Sir Stapleton Cotton was born in 1772 and entered the army as a second lieutenant aged 18, by the time he was 21 he was colonel of the 25th Light Dragoons. He saw action in India and later rose to prominence in the Peninsula where he became the commander of the British cavalry. He was personally thanked by Wellington for his role in the victory at Salamanca in 1812 but missed out on the top job at Waterloo because he was passed over in favour of Uxbridge (he was none to happy about this). Cotton was nicknamed the “Lion d’Or” for his bravery and love of over-the-top uniforms. He was in military service for a total of 73 years and fought in 17 battles finishing up as a field marshall.
The figure is a David Clayton produced casting of BN/255 Lieut-Gen Sir Stapleton Cotton in Hussar uniform and busby (on horse BNH/13). I have found that Clayton personality figure castings are almost indistinguishable from vintage castings and this one was in perfect condition. The uniform is based on a picture of Stapleton Cotton in my copy of Blandford’s Uniforms of the Peninsula War that seemed suitably ostentatious. I really enjoyed painting this one – the leopard skin in particular was a bit of a challenge.
I must confess that I had never heard of Sir Stapleton Cotton prior to acquiring his miniature likeness, as, despite having a reasonable amount of Napoleonic related literature, his is not a name that had registered in my mind. So I was more than a little surprised to read the facts about his impressive military career. I have decided therefore to put him in over all command of my Allied cavalry, a position he can hold without concern, as Uxbridge is one of the Hinton Hunt personality figures still missing from my collection.
So, not a bad start to the year – one rider and horse painted.