Edward Percy St. Maur

Born August 19th 1841
Died December 20th 1865, at Yellapoor, India

Lord Edward Percy St. Maur was the second son of  Edward Adolphus Seymour, the 12th Duke of Somerset. More on his family can be found on the page on the St. Maur family . Many letters written by Lord Edward were published in 1888. Transcriptions of some of these letters can be found at the bottom of this page. To introduce Lord Edward here's the short story of his life, as included in a book on his brother Ferdy also known as the Earl St. Maur:

John Colville, Strange Inheritance, Wilton, Salsibury, Wiltshire [Michael Russell] 1983.
pp. 58-65


It is the elder son, the future Earl St Maur, born in 1835, whose actions were responsible for the events to be described in this story and a whole chapter must be devoted to him. But he had a brother Edward, six years younger than himself, whose promise was great and whose unexpected demise changed the history of the Seymour family and brought grief to his father and mother that no passage of time erased.
The boys' father and grandfather were both educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. A generation later, Eton, a stronghold of Tory landowners, was out of fashion with Whigs like the Somersets. Starting with Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, her sister Lady Bessborough, Lord Spencer, Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of Dorset, they switched their allegiance to Harrow which, though founded in Queen Elizabeth's reign, was until the second half of the eighteenth century a comparatively insignificant grammar school. But it was on a hill, and therefore considered healthy, and it was only nine miles from London.
Eton was not thought politically suitable and Harrow was said to be going through a bad phase. So Seymour finally decided to send his sons neither to a public school nor, remembering his own idleness at Christ Church, to a university. The elder, Ferdy, went for a time to a little-known preparatory school, but Edward was educated, and well educated, entirely at home. His father, however occupied with political affairs, took his younger son with him wherever he might be and never failed to give him personal instruction each morning; for Edward meant more to him than anybody in the world. The remaining lessons were left to competent tutors.

At eighteen, Edward, short but handsome, was better instructed, as his surviving letters prove, than most of his more conventionally educated contemporaries. His playmates were boys of social significance, including the Prince of Wales and Lord Carrington, and he was not so overworked as to be deprived of riding and shooting partridges at Maiden Bradley. Neither that nor the adoration of his parents and his sisters spoiled him; nor was he inclined to be a stay-at-home. On the contrary, he and his brother were adventurous and they were both determined to gain experience by travel, which was a time-consuming occupation in themid-nineteenth century. As late as 1862 Ferdy, on his way from Nice to Genoa, had to cross the Col de Limone by sledge and mule, twice taking four hours to reach the summits.
Incoming down (he wrote) our mule got bogged in the snow and impelled by a desire to be actively useful, I plunged knee-deep in the snow and danced opposite the struggling animal. The live contents of the sledge tumbled out fearing we should go over the side of the hill - and the mule finally fell flat on his side. Full of English notions I expected we should untrace him, but the driver with assistance fished up the mule by the tail by sheer force....
Edward's precocity satisfied his parents' fondest hopes, and his interest in current politics, at home and abroad, left little doubt what his career would eventually be. His sensitivity was sharp. On reading of the vengeance taken by British troops during the Indian Mutiny, Edward, barely sixteen, wrote to Ferdy who was with the relief force besieging Lucknow:
I really wish our officers might remember that if they owe no mercy to the Indians, they at least owe some respect to themselves. The press and public opinion jump from one extreme to another. They exhibit a kind of mixture between cant and cruelty, holding it up one day as our Christian duty to civilize and convert, the next as our divine mission to exterminate.
A few weeks later, when some of the more lurid accounts of the mutineers' atrocities were shown to be exaggerated, he wrote:

