even hopes of his recovery.

I ran down to General M'Kenzie, and began earnestly to persuade him it
must be impossible. I had suffered so much the day before, I durst not
hope for anything now. His voice faltered, and his eyes filled with

He said, "Can you believe any man would bring such intelligence unless
it were well-founded?" He then gave me a letter from Sir G. Scovell,
who had seen an officer of the Staff Corps who had seen Sir William
alive that morning, who was anxious to see me. He was attended by a
skilful surgeon, and had been twice bled. This was dated Monday, seven
o'clock, evening.

I regretted the deal of time that had been lost, and said that
yesterday morning was a long time ago; and was no argument for his
being alive now; for it was often repeated in the letter not to raise
my hopes. I then asked General M'Kenzie to assist me to get away.
Unfortunately I did not say I had a carriage. He said he was going to
Brussels, and would take me. I consented, and he went to get ready. I
would not if I could, describe the state I was in for two hours more;
then I lost all self-command. I would not allow Emma to put up my
clothes, for fear of being detained. My agitation and anxiety
increased. I had the dreadful idea haunting me that I should arrive
perhaps half an hour too late. This got the better of me, and I paced
backward and forward in the parlour very fast, and my breathing was
like screaming. I went into the passage, and sent Emma to see if the
carriage were coming; and then sat down on the stair, which was steep
and dark. There General M'Kenzie found me. Whenever he learnt I had a
carriage, he sent the horses he had; for his carriage was not ready,
and would not be for some time. When he saw what a state I was in, he
roused me in a most sensible manner.

He said, "Lady De Lancey, consider what you are doing. You are
exhausting your strength and spirits to no purpose, for your friends
are endeavouring to forward your departure as soon as possible."

I exclaimed, "Oh, I shall never be there. He may be dying at this

He took my hand, and said calmly and firmly, "My dear madam, why fancy
evil? You know what dreadful scenes you may have to go through when
you reach Waterloo. You will probably require all your courage, and
must command yourself for his sake."

I said no more, but quietly went to the parlour and remained
waiting--such an immediate effect had his steady good sense on my
fevered mind. I overheard him say, "No, do not at present; she is not
fit for it." I was alarmed, and ran out; but I saw a lady retreating,
and I was grateful to him.

We left Antwerp between eight and nine, and had the same difficulties
to encounter; but the road was not quite so much blocked up. General
M'Kenzie said he would ride after us in an hour, in case we should be
detained; he also sent a dragoon before, to order horses. When we were
near Vilvorde, the driver attempted to pass a waggon, but the soldier
who rode beside it would not move one inch to let us pass. The waggons
kept possession of the _chaussée_ the whole way, and we had to drive
on the heavy road at the side. My servant got off the seat to
endeavour to lead the horses past. This provoked the soldier, and a
dispute began. I was alarmed, and desired the servant to get upon the
carriage again, which he did. A Prussian officer, enraged at our
attempting to pass the waggon he was guarding, drew his sword, and
made several cuts at the servant's legs, but did not reach him. He was
preparing to get down again, but I looked from the opposite window and
commanded him to sit still, and not to answer a word; or else to quit
the carriage altogether. The driver now made a dash past the waggon,
and the officer galloped after us and attempted to wound the horses.
This made me desperate, and I ventured on a most imprudent action. I
drew up the blind, and holding up my hands, I petitioned him to let
us pass. I exclaimed that my husband, a British officer, was dying,
and if he detained me I might not see him. It had the desired effect,
for without seeming to have heard me, he slackened his pace and was
soon far behind.

When within ten miles of Brussels, the smell of gunpowder was very
perceptible. The heat was oppressive. As we came within a mile of
Brussels, the multitude of wretched-looking people was great, as Emma
told me, for I was both unwilling and unable to look out. I was so
much worn with anxiety that I could scarcely sit up. As we entered
Brussels the carriage stopped, and I saw Mr Hay. I durst not speak,
but he instantly said, "He is alive. I sent my servant to Waterloo
this morning; he is just returned, and Sir William is better than they
expected. I have horses standing harnessed, and you will soon be there
if the road is passable, though it was not yesterday, for a horse."

We were soon out of Brussels again, and on the road to Waterloo. It is
nine miles, and we took three hours and a half. Mr Hay rode before us
with his sword drawn, and obliged them to let us pass. We often stood
still for ten minutes. The horses screamed at the smell of
corruption, which in many places was offensive. At last, when near the
village, Mr Hay said he would ride forward and find the house, and
learn whether I should still proceed or not. I hope no one will ever
be able to say they can understand what my feelings must have been
during the half-hour that passed till he returned. How fervently and
sincerely I resolved that if I saw him alive for one hour I never
would repine! I had almost lost my recollection, with the excess of
anxiety and suspense, when Mr Hay called out, "All's well; I have seen
him. He expects you."

When we got to the village, Sir G. Scovell met the carriage, and
opening the door, said, "Stop one moment."

I said, "Is he alive?"

"Yes, alive; and the surgeons are of opinion that he may recover. We
are so grieved for what you have suffered."

"Oh! never mind what I have suffered. Let me go to him now."

He said I must wait one moment. I assured him I was composed indeed.

He said, "I see you are," with a smile, "but I wish to warn you of one
thing. You must be aware that his life hangs on a very slender hold;
and therefore any agitation would be injurious. Now, we have not told
him you had heard of his death; we thought it would afflict him;
therefore do not appear to have heard it."

I promised, and he said, "Now come along." I sat down for an instant
in the outer room, and he went in; and when I heard my husband say,
"Let her come in, then," I was overpaid for all the misery.

I was surprised at the strength of his voice, for I had expected to
find him weak and dying. When I went into the room where he lay, he
held out his hand and said, "Come, Magdalene, this is a sad business,
is it not?" I could not speak, but sat down by him and took his hand.
This was my occupation for six days.

Though I found him far better than I expected, I can scarcely say
whether I hoped or feared most at first; because I was so much
occupied with gathering comforts about him, and helping him, that I
had not time to think about the future. It was a dreadful but
sufficient preparation, being told of his death; and then finding him
alive, I was ready to bear whatever might ensue without a murmur. I
was so grateful for seeing him once more, that I valued each hour as
it passed, and as I had too much reason to fear that I should very
soon have nothing left of happiness but what my reflections would
afford me, I endeavoured, by suppressing feelings that would have made
him miserable, and myself unfit to serve him, to lay up no store of
regret. He asked me if I was a good nurse. I told him that I had not
been much tried. He said he was sure he would be a good patient, for
he would do whatever I bade him till he was convalescent; and then he
knew he would grow very cross. I watched in vain for a cross word. All
his endeavour seemed to be to leave none but pleasing impressions on
my mind; and as he grew worse and suffered more, his smile was more
sweet, and his thanks more fervent, for everything that was done for

I endeavoured to find out from the surgeons the extent of the danger.
They said that at present there were no bad symptoms, and after seeing
him alive at all after such a wound they would not despair: and if
the fever could be kept off, there was a great chance of his
recovering. With this view they wished to bleed him constantly;
wishing also thereby to make the recovery more complete. I knew they
had no interest in me, and therefore would probably tell me the same
as other people, so I continued to ask them after every visit what
they thought; but when by watching the symptoms myself and also
observing the surgeon's expression, I saw what I must soon prepare
for, I did not tease them any more with questions, but tried not to
give way, and endeavoured to keep up as long as it would be of
consequence to him; for even after all hope was gone and the disorder
increased rapidly, I felt that if by agitating him I should afterwards
imagine I had shortened his life by one hour, that reflection would
embitter my whole life. I have the satisfaction of knowing that I
succeeded even better than I could have hoped; for toward the end of
the week, when every symptom was bad, the surgeon (probably because I
desisted from enquiring and did not appear agitated) doubtful what I
thought, yet, judging it right to tell me, asked Emma if she knew
whether I was aware of the danger or not. She assured him I had
entirely given up hope for some time.

I found Emma of great service. Her good will carried her through
excessive fatigue while at Waterloo; and afterwards her excellent
heart and superior judgment were quite a blessing to me. She told me
she was thankful she had been at Waterloo, for it would do her good to
see a little of what other people endured. She never before knew half
the value of her peaceful, comfortable home in London, where the
absence of miserable objects might alone be considered as a benefit. I
can hardly express what I felt on returning to England, to see people
surrounded with every luxury unhappy at the want of the smallest
comfort. I can fancy no better cure for all imaginary evils than a
week's residence at Waterloo.

Noise did not disturb Sir William, fortunately, for the cottage was
surrounded with roads.(28) One in front led to Nivelles, and every
waggon going to and from the army, and all the wounded and prisoners,
passed along that road. It was paved, and there was an unceasing
noise for four days and nights. We were obliged to keep the windows
open, and people used to pass close to that in his room, talking loud,
and sometimes looking in and speaking; but he never took any notice. I
never saw anybody so patient. The people to whom the cottage belonged
were, luckily, favourable to our cause, or they would have tormented
us a good deal; instead of which, I never met with such good nature;
and though they never rested one moment helping the soldiers to water,
and were constantly worn out with giving them assistance, we had only
to tell them what to do, and they ran about to work for us. Their
_ménage_, I must allow, was in a sad state.(29) There was a want of
everything. I could not help thinking with envy of the troublesome
abundance I had often seen in sick-rooms, when there was far less need
for it. However, in a short time we got everything he required; and I
have the greatest comfort in recollecting that there was not one thing
which he expressed a wish for that we did not procure. I sent a
servant instantly to Brussels with a list of things we wanted; and
once I recollect something was brought which he had been very anxious
for. Naturally enough, he was disappointed when he found it not so
good as he expected; but I was quite struck with his endeavour to
praise it, for fear I should be sorry. There was a languid melancholy
about him at the same time that he was calm and resigned, which would
have made the most uninterested person grieved to see him suffering,
and with such sweetness. Emma once gave him some drink, and she told
me that the tone of voice and his smile when he thanked her, was like
to break her heart, for he was in severe pain at the time.

