Today, we learn about the true story of the "Waterloo Breeches."
John Claudius Loudon had written his friend, the Duke of Wellington, to inquire as to whether he might inspect the Waterloo Beeches. As a memorial of the battle of Waterloo, beech trees had been planted immediately after the battle of Waterloo.
Now, Loudon's note was kind of hard to read and the Duke misinterpreted a few things.
First, he THOUGHT that the note was from C.J. London (the Bishop of London) - not J.C. Loudon(the eminent landscape designer).
Second, he misread "beeches" as "BREECHES".
Thus, he thought that the Bishop of London wanted to inspect his pants.
The Duke wrote the Bishop back, saying:
"My dear Bishop of London, It will always give me great pleasure to see you at Strathfieldsaye. Pray come there whenever it suits your convenience, whether I am at home or not. My servant will receive orders to show you so many pairs of breeches of mine as you wish ; but why you should wish to inspect those that I wore at the battle of Waterloo is quite beyond the comprehension of yours, most truly, Wellington."
Now when this surprising did not reach the Bishop of London, he showed it to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to other discreet persons. They thought the great Duke of Wellington had lost his mind. Eventually, the whole matter got straightened out. But from that day forward, the incident became known as the story of the "Waterloo Breeches". And, we wouldn't have it - without John Claudius Loudon.


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