Monday, 26 October 2015

What's in a Name? John Waterloo Wilson

If your name is Waterloo
Then a link with Belgium isn't new
That famous battle left a mark
A high point on our history chart!

The date? 1815 of course
Victory for the Allied force
Led by the Duke of Wellington:
Napoleon was on the run!

The Wilsons had a son that year
Born in Belgium* it was clear
They had to mark this great event;
Baptised John Waterloo, this meant

A destiny which matched the name
This Patron of the Arts became
With business acumen and flair
A cotton mill entrepreneur.

With Belgian and French expertise
His art collection grew with ease
150 oeuvres put on display -
King Leopold came Vaux-Hall way!

27 works from different schools
He offered Brussels – but with rules
To be arranged for public view:
French, Dutch, German, English too.

In gratitude for such largesse
And at his death Gold Franc bequest
His proud family can claim
A Brussels street now bears his name!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

John Waterloo Wilson 1815-1883
* Born May 16th

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