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ENSIGN YELVERTON'S SPOON
An Irish Childhood
entinck Walter Yelverton was born on 29th November 1792, the first son of the Honourable Walter Aglionby Yelverton and Cecilia of Belle Isle, Roscrea, County Tipperary. He was also the grandson of Barry Yelverton, the Lord Chief Baron of His Majesty's Court of Exchequer in Ireland who subsequently was created Baron Yelverton of Avonmore in 1795 and Viscount Avonmore in 1800. When young Bentinck was five years old, his father Walter became Member of Parliament for Naas and a year later in 1798, MP for Tuam. Coincidentally, the 6th (or 1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, commanded by Lt Col Colin Campbell, had arrived in Ireland in 1796 and at one stage was quartered at Tuam. Doubtless the Yelverton family would have come into contact socially with the Regiment.
The social reception of a new regiment was not necessarily always enthusiastic. The 6th of Foot seems to have run into a little trouble in this regard. A newspaper report filed, 'Dublin March 16, 1798' refers to a Court Martial of certain officers of the 6th Regiment. One Ensign Mead, who is described as a 'giddy boy', is charged with 'unsoldier-like behaviour' amongst other charges. The newspaper report explains that when Mr Mead arrived at Kilkenny he had asked (presumably his fellow officers) how the officers had been treated by the inhabitants. He was told, 'coldly'. Ensign Mead clearly was somewhat disappointed and so he took it upon himself to send a card to almost every house in the town as follows, 'Mr Mead presents his compliments to the Ladies of Kilkenny, takes the earliest opportunity of announcing his arrival; informs them he can play whist, cassino and every fashionable game on the cards, dances well, and can accomodate himself to every lady, is to be heard at his lodgings at . . . ' Col. Campbell himself prosecuted! Whether for good or bad, the 6th Regiment must have made a lasting impression on the MP for Tuam.
In 1801, Bentinck Yelverton's mother died leaving Bentinck now aged nine, his younger brother Benjamin and two sisters, Mary and Cecilia. Bentinck's father had by this time left politics and was cursitor in the Court of Chancery in Ireland.
In 1808, at the age of seventeen, Bentinck was admitted to Trinity College Dublin as a Fellow Commoner. He attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in the summer of 1814 and, as his university days came to an end, his future had to be planned. It was decided that he should join the Army. Applications for Commissions were required to be sent to the Commander in Chief's Military Secretary and to be certified by a General Officer.
A Commission in the Army
On 18th November 1814, Charles Kendal Bushe, a barrister friend of Bentinck's father, wrote from 5 Ely Place, Dublin to the Commander-in-Chief's Office, seeking a Commission for twenty-two years old Bentinck. Mr Bushe declared that Bentinck 'is an honourable and spirited young man and in my humble opinion very deserving of being encouraged in his ambition to serve His Majesty'. Clearly, Mr Bushe was not without influence. It was a requirement that such an application as this was to be endorsed by a General Officer, but as Mr Bushe pointed out, 'not being acquainted with any one now, it has been suggested that perhaps the attestation of a friend in civil life might be deemed sufficient'. Charles Bushe went on to become Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1822.
Charles Bush's unconventional application on behalf of Bentinck Yelverton was successful. A 'Memorial' was duly forwarded to HRH Field Marshal the Duke of York stating that Bentinck Yelverton, the 'Memorialist', 'is now twenty years of age [actually he was twenty-three] and has just obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the University of Dublin' and 'that your Memorialist is now desirous to serve His Majesty in an active Military capacity' and that he be given the opportunity by 'giving your Memorialist a Commission in any Regiment in his Majest's Service'.
Bentinck Walter Yelverton, now aged just twenty-three was commissioned without purchase on 15 December 1814 and appointed 'Ensign in the 6th Regiment of Infantry' - the very same regiment which had been in the Kilkenny and Tuam area some sixteen years earlier. Was his appointment to the SIXTH a mere coincidence or was it by request?
