Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Overview
 
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, FRS (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852), was an Irish
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

-born British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 and statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. He is often referred to as the "Duke of Wellington", even after his death, when there have been subsequent Dukes of Wellington.

Wellington was commissioned as an ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in 1787.
Discussions
Quotations

I believe I forgot to tell you I was made a Duke.

Postscript to a letter to his brother Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley|Henry Wellesley (22 May 1814), published in Supplementary Despatches and Memoranda of Field Marshal Arthur, Duke of Wellington (1862) by Arthur Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington|Arthur Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington

Up Guards and at them again.

Said at the Battle of Waterloo|Battle of Waterloo, as quoted in a letter from a Captain Batty of the Foot Guards (22 June 1815), often misquoted as "Up Guards and at 'em." Wellington himself, years later, declared that he did not know exactly what he had said on the occasion, and doubted that anyone did.

Hard pounding this, gentlemen; let's see who will pound longest.

At the Battle of Waterloo|Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815), as quoted by Sir Walter Scott, in Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk (1815)

My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

Letter from the field of Waterloo (June 1815), as quoted in Decisive Battles of the World (1899) by Edward Shepherd Creasy

Encyclopedia
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, FRS (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852), was an Irish
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

-born British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 and statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. He is often referred to as the "Duke of Wellington", even after his death, when there have been subsequent Dukes of Wellington.

Wellington was commissioned as an ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in 1787. Serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 he was also elected as a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 in the Irish House of Commons
Irish House of Commons
The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland, that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the House of Lords...

. A colonel by 1796, Wellesley saw action in the Netherlands
Flanders Campaign
This feature refers to the conflict that took place during the Wars of the French Revolution 1792–1801.For the Low Countries campaigns of the War of the Grand Alliance 1688–97 see Nine Years' War...

 and later in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War was a war in South India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the British East India Company under the Earl of Mornington....

 at the Battle of Seringapatam
Battle of Seringapatam
The Siege of Seringapatam was the final confrontation of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore. The British achieved a decisive victory after breaching the walls of the fortress at Seringapatam and storming the citadel. Tippu Sultan, Mysore's...

. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799.

Wellington rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

 in 1813. Following Napoleon's
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom
Dukedom
Dukedom may refer to:* Duchy, the territory ruled by a duke* the office of a duke-Places:United States* Dukedom, Kentucky and Tennessee, an unincorporated community in Graves County, Kentucky and Weakley County, Tennessee-Computer games:...

. During the Hundred Days
Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

 in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, with a Prussian army
Prussian Army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...

 under Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt , Graf , later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall who led his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 with the Duke of Wellington.He is...

, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

. Wellesley's battle record
Battle record of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was one of the leading British military and political figures of the 19th century...

 is exemplary, ultimately participating in some 60 battles throughout his military career.

He was twice prime minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 under the Tory
Tories (political faction)
The Tories were members of two political parties which existed, sequentially, in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries.-Overview:...

 party and oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829
Catholic Relief Act 1829
The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 24 March 1829, and received Royal Assent on 13 April. It was the culmination of the process of Catholic Emancipation throughout the nation...

. He was prime minister from 1828–30 and served briefly in 1834. He was unable to prevent the passage of the Reform Act of 1832
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 and continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 until his retirement. He remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief , was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff . From 1870, the C-in-C was subordinate to...

 until his death.

Wellesley heritage

The earliest mention of the 'Welles-lieghs' is in 1180, around a settlement still known as Wellesley Farm. The family had been granted lands to the south of Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, Somerset for their 'Passive acceptance of the Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

 of 1066. An early member of the family to Ireland was during 1171, as a Standard Bearer
Colours, standards and guidons
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or Guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago...

 to King Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

.

"Wesley" was inherited from a childless wealthy cousin Garret Wesley
Garret Wesley
Garret Wesley was an Irish Member of Parliament.He represented Trim from 1692 to 1693, Athboy from 1695 to 1699, County Meath from 1711 to 1714 and then Trim again from 1727 to his death....

 when, in 1728, Wellington's patrilineal grandfather Richard Colley
Richard Wesley, 1st Baron Mornington
Richard Colley Wesley, 1st Baron Mornington was an Irish peer, best remembered as the grandfather of the 1st Duke of Wellington.Between 1729 and 1746 he represented Trim in the Irish House of Commons...

, a landlord who lived at Rahin near Carbury
Carbury
Carbury , also formerly spelt "Carbery", is a village in north-west County Kildare, Ireland. It is situated in the on the R402 regional road between Enfield and Edenderry, near the border with County Offaly...

, County Kildare
County Kildare
County Kildare is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Kildare. Kildare County Council is the local authority for the county...

