permitted others having the King's
licence to export wool and other
prohibited merchandise ; took se-
curity that foreign-bound ships
should not go into the dominions
of the King's enemies; and pre-
vented the forestalling of provi-
sions coming into the capital,
whether by land or water. Then
he levied a customary toll on every
boat coming to the City laden
with rushes, from which there
was taken, to be laid on Tower
Wharf, " such a quantity as a per-
son could hold in his arms," for
the use of the Constable, to be
employed for carpeting the stone
passages and damp floors of the
Tower. From every boat laden
with oysters, mussels, and cockles
onemaund must be deposited on
Tower Wharf; and from every
ship laden with wine from Bor-
deaux or elsewhere, a tribute must
be paid in the shape of one flagon
from before and another from
behind the mast. Again, swans
coming under London Bridge to-
wards the sea were forfeited to the
Constable, and if any cattle or
live stock fell from London Bridge
into the Thames, the Constable or
his servants could take and keep
them. Then the same powerful
functionary claimed the rents for
herbage growing on Tower Hill ;
the skinners paid him toll for the
liberty of drying skins in East
Smithfield ; and he levied a cus-
tom of twopence for every person
going and returning by the river
in pilgrimage to the shrine of St.
These exactions have of course
long ceased to be enforced, and
since the menagerie disappeared
from within the Tower precincts,
the Constable cannot even, under
directions from the Crown, direct
the Sheriffs of the City of Lon-
don to pay 4rf. every day for the
maintenance of a white bear. Such
a gift came to Henry III. f rom
532 Life of Sir George Pollock.
The official programme was that ordinarily adopted
on these occasions. Viscount Sydney, the Lord
Chamberlain, in the Windsor uniform, was received
at the Governor's house by the Major of the Tower,
the Coroners of the County of Middlesex and of the
Tower Liberties, the Keeper of the Eegalia and
other officers. The battalion of Ghiards, and detach-
ment of the Coast Brigade of Artillery forming the
garrison of the fortress, with the Yeomen Warders of
the Tower in their rich State dresses, one of them
bearing the fatal headsman's axe, were drawn up to
receive the Lord Chamberlain and the new Constable.
On their arrival, accompanied by the above officers,
the band struck up the National Anthem and the
troops presented arms to the " Queen's Keys/' which
had been delivered over to the Lord Chamberlain
by the Major of the Tower. The Coroner of the
Tower Hamlets read the Queen's commission appoint-
ing Sir Greorge Pollock Custos llotulorum of the Tower
Hamlets, and the Patent conferring on him the
Lord Lieutenancy of the same.
The Coroner then read the Queen's commission
Norway ; and the Sheriffs, besides Sheriffs were required to build a
the daily 4d., were called on to house for him 40 feet long by 20
provide a muzzle for the bear, an feet wide; and Edward II. directed
iron chain to fasten him on land, them to provide a quarter of mut-
and a stout cord to hold him when ton every day for the King's Jion
bathing in the Thames. We read in the Tower, and to pay three-
also that when an elephant was halfpence per day for his keep,
presented to the same King, the
Life of Sir George Pollock. 533
constituting him " Governor and Constable of the
Royal Palace of the Tower," upon which the Lord
Chamberlain, with characteristic aplomb, handed
the keys to the new Constable, with the words,
"In the name of, and on behalf of Her Majesty,
I now deliver to you the keys of this Koyal
Palace and Fortress." Hereupon the acting yeoman
porter lifted his hat and cried " God save the Queen ! "
To which the other yeoman warders, baring their
heads, responded with a sonorous "Amen!" Once
more the troops presented arms, a few bars of the
National Anthem were played, and the ceremony was
concluded. Of course it was succeeded by the usual
non-official adjunct customary among Englishmen,
who, it has been said, would assemble in the crater of
a volcano (in a state of quiescence) to celebrate by a
dinner the anniversary of an universal cataclysm ; on
this occasion a champagne breakfast was, however, a
more appropriate conclusion to the day's proceedings.
The official ceremony customary on the installation
of a Constable of the Tower is always picturesque,
but there were points in the investiture of Sir George
Pollock which have left a vivid recollection of the scene
presented in the Tower on that bleak December day.
Though the ceremony took place at noon, a dense
fog shrouded, in a Cimmerian darkness not exceeded
by that of midnight, the dramatis persona and the
stage on which they were assembled. The sombre
memories attaching to the time-honoured fortress
frowning above us, were in keeping with the scene.
