Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Reported in the House of Commons Hansard on the Friday 23rd June 1815 (vol.31 GHC.5)


Lord Castlereagh, in rising to call the attention of the House to the last splendid triumph of the British arms, was at a loss to express the feelings which he experienced in common with all who heard him. On various occasions he had had the honour to address them on the exploits of that illustrious Commander, who was the subject of the motion with which, he should conclude; but never, even among the mighty achievements which had swelled our military renown, since that exalted character was placed at the head of our army, had it been his lot to submit to Parliament a proposition founded on an event so glorious as that which called for the expression of their gratitude this day. The present was a triumph of such a character, that, without disparagement, to those actions in which his great genius had formerly displayed itself, he might say of it-it had never happened, even to him, to confer so great a benefit on his country before. It was an achievement of such high merit, of such pre-eminent importance, as had never perhaps graced the annals of this or any other country till now; and when considered, not only with a view to the immediate loss inflicted on the enemy, but with reference to the moral effect which it must be expected to produce on the war now commenced, in the issue of which the fate of this country, of Europe, and the world were so closely bound up, it must be felt that it opened to our view a prospect so cheering, and so transcendently bright, that no language could do justice to the feelings it must naturally inspire…..

(He continues for a few pages and then concludes)… 
He felt that any further attempt on his part to bring the subject under the consideration of the House, would be worse than useless, and would therefore conclude. The noble lord then moved, "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 ardour, displayed by him on the 18th of June, on which day the decisive victory-over the enemy, commanded by Buonaparté 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." This motion was carried in the affirmative, nemine contradicente. [The Speech and Motion were followed by loud and long cheering.]