From the Archives - "Where is the Duke?"
Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville (1794-1865) was a British civil servant during the first half of the Nineteenth Century, and a diarist of some note. Although he never held any notably important post, he had frequent encounters with many of the most prominent people of his times, and his diary has a wealth of detail of the habits and foibles of the great. In the case of the Duke of Wellington, his brother, Algernon Frederick Greville (1798-1864), was the field marshal’s private secretary, and seems to have been the source of many an interesting tale, such as this little observation about one of Wellington’s minor foibles.
One of his peculiarities was to never tell anybody where he was going and when my brother or his own sons wished to be acquainted with his intentions they were obliged to apply to the housekeeper, to whom he was in the habit of making them known, and nobody ever dared to ask him questions on the subject.
Fortunately, Wellington seems to have confined this peculiar habit to his civilian life, since it would not have been a good practice while on campaign.