534 Life of Sir George Pollock.
A hollow square was formed by artillerymen holding
port-fires, whose lurid glare shed a weird light on
the central group, and was reflected back from the
bayonets of the battalion of Guards, which was
drawn up round three sides of the square to honour
the new Constable, and present arms to the " Queen's
Keys " borne by Her Majesty's representative, the
Vast and shadowy loomed the White Tower through
the thick darkness, the lights which gleamed from out
its casements giving its lofty, massive proportions
a mysterious unreality, like the castle of some ogre.
Many strange events had this historic edifice seen
transacted beneath its hoary walls, but few, in its way,
more suggestive than this, when for the first time a
warrior, who had earned his laurels amid the wilds
and mountain passes of Central Asia, was entrusted
with the guardianship of the keys of England's
greatest and most renowned fortress.
But the interest of the scene lay not so much in
the accessories, as in the central group, lit up by some
lanterns, whose rays shed an uncertain light on the
bent figure and ' ' good grey head " of the veteran, who
thus in extreme old age received this just and fitting
tribute of a life spent in his country's service. It
was pleasing in the extreme to notice the expression
of gratification on the face of the new Constable of
the Tower, who, as the lengthy commissions were
read out, doubtless passed in review the events
of his long and stirring life, and reflected that
Life of Sir George Pollock. 535
this crowning honour was earned by his own unaided
Such we know were the thoughts that coursed
through our mind as the port- fires burned low, and we
were roused from our reverie by the hoarse word of
command, when, as a final salute, the drums were once
more beaten, and arms presented. And so concluded
the last military ceremonial of Sir George Pollock's
In March, 1872, Mr. Gladstone yet further honoured
Sir George, by recommending him to Her Majesty
for a baronetcy, which was of course granted, although
six years before, the Prime Minister of that day felt
constrained " to express the great regret he experienced
at not being able to obtain the baronetcy for Sir George
Pollock." Now at length, at the ripe age of eighty-
six, he received those hereditary honours which are
always conferred for striking military services, and are
so peculiarly acceptable to men who, not exempt from
ambitious longings, are desirous of "founding a family."
This " last weakness of a noble mind " was now at-
tained, and the name of the man whose career is en-
shrined in history, was enrolled in the Heralds' College
as Sir George Pollock of the Khyber Pass, Baronet.
But the halo which illumines the achievements of the
illustrious dead will not depart from the great name
of Pollock long after patents of precedence are num-
bered among the musty parchments of an old world
and obsolete form of society.
And now, in the story of this life, we come to the
53 6 Life of Sir George Pollock.
closing scene, which was to be the medium of invest-
ing him with the last and greatest honour that can
fall to the lot of a British subject. To attain this
crowning distinction warriors have braved death on
field and flood; indeed, so far above all earthly titles
did our most cherished national hero estimate the
honour of a place of sepulture in the most ancient
and renowned fane in the Kingdom, that at the
battle of St. Vincent, he boarded the huge Spanish
three-decker opposed to him, with the cry, " Victory
or Westminster Abbey ! " on his lips.
Sir George Pollock's general health had been excel-
lent for many years past, though he complained to a
friend some short time before his death of an occa-
sional feeling of exhaustion ; this was the only inti-
mation of the approaching end. During the autumn
of 1872, he proceeded to Walmer, and, on Sunday
morning the 6th October, went into his dressing-
room at six o'clock as usual, and having lit his fire
(as was his wont), sat down to read his Bible
till seven, which was also his unvarying practice.
At that hour, his servant took him a cup of coffee,
but found Sir George lying on the sofa, and breathing
heavily. Much alarmed, he called Lady Pollock,
who immediately despatched a telegraphic message
to Mr. George Pollock, the eminent surgeon, then
staying at Broadstairs. But by eight o'clock, before
his son's arrival, Sir George had breathed his last.
Thus, peacefully and without a struggle, expired this
great soldier and good man, the lamp of life having
Life of Sir George Pollock. 537
flickered and gone out through mere exhaustion of
the necessary aliment.*
Sir Greorge, too modest to think of the honours
which others regarded as due to him, expressed
in his will, an earnest wish to be buried quietly
and unostentatiously, beside his first wife at Kensal
Green. From the chapel of St. Peter in the Tower,
as a last resting-place, with its gloomy memories and
headless corpses, he was greatly averse, though his
predecessor in the office of Constable, the veteran and
distinguished Engineer officer, Sir John Burgoyne,
had been laid there, and he had attended his
funeral. It was, however, very generally considered
that the soldier, whose long career had just closed,
well deserved a place near those illustrious dead
who people "the old Abbey " with such glorious
memories; and Dean Stanley, with his usual ap-
preciation of greatness in all its phases, readily
complied with the requisition.
