7th Hussars

The Hon. Edward William Waldegrave

Lieutenant Edward Waldegrave was drowned at the age of 22 when the troop ship 'Despatch' foundered on the Manacles on 22nd Jan 1809 on its return voyage from Corunna to England. The drawing shows him as a teenager.

Edward was gazetted to the 14th Light Dragoons on 19th Dec 1805 but did not join. He transferred to the 7th Light Dragoons on 13th Feb 1806, as a cornet. He was a lieutenant on 11th Dec 1806 and sailed to the Peninsula in Oct 1808 suffering the hardships of the winter retreat through the mountains with the rest of the army.

He was the son of the 4th Earl of Waldegrave and Elizabeth Waldegrave who was a noted social beauty and lady of the bedchamber to the Princess Royal. Elizabeth's mother, Maria secretly married the Duke of Gloucester so that Elizabeth had half brothers and sisters who were members of the Royal family. Edward's elder brother George, the 5th Earl also died by drowning, in 1794. Another brother, John, the 6th Earl Waldegrave, also joined the regiment, in 1804 but he lived to be a lieutenant-colonel.

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by Stephen Luscombe