Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

284                 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XX.
A Waterloo Fact.
In the autumn of 1885, I met a lady who told me she knew Lady De Ros, who being a daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond, had really been present at the famous Brussels Ball the night before the Battle of Waterloo. As there had been a great dispute as to where the Duchess of Richmond's Ball had been given, I asked my friend to apply to Lady De Ros for the fullest information she- could give, because, although Lady De Ros was in 1885, 90 years of age, it was understood that she was quite able to give a good account •of things. Here is an extract from the letter written by Lady De Ros to my friend under date of October 29, 1885 :—
u I am very triad to be able to comply with your request, and enclose the answer to Mr. Chambers's question. In many accounts of that time it has been stated that the Ball of the loth took place in the Hotel de Ville, but it certainly did not. There was a magnificent Fete given there to the Duke [Wellington], but I cannot recollect its date, but I think it was in May or early in June 1815. The house in which the [Richmond] Ball was given, June 15. 1815, was in the Rue De La Blanchisserie, in the lower part of the town. It had belonged to a Coachmaker; a large coach-house was converted into a long room in which the Ball took place. In 1868 I could not find any trace of the house, and Rue De La Blanchisserie no longer existed under that name, but I thought I made out the wall of the garden, and some of the trees."
It will be remembered that a long controversy respecting the site of this ball-room was carried on in The Times by Sir W. Frazer and others some years ago.
Visits to the Battle-field of Waterloo.
I have paid 3 such visits ; in 1874, 1885, and 1897. It does not belong to this volume to describe these visits, but I may be permitted to place on record some notes of a general character which I took back with me to East-Bourne in 1874.
The tourists who visit Waterloo are chiefly English, but Germans and Belgians frequent the locality in tolerable numbers. Of French visitors there never have been but few, and those few have become fewer since the Franco-German War of 1870. That war had re-kindled all the old animosities of the Great French War. It had xevived with the Germans the bitter memories of the
Previous Contents Next