The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, a commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo

Member Philip Robinson gave an extremely interesting and well illustrated talk for our November meeting. Charlotte aged 20 was married in 1789 to Charles Lennox and they had fourteen children.

In 1806 Charles inherited the title of Duke of Richmond and become the 4th Duke. He moved to Brussels in 1815, but the house he bought in Laundry Street didn’t please Charlotte. It was not in the smart area, and had been a coachmakers house. The Duke of Wellington’s house was so much better. However Charlotte planned to hold a Ball and the Duke of Wellington suggested that it could go ahead despite there being military problems. Napoleon had escaped from Elba with his guards and returned to France.

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The Duke of Wellington was told to lead troops to defeat him once and for all. There were two main groups of troops – the Anglo Allied forces led by him and also a Prussian group. The battles took place in three areas to the south of Waterloo, starting on the 16th and was all over in a few days

Back to Charlotte’s Ball. There were 158 men present of whom 90 were in the Army, 12 of them were killed and 33 injured. Apart from the Duke of Richmond’s connection to Goodwood, there were other soldiers present at the Ball and the Battle who had local connections. Henry Wyndham was from Lord Egremont’s family at Petworth, and William Ponsonby was a descendant of the Earl of Bessborough from Stanstead. Also Rev. Norris from the Parish of Warblington was connected by marriage. 

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After the talk Geoffrey Boys displayed a uniform jacket and sword, which have been in his family for fifty years. They were worn by Colonel James Ingils-Hamilton who were in the 2nd Royal North Scots Greys’ and at the Battle of Waterloo. 

Pictures Top L to R: Geoffrey Boys, Philip Robinson with our Chairman Tony Stimson displaying the Jacket and sword. Below, hands on with some of the audience.

Ann