Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Contents:

Show Summary
Parliamentary Debates, Vol. XXXI, pp. 971–993. World History

402.

Speech in the House of Lords (June 23, 1815)

Earl Bathurst rose, pursuant to the notice which he had given, to move the thanks of the House to the duke of Wellington and the army under his command, for those transcendant exertions which led to the victory of the 18th of this month. He was aware that their lordships must be eager to discharge the debt of gratitude to the duke of Wellington, who had now so gloriously opened the campaign, and relieved them of the anxiety which all must have felt for some time past.

However sanguine any of them might have been as to the final result, yet there were none who must not have experienced the utmost anxiety with respect to the turn which the campaign might take at the commencement. That campaign was begun by Buonaparte1 himself. He had not, for this time at least, to blame the elements. He had not to accuse the seasons, nor the defection of those from whom he expected support. He could not say that he was obliged to commence the battle by those to whose measures he was compelled to yield, contrary to his own better judgment. It was completely his own act and choice. He had the choice of the time, of the place, and of the adversary with whom he might be desirous to contend. Under these circumstances he had begun the battle, and he had failed. His attacks were repulsed; the order was reversed — he was attacked in his turn. His boasted genius shrunk under the ascendency of the mightier genius of him by whom he was opposed, and the result was the complete rout and overthrow of the French army. . . .

He had now, then, only to move their lordships, "That the thanks of this House be given to Field Marshal the duke of Wellington, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, for the consummate ability, unexampled exertion, and irresistible ardor displayed by him on the 18th of June, on which day the decisive victory over the enemy, commanded by Buonaparte in person, was obtained by his grace, with the allied troops under his command, and in conjunction with the troops under the command of Marshal Prince Blucher, whereby the military glory of the British nation has been exalted, and the territory of his Majesty’s ally the king of the Netherlands has been protected from invasion and spoil."

1 The English continued to speak of Napoleon by his last name, and to spell this in the Italian form, as given here, long after his first name had been adopted in France as his official title, and his last name, when used at all, had come regularly to be spelled in the French form of Bonaparte. By this they meant to intimate that he was only a usurper, and an Italian at that.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "Speech in the House of Lords (June 23, 1815)," Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947) (Boston: Ginn, 1935, 1922), 657–658. Original Sources, accessed February 23, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8QB6D6DG1WRK25B.

MLA: . "Speech in the House of Lords (June 23, 1815)." Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, edited by Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947), Boston, Ginn, 1935, 1922, pp. 657–658. Original Sources. 23 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8QB6D6DG1WRK25B.

Harvard: , 'Speech in the House of Lords (June 23, 1815)' in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England. cited in 1922, Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. , Ginn, 1935, Boston, pp.657–658. Original Sources, retrieved 23 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8QB6D6DG1WRK25B.