I described to you the rabid attacks under which the public suffered, its gradual cure and how it found that half the things it believed rested on no authority. Now some bright pates are trying to make out that the rebels are in the right and that it is all our fault. We must always be jumping from one extreme to the other.
At seventeen he was sent travelling with a tutor in northern Italy. When visiting a monastery he was shown a picture of St Francis preaching to the Turks and was astonished to be told by a monk, `You understand that le Grand Turque is not a Catholic like us: he is a protestant.' That same year, after much drudgery, `sweeping up the dusty floor of literature and gathering the dust into one's reading-pan', he took the preliminary Civil Service examination, passing with flying colours, though he protested that whereas he wanted to delve into the origin of matter and the formation of worlds, he was obliged to concentrate on practical studies. He felt like the ivy which, when it meant to curl round a romantic ruin, had been `caught hold of and nailed up against a neat, comfortable white-washed cottage'.
At eighteen Edward went to spend a year as an attaché at the British Embassy in Vienna, followed by a year in a similar capacity at the Legation in Madrid. He found time to go to Venice and to set out on an arduous, solitary walking tour in the Dolomites. His descriptive letters to his father are evidence of his romantic nature and literary gifts.
The day was fine though cloudy: wreaths of white mist curling round the hillsides as though all the fairies had fallen in love with the rough old mountains and were twisting their pretty white arms round their giant loves, an embrace you envied till your romance was damped by feeling it.
Between Vienna and Madrid he spent three months in the Carpathians, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and finally the Middle East. He was not impressed by `the Servians', as they were called in those days, writing to Ferdy in January 1861: `The Servians are a despicable set of low slaves. Milosch, the late Prince, was a swine-herd, energetic, avaricious, cruel and poxy. He governed by the help of a tinker, a tailor, a shoemaker and a priest his ministers.'
By the time Edward left Madrid, he was, at nineteen, exceptionally well-travelled for a youth of his age. He took a final examination and the Civil Service Commission commented on 'the marked proficiency which Lord Edward St Maur has displayed'. They rated his knowledge of German and Spanish as excellent and added that a report he had written on the Spanish situation was highly commended for its ability. The Chargé d'Affaires in Madrid wrote that `a more promising young man it has never been my lot to come across'.
He was still too young to stand for Parliament, though this was undoubtedly his ultimate intention, and so when he returned home he spent some time writing a learned article on the Spanish Church and Exchequer which The Fortnightly Review published and which won, in a letter to Edward's mother, an unsolicited eulogy from the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Civil War had broken out in America. Edward persuaded his father, somewhat anxious, as a dignified member of the Cabinet, about the escapades in which his sons might take part, to let him cross the Atlantic. In New York he immersed himself in the politics of the northern States, writing percipient letters home about the opinions of Democrats and Republicans. Then, pausing for a few days on a slave estate in Maryland to see what slavery was like in practice, he set off for Washington.
It was June 1862 and the Southern Confederate forces were filled with enthusiasm and belief in victory. To a young man of twenty news-gathering in Washington seemed an unimaginative ploy. So he slipped across the Potomac and then the Rappahannock by night, slept on river banks and, on one occasion, in a marsh
where the frogs were so large that their croaking sounded like the bellowing of bulls, and the fireflies skipped about among the tall rushes as if experiments were being conducted at some very extensive gasworks, not to mention the mosquitos who seemed to me as large as dragon-flies and bit voraciously through my clothes - in fact mosquitos is a tame expression, I ought rather to have said air-sharks.

He reached Richmond, Virginia, where he was courteously received and was the spectator of severe engagements in which, mindful of his father's position, he managed to restrain himself from taking a personal part. This was the description of the Confederates he sent to Ferdy.
The Southern Army has been scrambled together and, considering that, it is wonderful how they get on. They march regardless of fours and do little in any kind of order. Withal they storm breastworks gallantly, a regiment losing two thirds of its number and never flinching. l was introduced to Jefferson Davis today, a spare, keen-looking man, very gentleman-like, even in dress which is a wonderhere. The utter contempt for uniform of every description would please you - a general goes about in a straw-hat and any pair of trousers that happens to suit him. A large proportion of the army wear anything. Trousers and shirt is the prevailing uniform, but every man has a musket, a canteen and generally a blanket, and 1 have not yet seen a man with a bad pair of shoes.
While he was with them, the Confederate troops took, he learned, 10,000 prisoners, but he made careful notes of their shortages, in particular salt and saltpetre for gunpowder. They eventually returned him by flag of truce to the other side; and there the trouble began. The son of a duke, and an important duke at that, had no right to go to the Confederate States. At General McClellan's camp, the staff interrogated him sharply, gave vent to strong anti-British sentiments, and told him that he had acted in violation of both the President's and the Queen's proclamations. Arrest seemed probable and he had to journey hurriedly northwards to Canada whence he dispatched a long, informative letter to his father. `I can assure you', he wrote, `that the feeling of Venetians and Hungarians towards the Austrian soldiers is a mild and charitable sentiment compared with the feelings of a Southerner at the sight of a blue-coated Yankee.'
When he came home, Blackwood's Magazine, one of the most widely read publications, gladly accepted an article entitled `Ten Days in Richmond'. He was now twenty-one, but in the autumn of 1862 no parliamentary seat was immediately on offer and a General Election did not seem imminent. So he joined Ferdy in Florence, explored Rome and Naples and then went home to enlarge his acquaintance and bring companionship to his family. The Duke, a Knight of the Garter in 1862 and much respected at the Admiralty (where he introduced reforms that included the restriction of flogging in the navy) took Edward with him in the Admiralty yacht Enchantress to inspect the fleet and dockyards at Malta, and in the Queen's yacht Osborne for an official visit to the north of France.
It was not sufficient for Edward. The diplomatic service did not attract him. `Too much cutting little bits out of the papers, translating them and sending them to Lord John [Russell]; an occupation no doubt useful, but it seems to me this might be accomplished as well in London as in Vienna.' So he decided to see for himself the mysterious East, where Ferdy had spent eighteen months seven years before. He would go to India.
He stayed for the wedding of his sister Guendolen, five years his junior in age, during the summer of 1865. He paid a round of country house visits, enthralled by Dunrobin which, towering above the seashore and framed by wild purple hills, reminded him of the habitation of a princess in the fairy tales; but from a more austere party at Highclere, where he stayed with Lord Carnarvon, he complained to Guendolen that he was `in a bevy of Deans and Dons, which made me feel like a black -I will not say sheep, but lamb, for you know 1 always feel like a lamb!'
Just after Edward set off for India, Palmerston died and he was tempted to return home in case there should be a General Election. Tomes no longer existed as an independent constituency, but perhaps Tiverton might select him. However, leaving messages that he should be alerted if any exciting proposition were made, he set sail from Marseilles and reached Bombay early in November 1865. Never short of introductions, as was indeed to be expected for a cherished son of the First Lord of the Admiralty, he found that the Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere, had left hospitable instructions for his reception together with an invitation to travel up country and join him on an official tour he was making.
On his way to Kohlapur, where the Governor was to attend the Rajah's durbar, he wrote this description of the Indian scene in a letter to his mother.

