« ElőzőTovább »
recently published, that the Duke of Wellington rode Copenhagen, at Waterloo, from four in the morning until twelve at night, and that when he dismounted, the horse threw his heels at him as he went off.
he fed," the Duke adds, "it was on the standing corn, as I sat in the saddle. He was a chestnut horse, and I rode him hundreds of miles in Spain, and at the battle of Toulouse." He died, blind with age (28 years old), in 1835, at Strathfieldsaye, where he lies buried within a ring fence.
When the three troops of the First Dragoon Guards were reviewed by King William IV., at Brighton, on the 17th January, 1834, accompanied by Queen Adelaide, his Majesty presented to the regiment a cream-coloured horse in exchange for the only remaining Waterloo horse in the corps.
It will be recollected that at the battle of Magenta a dog belonging to a lieutenant of the Foreign Legion was mortally wounded almost at the same instant as his owner; the faithful animal had sufficient strength to crawl to his late master's side, and expired on his body. This affecting episode formed an inte resting pictorial record in the Illustrated London News of Saturday, July 30th, 1859.
FORMATION OF GRENADIER COMPANIES.
Charles II. having resolved to introduce into the English army the practice of using hand-grenades in the field, a warrant was issued on the 13th of April, 1678, for a company of one hundred men to be raised and added to the Holland regiment, under the command of Captain John Bristoe, and to be armed with hand-grenades, and styled Grenadiers. A similar
addition was made to several other corps. The grenadiers carried fusils, bayonets, hatchets, and swords; and each man had a large pouch for his hand-grenades. The uniform of the grenadier was different from that of the musketeer and pikeman; the two latter wearing a round hat with broad brim, turned up on one side, and the former a fur cap with high crown; the grenadiers also wore fur cravats, called in the orders of that period "crevatts of fox tailes."
This introduction of grenadiers into the army is thus noticed by Evelyn:-"1678; now were brought into service a new sort of soldiers called grenadiers, who were dextrous at flinging hand-grenades, every one having a pouch full; they wore furr'd caps with coped crownes like Janizaries, which made them look very fierce, and some had hoods hanging down behind. Their clothing being likewise pybald, yellow, and red."
CURIOUS MODES OF RECRUITING.
When Queen Elizabeth resolved to assist Henry IV. of France in raising the siege of Calais, besieged in 1596 by the Spaniards, under Cardinal Albert, Archduke of Austria, she commanded some levies to be raised in England for this service; and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London having received a message from the Court to raise one thousand men immediately for the relief of Calais, proceeded on Easter Sunday, 1596, to the several churches, with their constables, fastened the doors, and selected from the congregation the number of men required, who were immediately equipped and sent to Dover.
An Act was passed during the early part of Queen
Anne's reign (4 Anne, cap. 10), authorizing justices of the peace to apprehend such idle persons as had no apparent means of subsistence, and deliver them to the military on paying them the levy-money allowed for passing recruits.
This remarkable Act was revived by 30 George II., cap. 8.
The following is extracted from Lloyd's Evening Post, published in 1759, and shows how crime could be condoned by entering the army:
'Norwich, Aug. 4.-On Tuesday last was committed to the Castle by R. Browne, Esq., John Ludkins, otherwise Adkins, being charged on the oath of Elizabeth the wife of William Williams, victualler, at Weybourne, in Norfolk, with robbing her of 30s. in her dwelling-house. He was committed a few weeks since to the city gaol, for defrauding Mr. Thursby, joiner, of goods to the value of about £10, but made his escape out of prison; he was afterwards retaken, and on producing the goods, prosecution was stopt against him, on condition he enlisted for a soldier, which he accordingly did, under Captain Lacy in the 56th regiment of foot, commanded by Lord Charles Manners, and afterwards deserted."
BESTOWAL OF A MEDAL BY THE POPE ON BRITISH TROOPS.
Shortly after the taking of Bastia, in Corsica, in May, 1794, a portion of the Twelfth Lancers proceeded to Italy, and landed at Civita Vecchia, where the conduct of the officers and men was such as to gain the notice of Pope Pius VI., who ordered gold medals for the officers, as will be seen from the accom
panying letter from his Secretary of State, Cardinal de Zelada::
"From the Vatican, May 30th, 1794. "The marked consideration which the Holy Father has always entertained, and never will cease to entertain, for the generous and illustrious English nation, induces him not to neglect the opportunity of giving a proof of it, which is now afforded by the stay of a British regiment at Civita Vecchia. As his Holiness cannot but applaud the regular and praiseworthy conduct of the troops in question, he has determined to evince his entire satisfaction by presenting a gold medal to each of the officers, including General Sir James Steuart, Bart., and Colonel Erskine, though absent; and since these medals, twelve in number, are not, at the present moment, in readiness, nor can be provided before the departure of the regiment from Civita Vecchia, the Holy Father will be careful that they shall be sent, as soon as possible, to Sir John Cox Hippesly, who will be pleased to transmit them to the respective officers, making them acquainted, at the same time, with the feelings by which his Holiness is animated, and with the lively desire which he entertains of manifesting on all occasions his unalterable regard, whether it be towards the nation in general, or towards every individual Englishman. In thus making known to Sir John Cox Hippesly, member of the British Parliament, the dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff, the Cardinal de Zelada, Secretary of State, begs leave to add an offer of his own services and the assurances of his distinguished esteem."
General Sir James Steuart and Colonel Erskine
before mentioned were the colonel and lieutenant-colonel of the regiment. Some of the officers proceeded to Rome, and were introduced to the Pope, who received them very graciously, and taking a helmet into his hand, expressed a hope "that Heaven would enable the cause of truth and religion to triumph over injustice and infidelity," and he then placed it on Captain Browne's head.
SENT TO COVENTRY.
The phrase being "sent to Coventry" is said to derive its origin from a circumstance which happened to a regiment that was quartered in the town of Coventry, where the officers were extremely ill-received by the inhabitants, or rather, denied all sort of intercourse with them. Hence, to be "sent to Coventry" signifies, to be excluded from all social communications with others, or, more properly, with those who before were intimate.
THIRTEENTH FOOT FORMED INTO CAVALRY.
During the campaign in Spain, in 1706, under the celebrated but eccentric Earl of Peterborough,* the following extraordinary and unprecedented change of
*Lady Hervey's description of Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth, at Bath, in 1725, affords a strange contrast to the heroism displayed by him in Spain :-"Lord Peterborough is here, and has been so some time, though by his dress one would believe he had not designed to make any stay; for he wears boots all day, and, as I hear, must do so, having brought no shoes with him. It is a comical sight to see him with his blue ribbon and star, and a cabbage under each arm or a chicken in his hand, which, after he himself has purchased at market, he carries home for his dinner."