, changed his surname to Wesley. The Colleys had lived in that part of Kildare since the Norman Invasion of Ireland
Norman Invasion of Ireland
The Norman invasion of Ireland was a two-stage process, which began on 1 May 1169 when a force of loosely associated Norman knights landed near Bannow, County Wexford...

 in 1169–72. In 1917 the Kildare historian Lord Walter FitzGerald, writing about the ruins of Carbury Castle, mentioned that "Elizabethan Castle which since 1588 has been in the possession of the family of Cowley or Colley, from whom the Dukes of Wellington are descended in the direct male line".

Early life and education

Wellington was born in Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 as "The Honourable Arthur Wesley", the fourth son—third of five surviving sons—to Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington
Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington
Garret Colley Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington was an Anglo-Irish politician and composer, best known today for fathering several distinguished British military commanders and politicians.-Life:...

, and Anne, the eldest daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon
Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon
Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon , was an Irish politician.Born Arthur Hill, he adopted the surname Hill-Trevor in 1759. He was the second son of Robert Hill of Hillsborough, M.P. and Privy Councillor, and Anne Trevor. His maternal grandfather was the leading seventeenth-century...

. He was most likely born at their townhouse, 24 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, now the "Merrion Hotel". His biographers mostly follow the contemporary newspaper evidence in saying he was born 1 May 1769, the day he was baptised. Other places have been put forward as the location of his birth: Mornington House, Dublin—as his father claimed; the house next door which is no longer there; the Dublin packet boat; and the family estate of Athy
Athy
The town developed from a 12th century Anglo-Norman settlement to an important British military outpost on the border of the Pale.The first town charter dates from the 16th century and the town hall was constructed in the early 18th century...

, as the Duke apparently put on his 1851 census return, which is now burnt.

He spent most of his childhood at his family's two homes, the first a large house in Dublin and the second, Dangan Castle, 3.1 miles (5 km) north of Summerhill on the Trim road in County Meath
County Meath
County Meath is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Mide . Meath County Council is the local authority for the county...

, part of the Province of Leinster. In 1781 Arthur's father died and his eldest brother Richard
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
Richard Colley Wesley, later Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, KG, PC, PC , styled Viscount Wellesley from birth until 1781, was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator....

 inherited his father's earldom. Two of his other brothers were later raised to the peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 as Baron Maryborough and Baron Cowley.

He went to the diocesan school in Trim
Trim, County Meath
Trim is the traditional county town of County Meath in Ireland, although the county town is now Navan. The town was recorded in the 2006 census to have a population of 6,870....

 when at Dangan, Mr. Whyte's Academy when in Dublin, and at Brown's School in Chelsea
Chelsea, London
Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

 when in London. He then enrolled at Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

, where he studied from 1781 to 1784. His loneliness there caused him to hate it, and makes it highly unlikely that he actually said, "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton". Moreover, Eton had no playing fields at the time. A lack of success at Eton, combined with a shortage of family funds from his father's death, led to a move to Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 with his mother in 1785. Until his early twenties, Arthur continued to show little sign of distinction and his mother grew increasingly concerned at his idleness, stating, "I don't know what I shall do with my awkward son Arthur".

A year later, Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers
Angers
Angers is the main city in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France about south-west of Paris. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjou, and its inhabitants are called Angevins....

, where he progressed significantly, becoming a good horseman and learning French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, which was later to prove very useful. Upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement.

Early career

Despite his new promise he had yet to find a job and his family was still short of money, so upon the advice of his mother, his brother Richard asked his friend the Duke of Rutland
Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland
Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland KG, PC was a British politician and nobleman, the eldest legitimate son of John Manners, Marquess of Granby...

 (then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

) to consider Arthur for a commission in the army. Soon after, on 7 March 1787 he was gazetted ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 in the 73rd Regiment of Foot. In October, with the assistance of his brother, he was assigned as aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

, on ten shilling
Shilling
The shilling is a unit of currency used in some current and former British Commonwealth countries. The word shilling comes from scilling, an accounting term that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times where it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. The word is thought to derive...

s a day (twice his pay as an ensign), to the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Lord Buckingham
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham, KG, PC was a British statesman. He was the second son of George Grenville and a brother of the 1st Baron Grenville.-Career:...

. He was also transferred to the new 76th Regiment
76th Regiment of Foot
The 76th Regiment of Foot was originally raised as Lord Harcourt's Regiment on 17 November 1745 and disbanded in June 1746. Following the loss of Minorca to the French, it was raised again in November 1756 as the 61st Regiment, but renumbered to 76th, by General Order in 1758, and again disbanded...

 forming in Ireland and on Christmas Day, 1787, was promoted to lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

. During his time in Dublin his duties were mainly social; attending balls, entertaining guests and providing advice to Buckingham. While in Ireland, he over extended himself in borrowing due to his occasional gambling, but in his defence stated that "I have often known what it was to be in want of money, but I have never got helplessly into debt".