If you imagine a succession of flat basins of land from twelve to twenty miles long, surrounded by high hills, many of which end at the top in a wall of rock so steep and so sudden as to look like the wall of one of those castles on the Rhine, ten thousand times magnified. These natural fastnesses looking over the basin-land covered with crops of novel appearance and unpronounceable names, interspersed with trees strange to the European eye, some of which throw out roots from their top branches (I mean the banyan tribe), which hang like wooden stalactytes till they join the ground, and growing a fresh trunk make the tree spread cloister-like over the field. Others like the mango tree twisted and gnarled like oak, now of the old green where the leaves are still on, now the pinkish-red fading into light green where the new leaves are coming out. If you people the trees with red-beaked bright-green wingy parrots, that fly screeching after each other, and squirrels streaked yellow and brown, and if you put under them hump-backed cattle and hippopotamus-like buffaloes, wallowing in some muddy pool with their noses out of the water, near little thatched houses out and in of which are walking white-turbaned, dark faced Mahrattas, with silver and even gold bracelets round their unclad arms, and if you imagine the already described little stone temples cropping out among the huts and trees, and if you add to this two horses picketed under a tree or in a shed, and some very sleepy boys slowly answering repeated cries to bring me my fresh horses, you will have imagined as much of my travelling and of the country as is necessary.
After the long and formal durbar, Edward had had enough of stately occasions. He accepted an invitation from the Collector of North Canara in the south Deccan to see a wilder side of India and to shoot bison. Before setting out he wrote: `And, darling Mother, as to your warning against exposure, my best answer is that I have been dining in white ties and on champagne and roast mutton ever since I commenced roughing it on my travels.' That might relieve maternal solicitude, but it was not the life Edward proposed to lead for the next week or so.
On 18 December he went into the jungle near a village called Lalgooly. The going was difficult. It was, he wrote at the end of the first day, like Scotland overgrown with tropical forest. It meant `picking your way through grass high over your head and dodging among thorns and branches, trying to avoid the hollow, fallen canes of bamboo under your feet which sound like spring- guns if you are unlucky enough to tread on them'. To his disgust he missed a big bison at eighty yards and was far from content with a small stag as a substitute.
The following morning he set off at 5 a.m. with a local administrator and a native hunter. His companion went one way, Edward another. As he forced his way through the jungle, he came fact to face not, as he expected, with bison, but with two black Deccan bears. The Deccan bear is more like a hugh sloth than a bear, with short legs and claws as sharp as scythes. On its chest is a triangular yellow patch, the apex of which is the only target for a mortal shot. Edward fired at the larger bear, which rolled over, recovered itself and bolted. He followed the bloodstained track with the Indian hunter behind him, and in due course he came on the bear lying in some bamboos fifteen yards ahead of him.
The bear was far from dead. Had it risen on its hind legs, as it seems Deccan bears usually do, it would have presented a good target; but it charged on all fours. Edward hit it with both barrels of his rifle, but this failed to stop the charge. It seized him in its wounded fury and together they rolled down a steep hill in deadly embrace, Edward stabbing the bear with his hunting knife and inflicting a deep wound.
Four days later, despite all that two hastily summoned doctors could do, despite the amputation of a badly mauled leg, Edward died. He was just twenty-four. As delirium set in, he spoke of his lost hope and ambition: `All this for a bear - and so I shall never govern this great Empire.' He had summoned up enough strength to write to his father and to dictate a letter to Ferdy. Perhaps he had one of those premonitions which sometimes enlighten the dying, for he ended the letter to his brother: `Goodbye. Do marry, is the advice from your affectionate cripple, Edward St Maur.'