He said the wound gave him no pain at all, but a little irritating
cough caused excessive pain in his chest and side. As far as I could
learn, the blow had affected the lungs, which produced inflammation
and afterwards water in the chest, which was eventually the cause of
his death. I suspect the surgeons had never much hope, but they said
there was a chance if the inflammation could have been stopped. By
constantly watching him, and gradually day after day observing the
progress and increase of suffering and the elevated tone of his mind,
along with fatigue and weakness, I was prepared for his final release
in a manner that nothing but his firmness and composure could have

He had at first been laid in the outer room, which had two large
windows to the road, and everyone saw in. This he did not like, and he
made the people move him to a small room, about seven feet wide, with
a bed across the end of it. They placed him so low and awkwardly in
the bed, that when I first went in I thought his legs were hurt, for
he could not straighten his knees. After a day or two, he got shoved
up by degrees, and then could stretch his limbs. The bed was wretched,
merely a wooden frame fastened to the wall, so that it could not be
moved, which rendered it extremely difficult to bleed him, or to
assist him in any way, as he could neither turn nor raise his head an
inch from the pillow, or rather sack of chaff, upon which he was laid.
This was so full of dust that it made him cough. I soon removed it,
and got a cushion out of the carriage instead. We had a clean blanket
from Brussels, and at first we put clean sheets on every day. But
latterly he grew so restless that he preferred having only the
blanket. I had purposely sent for a French cotton one, as I thought
the flannel would tease him. The bed was made tolerable at least, and
though I could not be pleased with it, _he_ was. He repeated more than
once, "What a thing it was for you being in this country!" and I had
the delight of hearing him say that he did not know what he would have
done without me. He said he was sure he would not have lived so long,
for he would not have been so obedient to anyone else.

I found he had been the worse of seeing some friends who had called
the first day I was at Waterloo, so I told the servant afterwards
never to let anybody come into his room. I remember one day an officer
called, and before he was out of sight I had his card converted into a
teaspoon. Sir William never ate anything, except once or twice a
morsel of toast out of the water. He drank a great deal of tea and
lemonade. At first he had no milk to his tea, and he complained that
it was very bad; but there was none to be got. I sent my servant to
search for some, and he met some Prussian cows, and milked one, and
brought a fine jug of milk. The different contrivances sometimes
amused him. One day he wished to have the room fumigated. How was this
to be done, without fire-irons, or indeed without fire? We put some
vinegar into a tumbler, and Emma went with a large pair of scissors,
and brought a piece of burning charcoal, and put it into the vinegar,
and that made a great smoke. Every time we wanted anything warmed, or
water boiled, Emma had to cross a court and make a fire, and then
watch it, or someone would have run away with what she was cooking.
Meantime I would call her ten different times, and this in wet or dry,
night or day. I now regretted having brought so few clothes.

The day I went to Waterloo, Sir William told me the Duke(30) had
visited him in the morning. He said he never had seen him so warm in
his feelings: he had taken leave of him with little hope of seeing
him again, I fancy. The Duke told him he never wished to see another
battle; this had been so shocking. It had been too much to see such
brave men, so equally matched, cutting(31) each other to pieces as
they did. Sir William said there never had been such fighting; that
the Duke far surpassed anything he had ever done before.(32) The
general opinion seemed to be that it had been a peculiarly shocking
battle. Sir William said he never would try it again; he was quite
tired of the business. In speaking of his wound he said this might be
the most fortunate event that could have happened for us both. I
looked at him for an explanation. He said, "Certainly, even if I
recover completely, I should never think of serving again. Nobody
could ask such a thing, and we should settle down quietly at home for
the rest of our lives." The evening after I went to Waterloo, Sir G.
Scovell said he would take something to eat, and after seeing me
fairly established he would go to Headquarters. He wrote a copy of a
return of rations, for which we were to send to Brussels; and also any
other provisions must be got from thence, for the village produced
nothing. He left two sentinels, for fear there should be any
disturbances, and we might feel unprotected. One night there was a
great noise of people quarrelling in front of the house; the windows
had no fastening whatever, but they passed away without molesting us.
I was a little more seriously alarmed another day. Some reports had
reached us that the French were coming back, and were within nine
miles. I thought it unlikely, but about eight in the morning all the
waggons that had passed for two hours came back as fast as possible,
horses trotting and men running. I was uneasy on Sir William's
account: his situation was so helpless. I leant forward, to prevent
people looking in and seeing him. I waited without saying anything, to
learn the cause of this bustle. I found afterwards that it was merely
the waggons had gone several miles on the wrong road, and were
hurrying back to make it up.(33)

From the time Sir G. Scovell left us, we scarcely saw anybody but the
surgeons. It must add very much to the fatigue of their business,
having to do everything for the wounded whom they attend. Mr
Powell,(34) who attended most constantly to Sir William, and with
evidently great anxiety for his recovery, was sometimes quite knocked
up with walking many miles on the heavy road to the field and the
cottages. He had some difficulty to consider me as a useful person. At
first he used to ask me to tell the servant to come; but he learnt to
employ me very soon.

The night I went, Sir William desired me to take some rest, for I
looked ill. A portmanteau bed had been brought for me from Brussels. I
left him reluctantly, for I grudged wasting any of such precious time,
but he would not hear of my sitting up. I had just lain down with my
clothes on--for there was no blanket, and the floor was damp tiles. I
heard him call to his servant, who slept at the end of his room on a
mattress. I jumped up and went to him, and did not leave him again. He
wanted some drink, which I gave him, and then sat down beside him. He
slept and woke every half-hour. He was not restless, nor had he any
pain, but he was constantly thirsty.

On Wednesday he wished to have leeches applied to his side, where the
bruise appeared. Mr Powell had no objection, and desired me to send
for him when the leeches were brought from Brussels. I did so; but in
the meantime, not knowing why he was sent for, I began as a matter of
course to apply them. When he came, he apologised, and thanked me. I
was not at first aware of how I was obliging him. He said he was very
tired, and when he attempted to fix the leeches, he did not do it so
well as I did. Next time they were to be applied, I asked if I should
send for him. He said I was as good at it as any hospital nurse could
be, and as he had scarcely had an hour's rest any night since the
battle, he would be greatly obliged to me if I would take the trouble.
Sir William alleged that I grew quite vain of my skill in tormenting
my poor husband with these animals. The same day Dr Hume(35) called in
passing to Brussels, for ten minutes. I was a little provoked at the
gaiety of his manner; the gravity he assumed at Brussels would have
been suitable to the present scene. Though Sir William never
complained, he was serious, and seemed inclined to be quiet, and
neither to speak much nor to listen. He generally lay thinking, often
conversed with me, but seemed oppressed with general conversation,
and would not listen when anyone told him of the progress of the army.
His thoughts were in a very different train. Dr Hume's rapid, lively
visit annoyed me much.

I did not feel the effects of having sat up on Tuesday night till next
night, but was resolved to fight against it. Sir William desired me to
go to rest, as he had done the night before; but I only remained away
till I had an excuse to return, and he always forgot a second time to
bid me go. This was the only night I had real difficulty to keep
awake; the noise of the carts assisted me a little. I counted the
rushes of the chair, for want of occupation. Some people said, why did
I not let my maid sit up; but that showed they did not understand; for
if twenty people had sat up, it would have made no difference to me. I
frequently rejoiced that I had no friend there who could exert
authority to make me take care of myself, when my only wish was to
keep up as long as he needed me.

On Thursday he was not quite so well. Before this he had been making a
gradual progress, and he could move about with more ease. He spoke
much better than he did at first. His countenance was animated; but I
fear this was the beginning of the most dangerous symptoms, and I saw
that the surgeon now became uneasy at the appearance of the blood; and
Mr Woolriche,(36) a very eminent surgeon, now constantly attended. He
had come over once or twice before. General Dundas(37) called this
forenoon. He stayed only a minute, as Sir William was not so well, and
I was busy. After he was away, I recollected having neglected to ask
him to send a blanket and some wine. I never had time to eat, and I
always forgot to get wine--as I could take a glass of that and a bit
of bread in a moment--and my strength was failing. I looked out and
saw him still at the door. I went out, and there were a number of
people, Sir H.D. Hamilton,(38) etc. I told General Dundas I had no
blanket. "Bless me!" everyone exclaimed, "no blanket!" I said it was
not of much consequence, as I never lay down, but the floor was so
damp I was afraid my maid would be ill, and her help was very
essential. I then asked for wine, both of which General Dundas sent
down next day.

That night I had no difficulty in keeping awake. Sir William was
restless and uncomfortable; his breathing was oppressed, and I had
constantly to raise him on the pillow. The pain in his chest
increased, and he was twice bled before morning. He was very much
better on Friday forenoon. Mr Woolriche told us that every day since
the battle the people of Brussels sent down carriages to take the
wounded to the hospital; from twenty to thirty private carriages came
every day.

On Friday evening Sir William was very feverish, and the appearance of
the blood was very inflammatory. I had learnt now to judge for myself,
as Mr Powell, seeing how anxious I was, sometimes had the kindness to
give me a little instruction. About ten at night Mr Powell and Mr
Woolriche came. While I told them how Sir William had been since their
last visit, and mentioned several circumstances that had occurred, I
watched them and saw they looked at each other. I guessed their
thoughts. I turned away to the window and wept.