The 1st Battalion, 6th of Foot had been in Portugal, Spain and South West France since 1812. However, when Napoleon abdicated in April 1814 and after Wellington had defeated Soult at Toulouse in the same month, the war with France came to an end. The Allied army dispersed and on the 5th May, the SIXTH embarked at Bordeaux for Canada. The Regiment proceeded first to Montreal and then on to the Niagara frontier to reinforce Lt Gen Drummond's Division before Fort Erie. Subsequently, the battle honour 'NIAGARA' was awarded to the SIXTH for bravely retaking a captured battery.
At the very moment in December 1814 when Ensign Yelverton was commissioned and 'desirous to serve His Majesty in an active military capacity', the 1st Battalion of his new regiment was in Canada. The 2nd Battalion, however, was on garrison duties in Jersey, and it was to Jersey that young Bentinck was dispatched.
Before leaving home, Bentinck would have assembled his kit and personal equipment. Doubtless on his list would have been a knife, fork and spoon - vital utensils for all soldiers and officers, particularly when on campaign, in the field, on the march or billeted, and when no standing Officers' Mess was established.
Standing messes had not been established universally throughout the Army at this period. They existed in some of the larger garrisons such as Woolwich and Edinburgh, and in some regiments that were rooted geographically. Militia messes were commonplace, but Line regiments were less fortunate. Officers tended to socialise and eat informally, often by companies when and where possible. That apart, there were not the barracks with custom-built mess accommodations as we know them today. Officers would, therefore, often carry amongst their personal items a 'campaign set' of a knife, fork and spoon which neatly folded away into its own small case. Others would have with them the more conventional table flatware and a knife.
The tablespoon, illustrated above, was made by Richard Sawyer of Dublin and assayed in Dublin in 1806. On the obverse of the handle is engraved the Yelverton family crest viz. 'a lion passant regardant gules'.
It, along with the other pieces in the service,
would have been purchased by the Yelverton family for everyday
dining room use at home. It was, therefore, not unreasonable
that young Bentinck should nip down to the Butler's pantry or
wherever, and avail himself of some suitable cutlery to slip
into his luggage before leaving home. It was also sensible
that prior to joining his new regiment, he should have 'B.W.
Yelverton, 6th Reg.' engraved on the reverse of the handle.
Newly joined Ensign Yelverton and his spoon thus found themselves in Jersey with the 2nd Battalion. In Canada, however, the 1st Battalion was preparing to leave. Peace with the Americans had been declared and at the beginning of July 1815, the 1st Battalion set sail for Europe.
1st Battalion's Return to Europe
The Battalion disembarked at Ostend on the 10th August arriving a few weeks too late to take the field at Waterloo. Nevertheless, the Regiment now marched to Ghent and on to Paris where they joined the 16th, 58th and 82nd Regiments to form 15 Brigade of Maj Gen Thomas Brisbane's 7th Division encamped just outside Paris.
When the final treaties between the Allies and France had been signed, the SIXTH was selected to form part of the 35,000 strong Army of Occupation in France and, with the 29th and 71st Regiments, was regrouped into 6 Brigade under Maj Gen Thomas Bradford. 6 Brigade also formed one element of Lt Gen Sir Henry Clinton's 2nd Division. The 6th Foot was initially quartered at Versailles but in December, marched to the village of Ecouen to the north of Paris on the road to Luzarches.
Back at home, however, Ensign Yelverton and his spoon had moved with the 2nd Battalion to Winchester where, on 24th December 1815, the Battalion was disbanded and Bentinck Yelverton was placed on the Half-Pay List in February. He and his spoon now had to wait for a non-purchase commission vacancy to occur in the remaining battalion in France.
The 1st Battalion remained in and around Ecouen until 23rd January 1816 when it marched to St Pol (now Dunkerque) in the Pas de Calais. A few weeks later three companies deployed to Lillers near Bethane and seven companies to the adjacent villages.
After some seven months, the SIXTH moved to St Omer and, with the remainder of the British contingent of the 2nd Division, encamped on Helfaut Heath. In October, there was yet another move and this time to the plains of Denain near Valenciennes where the British troops were reviewed by the Duke of Wellington on the 22nd October. After the review, the SIXTH returned to its cantonments at Lillers and neighbouring villages.