On 23 Jan 1788 he transferred into the 41st Regiment of Foot, then again on 25 June 1789, still a lieutenant, he transferred to the 12th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons
12th Royal Lancers
The 12th Royal Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. In 1960, it was amalgamated with 9th Queen's Royal Lancers, to form 9th/12th Royal Lancers .-History:...

 and, according to military historian Richard Holmes
Richard Holmes (military historian)
Brigadier Edward Richard Holmes, CBE, TD, JP , known as Richard Holmes, was a British soldier and noted military historian, particularly well-known through his many television appearances...

, he also dipped a reluctant toe into politics. Shortly before the general election of 1789, he went to the "rotten borough
Rotten borough
A "rotten", "decayed" or pocket borough was a parliamentary borough or constituency in the United Kingdom that had a very small electorate and could be used by a patron to gain undue and unrepresentative influence within Parliament....

" of Trim
Trim (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
Trim was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.-1692–1801:...

 to speak against the granting of the title "Freeman
Freedom of the City
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by some municipalities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, Gibraltar and Rhodesia to esteemed members of its community and to organisations to be honoured, often for service to the community;...

" of Dublin to the parliamentary leader of the Irish Patriot Party
Irish Patriot Party
The Irish Patriot Party was the name of a number of different political groupings in Ireland throughout the 18th century. They were primarily supportive of Whig concepts of personal liberty combined with an Irish identity that rejected full independence, but advocated strong self-government within...

, Henry Grattan
Henry Grattan
Henry Grattan was an Irish politician and member of the Irish House of Commons and a campaigner for legislative freedom for the Irish Parliament in the late 18th century. He opposed the Act of Union 1800 that merged the Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain.-Early life:Grattan was born at...

. Succeeding, he was later nominated and duly elected as a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Trim in the Irish House of Commons
Irish House of Commons
The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland, that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the House of Lords...

. Because of the limited suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 at the time, he sat in a parliament where at least two-thirds of the members owed their election to the landowners of fewer than a hundred boroughs. Wellesley continued to serve at Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

, voting with the government in the Irish parliament over the next two years. On 30 January 1791 he became a captain
Captain (OF-2)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery...

 and was transferred to the 58th Regiment of Foot
58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot
The 58th Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment. During the Childers Reforms it was united with the 48th Regiment of Foot to form the Northamptonshire Regiment.-Service history:...

.

On 31 October he transferred to the 18th Light Dragoons
18th Royal Hussars
The 18th Royal Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, first formed in 1759. It saw service for two centuries, before being amalgamated into the 13th/18th Hussars in 1922....

 and it was during this period that he grew increasingly attracted to Kitty Pakenham
Catherine Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington
Catherine Sarah Dorothea Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington was the wife of the 1st Duke of Wellington. She is commonly known as Kitty Pakenham.-Early Life:...

, the daughter of Edward Pakenham, 2nd Baron Longford
Earl of Longford
Earl of Longford is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of Ireland. It was first bestowed upon Francis Aungier, 3rd Baron Aungier of Longford, in 1677, with remainder to his younger brother Ambrose. He had previously represented Surrey in the House of Commons and had already been...

. She was described as being full of 'gaiety and charm'. In 1793 he sought her hand, but was turned down by her brother Thomas
Thomas Pakenham, 2nd Earl of Longford
Thomas Pakenham, 2nd Earl of Longford KP was an Irish peer. He became Earl of Longford in 1794 after the death of Elizabeth Pakenham, 1st Countess of Longford and was appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick on 17 December 1813....

, Earl of Longford, who considered Wellesley to be a young man, in debt, with very poor prospects. An aspiring amateur musician, Wellesley, devastated by the rejection, burnt his violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

s in anger, and resolved to pursue a military career in earnest. Gaining further promotion (largely by purchasing his rank
Sale of commissions
The sale of commissions was a common practice in most European armies where wealthy and noble officers purchased their rank. Only the Imperial Russian Army and the Prussian Army never used such a system. While initially shunned in the French Revolutionary Army, it was eventually revived in the...

, which was common in the British Army at the time), he became a major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 in the 33rd Regiment in 1793. A few months later, in September, his brother lent him more money and with it he purchased a lieutenant-colonelcy
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 in the 33rd.

