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[Jack Shaw] Charger On which Shaw the Life Guardsman so much distinguished himself, at the Battle of Waterloo.
[Jack Shaw] Charger On which Shaw the Life Guardsman so much distinguished himself, at the Battle of Waterloo.
Painted by S. Alken. Engraved by T. Sutherland.
London, Published Jan.y 1.st 1821 by J. Hudson, 85, Cheapside.
Scarce coloured aquatint. Sheet 245 x 270mm (9¾ x 10½"), on Whatman paper dated 1820. Trimmed within plate.
A portrait of a black charger ridden by John 'Jack' Shaw (1789-1815) during the charge of the Life Guards at the Battle of Waterloo. Shaw, a promising boxer, signed up in the 2nd Life Guards in 1806. His abilities came to the notice of the officers, who paid for his training; his physique came to the attention of London's artists and he sat for Benjamin Haydon, John Higton and William Etty. In 1812 Shaw was in contention for the Championship of All England, but he was sent with his squadron to the Peninsula War. After Napoleon's abdication he was going to challenge Tom Cribb for the championship but Napoleon escaped from Elba so Shaw joined the Waterloo Campaign. At Waterloo the 2nd Life Guards charged the 1st Regiment of Cuirassiers, breaking them but leaving enough brave Frenchmen for Corporal Shaw to have a series of duels, winning them all. Continuing their charge into the French Grand Battery, the Life Guards were faced with fresh cavalry and Shaw was cut off. After breaking his sword Shaw was finally felled by a pistol shot; mortally wounded, he was dragged towards the French rear where he was dumped onto a dung heap, where his body was found by British troops the next day and buried in an unmarked grave. A few years later Sir Walter Scott (who had met Shaw earlier) arranged for the exhumation and return of the remains to Britain: a plaster cast was made which Scott kept in his library at Abbotsford, where it has remained to this day. Another is in the Household Cavalry Museum.
[Ref: 62332]   £260.00   (£312.00 incl.VAT)

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