WELLINGTON Duke of - Autograph Letter Signed 1839 from Walmer Castle signed Prince de Waterloo
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of WELLINGTON (1769-1852)Autograph Letter Signed (“Wellington Prince de Waterloo”) to M. Stoel, counsellor to the Duke of Arenberg, regarding the unexpected demise of M. Degen.
2 pages 8vo in French, the addressee’s name and title on the integral leaf, Walmer Castle, 31 August 1839.
Trans: “I received the letter which you were kind enough to write to me on the 23rd of this month, telling me the news of the unexpected misfortune which has come to the family and the friends of M. Degen, as well as to me.
I immediately wrote to Monsieur Booth who was in Dublin, and he intends to set off for Brussels in order to speak with you as soon as possible after your return from the trip which you intended to make to Frankfurt am Main, regarding the measures which should de adopted as a consequence of this misfortune which we all lament. . .”
The Duke of Arenberg, for a while married to Josephine Bonaparte’s niece, fought with the French during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded in Spain in 1811, captured by the British and spent his captivity in England until Napoleon’s abdication. Arenberg’s possessions were extensive, including lands in Germany, France and present-day Belgium, but his holdings in Germany were later incorporated into the kingdom of Hanover, which in 1839 was ruled by Queen Victoria’s uncle, Ernest Augustus.
The signature is unusual, and may have been used deliberately as it is likely Wellington’s correspondent was, at the time, in Brussels. The title “Prince de Waterloo” was bestowed on Wellington by King William I of the Netherlands in honour of his victory in 1815.
Wellington was accustomed to spend some months in residence at Walmer Castle, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, from 1829 until his death, at Walmer Castle, in 1852.
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