Letters written by and concerning Edward St. Maur
starting December 1865
Taken from: Letters of Lord St. Maur and Lord Edward St. Maur 1846 to 1869, London [printed for private circulation] 1888, pp. 353-377.

My dear father,

I write to you that you may tell my, Mother without startling her, that I have been bitten by a wounded bear. I hope the consequences may not be serious, but things do not look altogether well - you see a wound in the joint is always a serious thing, however, we shall see in a day or two. This is a great pity as up to then I had enjoyed myself immensely. These jungles are the most delicious I ever passed through, though I certainly should not for choice have been detained so long here. Good bye for the present. I have written at some length to Guen, who will send you her letter.

Your affectionate Son,

(Note - This letter was written on Monday, December 18th, after the Doctors had informed Lord Edward that an operation was necessary, and about an hour before the operation commenced. Lord Edward, about 3 P.M. on the following day, when he was fast sinking, requested me to forward the letter and to add in-my own words that he sent his best love to his parents. M. J., Yellapoor, December 20th, 1865.)

YELLAPOOR, NORTH CANARA, December 18th, 1865.


I am in a bad way from the bite of a wounded bear in the knee. Two army surgeons unanimously declare that amputation above the knee is the only chance of life - one of them says the chances are 70 to 1 if I don't amputate. You know my thoughts on these subjects - and really if it were not for the "desertion" of which you have sometimes spoken, I should be inclined to run for the 70th chance so I have just decided to let them amputate this afternoon. You know all my affairs.
There is nothing else much matters. However, if I pull through as is quite probable I shall return to a perforce purely literary life. Losing my leg, I shall have to give up India for the present, and will write to you to come and meet me on the way. Send my best love to all my sisters - I have not time to write to them. Good bye. Do marry, is the advice from your affectionate cripple.

(Lord Edward St. Maur dictated this letter.)

YELLAPOOR, December 17th, 1865


Forgive my writing by dictation as I want to reserve my hand-writing, power for my own people. Stewart's telegram will have told you that I have got a bite from a wounded bear, only in the knee, but a bad one. This must change my plans a good deal, in the first place I shall have to stay where I am several weeks. And when I am fit to move shall return to Bombay. However, unless I find that I am too bad to be able to move about, I shall after resting there pursue my original design so far as time will permit. This at least is what I hope to be able to do, as there is prospect of my getting off with a stiff knee. I hope Miss Frere, may have recovered from the bad touch of fever I was sorry to hear she had at Kulladghee. My direction will remain care of Stewart - at Carwar - good bye - and believe me,

Very faithfully yours,

December 17th, 1865

The bear, a full sized female was brought in shortly before the operation commenced, and Lord Edward seemed much pleased to hear of it, and desired that it should be carefully examined to discover how it was wounded. It was in a high state of decomposition, but after the most careful search no bullet wound could be found in the trunk. The left fore-arm was broken and there was a knife wound with much blood on the left shoulder. On cutting it up an unexploded shell very much dented was found near the right quarter. It is impossible to say where this shell penetrated, no shot wound being visible in the skin except the one in the left fore-arm. The marks on the shell show that it must have struck on some hard substance, but it is unaccountable how this blow failed to explode the fulminating powder with which it was charge.

(To Lord St. Maur, from the Duchess, his Mother.)

ADMIRALTY, December 28th.


The dreadful news will have reached you, now about Edward - fearful you might only receive the telegram of "wounded and going on well" - and think you might do good in going - I at last thought best, to telegraph through Sir John's servant, besides writing…. I have received the blow most suddenly last night, after your Father went to bed a telegram from India Office came “immediate to deliver",
I went up in fearful hopes, and it was "death on 20th” no details. Oh ! Ferdy don't quit the country or you'll kill me - I am keeping up for your sake - I know that of all the children this will be to you the heaviest. They have children and interests. Your father is terribly cast down and says he will never recover it, and I believe him poor man.

