Warburg


Lieut-General John Manners, Marquis of Granby was 38 at the time of the battle and prematurely bald. The story of him charging at the head of the British cavalry at Warburg and losing his wig and hat is well known but it is not certain that this is entirely true. The 18th century fashion for wearing wigs would seem to have been a boon for bald men but every portrait of Manners shows him without hat and wig, proudly displaying his very bald head. This may be because the portraits were painted after the battle by which time his reputation rested on the story. One painting, by Edward Penney depicts him giving charity to a sick soldier and his destitute family. He is on his horse and wearing a hat but no wig. The general impression is that he did not wear a wig and it was only his hat that flew off.


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by Stephen Luscombe