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WATERLOO: ORIGINAL ACCOUNTS

The Captain W. Siborne Collection and Related Materials from the British Library, London

Detailed Listing

REEL 1

King’s Maps 31885 -1   MAP OF WATERLOO - the map by de Craan which was officially approved by Wellington.

Add Ms 19590  PAPERS relating to the battle of Waterloo ; from the collection of William Mudford, author of the Historical  account of the Battle of Waterloo, 1817, viz: Computation of the British and allied forces under Wellington, previous to the battle; in the Duke's handwriting, f. 1; Two notes  in  the name of the Duke of Wellington to Mr. Mudford 7 Aug. 1816, 1 Jan. 1819; with seals, f. 2; Names of the Field and Staff officers, and officers commanding artillery, on the 16th and 18th of June, 1815, f. 6; Return of ammunition expended by the Artillery on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June, 1815, f. 8. [Printed in Mudford's Historical account..., Appendix, No. IX.]; Organization of the Artillery previous to the 16th of June, 1815, f10. [Printed, as above]; Substance of answers to questions respecting the battle of Waterloo put to Lt. Col. [the Hon. Frederick Cavendish] Ponsonby, by his particular friends," f. 11; [Printed as above, p. 287, note]; Account of the death of Colonel Morice, of the 69th Regt., in a letter from Philip Vyvyan, paymaster, to Mr Coulburn; 1 May, 1816, f. 15; Statement of Sir George Wood, in command of the artillery at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, in answer to queries respecting the latter engagement, f. 17; Letter from Col. Horne to W. Mudford, with particulars respecting the Battle of Waterloo; dat. 17 May [1816 ?], f. 19; Answers given by General [Francis] Dundas, to queries respecting the battle, f. 25; Anecdotes, endorsed "Col. Horne," f. 31; Relation, by Major Kelly, of a cavalry action on the 17th of June, f. 33. Paper. Folio.

Add Ms 20,114. This is Vol. VIII from the 27-volume correspondence and papers, principally of an official character, of Sir Hudson Lowe, from the year 1794 to the year 1822: made apparently under his own instructions (Add Mss 20,107-20,133).  They have been used by Mr Forsyth for his History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena, 3 vols., 1853, and had been previously in the hands of Sir Harris Nicolas for a similar work; and they have a few notes in the handwriting of the latter. Paper. Folio.

1. Copy of correspondence of the same as Quartermaster-General to the British army in the Low Countries, and in separate command at Genoa and Marseilles, with General Müffling Earl Bathurst, Secretary for War, Sir Henry Bunbury, Under-Secretary, and others; Jan.-July, 1815, f. 1.

2. Copies of correspondence of the same, and of other papers, chiefly letters and instructions of Admiral Sir George Cockburn, relating to the custody of the Emperor Napoleon; Aug.-Dec. 1815, f. 231.

Add Ms 20,192. ORIGINAL correspondence of Gen. Sir Hudson Lowe, official and private, when Quartermaster-General of the British Army in the Netherlands, and in independent command at Genoa; Jan. 1814- Dec. 1815.

The writers are as follow:


Andreis, , Major. French. f. 317.
Bathurst, Henry, Earl, Secretary for War, f. 325.
Bayley, Bernard, f. 139.
Beatson, Alexander, ff. 363, 367, 371.
Bidwell, J[ohn], ff. 22, 33, 42.
Blücher, Field Marshal [Gebhardt Lebrecht von], ff. 34, 89.
Brune, Guillaume Marie Anne, Marshal of France. French. f. 351.
Bubna, Lieut.-Gen. [Ferdinand], Count of. French. f. 341.
Bunbury, Major-Gen. Sir Henry Edward, ff. 36, 86, 91, 151, 153, 182,
196, 248, 255, 256, 373, 377.
Buonaparte, Napoleon (copy of his last Bulletin in the campaign of 1814). French. f. 53.
Burghersh, John, Lord, f. 49.
Burrows, Colonel Montagu, f. 332.
Church, Colonel Richard, f. 349.
Clinton, Major-Gen. Sir Henry, ff. 101, 105, 114, 116, 239.
Cockburn, Rear-Admiral Sir George, f. 375.
Coffin, Brigadier-Gen. John Pine, f. 344.
D[alrymple], Sir. John, Bart., f. 174.
Darby, Edward, f. 17.
Davenport, E. D., f. 137.
Desgeneys, Comte. French. f. 309, 311, 340.
Dörnberg, Major-Gen. Wilhelm, Baron de. French. ff. 113, 166, 178.
Durepaire (?), Marcel François. French. f. 365.
Exmouth, Lord, see Pellew.
Frimont [Johann Philipp, Baron]. French. f 279.
Gneisenau, Count, see Neidhart.
Gordon, Major-Gen. James Willoughby, ff. 103, 134.
Harris, Capt. Thomas Noel, f. 40.
Hill, Hon. William, Envoy to Turin, ff. 280, 345, 347.
Hinüber, Major-Gen. , f. 145.
Jevizck (?), Chevalier M., Interim Minister of Marine at Paris. French. f. 84.
Johnson, Capt. J M, RN, f. 283.
Jordan, Major John, ff. 93 b, 123.
Kent, H.R.H. Edward Augustus, Duke of, f. 229.
Kielmansegge, L, f. 157.
Kleist von Nollendorf [Friedrich Heinrch Ferdinand], General,
Count, ff. 108, 189, 198, 208, 212, 235.
Laverde (?), Comte de, Lieut.-General. French. f. 362.
Lyon, Col. James, ff. 117, 159.
McFarlane, Lieut.-General Robert, ff. 285, 293.
Mackenzie, Major-Gen. Kenneth, ff. 155, 164.
Manfredi, Capt. Adriano, f. 353.
Mundy, Capt. George, R.N., f. 288.
Müffling, Friedrich Karl Ferdinand, Baron, f. 171.
Neidhart de Gneisenau, August, Count. French. ff. 44, 231, 232.
Nostitz [August Ferdinand Ludwig], Count, f. 132.

Nugent, Lieut.-General Count [Laval]. ff. 289, 337, 342, 352, 356.
Pellew, Sir Edward, lst Viscount Exmouth, Admiral, f. 331.
Phillips, Major-Gen. Charles, ff, 312, 315, 328.
Reade, Major Sir Thomas, f. 95.
Rivière, Charles, Marquis de, ff. 242, 333, 335, 354.
Röder, Friedrich Eberhardt von, General. French. ff, 214, 216, 228.
Rosenheim L de, ff. 260, 261.
Rowley, Admiral Sir Charles, f. 258.
St. Laurent, Count. French. ff. 82, 243.
St. Martin, Felix, Major. French. f. 287.
Schornhorst, General W von. German. f. 194.
Seran, Comte de. French. f. 314.
Smith, Major-Gen. Haviland, ff. 97,185.
Stewart, Lieut.-Gen. Hon. Sir Charles [afterwards Marquis of     Londonderry], ff. 1, 31, 51, 76.
Temple, Major Octavius, f. 291.
Torrens, Colonel Henry, f. 99.
Vanderlinden, Emanuel, Baron. French. ff. 141, 143.
Wallmoden, Ludwig, Count of, f. 94.
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of. Copy of Instructions for Generals of Divisions, 13 (?) June,- 1815, f. 270.
Willen,. Dutch. f. 165.
Wolkonsky, Prince, f. 88.
Wright, Lieut. Amherst, f. 179.
Ziethen, Lieut.-Gen. Hans Joachim. French. f. 193.
At f. 297 is a memoir entitled, “Notes sur Toulon, pour Monsieur le Vicomte de Bruges”.
Paper. Folio.

REEL 2

Add Ms 34,598. This is Vol. XVI of the sixteen-volume correspondence and papers of Samuel Butler, DD, Headmaster of Shrewsbury School (1798-1836), Archdeacon of Derby (1821), and Bishop of Lichfield (1836-1839); 1764-1839 (Add Mss 34,583-34,598). (ff. 176). Paper. 

This volume includes:

ACCOUNTS of holiday tours of Dr. Samuel Butler, viz: (1) in France and the Netherlands, including a visit to the field of Waterloo, July, 1816. f. 2;   (2) in France, Switzerland and Italy, June-July, 1819. f. 38;-(3) in France and Italy, June-July, 1822. f. 115. The first two only are autograph. Octavo.

