Regency Bicentennial:   An Arm & A Leg — Part Two

Last week was discussed here the loss of Lord Fitzroy Somerset’s arm at the Battle of Waterloo. This week will be discussed the loss of Lord Uxbridge’s leg. Unlike Somerset’s amputated arm, which was given a decent, and permanent, burial soon after its removal from his person, Lord Uxbridge’s leg went on to lead a series of macabre adventures for over a century. As had been the case with Somerset, Uxbridge would be instrumental in the development of a new option for amputees which would improve their lives for decades.

This week, the adventures of Uxbridge’s leg . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   An Arm & A Leg — Part One

The arm belonged to Lord Fitzroy Somerset and the leg belonged to Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge. Both were lost at the Battle of Waterloo. The arm’s loss is believed to have resulted in a new sleeve design while the leg would be involved in a series of notorious adventures for over a century before it was ultimately reduced to ashes. Curiously, the owners of both those limbs also had connections through marriage to their commander, the Duke of Wellington, and each was near him on the battlefield when they were wounded.

This week, the tale of Somerset’s arm . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Best Birthday Gift — Ever!

As most of you are probably aware, yesterday was the bicentennial of the epic Battle of Waterloo. A battle which, in effect, was to result in peace for most of Europe for nearly half a century. If you are interested in the history of that battle, or the events which led up to it, there are plenty of sources of information available, so there is no point in rehashing that here. Instead, I would like to highlight the long relationship of mutual trust and respect between two friends which was to have a direct bearing on that crucial victory. A victory which came on the birthday of the least appreciated of those two good friends.

How Bob set the stage for Art to save the world . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball

This coming Monday will be the two-hundredth anniversary of perhaps the most famous social event in history, the ball hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Richmond in Brussels on the same day news came of the French army’s advance from the south. Three days later, less than ten miles south of the city, would be fought the momentous Battle of Waterloo, which would drive Napoleon Bonaparte from power once and for all.

The night Wellington was humbugged . . .

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Portraits Floating in Glass:   Crystal Cameos

Though we most often associate cameos with jewelry, a special type of cameo which became popular during the Regency was to be found primarily on very fine glassware. Such pieces were very expensive and were typically to be seen only in the homes of the most affluent. Originally developed on the Continent, these remarkable objects were perfected in England as the Regency came to a close. Nevertheless, they went out of fashion not long after Victoria became queen.

When silvery cameos floated in glass . . .

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Sir Stamford Raffles:   When Doing Right Went Horribly Wrong

Last month, I wrote about the anniversary of the eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia. That natural disaster, the single most violent volcanic eruption on record, would eventually wreak havoc around the globe. But in the first weeks and months after the eruption, the worst of the disaster was in the immediate area between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. Not long before the eruption, an Englishman had instituted new regulations by which he intended to protect the native populations under his jurisdiction. Yet, in the aftermath of Tambora, the result of his regulations only exacerbated the suffering of those he had meant to help.

How the abolition of slavery in Java backfired . . .

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Draughts or Checkers — A Brief History

Checkers, or Draughts, are two different names for the same board game. One is more commonly used in England, while the other is most common in America. Curiously, in this case, it is the former colonies of England which uses the older name for this seemingly simple game. By the mid-nineteenth century, tournament-level checkers was played around the world, with the first world championship awarded in 1847. However, during the Regency, draughts was still mostly an amusing pastime which was enjoyed by many people, across all classes.

What is in a game name . . .

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