Netherlands

In 1793, the Duke of York was sent to Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 in command of the British contingent of an allied force destined for the invasion of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. In 1794, the 33rd regiment was sent to join the force and Wellesley, having just purchased his major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

ity on 30 April 1793, set sail from Cork
Cork Harbour
Cork Harbour is a natural harbour and river estuary at the mouth of the River Lee in County Cork, Ireland. It is one of several which lay claim to the title of "second largest natural harbour in the world by navigational area" . Other contenders include Halifax Harbour in Canada, and Poole Harbour...

 for Flanders in June, destined for his first real battle experience. Three months later on 30 September 1793 he purchased the lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

cy of his regiment. During the campaign he rose to command a brigade and in September Wellesley's unit came under fire just east of Breda
Breda
Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

, just before the Battle of Boxtel
Battle of Boxtel
The Battle of Boxtel was a battle fought during the First Coalition in the Dutch province North Brabant, on the 15 September 1794. It was part of the Flanders Campaign of 1793-94 in which British, Dutch and Austrian troops had attempted to launch an invasion of France through Flanders...

. For the latter part of the campaign, during the winter, his unit defended the line of the Waal River, during which time he became ill for a while, owing to the damp environment. Though the campaign was to prove unsuccessful, with the Duke of York's force returning in 1795, Wellesley was to learn several valuable lessons, including the use of steady fire lines against advancing columns and of the merits of supporting sea-power. He concluded that many of the campaign's blunders were due to the faults of the leaders and the poor organisation at headquarters
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

. He remarked later of his time in the Netherlands that "At least I learned what not to do, and that is always a valuable lesson".

Returning to England in March 1795, he was returned as a Member of Parliament for Trim for a second time. He hoped to be given the position of secretary of war in the new Irish government but the new lord-lieutenant, Lord Camden
John Pratt, 1st Marquess Camden
John Jeffreys Pratt, 1st Marquess Camden KG, PC , styled Viscount Bayham from 1786 to 1794 and known as The Earl Camden from 1794 to 1812, was a British politician...

, was only able to offer him the post of Surveyor-General of the Ordnance
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance
The Surveyor-General of the Ordnance was a subordinate of the Master-General of the Ordnance and a member of the Board of Ordnance from its constitution in 1597. Appointments to the post were made by the crown under Letters Patent. His duties were to examine the ordnance received to see that it was...

. Declining the post, he returned to his regiment, now at Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 preparing to set sail for the West Indies. After seven weeks at sea, a storm forced the fleet back to Poole
Poole
Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is east of Dorchester, and Bournemouth adjoins Poole to the east. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The 33rd was given time to convalesce and a few months later, Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

 decided to send the regiment to India. Wellesley was promoted full colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 by seniority on 3 May 1796 and a few weeks later set sail for Calcutta with his regiment.

India

Arriving in Calcutta in February 1797 he spent several months there, before being sent on a brief expedition to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, where he established a list of new hygiene precautions for his men to deal with the unfamiliar climate. Returning in November to India, he learnt that his elder brother Richard
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
Richard Colley Wesley, later Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, KG, PC, PC , styled Viscount Wellesley from birth until 1781, was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator....

, now known as Lord Mornington, had been appointed as the new Governor-General of India
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

.

In 1798 he changed the spelling of his surname to "Wellesley", up to this time he was still known as Wesley, which his oldest brother considered the ancient and proper spelling.

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

As part of the campaign to extend the rule of the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

, the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War was a war in South India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the British East India Company under the Earl of Mornington....

 broke out in 1798 against the Sultan of Mysore
Kingdom of Mysore
The Kingdom of Mysore was a kingdom of southern India, traditionally believed to have been founded in 1399 in the vicinity of the modern city of Mysore. The kingdom, which was ruled by the Wodeyar family, initially served as a vassal state of the Vijayanagara Empire...

, Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan , also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. He was the son of Hyder Ali, at that time an officer in the Mysorean army, and his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa...

. Arthur's brother Richard ordered that an armed force be sent to capture Seringapatam and defeat Tipu. Under the command of General Harris
George Harris, 1st Baron Harris
George Harris, 1st Baron Harris GCB was a British soldier.Harris was the son of the Reverend George Harris, curate of Brasted, Kent. He was educated at Westminster School and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned to the Royal Artillery in 1760, transferring to an ensigncy in...

, some 24,000 troops were dispatched to Madras (to join an equal force being sent from Bombay in the west). Arthur and the 33rd sailed to join them in August.

After extensive and careful logistic preparation (which would become one of Wellesley's main attributes) the 33rd left with the main force in December and travelled across 250 miles (402.3 km) of jungle from Madras to Mysore. On account of his brother, during the journey, Wellesley was given an additional command, that of chief advisor to the Nizam of Hyderabad
Hyderabad State
-After Indian independence :When India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan came into existence in 1947, the British left the local rulers of the princely states the choice of whether to join one of the new dominions or to remain independent...

