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Black Brunswickers

A corps of 700 volunteer hussars under the command of Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick, who had been forbidden by Napoleon to succeed to his father's dukedom. They were called “Black” because they wore mourning for the deceased Duke. Frederick William fell at Quatre-Bras, 1815. One of Millais's best pictures is called “The Black Brunswicker.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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