Today in History - June 15th. 1815 - The Duchess of Richmond's ball took place in Brussels

On the eve before the battle of Waterloo, one of the famous balls in history
was held in Brussels. Charlotte, the Duchess of Richmond invited many 
important guests.

Charlotte was married Charles Lennox, 4th. Duke of Richmond. She and
her husband lived in 1815 in Brussels (now capital of Belgium).

Charles Lennox was commandant of a reserve force in Brussels. He had
to protect that city in case Napoleon Bonaparte invaded.  

@ the Duchess of Richmond's ball - Source picture: Wikipedia


The ball was described as  "A brilliant affair" . It was during this ball that
Arthur Wellesly, 1st. duke of Wellington received the confirmation that 
Napoleon Bonaparte had crossed the frontier.

"Whispered to ask the Duke of Richmond if he had a good map. The Duke of
Richmond said he had and he took the Duke of Wellington to his dressing-room.
Wellington shut the door and said 'Napoleon has humbugged me, by God; he
has gained 24 hours' march on me. I have ordered the army to concentrate at
Quatre Bras; but we shall not stop him there. (passing his thumb nail position
of Waterloo). The conversation was repeated to me by the Duke of Richmond
two minutes after it occurred." according to Captain Bowles.

After this news the atmosphere at the ball changed.... the troops had to march
the next morning ....

In the literature this ball was mentioned very often.  The most famous author 
about it was Lord Byron. He wrote about the ball in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.  

Byron told about the big contrast between the ball and the horror of the 
battle of Waterloo. 

on the way to Waterloo - Source picture: Wikipedia

On this link you can see a scene of this famous ball (from the movie 
Waterloo). I really like this Scottish music.
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