's army (sent to accompany the British force). This position was to cause friction amongst many of the senior officers (some of whom were senior to Wellesley). Much of this friction was put to rest after the Battle of Mallavelly
Battle of Mallavelly
The Battle of Mallavelly was fought on 27 March 1799 between forces of the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War...

, some 20 miles (32.2 km) from Seringapatam, in which Harris's army attacked a large part of the sultan's army. During the battle, Wellesley led his men, in a line of battle of two ranks, against the enemy to a gentle ridge and gave the order to fire. After an extensive repetition of volleys, followed by a bayonet charge, the 33rd, in conjunction with the rest of Harris's force, forced Tipu's infantry to retreat.
Seringapatam

Immediately after their arrival at Seringapatam
Srirangapatna
Srirangapatna is a town in Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka...

 on 5 April 1799, the Battle of Seringapatam began and Wellesley was ordered to lead a night attack on the village of Sultanpettah, adjacent to the fortress to clear the way for the artillery. Because of the enemy's strong defensive preparations, and the darkness, with the resulting confusion, the attack failed with 25 casualties. Wellesley suffered a minor injury to his knee from a spent musket-ball. Although they would reattack successfully the next day, after time to scout ahead the enemy's positions, the affair had an impact on Wellesley. He resolved "never to attack an enemy who is preparing and strongly posted, and whose posts have not been reconnoitred by daylight".

Lewin Bentham Bowring
Lewin Bentham Bowring
Lewin Bentham Bowring was a British civil servant in India who served as commissioner of Mysore between 1862 and 1870. He was also an author and man of letters.- Family :...

 gives this alternative account:
A few weeks later, after extensive artillery bombardment, a breach was opened in the main walls of the fortress of Seringapatam. An attack led by Major-General Baird
Sir David Baird, 1st Baronet
General Sir David Baird, 1st Baronet GCB was a British military leader.-Military career:He was born at Newbyth House in Haddingtonshire, Scotland, the son of an Edinburgh merchant family, and entered the British Army in 1772. He was sent to India in 1779 with the 73rd Highlanders, in which he...

 secured the fortress. Wellesley secured the rear of the advance, posting guards at the breach and then stationed his regiment at the main palace. After hearing news of the death of the Tipu Sultan, Wellesley was the first at the scene to confirm his death, checking his pulse. Over the coming day, Wellesley grew increasingly concerned over the lack of discipline amongst his men, who drank and pillaged the fortress and city. To restore order, several soldiers were flogged
Flagellation
Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. Specialised implements for it include rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails and the sjambok...

 and four hanged
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

.

After battle and the resulting end of the war, the main force under General Harris left Seringapatam and Wellesley, aged 30, stayed behind to command the area as the new Governor of Seringapatam and Mysore. He was promoted to brigadier-general on 17 July 1801. He took residence within the Sultan's summer palace and reformed the tax and justice systems in his province to maintain order and prevent bribery. He also hunted down the mercenary 'King' Dhoondiah Waugh, who had escaped from prison in Seringapatam during the battle. Wellesley, with command of four regiments, defeated Dhoondiah's larger rebel force, along with Dhoondiah himself who was killed in the battle. He paid for the future upkeep of Dhoondiah's orphaned son.

Whilst in India, Wellesley was ill for a considerable time, first with severe diarrhoea from the water and then with fever, followed by a serious skin infection caused by trichophyton
Trichophyton
The fungus genus Trichophyton is characterized by the development of both smooth-walled macro- and microconidia. Macroconidia are mostly borne laterally directly on the hyphae or on short pedicels, and are thin- or thick-walled, clavate to fusiform, and range from 4 to 8 by 8 to 50 um in size....

. He received good news when in September 1802 he learnt that he had been promoted to the rank of major-general
Major-General (United Kingdom)
Major general is a senior rank in the British Army. Since 1996 the highest position within the Royal Marines is the Commandant General Royal Marines who holds the rank of major general...

. Wellesley had been gazetted on 29 April 1802, but the news took several months to reach him by sea. He remained at Mysore until November when he was sent to command an army in the Second Anglo-Maratha War
Second Anglo-Maratha War
The Second Anglo-Maratha War was the second conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India.-Background:...

.

Second Anglo-Maratha War

Wellesley decided that he must act boldly to defeat the numerically larger force of the Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

 (as he concluded a long defensive war would ruin his army). With the logistic assembly of his army complete (24,000 men in total) he gave the order to break camp and attack the nearest Maratha fort on 8 August 1803. The fort surrendered on 12 August after an infantry attack had exploited an artillery-made breach in the wall. With the fort now in British control Wellesley was able to extend control southwards to the river Godavari.

