July 8 1815: Hobhouse Strikes His Servant

John Cam Hobhouse returned home on July 7, 1815 in a a highly agitated state, still deeply upset on learning that his brother had been killed in the Battle of Waterloo. He writes about what happens that night:

I dined at Massinot’s, came home, wrote to my father. My servant Parsons was out – he came home late, and answering me in a manner which I thought pointed at my misfortune, I struck him. He was seized with a fit, first of crying, then of a kind of epilepsy, and became insensible. I called up the house and got a French physician – he remained in a sad state, the fruit of my passion, all night, I watching him until five in the morning when I got a Canadian, his friend, to sit by him, and went to bed. Up again at eleven – got Parsons bled, which relieved him, and he was quite sensible.

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