Duke of Anglesea (The)

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DUKE OF ANGLESEA, THE. English, Waltz. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title perhaps honors Henry Paget (1768-1854), Lord Uxbridge, a commander of horse artillery at Waterloo. Uxbridge performed gallantly that day, leading charge after charge into the French infantry, only to have his leg shattered by one of the last French cannon shots that day. His leg was amputated and interred at Waterloo. When the British commander, Lord Wellington, later saw him, Uxbridge is said to have exclaimed, "By God, Sir, I have lost my leg." To which Wellington relied, "By God, Sir, so you have!" Five days after the battle he was raised to Marquess of Anglesey by the Prince Regent (thus, the tune title "Duke of Anglesea [sic]" is a misnomer, as there was no dukedom of that name). His interred leg, which lay in a garden of one M. Hyacinthe Joseph-Marie Paris of Waterloo, became a shrine of sorts, which the Paris family showed visitors. After some years the bones became dis-interred (perhaps because of a storm that felled a nearby willow tree), and were put on display. Uxbridge's family objected, at which point the Paris's descendants offered to sell them back, which only outraged the Uxbridge's family the more. Finally, a court ordered them re-interred, and they supposedly were. However, in 1934, when the last male of the Paris line died, his widow found the bones while cleaning out his study, along with proof of provenance. She burned them in an incinerator, to prevent further grief and trouble. Uxbridge, some time after the battle, seems to have secured an artificial leg, state-of-the-art for the time, with articulated knee and ankle joints, and even toes that raised. The leg still can be seen at Plas Newydd in Anglesey.

Source for notated version: the 1823-26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778-1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner].

Printed sources: Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 61.

Recorded sources:

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