Assaye

Splitting his army into two forces, to pursue and locate the main Marathas army, (the second force, commanded by Colonel Stevenson was far smaller) Wellesley was preparing to rejoin his forces on 24 September. His intelligence, however, reported the location of the Marathas' main army, between two rivers near Assaye
Assaye
Assaye is a small village in the Jalna district of the state of Maharashtra in western India. The village was the location of the Battle of Assaye in 1803, fought between the Maratha Confederacy and the British East India Company....

. If he waited for the arrival of his second force, the Marathas would be able to mount a retreat, so Wellesley decided to launch an attack immediately.

On 23 September, Wellesley led his forces over a ford in the river Kaitna and the Battle of Assaye
Battle of Assaye
The Battle of Assaye was a major battle of the Second Anglo-Maratha War fought between the Maratha Confederacy and the British East India Company...

 commenced. After crossing the ford the infantry was reorganised into several lines and advanced against the Maratha infantry. Wellesley ordered his cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 to exploit the flank of the Maratha army just near the village. During the battle Wellesley himself came under fire; two of his horses were shot from under him and he had to mount a third. At a crucial moment, Wellesley regrouped his forces and ordered Colonel Maxwell (later killed in the attack) to attack the eastern end of the Maratha position while Wellesley himself directed a renewed infantry attack against the centre.

An officer in the attack wrote of the importance of Wellesley's personal leadership: "The General was in the thick of the action the whole time... I never saw a man so cool and collected as he was... though I can assure you, till our troops got the order to advance the fate of the day seemed doubtful..." With some 6,000 Marathas killed or wounded, the enemy was routed (though Wellesley's force was in no condition to pursue), at a cost of 1,584 British killed or wounded. Wellesley was troubled by the loss of men and remarked that he hoped "I should not like to see again such loss as I sustained on the 23rd of September, even if attended by such gain". Years later, however, he remarked that Assaye was the best battle he ever fought.
Argaum and Gawilghur

Despite the damage done to the Maratha army, the battle did not end the war. A few months later in November, Wellesley attacked a larger force near Argaum, leading his army to victory again, with an astonishing 5,000 enemy dead at the cost of only 361 British casualties. A further successful attack at the fortress at Gawilghur
Gawilghur
Gawilghur was a well-fortified mountain stronghold of the Maratha Empire north of the Deccan Plateau, in the vicinity of Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati District, Maharashtra. It was successfully assaulted by an Anglo-Indian force commanded by Arthur Wellesley on the 15 December 1803 during the...

, combined with the victory of General Lake
Gerard Lake, 1st Viscount Lake
General Gerard Lake, 1st Viscount Lake was a British general. He commanded British forces during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and later served as Commander-in-Chief of the military in British India.-Background:...

 at Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 forced the Maratha to a peace settlement (not concluded until a year later).

Military historian, Richard Holmes, remarked that his experiences in India had an important influence on his personality and military tactics, teaching him much about military matters that would prove vital to his success in the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

. These included a strong sense of discipline through drill and order, the use of diplomacy to gain allies, and the vital necessity for a secure supply line. He also established a high regard for the acquisition of intelligence through scouts and spies. His personal tastes also developed, including dressing himself in white trousers, a dark tunic, with Hessian boots and black cocked hat (that later became synonymous as his style).

Leaving India

Wellesley had grown tired of his time in India, remarking "I have served as long in India as any man ought who can serve anywhere else". In June 1804 he applied for permission to return home and as a reward for his service in India he was made a Knight of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 in September. Whilst in India, Wellesley had amassed a fortune of £42,000 (considerable at the time), consisting mainly of prize money
Prize money
Prize money has a distinct meaning in warfare, especially naval warfare, where it was a monetary reward paid out to the crew of a ship for capturing an enemy vessel...

 from his campaign. When his brother's term as Governor-General of India ended in March 1805, the brothers returned together to England on HMS Howe
HMS Howe (1805)
HMS Howe was originally a teak-built Indian mercantile vessel, the Kaikusroo, which Admiral Edward Pellew bought in 1805 to serve as a 40-gun frigate. In 1806 the Admiralty fitted her out as a 24-gun storeship and renamed her HMS Dromedary...

. Arthur, coincidentally, stopped on his voyage at the little island of Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

 and stayed in the same building to which Napoleon I
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 would later be exiled.

Back in Britain

After returning to Britain, the Wellesley brothers were forced to defend their extravagant and unauthorised deployment of British forces in India.

