The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Brummel, George Bryan
BRUMMEL, George Bryan, a celebrated English man of fashion, born in London in June, 1778, died at Caen, France, March 29, 1840. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, where, though he displayed some skill in writing Latin verses, he was less distinguished for scholarship than for a fastidious taste in dress, which early gained for him the sobriquet of “Beau Brummel.” On the death of his father in 1794 he inherited £30,000, and about the same time he became the favorite companion of the prince of Wales, who gave him a cornetcy in his regiment, and rapidly promoted him to a captaincy. Military life not being to his taste, he sold his commission and devoted himself to fashion and fine society. He set up a splendid bachelor establishment at the west end of London, and became the arbiter of taste and fashion, a position which he retained so long as the favor of the prince of Wales and his own money lasted. The former he forfeited about 1813, and the latter, replenished occasionally by gambling, gave out soon after; and in the latter part of the next year he fled from his creditors to Calais. After living there for some years on such remittances as he could obtain from his friends, he was appointed consul at Caen, where he became reduced to utter penury and died in a hospital for lunatic mendicants. See “Life of Brummel,” by Capt. William Jesse (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1844; 12mo, 1854).