They remained a little time, and I recovered myself enough to speak to
them cheerfully as they went out. They lingered, and seemed to wish to
speak to me, but I was well aware of what they had to say. I felt
unable to hear it then, and I shut the door instead of going out. It
was that night Mr Powell asked Emma if she knew what I thought. He
desired to be sent for on the first appearance of change. At one in
the morning he was in great pain, and as I raised him that he might
breathe more freely, he looked so fixed that I was afraid he was just
expiring. His arms were round my neck to raise himself by, and I
thought we should both have been killed by the exertion. He asked if
Mr Powell had not talked of bleeding him again. I said I had sent for
him. He bled him then for the last time. From that moment all the
fever was gone. Mr Powell said it was of consequence to keep him
quiet, and if he would sleep calmly it would do him good. At four in
the morning I was called out to see a surgeon sent from Mr Powell, who
was ill in bed. He came to know how Sir William was. He had slept a
little till three; but the oppression was returning. This surgeon told
me he had been anxious to speak to me several times, to tell me that
it was he who had first seen him on the field, and who had given it as
his opinion that he might live. He was grieved indeed to think that it
should fall to his lot to tell me that it was the opinion of the
surgeons that if I had anything particular to say to Sir William, I
should not delay long. I asked, "How long?" He said they could not
exactly tell. I said, "Days or hours?" He answered that the present
symptoms would certainly not prove fatal within twelve hours. I left
him, and went softly into my husband's room, for he was sleeping. I
sat down at the other end of the room, and continued looking at him,
quite stupefied; I could scarcely see. My mouth was so parched that
when I touched it, it felt as dry as the back of my hand. I thought I
was to die first. I then thought, what would he do for want of me
during the remaining few hours he had to live. This idea roused me,
and I began to recollect our helpless situation whatever happened,
and tried to think who I could inform of the circumstances. I was not
long in deciding on General Dundas, if he could be found, and have
time to come and take care of us both. I immediately wrote a long
letter to him, telling him how I was situated, and begging that he
would come after twelve hours. I said I hoped I should be calm and fit
to act for myself; but as I had never been near such a scene before, I
knew not what effect it might have upon me. I therefore explained what
I wished might be done after all was over, with respect to everything.
I then sent the servant with the letter and orders to find General
Dundas, if he were within ten miles of Brussels. A few hours after, I
had one line from him to say he would be at Waterloo in the evening.

After I had sent the letter, I sat down to consider what I was to do
next. Though Sir William was aware of his danger, I thought it my duty
to tell him how immediate the surgeons seemed to think it. I knew he
was far above being the worse of such a communication, and I wished to
know if he had anything to say. I sat thinking about it, when he
awoke and held out his hand for me to take my usual station by his
bedside. I went and told him. We talked some time on the subject. He
was not agitated, but his voice faltered a little, and he said it was
sudden. This was the first day he felt well enough to begin to hope he
should recover! He breathed freely, and was entirely free from pain;
and he said he had been thinking if he could be removed to Brussels,
he should get well soon.

I then asked if he had anything to desire me to do, or anything to say
to anyone. He reminded me of what he had told me had engrossed his
thoughts when he imagined himself dying on the field. He said he felt
exactly the same now. He felt at peace with all the world; he knew he
was going to a better one, etc., etc. He repeated most of what he had
told me were his feelings before--that he had no sorrow but to part
from his wife, no regret but leaving her in misery.

He seemed fatigued; and shutting his eyes, he desired me not to speak
for a little. I then determined not to introduce the subject again,
nor to speak about it unless he seemed to wish it, as I had done all
that was necessary.

In an hour or two he ate some breakfast, tea and toasted bread, with
so much relish that it almost overcame me. He observed that I must
have caught cold by sitting in a draught of air. I said I had. He felt
so much better that I was anxious the surgeon should see him. He came
in the evening. He was pleased to see Sir William free from pain, but
said there was scarcely a possibility of its continuing so. He said he
might linger a day or two, but that every symptom was bad. He advised
me to keep him as quiet and composed as possible. I assured him no
person had been in the room but the surgeons whom he had brought to
consult; and I had sat beside him the whole day, scarcely speaking. I
said I had told Sir William his opinion of his case. He said it had
evidently not agitated him, for his pulse was quite calm. Mr Woolriche
called in the afternoon; he was going to Brussels, and would do
anything there we wished. We had nothing for him to do, and he was
going when he repeated the question. Sir William looked at me
earnestly, and said, "Magdalene, love, General Dundas." I answered,
"I wrote to him this morning," and nothing more passed.

Late in the evening, when we were as calm and composed as could be,
and I was sitting and looking at him, and holding his hand as usual,
Mr Powell and Dr Hume came. He was even more cheerful than before,
paid a rapid, noisy visit, and away again. It disturbed our
tranquillity not a little, but he is reckoned so skilful that we ought
to have been glad to see him. He bade Sir William rouse up, felt his
pulse, and said it would bear another bleeding yet, if necessary.

The poor dying man raised his languid eyes, and said, "Oh no, I do not
need it now; I am quite cool."

Dr Hume said he had no wish to bleed him, but would like to have his
limbs fomented. He shook his head. I asked him if he knew what it was.
He said No, and would like to try. I asked Dr Hume if it would be
advisable. He said he thought it might refresh him. He went out, and I
followed to hear what he would say. He said to Mr Powell, "Why do you
give up a man with such a pulse? with such a good constitution, too!
You make them all sad and useless. It does no harm to be trying

He named several things. "Put a blister on his breast, and leeches
after, if the pain is great down the side."

I looked at Mr Powell, doubting, as I depended most on his opinion, as
his constant attention to the progress of the illness gave it most
weight. I thought he looked sorry that my hopes should be renewed, but
of course he said nothing.

Dr Hume said, "Oh, don't fear, he won't desert the cause."

I was angry at such nonsense, and said, "Be assured I do not fear that
Mr Powell will desert us, but he said this morning there was no hope."

"Nay," said he, "not quite so much as that: I said there was little

I went away, and left them to discuss it themselves.

Sir William said he wished to try what Dr Hume was speaking of, and I
went to order some boiling water to be prepared. I made the people
understand that he wanted a great quantity in a tub. While I was
speaking, Mr Powell returned. He had taken a turn with Dr Hume, and I
fancy he had explained his opinion. He said he would go home and
prepare a blister, and he believed we had leeches. I said, was it not
a great pity to torment him. He said he would not pretend to say that
he thought it could be of much consequence, but for this reason he
advised me to do it: I was not aware, he said, how I should feel
afterwards; and I might perhaps regret when it was too late, not
having done everything which a physician of Dr Hume's eminence deemed
advisable. He said that Sir William would not be at ease at any rate,
and it would scarcely plague him; the fomentation would be pleasant to
him, and I might take the blister off in six hours if he wished it.

When I went to foment his limbs, I could not find a morsel of flannel.
At last I thought of the servant's blanket, and tore it in two. Sir
William said this was a most delightful thing, and refreshed him very
much. He expressed a great wish to have a bit on his chest. I did not
know what to do for flannel. I regretted now excessively not having
brought a change of clothes; for I could have taken a flannel
petticoat. This put me in mind of the one I had on, and I instantly
tore a great piece out of it and put it into the tub. The cottagers
held up their hands, exclaiming, "Ah, madame!" He said it did him
good, and was delicious, unconscious where we had found the flannel;
indeed he never was aware of the difficulty, for the tub was placed in
the outer room.

General Dundas came. Sir William heard me speaking to him, and asked
who it was. I told him, and he asked if he was going to remain. I said
he was. Sir William seemed gratified, but did not say anything. Surely
no earthly feeling can be superior to such perfect sympathy.

Sir William fell asleep, and I went out to see if there was anything
for General Dundas to eat. He told me he had got a very good room
upstairs, and was willing to remain as long as I wished. His only
request was that I would not mind him any more than if he was not
there, but send for him when I wanted him. I opened the door of Sir
William's room and sat close to it, so as to hear if he moved or
spoke. I sat down to coffee for the first meal I had, and talked over
several things necessary to be settled with General Dundas. I could
not speak above a whisper, my voice was so faint. He entreated me, if
possible, to try and take some rest that night, for fear I should be
ill before my husband could spare me. I promised. He then told me that
Lady Hamilton had asked him to take me to her house when I returned to
Brussels; and also the Count de Lannoy had prepared rooms, which he
begged I would occupy as long as I pleased. I preferred going to the
house we had been in before, and I thought I could be more entirely
alone there than at any other person's house, which was what I wished,
and knew would be best for me. I was struck when I did return to
Brussels, with two marks of attention. I had a message from the
Commissary to say that orders had been given that I was to draw
rations and forage for as long as I stayed; and the other circumstance
was this. On the letters I had sent from Antwerp I had neglected to
write "private," which is necessary when writing to a person in
office. I gave them up for lost, and was uncomfortable. After I had
been three days at Brussels, they were all returned unopened from

Sir William called me. I sat a short time beside him, and after I had
prepared drink for the night I told him I was so very tired I would go
and lie down for a short time, if he would allow my maid to bring the
medicine which he took every four hours. He agreed, and asked if I did
not always take plenty of sleep. I said, "Oh yes," and was going, when
he said the pain in his chest was returning, and perhaps leeches would
do some good. This was the only time I hesitated to oblige him, for I
really could scarcely stand; but of course I proceeded to apply the
leeches, and in a few minutes the excessive drowsiness went off; so
much so, that when after an hour I went to lie down, I could not
sleep. I started every moment, thinking he called me. I desired Emma
to waken me if he spoke or seemed uneasy. She gave him the medicine.
He looked at her, and asked where I was; she told him I was sleeping.
He said, "That's right, quite right."

The pain in his chest grew intolerable, and depending upon my being
asleep he yielded to complaint, and groaned very much. Emma roused me
and told me she feared he was suffering very much. I had slept half an
hour. I went and stood near him, and he then ceased to complain, and
said, "Oh, it was only a little twitch." I felt at that time as if I
was an oppression to him, and I was going away, but he desired me to
stay. I sat down and rubbed it, which healed the pain, and towards
morning I put on the blister. Between five and six he ate some toasted
bread and tea, about two inches of bread. Before he began he entreated
me to take off the blister only for ten minutes, that he might eat in
tolerable comfort. I said I would take it away entirely, and he was
pleased. The doctor came about nine. He was breathing then with great
difficulty, and there was a rough sound in his throat. Mr Powell said
the only thing to be done was to keep him quiet as usual, and to
prevent him speaking. He asked Mr Powell if he might rise, for he
might breathe easier at the window, and he was so tired of lying in
that bed. Mr Powell urged him not to think of it; he was not able; it
would hurt him very much, etc.

About eleven o'clock he sent me away for ten minutes, and with the
help of his servant he rose and got to the other end of the room. I
was terrified when I heard he was up, and called General Dundas, who
went in and found him almost fainting. They placed him in bed again,
and when I returned he was much exhausted. I opened the windows wide
and shut the door, and sat by him alone, in hopes that he might go to
sleep and recover a little. He slept every now and then for a little.
He seemed oppressed with the length of the day for the first time. He
asked repeatedly what o'clock it was; he often asked if it was three
yet. When I told him it was near five, he seemed surprised. At night
he said he wished he could fall upon some device to shorten the weary
long night; he could not bear it so long. I could not think of any
plan. He said if I could lie down beside him it would cut off five or
six hours. I said it was impossible, for I was afraid to hurt him,
there was so little room. His mind seemed quite bent upon it.
Therefore I stood upon a chair and stepped over him, for he could not
move an inch, and he lay at the outer edge. He was delighted; and it
shortened the night indeed, for we both fell asleep.