Service in France
In January 1817 after nearly a year on the Half-Pay List, Ensign Yelverton was recalled for duty with the Battalion in France. He and his spoon passed through the Depot at Dover Heights Barracks and made the crossing to France, joining the regiment at Lillers. Both the Adjutant's Roll and the Quarterly Pay List show our hero in France with his Regiment in March, Along with other officers, he now incurs stoppages for provisions set at 2 1/2d per day.
Yelverton's first few months with his Regiment can hardly be described as interesting, let alone 'active'. He had joined at Lillers in March and remained there until July when the SIXTH once more encamped on Helfaut Heath. In September the Regiment moved again, this time to a tented camp on the glacis of Valenciennes near the Quesney Gate. Here the 6th Foot, along with the other regiments of British infantry was reviewed by the King of Prussia. This pattern of move, review, move continued for the remaining months of 1817 and into 1818. During the period, the Duke of Wellington visited twice and Lt Gen Lord Hill once.
On 10th September 1818, the British, Saxon, Danish and Hannoverian armies, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, were inspected by HRH The Duke of Kent at Valenciennes. However, in October the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed which brought to an end the Allied occupation of France two years ahead of the planned timetable. As a result, the several armies, including the Russian contingent, were reviewed for the last time by the various Heads of State. The Grand Review signalled the end of the occupation and the withdrawal of the Allied contingent.
Deployment to England and Scotland
The 6th Regiment of Foot embarked at Calais on the 29th October 1818 and landed next day at Dover. Immediately, from Dover, the Regiment marched, via Chatham and Canterbury, some eighty miles to Romford, arriving there on 4th November. It was at Romford that the establishment was reduced to thirty-nine officers, thirty-five sergeants, thirty corporals, twenty-two drummers and six hundred and twenty men. Lt Col Hugh Maurice Scott commanded and his adjutant was Ensign Alexander Downie.
Five days after arriving at Romford, the SIXTH was on the move again, this time to Sunderland, with some men being detached to Carlisle. In June 1819, however, the Regiment moved on to Edinburgh, taking eleven days to complete the journey. Perhaps there was some good reason for not doing so, but movement by sea would seem to have been a better alternative to marching.
The SIXTH took up residence in Edinburgh Castle and detached one company to Stirling and another to Aberdeen. A few weeks later a third company was deployed to Berwick. Ensign Bentinck Yelverton seems to have drawn a short straw. On the 26th July he set off for Aberdeen. His stay in the granite city was, however, short. He was on his way back to Edinburgh again at the end of October.
At this period there was both political unrest and social agitation, particularly in the northern counties of England. The Luddite Riots were still fresh in mind and local magistrates needed the support of regular troops as well as the Milita and Volunteers should matters get out of hand. The post-1815 army was greatly reduced and the units that were available to assist the civil authorities had to be deployed effectively, albeit a little thinly. It was against this background, that in January 1820, seven companies of the 6th Foot were deployed to Yorkshire; four companies to Leeds and three to Halifax. The company still at Berwick eventually joined the companies at Halifax and the two left behind in Edinburgh rejoined the companies in Leeds.
The Yorkshire deployment lasted some eighteen months. In June 1821, the Regiment was ordered to St Helena and the SIXTH proceeded to Hull for embarkation. Two companies had already set sail when news was received in England that Napoleon had died. Suddenly the plan changed. The departure of the rest of the Regiment to St Helena was cancelled and immediately it was ordered to move to the Cape of Good Hope. Ensign Yelverton and his spoon marched from Leeds to Hull between the 5th and 8th June. It is interesting to reflect that the deployment plan was changed significantly at the drop of a hat. Was this pure expediency or calculated efficiency? Whatever the reason, it illustrates the amazing adaptability and resilience of the system and of regiments at this period.
The Frontiers of Cape Colony
The 6th (or 1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot arrived at Table Bay on the 3rd November 1821 after 'a tedious voyage' and was joined by two companies who had previously left Hull ahead of the main body for St Helena. Ensign Yelverton sailed aboard 'Intrep' which left Hull on the 5th July and arrived at the Cape on 31st October having been at sea for some one hundred and nineteen days.