REEL 3

Add Mss 34,703-34,708. WATERLOO CORRESPONDENCE, being original letters and statements written in reply to a circular issued, with an accompanying plan, to surviving officers engaged in the Battle of Waterloo by Capt. William Siborne, Assistant Military Secretary to the Lieutenant General commanding in Ireland, when engaged [1829-1839] upon the construction of his Model of the Battle, together with additional collections on the same subject; 1815- 1848. Six volumes. Paper. Folio.

Besides illustrating the particular period of the battle represented on the model the letters describe in much detail the operations of the Allied Army on 16-18 June, 1815. The collection was utilised for Capt. Siborne's History of the War in France and Belgium in 1815 (3rd ed, 1848); and a selection of the correspondence was edited in 1891 by his son Maj.-Gen. Herbert Taylor Siborne. Among the writers are the Marquis of Anglesey, Sir W M Gomm, Sir Colquhoun Grant, Sir Colin Halkett, Lord Edward Somerset, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Military Secretary to the Duke of Wellington, Sir Richard Hussey Vivian, Sir John Vandeleur, Lord Saltoun, Capt. E C Whinyates, many officers of the King's German Legion and of the Hanoverian subsidiary corps, etc. In Vol. I. in addition to the letters are: (a) "Réfutation en ce qui concerne le Maréchal Ney de l'ouvrage ayant pour titre, Campagne de 1815 ... par le Général Gourgaud ... par M. Gamot," printed at Paris in 1818. f. 52;-(b) Anonymous diary narrating conversations with Prince Jérôme Bonaparte and Comte Henri Gratien Bertrand on 10 May, 1823, and 23 Aug. 1824, on the conduct of Ney and Grouchy at Waterloo and the alleged general causes of Napoleon's defeat. f. 65.

Add Ms 34,703. Vol. I. (ff. 354). 1815-Nov. 1834.


Add Ms 34,704. Vol. II. (ff. 289). Dec. 1834-Feb. 1835.


REEL 4

Add Ms 34,705. Vol. III. (ff. 392). 31 Mar.-Dec. 1835.

REEL 5

Add Ms 34,706. Vol. IV. (ff. 503). Jan. 1836-Dec. 1838.

REEL 6

Add Ms 34,707. Vol. V. (ff. 551). 1839-1842.

REEL 7

Add Ms 34,708. Vol. VI. (ff. 413). 1843-1848.

REEL 8

Add Ms 40183, f285 only. Plan of the Battle of Waterloo from the Peel Papers Vol III (ff. 307) -  Letters to Sir R Peel, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, from J[ohn] W[ilson] Croker, as First Secretary to the Admiralty; Vol. III, 1812-1815.  Folio.

Add Ms 41524, f49 only. Account of the Battle of Waterloo from the Heytesbury Papers Vol XIV (ff364) - 20 Sept. 1814-1816: Letters to A'Court at Palermo and Naples from the Marchese di Circello, Foreign Minister, (mostly signed or copies in Italian, but a few autograph in French), with a number (mainly autograph drafts in French) from A'Court to the Marchese.

Add Ms 42714. “MEMOIRS OF THE EARLY LIFE OF JOHN ELLIOTT, of Elliott House, Near Ripon-Yorkshire, Esqre and, Lieut: of the Royal Navy: written by himself, at the request of his Wife, for the use, and amusement of his children only”, extending from his birth (11 Jan. 1759) to the Battle of the Saintes (12 Apr. 1782).

The most important part of the work is an account (ff. 7b- 45 b) of the second voyage of Captain James Cook, in HMS Resolution, in which Elliott served as a Midshipman, 1772-1775. Elliott's log of the voyage is now in the Public Record Office (cf. Public Library of New South Wales, Bibliography of Captain James Cook, p. 48). On f. 1b is a list of officers and civilians on the quarterdeck of the Resolution, with notes of their ages and characters. From 1775 to 1779 Elliott was in the service of the East India Company; he then returned to the Navy and after passing for Lieutenant was appointed to HMS Ajax; he was super-annuated with the rank of Commander in 1814 and died in 1834.

