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Plas Newydd, Anglesey

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Richard Cavendish visits Plas Newydd, the seat of the Marquess of Anglesey.

On the battlefield of Waterloo on June 18th, 1815, as that interminable, desperately hard-fought and anxious day drew on towards dusk and British victory, the Duke of Wellington and his cavalry commander, Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge, the most brilliant cavalryman of his generation, were side by side on horseback surveying the scene. Suddenly one of the last cannon shots of the engagement flew over the neck of Wellington’s horse and hit Uxbridge’s right knee, smashing the joint to bits. ‘By God, sir,’ said Uxbridge, ‘I’ve lost my leg!’ The Iron Duke eyed the mangled mess for a moment before saying, ‘By God, sir, so you have!’ and turned his spyglass back to the retreating French. Or so the popular story had it, though in reality Wellington supported Uxbridge in the saddle until help arrived.

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