Shortly after arriving in the Cape, the Regiment was inspected at Cape Town by Lt Gen Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin, who was Acting Governor at the Cape whilst the Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, was back in England. It was General Donkin who, in June the previous year, had named the little port at Algoa Bay, 'Port Elizabeth', after his beloved late wife. [Editorial Query: did they have a son named Henry, whose wife Margaret Louise died in childbirth and who is buried in Florence's 'English' Cemetery?]
A few days after arriving in the Cape, five companies under the command of Brevet Major Henry Rogers, re-embarked and sailed some four hundred and fifty miles east along the coast to Algoa Bay, arriving there on 25th November 1821. With Major Rogers were eleven company officers, amongst whom was Ensign Bentinck Yelverton. From Algoa Bay, the companies marched inland to Graham's Town and then on to 'several posts and forts along the frontier'. The frontier between Cape Colony and the Xhosa peoples native to the Eastern Cape was defined by the Great Fish River. Although the so-called 5th Cape Frontier War (1818-1819) was ended, there continued to be countless border incursions and general hostilities and the frontier still needed to be manned and patrolled by infantry.
Regimental Headqaurters under Lt Col Scott left Cape Town in January 1822 and redeployed to Graham's Town. Colonel Scott then took over the command of the companies on the frontier. Constant patrolling was the principal task but when not on patrol, the 'men are engaged as labourers and artificers at the Government works'.
While Ensign Bentinck was with his company on the frontier, he was promoted by purchase to Leiutenant with a seniority date of 17th April 1823. He had been an Ensign for eight and a half years!
After nearly two years on the frontier, the flank companies were withdrawn to Cape Town in October 1823. Regimental Headquarters followed in November. Lt Col Scott was appointed Commandant at Simonstown and Lt Col Mark Napier [The 'English' Cemetery has four entries concerning this family, see Kellet, http://www.florin.ms/cemetery2.html, and Napier, http://www.florin.ms/cemetery3.html, searching in each for 'Napier'], who had recently arrived in the Colony, took over command of the Regiment. Capt Edward Cox took over command of the six companies still deployed along the frontier. Lt Bentinck Yelverton was with one of the companies left behind.
Leave of Absence
A further twelve months passed until August 1824 when four more companies and Bentinck Yelverton were withdrawn to Cape Town. Unbeknown to Bentinck, his father had died back in Ireland in June and news of his death had only just reached the Cape. Bentinck applied for Leave of Absence which was granted by the Commander Forces, Cape of Good Hope from 30th December 1824 to 30th March 1826; an unusually long period but not doubt approved because of the death of his father. Leave of Absence was only considered valid from the time of its being granted, hence the start date was given as the 30th December which would allow Bentinck to return to England still on duty. Bentinck embarked on the merchant ship 'Triton' on the 30th September 1824.
For the Regiment, there now followed a period back in Cape Town of consolidation. Various officers went on leave or left on posting. In January, Lord Charles Somerset, now back as Governor at the Cape, inspected the Regiment at Cape Town and 'was pleased to express himself much gratified at witnessing its good appearance after being so long detached and the men employed at working parties'.
Regimental Deployment to India
Lt Bentinck Yelverton was by this time back home in Ireland on leave. The SIXTH, however, was now placed on the India Establishment and during March 1825, various officers arrived at the Cape to augment the regimental strength. On the 22nd March, the 6th Foot, embarked at Table Bay on the Indiamen 'Windsor' and 'Vansittart' for Bombay, where it arrived on the 31st May. The Regiment moved into Fort George and Lt Col Scott reassumed command as Lt Col Napier was appointed Commandant of the Fort and Garrison.
In June, the regimental establishment was increased to one thousand rank and file. However, during June and the subsequent months, cholera claimed many lives, particularly amongst the regimental women and children.
In September, as the rainy season came to an end, the SIXTH was ordered without notice to join a field force assembling at Kutch in preparation for an invasion of Scinde. The Regiment embarked at Bombay on 21st Steptember 1825 and landed at Mandavie in the Gulf of Kutch between the 10th-15th October. It then marched to the capital of Bhooj and, on 2nd November, tents were pitched near the village of Juruck. Some eight thousand men had now assembled under the command of Colonel Mark Napier, 6th Foot.
