Historical Miscellany #2 – William Pitt the Younger’s final words (1806)

Highgate Cemetery

Benjamin Disraeli heard an amusing story about what he claimed were Pitt’s last words. An elderly House of Commons waiter and keeper of secrets told him: ‘You hear many lies told as history, sir,’ he said; ‘do you know what Mr. Pitt’s last words were?’ – ‘Of course,’ said Disraeli, ‘they are well known … ‘O my country! how I love my country!’’ for that was then the authorised version.

‘Nonsense,’ said the old man. ‘I’ll tell you how it was. Late one night I was called out of bed by a messenger in a postchaise, shouting to me outside the window. ‘What is it?’ I said. ‘You’re to get up and dress and bring some of your meat pies down to Mr. Pitt at Putney.’ So I went; and as we drove along he told me that Mr. Pitt had not been able to take any food, but had suddenly said, ‘I think I could eat one of Bellamy’s meat pies.’ And so I was sent for post-haste. When we arrived Mr. Pitt was dead. Them was his last words. ‘I think I could eat one of Bellamy’s meat pies.’

(Taken from Robert Harvey – War of Wars)

More Historical Miscellany here.

Image credit: Ann Wuyts

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