Colonel Wardle, MP for Okehampton, Portrait Plaque
Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle (1762-1833), soldier and politician; MP for Okehampton 1807-12. He attacked the Duke of York for granting commissions in the army which had been procured by the Duke's mistress, the actress Mary-Anne Clarke. Mrs Clarke was a woman renowned for her extravagant living and was known to accept bribes. As a result, the Duke of York was forced to retire as Commander-in-Chief. For this, Wardle was thanked by the City of London. However, it subsequently came to light that he was working in collusion with Mrs Clarke and he fled abroad to escape his creditors and died in Florence. In 1809, the year this medal was produced, Mrs Clarke was tried for libel and imprisoned for the same in 1813. She withdrew to Paris in about 1816.Mrs. Clarke claimed that soon before fleeing to the continent Wardle ended up selling milk around Tunbridge Wells.
His biography in the parliamentary records makes very entertaining reading.
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