Henry Paget held several titles: he was the 2nd Earl of Uxbridge, the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, and during the Battle of Waterloo, he was a cavalry commander. He also held several military ranks afterward, but it was at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 that Paget’s leg was injured so badly that it was amputated.
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Paget stayed at the house of Monsieur Hyacinthe Joseph Marie Paris during his surgery and recovery. Paris asked if he could have the amputated leg so he could bury it, and Paget consented. The leg was buried in a wooden box with an inscribed tombstone marking the spot.
Paget later used a wooden leg that was state-of-the-art at the time, with tendons and an articulated knee, so innovative that its maker applied for a patent. The discarded leg, however, became a tourist attraction in Belgium. This situation did not sit well with Paget or his descendants, and the controversy over the leg lasted until 1934! Read about Paget’s right legs, both his first one and his wooden one, at Amusing Planet.
If the name sounds familiar, this Henry Paget was the great-grandfather of another Henry Paget previously featured at Neatorama.
(Image credit: Constantinus Fidelio Coene)