At five in the morning I rose. He was very anxious to have his wound
dressed; it had never been looked at. He said there was a little pain,
merely a trifle, but it teased him. Mr Powell objected; he said it
would fatigue him too much that day. He consented to delay. I then
washed his face and hands, and brushed his hair, after which I gave
him his breakfast. He again wished to rise, but I persuaded him not to
do it; he said he would not do anything I was averse to, and he said,
"See what control your poor husband is under." He smiled, and drew me
so close to him that he could touch my face, and he continued stroking
it with his hand for some time.

Towards eleven o'clock he grew more uneasy; he was restless and
uncomfortable; his breathing was like choking, and as I sat gazing at
him I could distinctly hear the water rattling in his throat. I opened
the door and windows to make a draught. I desired the people to leave
the outer room, that his might be as quiet as usual; and then I sat
down to watch the melancholy progress of the water in his chest, which
I saw would soon be fatal.

About three o'clock Dr Hume and Mr Powell came. I must do the former
the justice to say he was grave enough now. Sir William repeated his
request to have the wound dressed. Dr Hume consented, and they went
away to prepare something to wash it with; they remained away half an
hour. I sat down by my husband and took his hand; he said he wished I
would not look so unhappy. I wept; and he spoke to me with so much
affection. He repeated every endearing expression. He bade me kiss
him. He called me his dear wife. The surgeons returned. My husband
turned on one side with great difficulty; it seemed to give much pain.

After I had brought everything the surgeons wanted, I went into
another room. I could not bear to see him suffering. Mr Powell saw a
change in his countenance; he looked out, and desired Emma to call me,
to tell me instantly Sir William wanted me. I hastened to him,
reproaching myself for having been absent a moment. I stood near my
husband, and he looked up at me and said, "Magdalene, my love, the
spirits." I stooped down close to him and held the bottle of lavender
to him: I also sprinkled some near him. He looked pleased. He gave a
little gulp, as if something was in his throat. The doctor said, "Ah,
poor De Lancey! He is gone." I pressed my lips to his, and left the

I went upstairs, where I remained, unconscious of what was passing,
till Emma came to me and said the carriage was ready, and General
Dundas advised me to go that evening to Brussels, but I need not hurry
myself. I asked her if the room below was empty. She assured me it
was; and I went down and remained some time beside the body. There was
such perfect peace and placid calm sweetness in his countenance, that
I envied him not a little. He was released: I was left to suffer. I
then thought I should not suffer long. As I bent over him I felt as if
violent grief would disturb his tranquil rest.

These moments that I passed by his lifeless body were awful, and
instructive. Their impression will influence my whole life.

I left Waterloo with feelings so different from those I had on going
to it. Then all was anxious terror that I would not be there in time
to see one look, or to hear one word. Now there was nothing
imaginary--all was real misery. There now remained not even a chance
of happiness, but what depended on the retrospect of better days and
duties fulfilled.

As I drove rapidly along the same road, I could not but recall the
irritated state I had been in when I had been there before; and the
fervent and sincere resolutions I then made, that if I saw him alive,
I never would repine.

Since that time I have suffered every shade of sorrow; but I can
safely affirm that except the first few days, when the violence of
grief is more like delirium than the sorrow of a Christian, I have
never felt that my lot was unbearable. I do not forget the perfection
of my happiness while it lasted; and I believe there are many who
after a long life cannot say they have felt so much of it.

As I expressed some uneasiness to General Dundas at having left the
body with none but servants, Colonel Grant at his request went to
Waterloo the same evening, and remained till it was brought up next
day to Brussels. General Dundas then kindly executed all my orders
with respect to the funeral, etc., which took place on Wednesday the
28th, in the cemetery of the Reformed(39) Church. It is about a mile
from Brussels, on the road to Louvain. I had a stone placed, with
simply his name and the circumstances of his death. I visited his
grave(40) on Tuesday, the 4th of July. The burying-ground is in a
sweet, quiet, retired spot. A narrow path leads to it from the road.
It is quite out of sight among the fields, and no house but the
grave-digger's cottage is near. Seeing my interest in that grave, he
begged me to let him plant roses round it, and promised I should see
it nicely kept when I returned. I am pleased that I saw the grave and
the stone; for there were nearly forty other new graves, and not
another stone.

At eleven o'clock that same day, I set out for England. That day,
three(41) months before, I was married.

M. De L.


Most of the following notes have been compiled by Mr T.W. Brogden, of
the Middle Temple, to whom I take this opportunity of expressing my
indebtedness for his assistance in the preparation of this volume, and
for his kindness in seeing the book through the press, during my
absence in Canada.


(1) "On Thursday the 15th June we had spent a particularly happy
morning. My dear husband gave me many interesting anecdotes of his
former life, and I traced in every one some trait of his amiable and
generous mind; never had I felt so perfectly content, so grateful for
the blessing of his love."--_Abridged Narrative._

(2) General Alava, who was Minister Plenipotentiary from Spain to the
King of the Netherlands.

Sir William and Lady De Lancey were amongst the guests invited to the
Duchess of Richmond's famous ball that night. See _Reminiscences of
Lady de Ros_, p. 127.

(3) "He turned back at the door, and looked at me with a smile of
happiness and peace. It was the last!"--_Abridged Narrative._

(4) The Duke's house was at the corner of the Rue de la Montagne du
Parc and the Rue Royale, and was next to the Hotel de France. The
Count de Lannoy's house was at the south-east corner of the Impasse du

(5) By 9 P.M. the _first orders_ had been despatched.

Colonel Basil Jackson has the following recollections of his
experiences on the evening of the 15th June: "I was sauntering about
the park towards seven o'clock on the evening of the 15th June, when a
soldier of the Guards, attached to the Quartermaster-General's office,
summoned me to attend Sir William De Lancey. He had received orders to
concentrate the army towards the frontier, which until then had
remained quiet in cantonments. I was employed, along with others, for
about two hours in writing out 'routes' for the several divisions,
foreign as well as British, which were despatched by orderly Hussars
of the 3rd Regiment of the German Legion, steady fellows, who could be
depended on for so important a service. To each was explained the rate
at which he was to proceed, and the time when he was to arrive at his
destination; he was directed also to bring back the cover of the
letter which he carried, having the time of its arrival noted upon it
by the officer to whom it was addressed.

"This business over, which occupied us till after nine, De Lancey put
a packet into my hand directed to Colonel Cathcart--the present
Earl--a thorough soldier, and highly esteemed by the Duke, who then
filled, as he had previously done in Spain, the arduous post of
Assistant Quartermaster-General to the whole of the cavalry.

"'I believe you can find your way in the dark by the cross roads to
Ninove,' said Sir William, 'let this be delivered as soon as

"Proud of my commission, I was speedily in the saddle and threading my
way, which I did without difficulty. My good nag rapidly cleared the
fifteen miles, but ere reaching the above place, then the headquarters
of the cavalry, I fell in with one or two orderly Dragoons speeding to
out-quarters. I could also perceive lights flickering about in the
villages adjacent to my route: indications which satisfied me that the
German Hussar previously despatched from Brussels had accomplished his

"Here let me stop for a moment to commend the practice in our service
of having plenty of well-mounted staff officers ready to convey orders
of moment at the utmost speed. On the portentous night in question,
several, chiefly belonging to the Royal Staff Corps, a body attached
to the Quartermaster-General's department, were employed in conveying
duplicates of the instructions previously forwarded by Hussars, in
order to guard against the possibility of mistake. The omission of
such a precautionary measure at the Prussian headquarters, on the same
evening, was attended with disastrous consequences, for Blücher's
order for Bulow's corps to unite with the rest of his army, being
entrusted to a corporal, probably wanting in intelligence, he did not
deliver it in time, whereby that corps, 30,000 strong, failed to reach
Ligny and share in the battle."[33]

[Footnote 33: "Recollections of Waterloo," by a Staff Officer, in
_United Service Journal_ for 1847, Part III., p. 3.]

(6) "I entreated to remain in the room with him, promising not to
speak. He wrote for several hours without any interruption but the
entrance and departure of the various messengers who were to take the
orders. Every now and then I gave him a cup of green tea, which was
the only refreshment he would take, and he rewarded me by a silent
look. My feelings during these hours I cannot attempt to describe, but
I preserved perfect outward tranquillity."--_Abridged Narrative._

(7) By 12 midnight, the _after orders_ had been despatched. With
regard to the orders of the 15th and 16th June, including the
"Disposition of the British Army at 7 o'clock A.M., 16th June,"
attributed to Sir William De Lancey, see Gurwood, vol. xii., pp.
472-474; _Supplementary Despatches_, vol. x., p. 496; Ropes'
_Waterloo_, pp. 77-89; and Colonel Maurice in _U.S. Magazine_, 1890,
pp. 144 and 257-263.

(8) Doubtless, General Müffling, Prussian attaché at the headquarters
of the Duke of Wellington. He accompanied the Duke to the ball, and
next morning rode with him to Quatre Bras.

(9) _I.e._, without changing their ball dress. Some of the officers
were killed at Quatre Bras in their shoes and silk stockings. "There
was a ball at Brussels, at the Duchess of Richmond's, that night
(which I only mention because it was so much talked of), at which
numbers of the officers were present, who quitted the ball to join
their divisions, which had commenced their march before they arrived
at their quarters, and some of them were killed the next day in the
same dress they had worn at the ball." (Extract from a letter written
by Colonel Felton Hervey shortly after the battle, and published in
the _XIXth Century_ for March 1903, page 431.) See also Colonel
Maurice in _U.S. Magazine_, 1890, p. 144.

