With George III’s first bit of madness in 1788 to the death of George IV in 1830, the world experienced the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna, and the Age of Reform.
England found itself inundated with French refugees during the French Revolution. Thousands of French aristocrats arrived on English shores in the wake of the Terror. Estimates are set at 40,000 + French aristocrats coming through ports such as Brighton. Many arrived with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
French émigrés left behind many of their valuables, but they brought tales of the Terror to English shores. There were, for example, stories of Victims’ Balls. These were parties given by the survivors of the Terror, those whose relatives had been executed. To be admitted one had to present a certificate to prove that one of the person’s relatives had been guillotined. When a male…
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