* The personalty left by Sir Addiscombe, and the red Ribbon
George was sworn to by his execu- and Badge of the Bath ; to his son
tors (Mr. John Henry Pollock, George David, the gold box, with
his sole surviving brother, Lady the freedom, presented by the City
Pollock, and Sir James Alexander, of London ; and to his son Archi-
K.C.B.) as being under .60,000, bald Reid Swiney, of the Bengal
a large portion of which, to- Civil Service, his Medals and
gether with his furniture and clasps, the Star of the Bath set
effects, was left to his widow, with with diamonds, and the Woolwich
whom he had enjoyed twenty Pollock Medal ; the mantles of the
years of conjugal happiness. Orders of the Bath and Star of
Among bequests in the will, he India he gave to the wives of his
left to his son and heir Fred- sons Frederick and Archibald ;
erick, the sword presented to and his Field-Marshal's baton he
him by Shere Singh, his Afghan bequeathed to Lady Pollock,
dagger, the Gold Pollock Medal for
53 8 Life of Sir George Pollock.
On his death, the Press broke out in a chorus of
eulogy on his character and military career. Speak-
ing of the proposed interment in the Abbey, the
leading journal said:
" Though Westminster Abbey has sometimes opened its gates
too freely to the remains of those whom the sympathy which
gathers round a death-bed has rendered illustrious, no one will
say that the burial of Sir George Pollock adds a name of
doubtful renown to the tenants of that sacred earth. Of the
monuments within the Abbey walls, some of the hugest, most
florid, and most pretentious commemorate men who have died
amid a transient blaze of popularity, which has burnt out and
left their obscure names in melancholy and ridiculous contrast to
the grandeur of the marble which records them. Sir George
Pollock has not reached Westminster Abbey in this way. . . .
So much the more credence is to be given to the opinion of
those who for thirty years have declared that Sir George Pollock
was one of the ablest officers in Her Majesty's service, and that
the campaign which he conducted was a conspicuous event in
the history of the British Empire. Contemporaries of the old
General have lived to see wars of unprecedented magnitude on
either side of the ocean ; yet the Service, and particularly that
able and practical part of it which has been reared in India, still
points to Pollock as the man who did something unsurpassed,
and did it by the possession of exceptional faculties. This
general consent we believe to be justly founded. The history of
the second campaign in Afghanistan may be studied with profit
by every officer, by every servant of the Crown to whom any
administration of Indian affairs is committed. General Pollock
took the command of the British Forces at a time when disaster
had demoralized Indian, and to a great extent English, opinion.
India looked upon the disaster in Afghanistan as the greatest
which had overtaken its arms since the English had built their
first factory in Asia. The discouragement was deeper than even
in the Indian Mutiny of later days ; for we knew that sooner or
later that wild outbreak would be suppressed ; but the defeat in
Afghanistan appeared to the statesman and the soldier as the
Life of Sir George Pollock. 539
victory of a gigantic and irreconcilably hostile European 'Power,
which swayed the semi-barbarous tribes of Asia as its instru-
ments. The march into Afghanistan had made its people our
enemies for ever; the ill-success of that march, and the destruc-
tion of 13,000 men who followed the British flag, had made
them triumphant and audacious enemies.
" Sir George Pollock was one of those who believed that,
whatever the prudence or justice of the first expedition, we
could not sit down under a defeat the news of which had pene-
trated to every region of Southern Asia. He knew the diffi-
culties of the enterprise, and was not one to undertake it with a
light heart and a dashing bravado. The courage and judgment
with which he carried out the campaign need no new encomiums.
Perhaps not the least difficult task was to withstand the impa-
tience of the Indian public, which demanded an instant rush to
the rescue of the besieged and the captives. Pollock would not
move till he was ready, but when he advanced he carried all
before him. As a military study, the campaign is among the
most instructive in British history, and the time will hardly
come when the educated officer reading the epitaphs on the walls
of the great Abbey will need to ask, 'What did Sir George
The " Army and Navy Grazette " was equally
laudatory, and we think we recognize the pen of the
prince of " special correspondents " in the following
" The Indian Army, which may well be proud of him, was
honoured in his person when Sir George Pollock was created
Field-Marshal and Constable of the Tower, and it is significant
of the change that has come over the spirit of the army to find
that not a voice was raised in opposition to the selection. The
ancients said that ' whom the gods love die young,' but that is
certainly not true in the case of soldiers,, whose merits are
rewarded only in extreme old age, when they do not so much
care for the honours which fire young ambition. We heard
Lord Clyde say, after he had received the highest mark of his
54 Life of Sir George Pollock.
Sovereign's favour, ' There is no one alive now I care to tell the
news to. It is too late.' "
The " Pall Mall Gazette " was not less eulogistic ;
and the " Daily News, " speaking of the " modest
worth and antique heroism of the dead," added :
" The stout old soldier saved an Imperial dependency by his
steadfast valour, his consummate skill, and, above all, by the
strength and inspiration of his example. Sir George Pollock
belongs henceforth to the history of his country and of British
India; and that history will preserve his name and fame."