At the end of the volume (ff. 100-102) are three rough sketch maps of the Battle of Waterloo, in which his son, William Henry Elliott (GCB 1870; General 1871) took part; at f. 101b is a drawing of “Bounapartes [sic] Observatory erected on the field of Battle at Waterloo”. Sir W H Elliott married, in 1831, Mary Anne Ashmore, into whose family the present manuscript presumably passed.

Paper; ff.ii +102.Early XIX cent. (Watermark 1811).

Presented by MrsR G Ashmore.

Add Ms 43217, ff264-270 only.  Account of the death of Alexander Gordon, brother of Lord Aberdeen, from wounds received at the Battle of Waterloo. This is from the Aberdeen Papers Vol CLXXIX (ff.392) - General correspondence of the Hon. Sir Robert Gordon, 1809-1825.

Add Ms  43224. ABERDEEN PAPERS. Vol CLXXXVI (ff. 329).Correspondence with his brother, Lt.-Col. the Hon. Sir Alexander Gordon, KCB 1815, who served in the Peninsula and Belgium as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington until mortally wounded at Waterloo. The second of two volumes which contains:-(a) several drafts (in the handwriting of Lord Aberdeen) of the inscription on the monument to Sir Alexander erected by his family on the battlefield (cf. Inscriptions gravés sur les monuments érigés à Waterloo, et sur le Champ de Bataille, Brussels, 1838, p. 16). ff. 266-269;-(b) an extract from Sir Walter Scott's poem, ‘The Field of Waterloo’, describing the fall of Sir Alexander Gordon. f. 270;- (c)  three letters (1808-1809) to Lord Aberdeen from his brother,  the Hon. Charles Gordon (kt. 1812, Lt.-Col. 1815), whilst serving in the Peninsula. ff. 271-277b;-(d) a selection from the official correspondence
(1808-1809) of Lt.-Gen. Sir David Baird, 1st Bart. 1809, as second-in- command under Lt.-Gen. Sir John Moore in the Peninsula, during which time his nephew, Sir Alexander Gordon, acted as his aide-de-camp.
ff. 278-329b.  Vol. CLXXXVI, July 1811 - 1814 (and 1808, 1809, 1815, as above).

Add Ms 43830, ff86-87 only from a volume of miscellaneous letters and papers.  Letter from Captain Joseph Logan, 2nd Battalion, 95th Regiment (now the Rifle Brigade), to William Sylvester, describing the Battle of Waterloo; 10 July 1815. Printed in Brit. Mus. Quart., ix, 1934-1935, pp. 76- 78. ff. 86-87 b. Presented by Lady Warner. 

Add Ms 46359, Miscellaneous letters of statesmen from the Knightley Manuscripts Vol IV A (ff. 249). Letters and papers, mostly autograph, of peers, statesmen, men of letters, etc., arranged alphabetically; 1690 - 1908. This volume includes letters by Aberdare, Acton, Argyll, Miss Burdett Coutts, J A Froude, Charles Kingsley, J E Millais, Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Mrs Oliphant, Richard Owen, Peel, John Ruskin, George Sands, Lady Hester Stanhope, the Duke of Wellington (a large section of letters, ff214-231) and Charlotte Yonge.  There is a map of Waterloo and the surrounding area at f249 together with rough landscape sketches.

There is a sonnet by Christopher North (f4), a poetic extract by Robert Browning (f27) and a Coronation Ode by Harriet Downing (f155).  There is an account of the siege and capture of Delhi, 1857, by Major Wilson.

Also included are three letters, in French, addressed to the Marquise du Châtelet (supplementary to Vol. III, f. 85) from:-

(a) Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, 18 Feb. 1741/2. f. 28;-(b) Charles Jean François Hénault, President of the Parliament of Paris, 16 Dec. 1740. f. 86;-(c) Marguerite Jeanne, Baronne de Staal de Launay, 21 Dec. 1740. f. 195. Letters of Lord Nelson, 15 Aug. 1799 (facsimile), 10 Mar. 1805 (copy), at ff. 148, 149 have been printed by Sir N. Harris Nicolas, op. cit., iii, p. 441, iv, p. 353.

Add Ms 69850. THE WATERLOO DESPATCH:  autograph  draft  by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, of his despatch addressed to Henry, 3rd Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for War, announcing and describing the Allies' decisive victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo; 19 June 1815. The fair copy, signed by Wellington and taken to Bathurst by Major The Hon. Henry Percy, is now held by the Public Record Office, WO 1/205, ff. 313-316.