Your loving but oh most wretched

(To Guendolen Ramsden, from Edward St. Maur, her brother)

as near as-I can, guess something about the;12th of December, 1865


The mail went without my being able to answer your nice long letter from Netherby, so I sit down under creditablé circumstances for we are camping out in the jungle, and as I write on my knee in front of the tent this letter, will be washed in the dew which falls so heavily that it wets things even through a double tent; however the paper will be dried again on its journey home. The, natives are all chattering round the tent over the all important preparation of our dinner, and the camping place, would delight you for a sketch : camp fires over which primitive shaped pots are boiling surrounded by turbaned shikarees (gillies or shooting servants) discussing our day's sport, for we are just come back from-shooting, in the back-ground huge trees branching out mixed with bamboos which stretch their yellow plume, like leaves 60 and 70 feet over our heads. I am now on a shooting expedition with the Collector of this district, having left the luxurious comforts of the Governor's camp and begun roughing in the jungle; roughing it, that is to say, on beer cup for lunch and champagne for dinner – but we are totally deprived on ice so you may pity me if you like. This morning at about five or half after I started stalking not the easiest of operations for it is not here, as in Scotland, where you can spy-glass the country for miles round; here you start with a fellow who speaks no language, not even Hindostanee, picking your way through grass high over head and dodging among thorns and branches trying to avoid the hollow fallen canes of bamboo under your feet which sound like spring guns if you are unlucky enough to tread on them; after an hour or two of this work your shikaree (gillie or stalker) comes on some tracts of deer and suddenly you see the grass move and catch a glimpse if you are lucky o some “cheatle,” a kind of op speckled deer as large as our fallow, but with the horns of the red, bounding through the grass down a ravine a hundred yards off, and then you shoot happy go lucky at where you ought to be. This morning I was specially fortunate and unfortunate, “beides lieb und leid,” as they say in the Niebelungen. It is quite dark and I must stop – candles are a luxury reserved for dinner time. Thus far I got in my letter (in the dark literally) on the day before yesterday, the date is wrong for today is the 12th I believe. At the moment I left off I was going to expose to you my low state of spirits because I had that morning after a most intricate stalk got a shot at a bison at 80 yards, a standing shot, and missed; fancy, and I am not the least comforted in that yesterday I killed a stag by a really difficult shot, because here we value stags about as much as you do hares at home; whereas a great big bison 16 hands high is something worth shooting. Yesterday when I shot at the stag we were in a splendid jungle. Four of us went out on different ground and all saw game – one saw five bison. They are not so difficult to stalk as deer, but very hard to kill, even U mean when one doe shit them. Today is an off day as we have again moved our camp. A splendid swim in river on which we camp has been our only dissipation. Altogether I, have enjoyed these days immensely, and if I can get a bison before leaving Canara, the only place where they can be got, I shall yet be happy. You can fancy nothing finer than these jungles: yesterday, for instance the ground I was on was like Scotland overgrown with tropical forest, scrambling through water-courses (quite dried up), over trunks of fallen trees beneath a forest so thick that you do not see when the sun has risen (by which I do mean that it remains dark, but only that you get no sunlight through), it was only every now and then that I caught the glimpse of the country beneath me for I was half way up a mountain - a country of steep hills but with their steepness smoothed to the eye by thick forest by which they are overgrown. And the place where at last I killed my stag (a “sambre”, a kind of deer as large as a red deer fully - but not often having such handsome heads) was so steep that the body of the animal went crashing through the foliage down a ravine at such a pace, that I at first :was afraid I had only wounded him however he was found quite safe in a clump of bamboos which luckily stopped him. When I have left the jungle I shall again be able to write about something besides trees and beasts perhaps : tell me what you do in London - send this on to Mione.


(From Mr. Stewart)