(10) "As the dawn broke, the soldiers were seen assembling from all
parts of the town, in marching order, with their knapsacks on their
backs, loaded with three days' provisions. Unconcerned in the midst of
the din of war, many a soldier laid himself down on a truss of straw
and soundly slept, with his hands still grasping his firelock; others
were sitting contentedly on the pavement, waiting the arrival of their
comrades. Numbers were taking leave of their wives and children,
perhaps for the last time, and many a veteran's rough cheek was wet
with the tears of sorrow. One poor fellow, immediately under our
windows, turned back again and again to bid his wife farewell, and
take his baby once more in his arms; and I saw him hastily brush away
a tear with the sleeve of his coat, as he gave her back the child for
the last time, wrung her hand, and ran off to join his company, which
was drawn up on the other side of the Place Royale. Many of the
soldiers' wives marched out with their husbands to the field, and I
saw one young English lady mounted on horseback slowly riding out of
town along with an officer, who, no doubt, was her husband. Soon
afterwards the 42nd and 92nd Highland regiments marched through the
Place Royale and the Parc, with their bagpipes playing before them,
while the bright beams of the rising sun shone full on their polished
muskets and on the dark waving plumes of their tartan bonnets. Alas!
we little thought that even before the fall of night these brave men
whom we now gazed at with so much interest and admiration would be
laid low." (Mrs Eaton's _Waterloo Days_, p. 21.)

(11) "I stood with my husband at a window of the house, which
overlooked a gate of the city, and saw the whole army go out. Regiment
after regiment passed through and melted away in the mist of the
morning."--_Abridged Narrative._

(12) "Le Grand Laboureur."

(13) The Duke's corpse did not arrive at Antwerp till Saturday
afternoon. See Mrs Eaton's _Waterloo Days_, p. 59.

(14) "I went to Antwerp, and found the hotel there so crowded, that I
could only obtain one small room for my maid and myself, and it was at
the top of the house. I remained entirely within, and desired my maid
not to tell me what she might hear in the hotel respecting the army.
On the 18th, however, I could not avoid the conviction that the battle
was going on; the anxious faces in the street, the frequent messengers
I saw passing by, were sufficient proof that important intelligence
was expected, and as I sat at the open window I heard the firing of
artillery, like the distant roaring of the sea, as I had so often
heard it at Dunglass. How the contrast of my former tranquil life
there was pressed upon me at that moment!"--_Abridged Narrative._

Southey, the poet, says that the firing of the 16th was heard at
Antwerp, but not that of the 18th. It is an extraordinary but
indisputable fact that the firing at Waterloo was heard in England.
The _Kentish Gazette_ of Tuesday, 20th June 1815 (published therefore
before any one in England, not even Nathan Rothschild himself, was
aware that there had been a battle fought at Waterloo), contained the
following piece of news from Ramsgate: "A heavy and incessant firing
was heard from this coast on Sunday evening in the direction of
Dunkirk." Dunkirk lies in nearly a straight line between Waterloo and
the coast of Kent. What makes the matter still more extraordinary is
the fact that Colville's Division, which, on the 18th, was posted in
front of Hal, about ten miles to the west of the battlefield, never
heard a sound of the firing, and did not know till midnight that any
battle had taken place.

(15) Wellington's headquarters on the night of the 16th June were at
Genappe, two or three miles to the rear of the battlefield of Quatre
Bras. He slept at the Roi d'Espagne. Blücher occupied the same inn on
the night of the 18th.

(16) The battle began about 11.35, though Wellington in his despatch
states that it began about 10. Napoleon's bulletin fixes noon as the
time. Marshal Ney said that it began at 1 o'clock. It is clear they
did not all look at their watches.

(17) De Lancey is supposed to have been struck about the time when the
French batteries opened a fierce cannonade on the English centre,
preparatory to the first of their tremendous cavalry attacks. This
would make the hour nearer 4 o'clock than 3.

He fell not far from the Wellington Tree, and close to the famous
_chemin creux_ of Victor Hugo, in the immediate rear of which
Ompteda's brigade of the King's German Legion was posted. The
appearance of the spot is now entirely altered. The tree was cut down
in 1818, and all the soil of the elevated ground on the south side of
the _chemin creux_ was carted away to make the Belgian Lion Mound
about 1825. A steam tramway now runs by the place.

For a sketch of the celebrated tree, with Napoleon's guide, De Coster,
in the foreground, see Captain Arthur Gore's _Explanatory Notes on the
Battle of Waterloo_, 1817; and for another view of the ragged old tree
as it appeared the day before it was cut down, see _Illustrated London
News_, 27th November 1852.

The map which faces page 110 is adapted from the plan of the
battlefield of Waterloo, drawn in 1816, by W.B. Craan, Surveying
Engineer of Brabant.

The troops are shown in the positions occupied by them at 11 o'clock,
A.M., just before the opening of the battle.

On the map will be seen the position of the Wellington Tree, also the
farm and village of Mont St Jean, to which village it is supposed Sir
William De Lancey was carried, after he had received the fatal blow.

The village of Waterloo is outside the map, some two miles to the

[Illustration: Map of Part of the Battlefield of Waterloo]

"The Duke had no fixed station throughout the day, and did not remain
at this tree for more than three or four minutes at any one time. He
frequently rode to it to observe the advance of the columns of attack.
A deep dip in the main road prevented his going beyond it without a
detour to the rear. It was here also that, the Duke having galloped up
with the staff and using his glass to observe the enemy's movements,
poor Colonel De Lancey by his side was struck by a heavy shot which
slanted off without breaking either his skin or even his coat, but all
the ribs of the left side were separated from the back."--Siborne's
_Waterloo Correspondence_, vol. i., p. 51.

Sir Walter Scott has the following interesting passage in the Seventh
of his _Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk_. After a reference to the
British army taking up its position on the field of Waterloo the night
before the battle, he thus continues: "The Duke had caused a plan of
this and other military positions in the neighbourhood of Brussels, to
be made some time before by Colonel Carmichael Smyth, the chief
engineer. He now called for that sketch, and with the assistance of
the regretted Sir William De Lancey and Colonel Smyth, made his
dispositions for the momentous events of next day. The plan itself, a
_relique_ so precious, was rendered yet more so by being found in the
breast of Sir William De Lancey's coat when he fell, and stained with
the blood of that gallant officer. It is now in the careful
preservation of Colonel Carmichael Smyth, by whom it was originally

For an account of Colonel Sir James Carmichael Smyth, Commanding Royal
Engineer on the Staff of the Duke of Wellington, see _Dictionary of
National Biography_, vol. liii., p. 185.

Major John Oldfield, Brigade-Major, R.E., gives the following
particulars about this map, which is reproduced opposite page 565 of
vol. i. of C.D. Yonge's _Life of Field-Marshal the Duke of

"Shortly after my chief--Colonel Smyth--had joined headquarters (this
was on the 16th), he sent in to me, at Brussels, for the plan of the
position of Waterloo, which had been previously reconnoitred. The
several sketches of the officers had been put together, and one fair
copy made for the Prince of Orange. A second had been commenced in the
drawing-room for the Duke, but was not in a state to send; I therefore
forwarded the original sketches of the officers.

"_Morning of the 17th._--Upon my joining Colonel Smyth, he desired me
to receive from Lieutenant Waters the plan of the position, which,
according to his desire, I had sent to him from Brussels the preceding
day, and of which I was told to take the greatest care. It had been
lost in one of the charges of the French cavalry, and recovered.
Lieutenant Waters, who had it in his cloak before his saddle (or in
his sabretasche attached to his saddle, I forget which), was unhorsed
in the _mêlée_ and ridden over. Upon recovering himself, he found the
cavalry had passed him, and his horse was nowhere to be seen. He felt
alarmed for the loss of his plan. To look for his horse, he imagined,
was in vain, and his only care was to avoid being taken prisoner,
which he hoped to do by keeping well towards our right. The enemy
being repulsed in his charge was returning by the left to the ground
by which he had advanced. After proceeding about fifty yards, he was
delighted to find his horse quietly destroying the vegetables in a
garden near the farmhouse at Quatre Bras. He thus fortunately
recovered his plan, and with it rejoined the Colonel. The retreat of
the Prussians upon Wavre rendered it necessary for the Duke to make a
corresponding movement, and upon the receipt of a communication from
Blücher, he called Colonel Smyth and asked him for his plan of the
position of Waterloo, which I immediately handed to him. The Duke then
gave directions to Sir William De Lancey to put the army in position
at Waterloo, forming them across the Nivelles and Charleroi
chaussées."--Porter's _History of the Corps of Royal Engineers_, vol.
i., p. 380. See also Ropes' _Waterloo_, p. 296.

(18) "He was able to speak in a short time after the fall, and when
the Duke of Wellington took his hand and asked how he felt, he begged
to be taken from the crowd that he might die in peace, and gave a
message to me."--_Abridged Narrative._

(19) Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel Delancey Barclay, 1st Foot Guards.
See _Army List_ for 1815, pp. 30 and 145, also _Waterloo Roll Call_,
p. 30.

(20) Probably a barn at the farm of Mont St Jean, about 700 yards
north of the Wellington Tree.

(21) Doubtless the village of Mont St Jean, the village of Waterloo
being two miles further north.

When Miss Waldie (afterwards Mrs Eaton--see _Dictionary of National
Biography_, vol. lix., p. 26) went to Waterloo on the 15th July, she
noticed the name of Sir William De Lancey written in chalk on the
door of a cottage, where he had slept the night before the battle.
(_Waterloo Days_, p. 125.) The sketch on the opposite page is
reproduced from _Sketches in Flanders and Holland_, by Robert Hills,
1816, and shows the village of Mont St Jean, as it appeared a month
after the battle. The figures in the foreground represent villagers
returning from the battlefield with cuirasses, brass eagles, bullets,
etc., which they had picked up.

[Illustration: THE VILLAGE OF MONT ST JEAN, 1815.]

(22) See _Waterloo Roll Call_, p. 35, and _Army List_ for 1815, p. 31.

(23) The Duke began the Waterloo despatch very early on the 19th at
Waterloo, but he finished it at Brussels, that same morning.

(24) _I.e._, not only Waterloo, but Ligny, Quatre Bras, and the
fighting that took place on the 15th and 17th June.