Some appropriate lines " In Memoriam," written
by Mr. Tom Taylor, appeared in the columns of
" Punch/' which seldom fails to pay this graceful
tribute of respect to departed greatness ; and the
" Broad Arrow " had some fine stanzas by J. A.
So large was the number of friends and com-
panions- in-arms, who were desirous of testifying their
appreciation of his eminent public services and
private virtues by their attendance, that the obse-
quies of the deceased Field-Marshal assumed the
proportions of a public rather than a private cere-
mony. It might, perhaps, have been desired that
the deep and general respect thus testified, should
have found expression in a more stately and dis-
tinctly public ceremonial ; but we are not fortunate
either in initiating or in arranging such displays,
and the sincere, though restrained, homage answered
not unfitly to the solid, but modest, virtues of the
departed soldier. Continental nations follow a
dead Field-Marshal to the grave with the blare of
Life of Sir George Pollock. 541
trumpets, the roll of muffled drums, and the reversed
arms of an army, and though among us it may be
well to reserve the full formality of a public funeral
for those rare names around which the history of a
nation centres, a military band and an escort suitable
to the high rank of the deceased might surely have
been detailed for duty.
The funeral procession, which was of the simplest
character, started from the residence of the deceased
at Clapham Common, and, after crossing Yauxhall
Bridge, was met by the carriages of Field-Marshal
Sir W. Gomm, the Burmese Envoys, and others.
Here the coffin was transferred from the hearse to a
gun-carriage where it was secured on a platform over
the gun drawn by eight horses, and attended by an
escort of twelve sergeants of his Brigade (C) of the
Eoyal Horse Artillery, under command of Lieutenant
Loraine, B,. A.
Meanwhile, soon after noon, a large number of
officers of every rank, and the friends of the deceased
who acted as mourners, had assembled at the West-
minster Palace Hotel, on the invitation of Sir John
Kaye, Political Secretary at the India Office, (who, at
the desire of Lady Pollock and the family, had
undertaken the funeral arrangements,) and pro-
ceeded thence, in informal procession, to the Abbey
cloisters, there to await the arrival of the body.
Gathered here also, in plain clothes, were many
old comrades of the deceased who had served with
him in days when he was an "undecorated"
54 2 Life of Sir George Pollock.
Artillery officer, known only as one of the best in his
Regiment. Among these were Lieutenant- General
Matthew Smith (from whose letters we have frequently
quoted), who had acted as his Brigade Major, and
other officers whose names do not appear in the list
of mourners. While standing under the shadow of
the Abbey, the time was whiled away by the narration
of interesting details of those long past days, and
anecdotes of the sterling worth and military virtues
of the soldier whose silent advent we were now
The morning opened somewhat gloomily, but pre-
sently brightened, and before the ceremony ended, a
few feeble beams from the autumn sun lit up the
interior of the Abbey with a welcome though transient
glow. Further relief to the pervading gloom, which
was heightened by the sombre array of the civilians
andmany ladies, who were habited in deepest black,
was given by the military uniforms, most of which were
resplendent with medals and orders. Some Yeomen
of the Guard were present in their capacity as Warders
of the Tower, and their antique dress and halberds
added a picturesqueness to the general effect, as they
stood motionless in the aisle or ranged themselves,
later in the proceedings, round the coffin.
The surpliced clergy and choristers stood ready to
take their part in the solemnity ; and so, within the
sacred edifice and its precincts, this varied throng
awaited the arrival of the body, while the death-bell
was heard faintly tolling from the western tower.
Life of Sir George Pollock. 543
Soon after one o'clock, the funeral cortege arrived
at the entrance to the cloisters, and the coffin, having
been removed from the gun-carriage, was borne on
the shoulders of the escort, the gay colours of the
Union Jack, hitherto forming the appropriate cover-
ing, being shrouded by the sable folds of the pall,
the cords of which were held by three Knights of
the Bath, and three of the Star of India.
The family of the deceased followed immediately
after the body, and were succeeded by His Koyal
Highness the Duke of Cambridge, who headed the
chief mourners. The procession, being now re-
formed, advanced through the nave and choir, which
was carpeted with black cloth, in the following
Ten Warders of the Tower.
Twelve Officers of the 1st Surrey Volunteers.