Retirement to the Half-Pay List
Lt Bentinck Yelverton would have known nothing of his Regiment's move from Cape Colony to Bombay, to Mandavie and to Bhooj. At home, Bentinck must have faced some serious problems. His mother had long since died, his father had died only recently. Bentinck, still a bachelor and now head of the family was but thirty-three years old. He not only had the estate to manage but there were two unmarried sisters to be looked after. His brother, Benjamin, was a chaplain abroad. [Actually, Rev Frederick Yelverton, whose name appears in many of the Florence, 'English' Cemetery, entries as officiating at baptisms, weddings, funerals.] Added to his problems was the fact that his extended Leave of Absence required him to be back with his regiment in India on the 30th March 1826. Clearly, he must have been in a dilemma. Was he to shirk his responsibilities as head of family or was he to abandon his military career? He could not satisfy both requirements.
On the 3rd September 1825, Bentinck Yelverton wrote directly to the Military Secretary at Horse Guards, the illustrious Lt Gen Sir Herbert Taylor no less. The letter was addressed from the Tavistock Hotel, Covent Garden and in it Lt Yelverton sought permission to retire to the Half-Pay List 'as some family embarrassment caused by the death of my father since I obtained Leave of Absence, render my residence at home of the greatest importance to my future prospects'. Bentinck points out in the same letter that 'I have now had the honour of serving His Majesty near eleven years and purchased my Lieutenancy'. Bentinck's letter to the Military Secretary is a rather scruffy single handwritten page and, although coauched in the language of a formal letter, it is relatively casual. It was sent direct to Horse Guards, thus avoiding any 'chain of command' delays.
By the end of October 1825, the 'regulated difference for exchange' between two officers had been settled and Lt The Honourable George August Browne, unattached from the Half-Pay List, took over Yelverton's appointment. Bentinck Yelverton was accordingly placed on the Half-Pay List from the 20th October 1825.
Yelverton, not unreasonably, was expected by his Regiment to be back from Leave and at work on 31st March 1826. The Adjutant, of course, could not have known of Bentinck's resignation nor of Browne's appointment. The Adjutant's Roll for the period 25th March to 24th April 1826 compiled at Camp Madapoor, Kutch shows that Lt Yelverton of Capt Crawford's Company (No 8) was deemed to be 'Absent without Leave from 31 March 1826'.
This somewhat grave and damning entry against Yelverton's name was, of course, a result of the delay in news reaching the Regiment in India. News eventually did arrive and the Adjutant's Roll for June/July records that Yelverton had 'exchanged to the Half-Pay List 20th October 1825'. Thus ended Lt Bentinck Yelverton's life of active soldiering. The 6th (or 1st Royal Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot remained in India until 1841, having become 'Royal' in 1832, but the sixteen years in the sub-continent had taken its toll. Campaigning in Scinde and Baluchistan had been extremely arduous, and cholera decimated the Regiment. In the month of July 1828 alone, the 6th Foot lost fifty-eight men and later many more would succumb. By 1842 the Regiment was back in England having served abroad in South Africa and India continuously for some twenty years.
Bentinck Yelverton married his cousin, the Honourable Anna Maria Bingham, eldest daughter of John Bingham, 1st Baron Clanmorris of Newbrook, County Mayo in June 1929. In 1833 Anna Maria Cecilia was born.
Bentinck remained on the Half-Pay List for the rest of his life. However, on the 15th December, 1837, aged forty-five he died and is interrred in the Swiss-owned 'English' Cemetery in Florence (Cimitero Porta a' Pinti). Tragedy again struck the family on the 16th April 1846 when the late Bentinck's daughter, Anna Maria Cecilia, died aged thirteen years. Anna Maria, Bentinck's wife lived until 1855 and she too is interred in the English Cemetery Florence with her husband [and beside her sister Mary Letitia Zaida Ffrench whose tomb preceded all these others in the largest lot, second to that of the Stibberts, in this Protestant Cemetery abroad.]