(25) Mr William Hay of Duns Castle. He had been in the 16th Light
Dragoons in the Peninsular War (see _Army List_ for 1811, p. 89), and
had come over from England a few days before to see his old friends,
and introduce his young brother, Cornet Alexander Hay, to his old

(26) Mr Hay was on the battlefield during the early part of the fight.
Early next morning he revisited the field, to try to find some trace
of his brother. The body was never found. He had been killed late at
night on the French position, while the 16th Light Dragoons were in
pursuit of the enemy. (Tomkinson's _Diary of a Cavalry Officer_,
1809-1815, p. 314; also _Reminiscences_, 1808-1815, _under
Wellington_, by Captain William Hay, C.B.) There is a memorial tablet
to him in the church at Waterloo, with the following inscription:

     "Sacred to the memory of Alexander Hay, Esq., of Nunraw,
     Cornet in the 16th Light Dragoons, aged 18 years, who fell
     gloriously in the Memorable Battle of Waterloo, June 18,

          "_O dolor atque decus magnum ...
          Hæc te prima dies bello dedit, hæc eadem aufert._

     "This tablet was placed here by his Brothers and Sisters."

(27) No doubt Lieutenant-General John Mackenzie who was in command at
Antwerp. He succeeded Sir Colin Halkett in that post. See _Army List_
for 1815, p. 8.

(28) Another indication that it was in the village of Mont St Jean and
not Waterloo.

(29) "One of the most painful visits I ever paid was to a little
wretched cottage at the end of the village which was pointed out to me
as the place where De Lancey was lying mortally wounded. How wholly
shocked I was on entering, to find Lady De Lancey seated on the only
broken chair the hovel contained, by the side of her dying husband. I
made myself known. She grasped me by the hand, and pointed to poor De
Lancey covered with his coat, and with just a spark of life
left."--_Reminiscences, etc._, by Captain William Hay, C.B., p. 202.

(30) Creevey states that as he was on his way from Brussels to
Waterloo on Tuesday the 20th June, the Duke overtook him and said he
was going to see Sir Frederick Ponsonby and De Lancey. The Duke was in
plain clothes and riding in a curricle with Colonel Felton
Hervey.--_The Creevey Papers_, p. 238.

(31) Probably the Duke had in his mind the charge of Lord Edward
Somerset's Household Brigade against the French Cuirassiers, which
took place about 2 o'clock. Alava, in his report to the Spanish
Government, calls it "the most sanguinary cavalry fight perhaps ever

(32) This was the general opinion at the time. Four days after the
battle an officer in the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Foot Guards wrote as
follows: "I constantly saw the noble Duke of Wellington riding
backwards and forwards like the Genius of the storm, who, borne upon
its wings, directed its thunder where to break. He was everywhere to
be found, encouraging, directing, animating. He was in a blue short
cloak, and a plain cocked hat, his telescope in his hand; there was
nothing that escaped him, nothing that he did not take advantage of,
and his lynx eyes seemed to penetrate the smoke and forestall the
movements of the foe" (p. 42, _Battle of Waterloo_, 11th edition,
1852, L. Booth). A highly interesting remark from the Duke's lips just
before the attack made by the Imperial Guard has been preserved in a
letter written at Nivelles on the 20th June, by Colonel Sir A.S.
Frazer. "'Twice have I saved this day by perseverance,' said his Grace
before the last great struggle, and said so most justly." This seems
to coincide with the observation which the Duke made to Creevey at
Brussels the morning after the battle. "By God! I don't think it would
have been done, if I had not been there."

(33) Another proof that it was Mont St Jean and not Waterloo.

(34) Probably James Powell, an apothecary in the Medical Department.
Date of rank, 9th September 1813. See _Army List_ for 1815, p. 93. In
the Army List of 1817, and in subsequent Army Lists he is shown with a
[symbol: Blackletter W] before his name, as being in possession of the
Waterloo Medal. His last appearance in the Army List is in 1841, in
which issue he is shown on page 340 as a surgeon on half-pay.

(35) John Robert Hume was a Deputy-Inspector of the Medical
Department. See _Army List_ for 1815, p. 90. He also held the
appointment of surgeon to the Duke of Wellington. He was in attendance
on the memorable occasion when a duel took place in Battersea Fields
between the Duke of Wellington and Earl Winchilsea, 21st March 1829.
He died in 1857. See _Dictionary of National Biography_, vol. xxviii.,
p. 229.

The following is Dr Hume's account of his visit to the Duke the
morning after the battle. "I came back from the field of Waterloo with
Sir Alexander Gordon, whose leg I was obliged to amputate on the field
late in the evening. He died rather unexpectedly in my arms about
half-past three in the morning of the 19th. I was hesitating about
disturbing the Duke, when Sir Charles Broke-Vere came. He wished to
take his orders about the movement of the troops. I went upstairs and
tapped gently at the door, when he told me to come in. He had as usual
taken off his clothes, but had not washed himself. As I entered, he
sat up in bed, his face covered with the dust and sweat of the
previous day, and extended his hand to me, which I took and held in
mine, whilst I told him of Gordon's death, and of such of the
casualties as had come to my knowledge. He was much affected. I felt
the tears dropping fast upon my hand, and looking towards him, saw
them chasing one another in furrows over his dusty cheeks. He brushed
them suddenly away with his left hand, and said to me in a voice
tremulous with emotion, 'Well, thank God, I don't know what it is to
lose a battle; but certainly nothing can be more painful than to gain
one with the loss of so many of one's friends.'"--(Extract from a
Lecture by Montague Gore, 1852.)

(36) Stephen Woolriche was a Deputy-Inspector of the Medical
Department. See _Army List_ for 1815, p. 90. His name appears for the
last time in the Army List of 1855-56. By that time he had gained a
C.B., and held the rank of Inspector-General of the Medical Department
on half-pay.

(37) General Francis Dundas (_Army List_ for 1815, p. 3) was Colonel
of the 71st Highland Light Infantry. He had served in the American
War, and afterwards at the Cape. At the time of the alarm of a French
invasion, of England in 1804-5, he commanded a portion of the English
forces assembled on the south coast under Sir David Dundas, the
Commander-in-Chief, who married an aunt of Sir William De Lancey. Sir
David Dundas was at this time Governor of Chelsea Hospital, where he
died at the age of eighty-five, on the 18th February 1820.--(See
_Dictionary of National Biography_, vol. xvi., p. 185.)

(38) Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton, fourth baronet, was born on the 3rd
January 1774, and married, on the 19th May 1800, Jane, eldest daughter
of the first Lord Duncan of Camperdown.

(39) There were at that time three Protestant cemeteries at Brussels.
This was the St Josse Ten Noode Cemetery, on the south side of the
Chaussée de Louvain. Many were here buried who had died of wounds
received at Waterloo, including Major Archibald John Maclean, 73rd
Highlanders; Major William J. Lloyd, R.A.; Captain William Stothert,
Adjutant, 3rd Foot Guards; Lieut. Michael Cromie, R.A.; Lieut. Charles
Spearman, R.A.; Lieut. John Clyde, 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. See
_Times_ of 9th February 1889.

(40) In 1889, Sir William De Lancey's remains were exhumed from the
old, disused cemetery of St Josse Ten Noode, and, along with those of
a number of other British officers who fell in the Waterloo campaign,
were removed to the beautiful cemetery of Evere, three miles to the
north-east of Brussels. On the 26th August 1890, H.R.H. the Duke of
Cambridge unveiled the celebrated Waterloo memorial which contains
their bones.

The following was the inscription on the gravestone which Lady De
Lancey erected:--


ON THE 18TH JUNE 1815."


(41) _Tuesday, 4th April_ 1815.--This date is confirmed by the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, 1815, which states: "April 4, Col. Sir W. De
Lancey, K.C.B., to Magdalene, daughter of Sir James Hall, Bart."

On the other hand, the _Abridged Narrative_ states as follows:--"I was
married in March 1815. At that time Sir William De Lancey held an
appointment on the Staff in Scotland. Peace appeared established, and
I had no apprehension of the trials that awaited me. While we were
spending the first week of our marriage at Dunglass, the accounts of
the return of Bonaparte from Elba arrived, and Sir William was
summoned to London, and soon after ordered to join the army at
Brussels as Adjutant-Quartermaster-General." Napoleon landed in France
on the 1st March, and in the London _Evening Mail_ of the issue

"From Wednesday, March 8, to Friday, March 10, 1815," the following
appears as a postscript:--


    "_Friday Afternoon, March_ 10.

    "Letters have been received at Dover of the most interesting
    import; they announce the flight of Buonaparte from the
    island of Elba, and his arrival at Frejus, the place at
    which he landed on his return from Egypt. We have seen the
    King of France's proclamation against him, dated the 6th
    instant, declaring him and his adherents traitors and rebels:
    of these he is said to have had at first only 1300, but to
    have directed his march immediately on Lyons. It was
    considered that he would make a dash at Paris. Now, however,
    the villain's fate is at issue."

This news probably reached Edinburgh by coach a week later, and may
have been known at Dunglass on the following day, the 18th March.

It seems doubtful, therefore, whether Lady De Lancey did not make a
mistake of a month in dating her marriage exactly three months before
the 4th of July. She may possibly have been married in March.

The "Hundred Days" cover the period between Napoleon's first
proclamation at Lyons on the 13th March and his abdication on the 22nd

It will therefore be seen that the married life of the De Lanceys, if
it extended from the 4th March to the 26th June 1815, covered this
period, with just thirteen days to spare.


Letters to Captain Basil Hall, R.N., from Sir Walter Scott and Charles

[Footnote 34: From the autograph collection in the possession of Lady

       *       *       *       *       *


"I received with great pleasure your kind proposal to visit Tweedside.
It arrived later than it should have done. I lose no time in saying
that you and Mrs Hall cannot come but as welcome guests any day next
week, which may best suit you. If you have time to drop a line we will
make our dinner hour suit your arrival, but you cannot come amiss to

"I am infinitely obliged to you for Captain Maitland's plain, manly,
and interesting narrative. It is very interesting, and clears
Bonaparte of much egotism imputed to him. I am making a copy which,
however, I will make no use of except as extracts, and am very much
indebted to Captain Maitland for the privilege.

"Constable proposed a thing to me which was of so much delicacy that I
scarce know how [_sic_] about it, and thought of leaving it till you
and I met.

