Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2

Search

Volume 9 Page 464
  Enlarge Enlarge  
350 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. engagements. In the prosecution of his duty in this way, he had planned a great military spectacle, in which eight or ten thousand men were to be employed. The contemplated scene of action was the Braid Hills, and the ground adjacent to the villages of Liberton and Gilmerton. The note of preparation for a conflict, on a scale so extended, had excited the ardour of the volunteer soldiery in a proportionable degree j but unfortunately, a few days before the order of battle was to have been given out to the troops, the news arrived in Edinburgh that preliminaries of peace had been entered into, and the battle of the Braid was in consequence abandoned. None were more mortified than the General himself; and so much out of humour was he with the cause of the interruption, that even in his correspondence with Government and the Horse Guards, he would never allow himself to dignify the Peace of Amiens by a higher name than the late cessation of hostilities. In his occasional harangues to the troops, General Vyse affected much the pithy style and spirit of Frederick of Prussia ; but though studiously laconic, he was somewhat partial to pompous language, and not without a turn for dry, caustic humour. When the Pembrokeshire Fencible Cavalry-a corps by no means distinguished for discipline or military appearance-were stationed in this quarter, they were one day reviewed by General Vyse. At the termination of the display the Colonel took his station at the head of his regiment, in expectation of the approbation usually accorded on such occasions. Cantering up to him, the General thus expressed himself :-" Colonel Davies, I have the honour to inform you that I never saw any troops so ill-mounted as your men are, ace3t their horses /''-and, wheeling round, he rode off at a quick pace, lealhg the astonished Colonel to digest the negative compliment as he best could. After the appointment of the Earl of Moira as Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, in 1804, General Vyse continued in the Staff till the following year. He then moved to the command of the Yorkshire district, and fixed his headquarters at Beverley, which he afterwards represented in Parliament. In 1812 he had the Colonelcy of the 3d, or Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards, with the rank of General in the army. General Vyse married the daughter and heiress of General Sir George Howard, with whom he received a large fortune. He had one son, who was a Lieut.-Colonel in the Life-Guards, and one daughter, who was long Maid of Honour to Queeu Charlotte. The General died at Lichfield, on the 30th of May 1825, in the seventyeighth year of his age,' A sister of General Vyse was married to Dr. Madan, late Bishop of Peterborough, whose first wife was Ldy Cliarlotte Cornwallis, sister of the first Marquis Cornwallis.
Volume 9 Page 465
  Enlarge Enlarge