YELLAPOOR, December 17th, 1865

My dear Sir Bartle,

My telegram will have prepared you for an account of the accident that has happend to Lord E. St. Maur. I have deferred writing till I coul give you the Doctors’ opinion – and as both Dr. Davies from Carwar and Dr. Langley from Dharwar arrived last nigth I am able to tell you they consider the kenee wound to be a very serious one – but that this wonderfully good constitution gives him chance that few men would have and has brought him through so far – and may enable the wound to heal although the are prepared to to amputate above the knee at a moment's warning of unfavourable symptoms On Wednesday the 13th we came en route to Yellapoor to a Chupper (hut) that I had caused to be built on the banks of the Kala Nuddy near Lalgooly - we went out to a beat and bison were started but not shot at - Instead of taking a second beat Lord E. and Mr Brand stalked through the remaining jungle and the former saw bison and determined to return to the same jungle next morning. Accordingly he and Mr. Brand each accompanied by a village Shikaree (huntsman) and another man started early (14th) and Mr. Brand came back 9.15 having heard one shot tired by Lord E. We waited for his return - and about 10 - the village shikaree who accompanied him - a very good man - ran in with his belt and hunting knife in the sheath of which he had written that he was wounded by a bear afraid his knee was out - and asked us to send for a surgeon. We reached the place where Lord E. was lying about ½ past 11 and found that he had fired at a bear and rolled it over- followed the tracks and came suddenly on it lying or standing about 15 yards off - fired both barrels at it - the bear charging on all fours seized him by the left knee-threw him down and both rolled down a steep hill - during which Lord E. struck him twice or thrice with his knife - stabbing him at least once. The two men came towards him with shouts and the bear left him - with one severe cut across the forehead over the right temple - how inflicted we cannot quite understand. He was very cool and collected and told us what he wished done…. His patience and courage are most astonishing and I never saw a more delightful patient to take care of …. Lord E. is very -anxious that no news, of his accident should be sent to England by telegraph.. He is writing a short letter that will be sent by Madras – and will write another for the next Bombay mail…. I enclose a letter from Lord E. that I have written at his dictation: as you may fancy this lamentable accident has cast a sad gloom over our party. The Doctors are of opinion that he will never recover the use of his knee if the leg is saved… Lord E. desires me to add he regrets giving you so much trouble… I have carefully examined the two men who were with Lord E. and am satisfied that no blame of rashness can be imputed to him. He acted throughout with presence of mind and skill – and no old sportsman – however experienced – could have avoided the encounter….

(From mr. Stewart)

YELLAPOOR, December 18th, 1865

The Doctors agreed in opinion today that it was necessary to amputate above the knee, which was done with Lord E.’s consent this morning.

December 19th, 1865

Extreme weakness has set in and there is no hope of recovery – it is only a question of minutes or hours. His strength of mind kept him up and imparted an apparent strength to his body, that made us all think he would have got well through the operation. This gave way at the last moment and he was quite unfit to stand the shock… I may add that the bear was brought in yesterday morning just before the operation commenced. He had used Lancaster’s (not Jacob’s) shells from a breech-loader – two shots seemed to have struck – one unexploded shell remained inside and the other seems to have passed through without exploding. There is one large knife wound in the right fore-arm – not fatal – but very deep.

(Mr. Brand to his Father)

YELLAPOOR, December 17th 1865,

Lord Edward St. Maur left Dharwar war with me in company with the Collector of Canara intending to proceed through the Jungle (staying here and there for sport) as far as Yellapoor we had arrived on Wednesday last as far as Lalgooli about a day's march from this place. On Thursday morning Lord E. and I started about 5 o'clock in the morning for a stalk. 1 went one way he another. About 8.30 I heard a shot from his side about a quarter of a mile off. I then - went home and heard no more of him till a native brought in the news about 10.15 that Lord E. had been desperately wounded by a bear. It seems the shot I heard was at the biggest of two bears seen about 50 yards from him. He knocked the bear over - who however recovered and bolted away. Both bears going different ways, why he did not fire the second shot I cannot make out except that he states that it was from caution there being two before him; two natives were with him. They walked up to the place where he had shot the bear, found no blood and St. Maur then sat down and smoked a pipe, after a time they got up and followed the brute, after going on 200 yards they found blood which increased rapidly until they had gone about a mile, when they caught sight of the bear lying down among some bamboos about 10 yards off, the brute made straight at St. Maur who fired his two barrels at him without fatal effect (the bear never rising) then St. M. drew his knife and they rolled about 12 yards down the hill, it, was a precipitous place the bear having seized him by the knee with his teeth, it was a quick business - the bear being too badly wounded or having been stabbed with the knife, let go his hold and bolted, I am afraid if I make the best I can of the matter it will not sound well. I believe that amputation will not be necessary as he in going on well and the crisis is nearly over - he bears up well and is comparatively strong - but I fear he is nearly certain to have it stiff joint. I have not tried to make the best nor the worst of the business but stated the true state of the case…. The case stands thus: If no fever sets in, all will be right - as right as it -can be. If fever should supervene (which is not now at all probable) there is nothing for it but imputation, the leg is the left one. St. Maur has desired me to make as light of the case as possible. I do not think he knows as much of the case as I do. The doctors say it is serious and in its nature dangerous. I shall not leave him till I see him completely over this and if necessary take him home. The opinion held by all here is that no man in the world could have avoided this - unless of course he had shot the bear dead. If a man goes in for this sort of sport he must take his chance, one out of 100 must submit, but it is very hard on the poor fellow.

