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quinta-feira, 18 de junho de 2015

Waterloo- 200th anniversary

Robert Alexander Hillingford. The Duke of Wellington at Waterloo

The battle of Waterloo marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), which took the lives of 5 million people. It was fought 200 years ago on June 18, 1815.

On the battlefield Wellington set up his command post beneath a great elm tree. This spot became a focus for tourists and souvenir hunters. The farmer who owned the cornfield in which the tree stood decided to fell the tree to prevent further damage to his corn from the visitors. By chance, the antiquarian John Children was visiting the site at this time. He bargained with the farmer to purchase the wood and have it sent to London. He later commissioned this extraordinary chair to be made from the timber as a gift to George IV.

The chair is on display at Windsor Castle.

Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The chair's design is very patriotic. The toprail panel is carved with a view of the village of Waterloo, after T. Sutherland's engraving published in 1816 depicting the village of Waterloo the day after the battle.

The elm tree was still good for further cabinet-making, and another chair was made, for Children's personal use, but later presented to the Duke of Wellington in 1837, on the anniversary of the battle. It remains at Apsley House.

Waterloo was the topic of some historical works published recently

Exhibition in Torres Vedras in 2011 about its defense lines

A decisive battle for the advancement of Anglo-Portuguese troops took place in Buçaco.
It led to the retreat of French troops from Portugal

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