PERCY, Hon. Henry (1785-1825), of 8 Portman Square, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 14 Sept. 1785, 5th s. of Algernon Percy†, 1st earl of Beverley (d. 1830), and Isabella Susanna, da. of Peter Burrell† of Beckenham, Kent; bro. of Hon. Charles Percy*, George Percy, Lord Lovaine*, Hon. Josceline Percy† and Hon. William Henry Percy*. educ. Eton 1802. unm. 2 illegit. s. CB 22 June 1815. d. 15 Apr. 1825.
Lt. 7 Ft. 1804, capt. 1806; a.d.c. to Sir John Moore 1808-9; capt. 14 Drag. 1810; brevet maj. 1810; a.d.c. to duke of Wellington 1815; brevet lt.-col. 1815; maj. 14 Drag. 1820; ret. 1821.
Percy, who served in the Peninsula and became aide-de-camp to Sir John Moore at Corunna, was captured during the retreat from Burgos in 1812 and detained in France until the peace. In 1815, while on Wellington’s staff at Waterloo, he was entrusted with the first dispatches bearing news of the victory. He reached London on the evening of 21 June and searched out the prince regent at a party at Mrs. Boehm’s in St. James’s Square; to the hostess’s chagrin, his dramatic intrusion broke up the gathering.1 This was the pinnacle of his fame, and as Member for the family borough of Bere Alston in the 1820 Parliament he was thoroughly anonymous. He is not known to have spoken in debate and his only recorded vote was with Lord Liverpool’s ministry against the disfranchisement of ordnance officials, 12 Apr. 1821. Described by Thomas Creevey* as ‘by far the best hand at conversation of the duke’s young men’,2 Percy suffered a premature loss of health and died, aged 39, in April 1825. He left all his property to ‘my two sons Henry and Percy’; the personalty was sworn under £1,500.3