Field Marshall Henry William Paget

OF STAFFORDSHIRE

By

Field Marshal Henry Paget was one of the most distinguished cavalry generals of the Napoleonic Wars.

After campaigning in Spain in 1808, Paget returned to England, where his subsequent affair with the wife of Wellington’s younger brother scandalised society. Waterloo enabled Paget to restore his reputation, but also cost him his leg and his military career.

Henry was born in London on 17 May 1768, the son of Henry Bayly and Jane (née Champagné). The following year the family fortunes changed dramatically when Henry senior inherited a baronetcy and succeeded to the title of the 9th Lord Paget of Beaudesert.

The new family seat was on the southern edge of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire but the family’s good fortune was not to end there for, in 1780, they inherited large tracts of mining land in both England and Ireland. The young Henry Paget was to benefit from the family’s new-found affluence; he attended Westminster School and Christchurch College, Oxford.

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