The Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815

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The Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815

This Day in Our History 18th June 1815 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the final defeat of Napoleon.​

The Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France and their respective allies lasted, with two brief intervals, from 1793 to 1815, requiring the British Army to expand rapidly. Ordinary recruiting failed to supply the required numbers and various militia acts etc. placed obligations on communities to enlist for internal defence, enforcement of law and maintenance of order.  Glasgow supported the war effort, providing funds for the wives and children of men serving in the militia.  In April 1814, after Napoleon’s abdication and his exile, there were great celebrations in the city at what was thought to be a final victory.


​Printed, coloured map showing fields of Waterloo and preceding battles which form part of the Maxwell of Pollok collection (Ref No: T-PM/134/183).
​In 1802 the Glasgow Militia Society was established which afforded its members relief from the possibility of serving in the Militia.  Such societies were common throughout Scotland. 

​In July 1803 Glasgow Council resolved to ‘assist the manning of his Majesty’s navy’ by offering a bounty to the first 100 volunteers of Glasgow men born, who should enter with any naval officer in Glasgow … and to draw up an address to the king ‘ expressive of the loyalty of the corporation’.

​​Extract from register of payments paid to the wives and children under 10 of men serving in the Glasgow Militia. 1810, 1813-1816.
​                       burghmins1814bonfires.jpg

​​The minutes of the Council on 22 April 1814 records public rejoicings and illumination of the city in the celebration of the late glorious events in France. The magistrates agree to order public bonfires, to apply to the regiments in their garrisons for their bands of music to parade the streets.
​Memorial sent to Sir John Maxwell by the sisters of the late Colonel James Inglis Hamilton of Murdieston who ‘fell at the ever memorable Battle of Waterloo’.  His sisters, now impoverished, state that ‘their brother, on whom they entirely depended, was always kind and liberal to them in his lifetime’ and from the terms of his will, it is plain that he meant them to be comfortable after his decease.

​Map of Glasgow, 1828, with all its latest improvements.  These include the laying out of new streets in an area which was formerly part of the Blythswood Estate.  Two of the streets are Waterloo and Wellington providing a permanent memorial to the victory over​ Napoleon. 

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