MARY LETITIA ZAIDA (BINGHAM) FFRENCH/ IRELAND/ Trench/
Maria Letizia Zaira/ / Inghilterra/ Firenze/ 20 Ottobre/ 1832/
Anni 33/ 68/ Burke's Peerage,
John Bingham, Baron Clanmorris, had daughters Anne-Maria
Bingham who married Bentinck Walter Yelverton, Letitia Maria
[Zaida] who married Robert FFrench of Rahasane Galway dying a
widow in 1832, and, FO79/67, Louisa Catherine who married Rev
[Benjamin Chapman] Frederick Yelverton, at HBM (Edgecombe)
15/09/32/ GL23773 N° 22, Bentinck Walter Yelverton and
Anna Maria Bingham's daughter, Anna Maria [Cecilia], 09/06/34,
was baptised together with a 'Zaida Maria', whose mother was
Louisa [Catherine], by Rev Frederick Yelverton, who was her
father, G23773 N° 23; ; Burial, Anna Maria Cecilia 17/04/46/ SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF/ MARIA LETITIA ZAIDA
FFRENCH/ DAUGHTER OF JOHN LORD CLANMORRIS AND WIDOW OF R.
FFRENCH ESQ/ RAHASANE CO OF GALWAY/ WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
IN THE BLOOM OF/ YOUTH AND BEAUTY 23 OCTOBER 1832/ P.BAZZATINTI.F/ F11G/ see
*§ ANNA MARIA CECILIA YELVERTON/ ENGLAND /Yelverton/ Anna Cecilia Fiorenza/[Bentinck Walter] / Inghilterra/ Grace (Francia)/ 17 Aprile/ 1846/ / 337/ GL 23774 N° 96: d of Bentinck Walter Yelverton, Anna Maria (Bingham) Yelverton, died Nice 16-04, aged 13, Burial 27-04, Rev George Robbins/ A LOVELY FLOWER CULLED FROM EARTH TO BLOOM IN HEAVEN// BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD// SHE CAME TO THE CROSS WHEN HER YOUNG CHEEK WAS BLOOMING AND RAISED TO THE LORD THE BRIGHT GLANCE OF HER EYE AND WHEN O'ER ITS BEAUTY DEATH'S DARKNESS WAS GLOOMING THE SAVIOUR WAS NIGH// ANNA MARIA CECILIA DAUGHTER OF BENTINK WALTER AND THE HON.BLE A.M. YELVERTON (THE ONLY CHILD OF HER MOTHER AND SHE WAS A WIDOW) FELL ASLEEP IN THE LORD ON THE 16 DAY OF APRIL 1846 IN THE 13 YEAR OF HER AGE ALREADY RIPE THRO GRACE AND FULL OF FAITH SHE LEFT WITHOUT SECRET THE FAIREST EARTHLY PROSPECTS TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A HEAVENLY INHERITANCE THIS FAINT RESEMBLANCE OF THAT CHERISHED FORM WAS PLACED BY HER TO WHOM THIS WORLD IS NOW OF A TRUTH A VALLEY OF TEARS./ F11H/ See FFrench
*§ BENTINCK WALTER YELVERTON/ ENGLAND/ & ANNA MARIA (BINGHAM) YELVERTON/ IRELAND/ Yelverton/ Bertick/ / Inghilterra/ Pisa/ 13 Dicembre/ 1837/ / 165/ Marriage recorded FO79/57 15/09/32, Rev Frederick Yelverton to Catherine Louisa Bingham at HBM, Yelverton brothers marrying Bingham sisters]/ [Coat of Arms] IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF/ BENTINK YELVERTON/ AND HIS WIFE/ THE HON.BLE ANNA BINGHAM/ F11GH/ Michael Ayrton, 'Ensign Yelverton's Spoon', The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society 56 (2005), 93-104. See FFrench
Reverend Benjamin Chapman Frederick Yelverton was the son of
Hon. Walter Aglionby Yelverton and Cecilia Yelverton.1 He
married Hon. Louisa Catherine Bingham, daughter of John Bingham,
1st Baron Clanmorris and Lady Anna Maria Yelverton, in 1838.1 He
died in 1849.1
Reverend Benjamin Chapman Frederick Yelverton lived in Ballea, County Offaly, Ireland.1
Children of Reverend Benjamin Chapman Frederick Yelverton and Hon. Louisa Catherine Bingham
Julia Anna Florence Yelverton
1. [S21] L. G. Pine, The New Extinct Peerage 1884-1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms (London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1972), page 19.
