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Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, (1769-1830) to Mrs. Wolff

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00496.119 Author/Creator: Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, (1769-1830) Place Written: Russell Square, London, England Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 July 1815 Pagination: 4 p. : address ; 24 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses Duke of Wellington's heroism during the 18 July 1815 Battle of Waterloo. Describes circumstances surrounding death of Sir Alexander Gordon. Gordon was Wellington's aide de camp. Lawrence was a British portrait artist. Mrs. Wolff was the subject of one of Lawrence's portraits.

Background Information:

Full Transcript: Russell Square
24 July 1815
My dear Friend
The Papers that I send will give you the Traits of Heroism in Lord Wellington - the dreadful loss, and hazard of the ...conflict. - I send you one of a private nature - of Sir Alexander Gordon Brother to Lord Aberdeen.
Lord W. seeing two or three Regiments giving way, told him to ride instantly to others in Reserve, and bid them advance immediately to their support. The space of ground was comparatively open through which he had to ride, and when he had got about half way, they saw him stop and [struck: apparently] [2] head on his Horse - an Aid de Camp of Lord W. said to him "Sir - Gordons Stopped." "Is He" said he "then I know he's wounded" but he was [inserted: seen] to raise his head and gallop forward as before - He reached the Regiments - the advanced with them, and then rode back full speed to Lord W, but evidently hardly able to support himself. When he came up He was pale and drooping, and faintly said His orders were executed "Gordon you are wounded." I fear severely" "I'm afraid I am my Lord" They then took him off his Horse and he died as [3] they were carrying him to the Rear. He was wounded in the Thigh, and an Artery touch'd - died from loss of Blood.
Lord Wellington and Bonaparte were twice within a few yards of each other, and the former threw himself into a Square of Infantry at the moment it was attack'd by Bonaparte heading his Guards.
At one time all our Cannon were taken. Every one but Lord Wellington despair'd.
What a Conflict! What a Result! How dreadful as you see the Loss! How imperishable the Fame.
I dine today [4] with Sir Henry Towers at Fulham and will give you on Monday any new details that I may hear. Give my best Remembrances to Mrs Marshall and believe me ever
My dear Friend
most truly yours
Thos Lawrence.
[address leaf]
Mrs: Wolff
Charing 8
near Maidstone

Notes: Written on top of page one in a contemporary hand: Crewel Curtain Gauze.
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People: Wolff, Mrs., fl. 1815
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 1769-1852
Gordon, Alexander, 1786-1815

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: DeathMilitary HistoryBattleArt, Music, Theater, and FilmGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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