Wellesley then served in the abortive Anglo-Russian expedition to north Germany in 1805, taking a brigade to Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

. Upon his return from this campaign, Wellesley received good news; owing to his new title and status, Kitty Pakenham's family had consented to his marrying her. Wellesley and Kitty were married in Dublin on 10 April 1806. The marriage would later prove to be unsatisfactory and the two would spend years apart while Wellesley was campaigning. He then took a period of extended leave from the army and was elected Tory
Tories (political faction)
The Tories were members of two political parties which existed, sequentially, in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries.-Overview:...

 member of Parliament for Rye
Rye, East Sussex
Rye is a small town in East Sussex, England, which stands approximately two miles from the open sea and is at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede...

 in January 1806. A year later, he was elected MP for Newport
Newport (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)
Newport was a parliamentary borough located in Newport , which was abolished in for the 1885 general election. It was occasionally referred to by the alternative name of Medina....

 on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 and was then appointed to serve as Chief Secretary for Ireland
Chief Secretary for Ireland
The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant, from the late 18th century until the end of British rule he was effectively the government minister with responsibility for governing Ireland; usually...

, under the Duke of Richmond
Duke of Richmond
The title Duke of Richmond is named after Richmond and its surrounding district of Richmondshire, and has been created several times in the Peerage of England for members of the royal Tudor and Stuart families...

. At the same time, he was made a privy counsellor
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

.

War on Denmark

Wellesley was in Ireland in May 1807 when he heard of the British expedition to Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. He decided to go, stepping down from his political appointments and was appointed to command an infantry brigade in the Second Battle of Copenhagen which took place in August. He fought at the Køge
Battle of Køge
The Battle of Køge was a battle on 29 August 1807 between British troops besieging Copenhagen and Danish militia raised on Sjælland. It ended in British victory and also known as the 'Træskoslaget' or 'Clogs Battle', since the poorly-equipped Danish militia threw their heavy wooden clogs away when...

, during which the men under his command took 1,500 prisoners, with Wellesley later present during the surrender.

By 30 September he had returned to England and was raised to the rank of lieutenant general
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 on 25 April 1808. In June 1808 he accepted the command of an expedition of 9,000 men. Preparing to sail for an attack on the Spanish colonies in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 (to assist the Latin American patriot Francisco de Miranda
Francisco de Miranda
Sebastián Francisco de Miranda Ravelo y Rodríguez de Espinoza , commonly known as Francisco de Miranda , was a Venezuelan revolutionary...

) his force was instead ordered to sail for Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, to take part in the Peninsular Campaign and rendezvous with 5,000 troops from Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

.

To the Peninsula

Ready for battle, he left Cork on 12 July 1808 to participate in the war against French forces in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, with his skills as a commander tested and developed. According to the historian Robin Neillands, "Wellesley had by now acquired the experience on which his later successes were founded. He knew about command from the ground up, about the importance of logistics, about campaigning in a hostile environment. He enjoyed political influence and realised the need to maintain support at home. Above all, he had gained a clear idea of how, by setting attainable objectives and relying on his own force and abilities, a campaign could be fought and won."

Peninsular War

1808

Wellesley defeated the French at the Battle of Roliça
Battle of Roliça
In the Battle of Roliça an Anglo-Portuguese army under Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated an outnumbered French army under General Henri Delaborde, near the village of Roliça in Portugal. The French retired in good order...

 and the Battle of Vimeiro
Battle of Vimeiro
In the Battle of Vimeiro the British under General Arthur Wellesley defeated the French under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro , near Lisbon, Portugal during the Peninsular War...

 in 1808 but was superseded in command immediately after the latter battle. General Dalrymple then signed the controversial Convention of Sintra
Convention of Sintra
The Convention of Cintra was an agreement signed on August 30, 1808 during the Peninsular War. By the agreement, the defeated French were allowed to evacuate their troops from Portugal without further conflict...

, which stipulated that the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 transport the French army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 out of Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 with all their loot, and insisted on the association of the only available government minister, Wellesley.
Dalrymple and Wellesley were recalled to Britain to face a Court of Enquiry. Wellesley had agreed to sign the preliminary armistice, but had not signed the convention, and was cleared.

Meanwhile, Napoleon himself entered Spain with his veteran troops to put down the revolt; the new commander of the British forces in the Peninsula, Sir John Moore
John Moore (British soldier)
Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, KB was a British soldier and General. He is best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which his force was defeated but gained a tactical advantage over a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular...

, died during the Battle of Corunna
Battle of Corunna
The Battle of Corunna refers to a battle of the Peninsular War. On January 16, 1809, a French army under Marshal Soult attacked the British under Sir John Moore...

 in January 1809.

