Long boots and half boots, Hessians, Hussar, top boots, and for the ladies, low cut shoes or pumps – if you wanted them in the age of Hornblower, you went to the corner of Piccadilly and St James’s Street and the establishment of George Hoby, boot maker to George III. The king was not alone. The Iron Duke thought so much of the man that he worked with the bookmaker to modify a Hessian boot a bit higher up than was standard, and so created the Wellington.
Which gave him particular interest in the battles the Iron Duke was waging in Spain. He was fitting the Duke of Kent when news of the victory at Vittoria came in. “If Lord Wellington had had any other bootmaker than myself, he never would have had his great and constant successes; for my boots and prayers bring his lordship out of all his difficulties.” Continue reading