"It relates to that most interesting and affecting journal kept by my
regretted and amiable friend, Mrs Hervey,[35] during poor De Lancey's
illness. He thought with great truth that it would add very great
interest as an addition to the letters which I wrote from Paris soon
after Waterloo, and certainly I would consider it as one of the most
valuable and important documents which could be published as
illustrative of the woes of war. But whether this could be done
without injury to the feelings of survivors is a question not for me
to decide, and indeed I feel unaffected pain in even submitting it to
your friendly ear who I know will put no harsh construction upon my
motive which can be no other than such as would do honour to the
amiable and lamented authoress. I never read anything which affected
my own feelings more strongly or which I am sure would have a deeper
interest on those of the public. Still the work is of a domestic
nature, and its publication, however honourable to all concerned,
might perhaps give pain when God knows I should be sorry any proposal
of mine should awaken the distresses which time may have in some
degree abated. You are the only person who can judge of this with any
certainty or at least who can easily gain the means of ascertaining
it, and as Constable seemed to think there was a possibility that
after the lapse of so much time it might be regarded as matter of
history and as a record of the amiable character of your accomplished
sister, and seemed to suppose there was some probability of such a
favour being granted, you will consider me as putting the question on
his suggestion. It could be printed as the Journal of a lady during
the last illness of a General Officer of distinction during her
attendance upon his last illness, or something to that purpose.
Perhaps it may be my own high admiration of the contents of this
heartrending diary which makes me suppose a possibility that after
such a lapse of years, the publication may possibly (as that which
cannot but do the highest honour to the memory of the amiable
authoress) may not be judged altogether inadmissible. You may and
will, of course, act in this matter with your natural feeling of
consideration, and ascertain whether that which cannot but do honour
to the memory of those who are gone can be made public with the sacred
regard due to the feelings of survivors.

[Footnote 35: Lady De Lancey married again in 1819 Captain Henry
Hervey, Madras Infantry, and died in 1822. _Gentleman's Magazine_,
vol. lxxxix, Part I., p. 368, and vol. cii., Part II., p. 179.]

"Lady Scott begs to add the pleasure she must have in seeing Mrs Hall
and you at Abbotsford, and in speedy expectation of that honour I am

"Dear Sir,

"Most truly yours,


"ABBOTSFORD, 13_th_ _October_ 1825."

       *       *       *       *       *


"_Tuesday evening_, 16_th_ _March_ 1841.


"For I see it must be 'juniores priores,' and that I must demolish the
ice at a blow.

"I have not had courage until last night to read Lady De Lancey's
narrative, and, but for your letter, I should not have mastered it
even then. One glance at it, when through your kindness it first
arrived, had impressed me with a foreboding of its terrible truth, and
I really have shrunk from it in pure lack of heart.

"After working at Barnaby all day, and wandering about the most
wretched and distressful streets for a couple of hours in the
evening--searching for some pictures I wanted to build upon--I went at
it, at about ten o'clock. To say that the reading that most
astonishing and tremendous account has constituted an epoch in my
life--that I shall never forget the lightest word of it--that I cannot
throw the impression aside, and never saw anything so real, so
touching, and so actually present before my eyes, is nothing. I am
husband and wife, dead man and living woman, Emma and General Dundas,
doctor and bedstead--everything and everybody (but the Prussian
officer--damn him) all in one. What I have always looked upon as
masterpieces of powerful and affecting description, seem as nothing in
my eyes. If I live for fifty years, I shall dream of it every now and
then, from this hour to the day of my death, with the most frightful
reality. The slightest mention of a battle will bring the whole thing
before me. I shall never think of the Duke any more, but as he stood
in his shirt with the officer in full-dress uniform, or as he
dismounted from his horse when the gallant man was struck down.

"It is a striking proof of the power of that most extraordinary man
Defoe that I seem to recognise in every line of the narrative
something of him. Has this occurred to you? The going to Waterloo with
that unconsciousness of everything in the road, but the obstacles to
getting on--the shutting herself up in her room and determining not to
hear--the not going to the door when the knocking came--the finding
out by her wild spirits when she heard he was safe, how much she had
feared when in doubt and anxiety--the desperate desire to move towards
him--the whole description of the cottage, and its condition; and
their daily shifts and contrivances; and the lying down beside him in
the bed and both _falling asleep_; and his resolving not to serve any
more, but to live quietly thenceforth; and her sorrow when she saw him
eating with an appetite so soon before his death; and his death
itself--all these are matters of truth, which only that astonishing
creature, as I think, could have told in fiction.

"Of all the beautiful and tender passages--the thinking every day how
happy and blest she was--the decorating him for the dinner--the
standing in the balcony at night and seeing the troops melt away
through the gate--and the rejoining him on his sick bed--I say not a
word. They are God's own, and should be sacred. But let me say again,
with an earnestness which pen and ink can no more convey than toast
and water, in thanking you heartily for the perusal of this paper,
that its impression on me can never be told; that the ground she
travelled (which I know well) is holy ground to me from this day; and
that please Heaven I will tread its every foot this very next summer,
to have the softened recollection of this sad story on the very earth
where it was acted.

"You won't smile at this, I know. When my enthusiasms are awakened by
such things they don't wear out.

"Have you ever thought within yourself of that part where, having
suffered so much by the news of his death, she _will not_ believe he
is alive? I should have supposed that unnatural if I had seen it in

"I shall never dismiss the subject from my mind, but with these hasty
and very imperfect words I shall dismiss it from my paper, with two
additional remarks--firstly, that Kate has been grievously putting
me out by sobbing over it, while I have been writing this, and has
just retired in an agony of grief; and, secondly, that _if_ a time
_should_ ever come when you would not object to letting a friend copy
it for himself, I hope you will bear me in your thoughts.

"It seems the poorest nonsense in the world to turn to anything else,
that is, seems to me being fresher in respect of Lady De Lancey than
you--but my raven's dead. He had been ailing for a few days but not
seriously, as we thought, and was apparently recovering, when symptoms
of relapse occasioned me to send for an eminent medical gentleman one
Herring (a bird fancier in the New Road), who promptly attended and
administered a powerful dose of castor oil. This was on Tuesday last.
On Wednesday morning he had another dose of castor oil and a tea cup
full of warm gruel, which he took with great relish and under the
influence of which he so far recovered his spirits as to be enabled to
bite the groom severely. At 12 o'clock at noon he took several turns
up and down the stable with a grave, sedate air, and suddenly reeled.
This made him thoughtful. He stopped directly, shook his head, moved
on again, stopped once more, cried in a tone of remonstrance and
considerable surprise, 'Halloa old girl!' and immediately died.

"He has left a rather large property (in cheese and halfpence) buried,
for security's sake, in various parts of the garden. I am not without
suspicions of poison. A butcher was heard to threaten him some weeks
since, and he stole a clasp knife belonging to a vindictive carpenter,
which was never found. For these reasons, I directed a post-mortem
examination, preparatory to the body being stuffed; the result of it
has not yet reached me. The medical gentleman broke out the fact of
his decease to me with great delicacy, observing that 'the jolliest
queer start had taken place with that 'ere knowing card of a bird, as
ever he see'd'--but the shock was naturally very great. With reference
to the jollity of the start, it appears that a raven dying at two
hundred and fifty or thereabouts, is looked upon as an infant. This
one would hardly, as I may say, have been born for a century or so to
come, being only two or three years old.

"I want to know more about the promised 'tickler'--when it's to come,
what it's to be, and in short all about it--that I may give it the
better welcome. I don't know how it is, but I am celebrated either for
writing no letters at all or for the briefest specimens of epistolary
correspondence in existence, and here I am--in writing to you--on the
sixth side! I won't make it a seventh anyway; so with love to all your
home circle, and from all mine, I am now and always,

"Faithfully yours,


"I am glad you like Barnaby. I have great designs in store, but am
sadly cramped at first for room."



_Reminiscences_, by Samuel Rogers, under the heading: "Duke of
Wellington," p. 210.

_Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore_, edited by Lord
John Russell, Journal of 29th August 1824, vol. iv., p. 240.

_Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington_, by Earl
Stanhope, p. 182.

Letter from Sir Walter Scott to Captain Basil Hall, R.N., dated 13th
October 1825, published in the _Century Magazine_ (New York), April
1906, and in Appendix A, _ante_.

Letter from Charles Dickens to Captain Basil Hall, R.N., dated 16th
March 1841, published in the _Century Magazine_ (New York), April
1906, and in Appendix A, _ante_.

_Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine_, 1888, vol. viii., p. 414. A
condensed account of her experiences at Waterloo, written by Lady De
Lancey for the information of her friends in general. See page 31,

_Century Magazine_, New York, April 1906. Publication in full of the
original narrative as written by Lady De Lancey for the information of
her brother, Captain Basil Hall, R.N.


Abbotsford, 124.

Abercrombie, General, 6.

_Abridged Narrative_, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 112, 118.

_Adonais_, 38.

Alava, General, 16, 17, 19, 56, 103, 114.

Ambassador, Spanish, 42, 103.

Annapolis, 5.

Antwerp, 41, 44, 45, 48, 52, 53, 58, 59, 64, 93, 108.

Appleton's _Cyclopædia_, quoted, 3, 5, 8, 24.

_Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith_, quoted, 10, 17.

B., Mrs, 60, 61.

Bacon, quoted, 1, 2.

Bahama Islands, 9.

Ball at Duchess of Richmond's, 45, 103, 106.

Barclay, Colonel Delancey, 51, 112.

_Barnaby Rudge_, 35, 125, 130.

Barnes, Major-General Sir E., 15, 18, 20.

Bathurst, Earl, 12, 33.

Berkeley, Colonel, 18.

Beverley, 5, 8.

Bibliography of Lady De Lancey's Narrative, 131.

Bloomingdale, 7.

Blücher, 18, 21, 105, 109.

Bonaparte, Napoleon, 121.

Bowood, 32.

Brogden, T.W., 103.

Broke-Vere, Sir Charles, 116.

Brunswick, Duke of, 46.

Brussels, 12, 14, 18, _et passim_.

Bulow, 105.

Caen, 3, 4.

Calnek and Savary, 5.

Cambridge, Duke of, 117.