December 20th

From the time I last wrote St. Maur gradually got worse and eventually sank under the effects of amputation at a quarter past two this morning; on the morning of the 18th the doctors agreed, that amputation was necessary, the poor fellow bore the, news well - weighed the advantages and disadvantages and eventually decided on letting them try to save his life. He never for one moment recovered it; that is all I can say here.
Stewart the Collector of this district wrote his letters and took his last instructions, before amputation. Yesterday at 3 1/2 P.M. we told him of his state - he was hardly sensible to grasp it in its whole truth. We, however read the prayer for the dying and he said earnestly “Amen” to it, so I hope he was able to follow it. He died in delirium. Stewart and I were never absent from him for a moment and all that could be done (humanly speaking) was faithfully attempted. Stewart has his valuables - Hair – etc. in his possession. All his property goes to the Administrator General who takes charge of it....Yellapoor is a small Indian village there is a grave of one Englishman here but no consecrated ground, the Bishop will afterwards consecrate poor St. Maur's grave. The nature of the wound has obliged us to bury him here at once.


(Mr. Stewart to Earl St. Maur.)

YELLAPOOR, December 20th, 1865.
Yesterday I placed the enclosures in another cover; with a short letter expressing my hope that before its arrival you would have received good news of Lord - Edward's, state, this hope has not been realized, and the thought of what grief must be caused by the fatal intelligence sent from here, makes my own sorrow sharp as it is, feel comparatively light. The enclosure addressed to you contains a letter written by me at Lord Edward's dictation, shortly before the operation commenced yesterday at noon and just after he had expressed his intention of submitting to it; it also contains another letter a portion of which I wrote at his dictation - the last few lines and address being added by himself.
The cover addressed to the Duke contains a short note that Lord Edward wrote himself after the completion of those referred to above - and which he asked me to forward with a few words of my own, expressive of his love for his pa rents.
After the operation was over, and while the doctors were anxiously waiting for a favourable reaction to commence, my postal packet arrived with some letters and papers from England, with the Doctors' consent I told him that there were two letters from his Father and asked if he wished to hear them read. He said that the exertion would be too great for him and declined. I enclose a letter to Lady Guendolen Ramsden written 5 or 6 days ago by Lord E. which he asked me to forward - it is referred to in his letter to his Father.
The last packet in this cover is Lord Edward's hair cut off after death. Mr. Brand and I have each retained a small quantity. The body will be buried this afternoon about 200 yards from this - being also alongside of the tomb of Lieut. Percy Maxwell Carpendale. There is no consecrated burial ground in Canara - and we four who will place him in the grave intend to apply to the Bishop of Bombay to consecrate the ground containing the two graves. It was the opinion of the doctors that the removal of the body to Carwar or elsewhere was impracticable. There was therefore no alternative but that we have adopted.
I will only add that about 3 P.M. yesterday 19th I told Lord Edward of his state and as him, if he had any instructions. He said, none, but presently took my hand and said "Good-bye dear" and then "Give my love to my Father."
He then drew a handkerchief over his face. I then read the commendatory prayer for the dying which he seemed to understand adding fervently "Amen." Shortly after he became delirious and remained so till half an hour before he died when he sank into a state of insensibility. His last sigh was breathed without a struggle, and his features were as placid and calm, as if he had died a painless death.

(Signed) M. J. SHAW STEWART.

(Sir Bartle Frere to Lord John Hay)

MALABAR POINT, BOMBAY, December 19th 1865

I have half finished a letter to you on many subjects but have no heart to finish it – while thinking of the grief you will feel at the death of the poor Lord Ed. St. Maur – of which you will hear about this time. At his request as expressed to Shaw Stewart I have sent copies of all Stewart’s [illegible] and Telegrams to Lord Dufferin as the friend most likely to be at hand and able to convey them to his family and I now inclose copies to you in case the others should be delayed, and because I know how you would wish to hear all we can tell you of this sad end of a life, which promised to be so happy and brilliant. I will write again by next mail but have been sorely pressed by public business this time - and you know my right hand at such times is away. I need not tell you how much I liked him - nor how full of promise I thought him. He had so much manly energy in entering into public questions, joined to an almost feminine quickness and delicacy of perception and ready insight into character and such ready wit. God comfort his poor parents and his brother of whom he seemed so fond. You will I know tell me all that you think we could do here to carry out their wishes. Shaw Stewart is as I know from personal experience the best and most tender of friends in a sick room, and the poor sufferer had I feel sure every attention and care a brother could have secured for him…
Lord Edward travelled with us from Kolhapoor to Dharwar where he left us on the 7th promising to rejoin us here after seeing Girsappa Falls.