The military career of Bentinck Yelverton's spoon
is, of course, mostly conjecture, albeit relatively well
informed. The spoon started life in Dublin in 1806 and found
its way into the Yelverton family. By 1814 it was probably in
Jersey, then France and in 1821, on the frontiers of Cape
Colony. That it has survived is remarkable and it is a
tangible reminder of Bentinck Yelverton's eleven-year career
in the 6th Foot. For without the spoon or the tomb, the one
quite small, the other immense, Yelverton might well be
forgotten. The story behind the spoon has also given an
insight into the life of one battalion of infantry in the
immediate post-Waterloo period and
in so doing, has illustrated the hardships, rigours and
hazards faced year in year out, by soldiers of the period. A
period subsequently dubbed 'The Long Peace'.
I am deeply indebted to Mr Tom Shannon of Philadelphia for his outstanding geenrosity, to Roger Perkins for his encouragement, to Liz Evans for her research at The National Archives. I thank David Hewson for his enthusiasm for all things Irish and Clive Britton for the photographs of the Yelverton tomb in Florence. I am grateful to the Assistant Librarian, Trinity College, Dublin, for details of Yelverton's University career.
The National Archives: WO 25/779, 31/410, 31/566, 12/2391, 12/2391, 12/2393, 12/2394, 12/2395
Historical Record of the 6th or 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment of Foot 1674-1838. London: Longman, Orme & Co., 1839.
General Regulations and Orders for the Army. Adjutant General's Office. Horse Guards, 12th August 1811 to which are added such REGULATIONS as have been issued to the 1st January 1816
Lodge's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage of the British Empire, 1908, ed. St Arthur Vicars KCVO FSA, Ulster King of Arms. Kelly's Directories London
Alumni Dublinenses, Dublin 1935.
Julia Bolton Holloway is most grateful to Michael Ayrton and to The Military Historical Society for their joint permission to republish this essay on 'Ensign Yelverton's Spoon' on Florence's 'English' Cemetery's Website.
We should like to invite further research on our
retired military persons' burials, who may be found in the
three files beginning with http://www.florin.ms/cemetery1.html
See as well, concerning our Battle of Waterloo participants, http://www.florin.ms/waterloo.html.
Two of our Waterloo tombs are in great need of restoration,
those of Charles Gregorie and of Edward Porteus, and we should
be most grateful for contributions towards these. Our
Swiss-owned so-called 'English' Cemetery is also at great risk
of being closed and abandoned. See http://piazzaledonatello.blogspot.com.
We should also be eternally grateful to researchers concerning
armorial bearings, both British and Continental, which are
finely sculpted on many of our tombs. Such contributions would
be published with images and attributed to their authors (if
we can remain open). Incidentally, the tombs next to those of
the Yelvertons are those of the military Napier Kelletts.
Which in turn lie next to that of Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
our most famous burial.
ON FLORENCE © JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY, AUREO ANELLO ASSOCIAZIONE,
ALIGHIERI, SWEET NEW STYLE: BRUNETTO
|| CITY AND BOOK CONFERENCE
I, II, III,
, VIII, IX, X || MEDIATHECA
AUREO ANELLO CATALOGUE
|| LINGUE/LANGUAGES: ITALIANO,
New: Opere Brunetto Latino || Dante vivo || White Silence
2004, from Bulletin of The Military Historical Society
56:222 (2005), 93-104. The Military Historical Society is a
British society which aims to further the study of British and
Commonwealth Armed Forces. Contact regarding this article
and/or the Society and membership should be addessed to the
Honorary Editor, The Military Historical Society, 33 Sturges
Road, Wokingham, Berkshire RG 40 2 HG, England.
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