Canning, Colonel, 18.

Castel Cicala, Prince, 19.

_Castle Rackrent_, 15.

Cathcart, Colonel, 104.

_Century Magazine_, 131, 132.

Charleroi, 20, 112.

Chichester, Henry Manners, 15, 23.

_Childe Harold_, 38.

Clyde, Lieutenant, 117.

Colville's Division, 108.

Connecticut, 6.

Constable, 33, 122, 123.

Cooke, General, 18.

Corunna, 25, 30.

_County of Annapolis, History of_, 5.

Craan, W.B., 109.

_Creevey Papers_, 10, 11, 114, 115.

Creevey, Mr, 114, 115.

Cromie, Lieutenant, 117.

Crown Point, 6.

Cruger, Colonel John Harris, 7.

Dalton's _Waterloo Roll Call_, 20, 112, 113.

Defoe, 1, 36, 126.

De Coster, 109.

De Lancey, Charlotte, 8.

De Lancey, Edward Floyd, 3, 5, 24.

De Lancey, Etienne, 3, 4.

De Lancey, James, 5.

De Lancey, Lady, 12;
  Narrative of, 24, 31-38.

De Lancey, Oliver, 5, 8, 26.

De Lancey, Peter, 5.

De Lancey, Sir William Howe, biography of, 10;
  military services of, 10, 25, 26;
  on board H.M.S. _Endymion_, 25;
  marriage, 12, 118;
  summoned to Belgium, 13;
  at Brussels, 13, 39-45;
  at the battle of Waterloo, 14, 50, 51;
  wounding and death of, 13-16, 50, 99, 110.

De Lancey, Stephen, 8, 9.

De Lancey, Susanna, 8.

De Lancey, Guy, 3.

De Ros, Lady, 103.

_Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_, quoted, 15, 16.

Dickens, Charles, 1, 33, 34, 37, 121, 130, 131.

Dickens, Kate, 127.

_Dictionnaire de la Noblesse de France_, 3.

_Dictionary of National Biography_, 10, 11, 12, 15, 23, 25, 26, 111,
112, 116, 117.

Draper, Sir William, 8.

Dundas, General Sir David, 8, 117.

Dundas, General Francis, 35, 82, 86, 89, 92, 93, 96, 99, 100, 101, 117,

Dunglass, 108, 118, 119.

Dunkirk, 108.

Eaton, Mrs, 107, 108, 112.

Edinburgh, 119.

Elba, 10, 118, 119.

Emma, 35, 46, 48, _et sæpe_.

_Endymion_, H.M.S., 25, 27, 28, 30.

_Evening Mail_, quoted, 17, 118.

Evere Cemetery, 117.

_Fragments of Voyages and Travels_, 25, 26, 31.

_Frazer, Colonel Sir A.S., Letters of_, 13, 15, 115.

Frejus, 119.

Fremantle, Colonel, 17.

Genappe, 22, 49, 109.

Genoa, 11.

_Gentleman's Magazine_, 118, 122.

Ghent, 11.

Gordon, Colonel Sir Alexander, 18, 20, 21, 116.

Gore, Captain Arthur, 2, 109.

Gore, Montague, 116.

Grant, Colonel, 100.

Greene, General, 7.

Gronow, Captain, 19.

Gurwood's _Despatches of the Duke of Wellington_, 10, 15, 106.

Hal, 108.

Halkett, Sir Colin, 114.

Hall, Captain Basil, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 35, 121, 124, 131.

Hall, Magdalene (Lady De Lancey), 12, 26, 68, 89, 99, 118.

Hall, Mrs Basil, 24, 121, 124.

Hall, Sir James, 12, 118.

Hamilton, Sir H.D., 82, 113.

Hamilton, Lady, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 60, 61, 93.

Hay, Captain William, 113, 114.

Hay, Cornet Alexander, 113.

Hay, Lieut., 59, 60, 66, 67, 113.

Hervey, Mrs (Lady De Lancey), 122.

Hervey, Colonel Felton, 19, 106, 114.

Hills, Robert, 113.

_History of the Corps of Royal Engineers_, quoted, 112.

Howe, General Sir William, 7.

Howe, Lord, 6.

Hudson River, 7.

Hume, Dr, 13, 80, 81, 89, 90, 91, 98, 115, 116.

"Hundred Days," 119.

_Illustrated London News_, 109.

_Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine_, 31, 131.

India, 29.

Invalides, Les, 38.

Jackson, Colonel Basil, 19, 104.

James II., 4.

James, Mr, 53, 54, 55, 57.

Johnson, Mrs S., 10.

Jones' History, quoted, 3, 7.

_Kentish Gazette_, 103.

Ladysmith, 16.

Lannoy, Count de, 39, 93, 104.

Lansdowne, Lord, 32.

_Larochejaquelein, Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de_, 34.

Lennox, Lord William, 19.

Ligny, 21, 105, 113.

Lloyd, Major W.J., 117.

London, 8, 71.

Long Island, 7.

Louvain, 101, 117.

Lowe, General E.W.H. De Lancey, 31.

Lowe, Sir Hudson, 10, 11.

_Loyalists of the American Revolution,_ quoted, 8.

_Lycidas_, 38.

Lyons, 119.

Machel, Town Major, 47.

Maclean, Major, 117.

_Madrid Gazette_, 17.

Maitland, Captain, 121, 122.

Malines, 58.

Maurice, Colonel, 106.

M'Kenzie, General, 62, 63, 64, 114.

_Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de Larochejaquelein_, 34.

Mitchell, Captain, 46, 47, 49, 55, 57.

Mons, 13.

Mont St Jean, 22, 110, 112, 113, 114, 115.

Moore, Thomas, 32, 33, 131.

Mount-Norris, Lord, 18.

Müffling, General, 106.

Namur, 20, 21.

Nantes, Revocation of the Edict of, 3, 4.

Napoleon, 10, 11, 38, 109, 118, 119.

_National Biography, Dictionary of_, 10, 11, 12, 15, 23, 25, 26, 111,
112, 116, 117.

_Naval and Military Magazine, Illustrated,_ 31, 131.

New Jersey, 8.

New York, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10.

Ney, Marshal, 109.

_Nineteenth Century Magazine_, 106.

"Ninety-Six," Fort, 7.

Ninove, 105.

Nivelles, 15, 20, 71, 112, 115.

_Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington_, quoted, 2, 33.

Nova Scotia, 5.

Nunraw, 113.

Oldfield, Major, R.E., 111.

Ompteda, 109.

Orange, Prince of, 11, 19.

Ossining, 3, 5.

Ostend, 39.

Paris, 33, 122.

Parsons, Lady, 24, 121.

_Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk_, 110.

Picton, General Sir Thomas, 18, 21.

Ponsonby, Sir Frederick, 114.

Ponsonby, Sir William, 16.

Porter's _History of the Corps of Royal Engineers_, 112.

Portsmouth, 29.

Portsmouth, N.H., 8, 9.

Powell, Mr, 78, 79, 83, 84, 89, 90, 91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 115.

Pozzo di Borgo, Count, 19.

Quatre Bras, 20, 106, 109, 112, 113.

Ramsgate, 108.

_Recollections and Anecdotes_, by Captain Gronow, quoted, 19.

Richmond, Duke of, 19.

Richmond, Duchess of, 45, 103, 106.

Rogers, Samuel, 14, 15, 24, 131.

Ropes' _Waterloo_, 106, 112.

Rothschild, Nathan, 108.

_Royal Engineers, History of the Corps of_, 112.

Russell, Lord John, 33, 131.

Sabine, General Sir E., 13.

Sabine's _Loyalists of the American Revolution_, quoted, 8.

Scott, Lady, 124.

Scott, Sir Walter, 33, 34, 38, 110, 121, 131.

Scovell, Sir George, 52, 62, 67, 77, 78.

Sharpe, W. Arthur, 24.

Siborne's _Waterloo Correspondence_, 110.

_Sketches in Flanders and Holland_, 113.

Smith, Sir Harry, 10, 16.

Smyth, Col. Sir Carmichael, R.E., 110, 111, 112.

Somerset, Lord Edward, 114.

Somerset, Lord Fitzroy, 18, 19, 20.

Southey, Robert, 108.

Spearman, Lieutenant, 117.

Stanhope, Earl, quoted, 2, 33.

Staten Island, 7.

St Josse Ten Noode, 117.

Stothert, Captain W., 117.

Tàj, The, 38.

Tarrytown, 7.

Tennyson, 38.

Ticonderoga, Fort, 6.

Tobago, 9.

Tomkinson's _Diary of a Cavalry Officer_, 113.

Torrens, General Sir H., 11.

Trafalgar, 16.

_United Service Journal_, 23, 105.

_United Service Magazine_, 106.

Uxbridge, Lord, 18.

Van Cortlandt, Stephanus, 4.

_Vanity Fair_, 38.

Van Schaak, 8.

Vendée, La, 34.

Victor Hugo, 109.

Vilvorde, 65.

Vincent, Baron, 19.

Waldie, Miss, 112.

Waterloo, 1, 10,12, _et passim_.

_Waterloo, Battle of_, by L. Booth, 115.

_Waterloo Days_, 107, 108, 113.

_Waterloo, Explanatory Notes on the battle of_, 2, 109.

_Waterloo, Recollections of_, 23, 105.

_Waterloo Roll Call_, 20, 112, 113.

_Waterloo_, Ropes', 106, 112.

Waters, Lieut., R.E., 111.

Wavre, 112.

Webster, Lady Frances, 18.

Wellington, Duke of, 2, 10, 11, _et sæpe_.

_Wellington, Duke of, Despatches of the_, quoted, 15, 16.

_Wellington, Duke of, Supplementary Despatches of the_, quoted, 11, 12, 18.

Wellington Tree, 109, 110, 112.

Winchilsea, Earl, 116.

Woolriche, Mr, 82, 83, 88, 116.

Yonge's _Life of Wellington_, 111.

York, Duke of, 8, 12.

       *       *       *       *       *


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Week at Waterloo in 1815 - Lady De Lancey's Narrative: Being an Account of How She - Nursed Her Husband, Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey, - Quartermaster-General of the Army, Mortally Wounded in the - Great Battle" ***

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