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King of the war: George III to the letter of declaring war on Napoleon surfaces

George III, colored engraving/letter of declaring war. (Photo by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images/SWNS/Cheffins)

An extremely rare handwritten letter from King George III, in which he declares war to Napoleon was sold at auction in the united kingdom

The letter is addressed to Lord Hawkesbury, the British foreign Minister and was dated May 14, 1803, only four days before the start of the Napoleonic Wars. The conflict lasted until 1815, when Napoleon and his allies were defeated by a coalition that the united kingdom, the Austrian Empire and Prussia.

‘The King has acknowledged the dispatch and private letter from Mr. Whitworth, and the Cabinets with as much speed as possible to return them to the Lord Hawkesbury; the conduct of France is just as unfair to the latter and aware of the Evil that must be accompanied in many Countries by the renewal of the War, but the belief that by the restless attitude of the Ruler of France, this event can not be stored for a long time, it seems necessary to attend only to the best ways of warding off the violence with effect, and the falling of objects, that our current resources to render it viable. The King remains in the City to perform the action that the current moment needs. George R.,” writes George III, in the letter.

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The letter followed a period of tension between Britain and the French Empire. At the time the letter was written, Lord Whitworth was the British ambassador in Paris.

The letter from King George III to show his intention to make Britain the war in 1803.
(SWNS/Cheffins)

The letter, which had a pre-sale estimate of us $638 $1,276, was sold for $14,579 by U. K. auction house Cheffins Thursday.

“This letter is a decisive moment of history in which the King of the intention to go to war with France and Napoleon, said Charles Ashton, Director, Cheffins, in a statement. “When the relations between great Britain and France was somewhat tense since the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, this letter marks the end of the peace negotiations, and includes the explicit instructions of the King to continue the war.”

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“The letter is unusual in that it is written by the King himself, in contrast, are imposed on a writer, and then countersigned. This is what adds the value here.”

George III, colored engraving. (Photo by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images)

The bloody Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815, saw Napoleon’s forces defeated by a British-led allied army, effective the end of the Napoleonic Wars. By the end of the 10-hour battle, 45,000 soldiers were dead or wounded, though some estimates put the casualty count even higher.

In 2015, a 200-year-old skeleton discovered under a car park in the Battle of Waterloo site was identified as a German soldier. The remains were the first complete skeleton to be recovered from the famous battlefield in Belgium.

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The remains were unearthed by an excavator at the site three years earlier.

The frenchman Frank Samson is taking part in the re-enactment of the battle of Ligny, as the French Emperor Napoleon, during the bicentennial celebrations for the Battle of Waterloo, at Ligny, Belgium, June 14, 2015.
(REUTERS/Yves Herman)

Last year, an extremely rare ‘bicorne, or two-pointed hat worn by Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo was sold at auction in France for $325,000.

In 2016, a bookstore in Australia unearthed, a very rare magazine from the Napoleonic Wars, that was hidden in storage for decades.

Cracked and Spineless New and Used Books, in the southern city of Hobart, was stunned when one of her customers found the leather-bound diary, which is more than 200 years old.

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The Napoleonic Wars were formally ended by the Treaty of Paris was signed on Nov. 20, 1815.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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