(Extracts from a Letter from Mr. Stewart to Earl St. Maur)

DEVEMUNNY, NORTH CANARA, January 7th, 1866

I think that from the first Lord Edward knew that his accident was a very serious and dangerous one, and though he did not speak to us of the possibility of an amputation being necessary, yet he must have thought of it. His great anxiety at first was that we should take immediate steps to prevent his having a stiff leg - and be urged our moving him as soon as possible to the top of the Hill and there examining the wound and setting the joint and closing up the edges. He must have seen from our faces - though we tried to encourage him - that we thought it far beyond our treatment, as indeed it was…. Lord Edward was aware on Sunday afternoon of the Doctors ' opinion about his state - but said nothing about it. On the Monday about ¼ past 8 or 9 when told that they considered amputation necessary - he asked to see them, and had a long talk with them about the chances of recovery - when satisfied that they considered his only hope lay in the operation he weighed for long whether it were worth his while to take the chance of life as a cripple - arguing that all the pursuits and pleasures he most valued would be debarred to him, and that the only life open to him would be a literary one. We could not and did not say much to him that there was many a maimed man who made himself useful and loved, more even than he could have been had he all his limbs. At last he assented, and fixed noon for the operation. In the interval he dictated his letter to you, and presently began writing himself that to his Father, which he finished rather quickly, saying that he would add to it afterwards....
We took him back to the room (after the operation), and at first all seemed well to us - he was so quiet and happy-looking. But the Doctors saw the unfavourable symptoms and did all they could to support him.
I cannot recall all he said - it was not much - he was so weak that he could not say much. I told you his last message to you. He was told about 1/2 past 1 on Tuesday that the Doctors thought his end was near. He said that there was many a man lived who been given over by the Doctors….
Presently he drew his handkerchief over his face, and I thought he was sensible of the presence of death, and read to him the beautiful commendatory prayer - to which he said fervently, Amen.... I was obliged to leave him for an hour, and when I carne back I found him wandering very much…. From this time till midnight his wanderings continued. Sometimes the wit and cleverness of his fancies forced us to smile in spite of our sadness.
At last after a long struggle to leave his bed he sank back exhausted, and showed no more signs of life - beyond opening his eyes and looking at me steadily for some seconds. His spirit passed away imperceptibly, and he died with his hands crossed on his chest.
While I live I shall never forget the tragic events of that sad week. I first met your brother on the day we left Marseilles in the "Mongolia," and we kept much together during the voyage. I was delighted when he promised to pay me a visit in Canara if he could manage it, and still more when he arranged to meet me at Dharwar. Our first plan was that he should go with me from Yellapoor to Carwar - but I think he had changed his mind a few days before the accident, and was going with Mr. Brand to see the falls of Girseppa and thence by steamer to Bombay. I never met any one who so won my love and admiration - short as our acquaintance was - and I can only the more bitterly feel what must be the sorrow and distress of his own friends and relations, and what a void he must have left in many hearts. The natives of this country are easily affected by events of this kind, but never saw such real grief and interest as they showed on this occasion. Almost all who converse with me talk of it, and many with tears in their eyes They will long remember the young Lord who stabbed the bear at Lalgooly, and bore himself with such courage and patience. One man who walked with me - while we were carrying him from Lalgooly to Yellapoor - said "His heart was very large," and that was the general talk.
I know I cannot weary you with writing about him that is gone; but I have nothing more to say beyond placing my poor services at your disposal in any way that could be useful....

Verses written on Lord Edward's Tomb by his Brother Lord St. Maur

Photograph provided by Rohan Fernandez
I know, I understand that when men die
Back to a Parent God their spirits fly.
The soul I loved death has from pain set free.
This grave holds all that now belongs to me.

I know that death, which brings on flesh decay
Is but the dawning of a brighter day.
Yet here in thought my sorrowing soul must roam,
Here lie the hopes that made this earth its home.

Mine is a selfish grief, I miss a soul
Whose power could waken love, by love control.
I miss, I mourn a life which once combined
Chivalry's spirit and a master mind.

My Edward's worth renown can never show,
That knowledge lies hid in my life-long woe.
His spirit lives. May mine through time and space
Find till we meet no lasting resting-place.

Edward is gone into the vast unknown,
And I live on to labour here alone
One only comfort shines through my distress
Where my love's great, God s love cannot prove less.

Photograph provided by Rohan Fernandez