James Forsyth James Forsyth

Meeting George Osborne at Waterloo

An encounter with the Chancellor’s less cynical side

Decisive moment: ‘Closing the Gates of Hougoumont’, by Robert Gibb Photo: National Museums Scotland

The defence of Hougoumont is one of the great British feats of arms. If the farmhouse had fallen to Bonaparte’s forces during the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon’s 100 days would have become a French 100 years. But history has not been kind to Hougoumont; it fell into disuse as a farm at the end of the last century and has become increasingly dilapidated.

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