Commanding Officer and Adjutant of the 1st Tower Hamlets
Commanding Officer and Adjutant of the 2nd Tower Hamlets
Lieut. Puckle. Captain Foster.
Captain R. Upton. Captain G. M. Brown.
Major McMahon. Major Euan Smith, C.S.I.
Lieut.-Colonel Delane. Colonel Campbell.
Colonel Ouseley. Major Burne, C.S.I.
Major-Gen. J. T. Boileau, R.E., F.R.S. Col. J. T. Airey, C.B.
Colonel Mulock, C.B. Lieut.-Col. Keatinge, V.C., C.S.I.
Major-Gen. Riddell, C.B. Major-Gen. Brownrigg, C.B.
Major-Gen. Sir Fred. J. Goldsmid, K.C.S.I., C.B.
Major-General Sir A. S. Waugh, R.E., F.R.S.
Lieutenant-General Sir A. J. Lawrence, K.C.B.
Major-Gen. Sir Thos. Pears, K.C.B.
544 Life of Sir George Pollock.
Lieut.-General Sir J. L. Simmons, K.C.B., R.E.
Lieut-General Sir William Wyllie, K.C.B.
Col. the Hon. H. B. Dalzell.
The Chaplain- General of the Forces.
OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL ARTILLERY.
Major Traill. Lieut- Colonel H. P. Bishop.
Colonel H. B. Timbrell. Colonel Wallace, C.B.
Colonel W. A. Middleton, C.B. Major-Gen. Hammond.
Major-Gen. J. H. Smythe, C.B. Lieut.-Gen. E. Kaye, C.B.
Major-Gen. James Abbott. Major-Gen. C. V. Cox, C.B.
Col. Sir A. Kemball, K.C.S.I., C.B. Major-General Black.
Major-General, H. W. Trevelyan, C.B. Major-Gen. Sir David
Lieut.-Gen. G . Campbell, C.B. Lieut.-Gen. Sir Archdale Wilson,
Gen. Wylde, C.B.
J. Cosmo Melvill, Esq., late Assistant Under Secretary of
State for India.
The Eight Hon. Lord Lawrence, G.C.B. , G. C.S.I.,
late Viceroy of India.
MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF INDIA.
H. T. Prinsep, Esq. R. D. Mangles, Esq.
Sir Fred. Halliday, K.C B. Maj.-Gen. Sir W.E. Baker, K.C.B.,R.E.
Sir R.Montgomery,G.C.S.I., K.C.B. Gen.SirR.J.H.Vivian,G.C.B.
Sir Fred. Currie, Bart. Sir Bartle Frere, G.C.S.I., K.C.B.
Major-Gen. Sir H. C. Rawlinson, K.C.B.
Right Hon. E. Cardwell, M.P., Secretary of State for War.
Colonel Gawler, Keeper of the Regalia at the Tower.
The Clergy and Choristers of the Abbey.
The Sword and Cocked Hat of the Deceased, carried on Velvet
Cushion by his Personal Attendant.
The Orders of the Deceased, carried on Velvet Cushion by
Major Handyside, R.A.
Life of Sir George Pollock. 545
The deceased Field-Marshal's Baton carried on Velvet Cushion
by Colonel Milman, Major of the Tower.
THREE PALL-BEARERS. THREE PALL-BEARERS.
Lieut-General Sir THE COFFIN, Major-General Sir
Geo. St. P. Law- Geo. H. Macgregor,
rence, K.C.S.L, Borne by K.C.B., R.A.
Major-Gen. Sir Vin- Twelve Sergeants Major-Gen. Sir James
centEyre,K.C.S.L, of the Brind, K.C.B., R.A.
Sir John W. Kaye, Lieut.- General Sir
K.C.S.I., late. Royal Horse Artillery. James Alexander,
Bengal Artillery. K.C.B., R.A.
Master M. Pollock.* G. D. Pollock, Esq. J. H. Pollock, Esq.
F. L. Wollaston, Esq. G. F. Pollock, Esq.
Binney Key, Esq. Major G. Harcourt. Barclay Pollock, Esq.
Master Hugh Pollock. Master Evelyn Pollock.
Captain A. Harcourt. F. Pollock, Esq. H. Pollock, Esq.
C. E. Pollock, Esq., Q.C. f A. Pollock, Esq.
C. M. Pollock, Esq. H. Pollock, Esq.
Major-General F. R. Pollock, C.S.I. Lt.-Gen. A. M. Becher,C.B.
Colonel J. Becher, C.B., R.E. Dr. Spitta.
Adj.-Gen. of the Forces. H.R.H. Duke of Cambridge. Col. Clifton.
F. H. Wollaston, Esq.