The present manuscript consists of four bifolia, one single folio containing the conclusion to the main despatch, one part folio bearing the last part of the main despatch and a postscript, and a separate envelope of a later date bearing annotations relating to the despatch. All the text and amendments appear to be in Wellington's hand, but two anonymous hands occur on f. 9v, and a third on the separate envelope (f. i), dating from 1853 or later, according to its watermark. There are also some indecipherable pencil marks, possibly modern, in the right-hand margin of f. 8v. The draft contains a number of deletions and alterations in pencil and ink; most of the words deleted can be deciphered and the changes made were all of little importance. One or two names were left blank and some redrafting was made as new information became available. Some lines marked for deletion in fact appeared in the final published version. These passages were perhaps to have been omitted from another projected version (see below).

The present text agrees generally with that published in The London Gazette Extraordinary for June 22 1815, but lacks the second postscript and the appended list of dead and wounded. Lt.-Col. John Gurwood, The Dispatches of . . . the Duke of Wellington . . . 1799 to 1815, vol. XII (1838), pp. 478-487, published much the same version of the despatch as that found in the present manuscript. Thus it differs slightly from the wording in the Gazette and omits the latter's extra material; however, Gurwood also printed a full return of the campaign dead and injured which had not been available to the Duke when the Waterloo despatch was sent. It is possible that the early drafts of the matter missing from this manuscript and from Gurwood were mislaid at an early stage. While it seems much more likely that Wellington was adding information to his despatch as it came to him, and probably no early drafts of the latest material were made, in at least one place, however (p. 484, third paragraph), Gurwood's printed version of the despatch is both a slightly different one from that found in the Gazette and a corrected version of the present draft (f. 8v); it is still possible, therefore, that some material has disappeared. Some of the pencil additions in Wellington's hand indicate that at some stage he was planning another version of the despatch, to be addressed to the King but presumably sent to the Prince Regent. It is not certain whether it was ever sent.

The document is dated 19 June 1815 and purports to have been written at Waterloo. Probably, however, some work was undertaken on the despatch at Brussels, as has been suspected. The version sent is headed 'Waterloo', but the copier could simply have been writing out what was placed in front of him. The first postscript, relating to the death of Maj.-Gen. Ponsonby and to the sending of three imperial eagles taken in the action to the Prince Regent in London, and the second postscript, together with the list of dead and wounded not found in the draft, may have been written at this later time. A marginal note (f. 5v) relating to the outstanding action by Maj.-Gen. Ponsonby and his troops, later to be incorporated in the final text, may also have been added at Brussels. It very probably dates from the time of the Duke's drafting of the first postscript (see above), and so is later than the main part of the draft. Moreover, the 'three eagles' and the Ponsonby passages do appear on a separate scrap of paper (f. 10. Against this is the fact that in the Gazette version of the first postscript the number of eagles - or standards - taken to England is given as two. It is clear that this postscript was also later revised, and so could still have been drafted originally at Waterloo. Probably all the despatch save the second postscript, the casualty list, and some last-minute corrections was drafted close to the field of battle.

The present document has been reproduced (first page only) in Reginald Colby, The Waterloo Despatch (1965); Victor Percival, The Duke of Wellington (1969), pp. 54-55; and Elizabeth Longford, Wellington - The Years of the Sword (1969), illus. 54. For an example of a contemporary popular version of the despatch see The Battle of Waterloo./Containing the Duke of Wellington's dispatch to Earl Bathurst, . . . (Edinburgh, [1815?]), British Library press-mark 1078. k. 15. For copies by Gurwood of some of Wellington's despatches, (but not the present document), see Add. 38522. For other official and semi-official papers relating to the Battle of Waterloo see Add. 19590. On loan to the British Library since 1976 as Loan no. 66.

Purchased from the Duke of Wellington, Jan. 1990, the National Heritage Memorial Fund contributing most of the purchase price.

Paper; ff. i +10. 320 x 200mm. Part-sheet 156 x 200mm. approx. Water-marks: Britannia and S. and C. Wise, 1811.

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