History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne
and The Expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger.
by William L. Stone.
Albany, NY, Joel Munsell. 1877.
The following remarks on Lady Harriet Ackland--says Mr. Fonblanque in his Life of Burgoyne - are extracted from a letter written by Miss Warburton (Burgoyne's niece) to her nephew, the late Sir John Burgoyne of Crimean, fame, while a boy at school:
" You will be curious, I do not doubt, to know the sequel of this incomparable woman's history, and as far as I am able I will give it you. She had the happiness to see her husband perfectly recovered from his wounds, shortly after which he was unfortunately involved in an affair of honor in consequence of some disagreement with a brother officer in America during the preceding campaign. They fought with swords, and Major Ackland, in making a pass at his adversary, slipped and fell forward with great violence. It happened that a small pebble lay within reach of his fall, and he struck his temple upon it with such force that instant death ensued. Imagine to yourself the wretchedness of Lady Harriet on this unhappy event. Attached to him as she was, having suffered so much for his sake, and having, as she hoped, brought him home to safety and a life of future happiness, to have all this cheering prospect dashed at once in so miserable a manner, was, one would have thought, more than human nature could support or sustain. But she had a mind superior to every trial, and even this, her severest infliction, she bore up under with resignation and fortitude. I saw her again many years afterwards, when her sorrows had been somewhat tempered by time. She was still handsome, but her bloom and vivacity were gone. I placed myself where I could unobserved contemplate the change she had undergone since I had first seen her. Her countenance was mild and placid, but there was a look of tender melancholy mingled with resignation that made her the most interesting object I had ever beheld. * * Whilst we render this tribute to the virtue of Lady Harriet, let us not overlook the heroic conduct of Mr. Brudenell. I cannot conceive courage and fortitude exceeding that which he displayed at the funeral of General Fraser. There was on that occasion every thing to appall the strongest mind ; that under such circumstances he should not only go through the solemn service with deliberation, but that his voice should preserve its firmness, is I think, an instance of the most determined resolution that ever was exhibited." 1
Lady Ackland, or rather Mrs. Brudenell, died on the 21st of July, 1815.
" There is a sequel to this romantic story which Miss Warburton forgot
to mention , Lady Harriet Ackland ultimately became the wife of Mr. Brudenell."-Note
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