Although overall the land war with France was not going well from a British perspective, the Peninsula was the one theatre where they, with the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, had provided strong resistance against France and her allies. This contrasted with the disastrous Walcheren expedition, which was typical of the mismanaged British operations of the time. Wellesley submitted a memorandum to Lord Castlereagh on the defence of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. He stressed its mountainous frontiers and advocated Lisbon as the main base because the Royal Navy could help to defend it. Castlereagh and the cabinet approved the memo, appointed him head of all British forces in Portugal, and raised their number from 10,000 to 26,000 men.

1809

Wellesley arrived in Lisbon on 22 April 1809 onboard HMS Surveillante
French frigate Surveillante (1802)
The Surveillante entered service as a 40-gun Virginie class frigate of the French Navy. She was surrendered to the British in 1803, after which she served in the Royal Navy, classed under the British system as a 38 gun vessel, until 1814 when she was decommissioned...

, after narrowly escaping shipwreck. Reinforced, he took to the offensive. In the Second Battle of Porto he crossed the Douro
Douro
The Douro or Duero is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto...

 river in a daylight coup de main
Coup de main
A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow. The United States Department of Defense defines it as:The literal translation from French means a stroke or blow of the hand...

, and routed Marshal Soult
Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult
Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia , the Hand of Iron, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804. He was one of only six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France...

's French troops in Porto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

.

With Portugal secured, Wellesley advanced into Spain to unite with General Cuesta's forces. The combined allied force prepared for an assault on Victor's I Corps
I Corps (Grande Armée)
The I Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit during the Napoleonic Wars. It were different troops in French service commanded by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte in 1805 and 1806, General Claude Victor-Perrin in 1807 and Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout during the 1812 invasion of Russia.- Size...

 at Talavera, 23 July. Cuesta, however, was reluctant to agree, and was only persuaded to advance on the following day. The delay allowed the French to withdraw, but Cuesta sent his army headlong after Victor, and found himself faced by almost the entire French army in New Castile—Victor had been reinforced by the Toledo and Madrid garrisons. The Spanish retreated precipitously, necessitating two British divisions advancing to cover their retreat.

The next day, 27 July, at the Battle of Talavera the French advanced in three columns and were repulsed several times throughout the day by Wellesley, but at a heavy cost to the British force. In the aftermath Marshal Soult's army was discovered to be advancing south, threatening to cut Wellesley off from Portugal. Wellesley moved east on 3 August to block it, leaving 1,500 wounded in the care of the Spanish, intending to confront Soult before finding out that the French were in fact 30,000 strong. The British commander sent the Light Brigade on a dash to hold the bridge over the Tagus River at Almaraz. With communications and supply from Lisbon secured for now, Wellesley considered joining with Cuesta again but found out that his Spanish ally had abandoned the British wounded to the French and was thoroughly uncooperative, promising and then refusing to supply the British forces, aggravating Wellesley and causing considerable friction between the British and their Spanish allies. The lack of supplies, coupled with the threat of French reinforcement (including the possible inclusion of Napoleon himself) in the spring, led to the British deciding to retreat into Portugal.

1810

In 1810, a newly-enlarged French army under Marshal André Masséna
André Masséna
André Masséna 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars....

 invaded Portugal. British opinion both at home and in the army was negative and there were suggestions that they must evacuate Portugal. Instead, Wellington first slowed the French down at Buçaco
Battle of Buçaco
The Battle of Bussaco resulted in the defeat of French forces by Lord Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese Army, in Portugal during the Peninsular War....

; he then prevented them from taking the Lisbon Peninsula by the construction of his massive earthworks, the Lines of Torres Vedras
Lines of Torres Vedras
The Lines of Torres Vedras were lines of forts built in secrecy to defend Lisbon during the Peninsular War. Named after the nearby town of Torres Vedras, they were ordered by Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington, constructed by Sir Richard Fletcher, 1st Baronet and his Portuguese workers between...

, which had been assembled in complete secrecy and had flanks guarded by the Royal Navy. The baffled and starving French invasion forces retreated after six months. Wellington's pursuit was frustrated by a series of reverses inflicted by Marshal Ney
Michel Ney
Michel Ney , 1st Duc d'Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of France created by Napoleon I...

 in a much-lauded rear guard
Rear guard
A rear guard or rearguard is that part of a military force that protects it from attack from the rear, either during an advance or withdrawal...

 campaign. Ney worsted Wellington at Pombal
Battle of Pombal
The Battle of Pombal was a sharp skirmish during Marshal Masséna's retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras, the first in a series of lauded rearguard actions fought by Michel Ney...

 and Redinha
Battle of Redinha
The Battle of Redinha was a rearguard action which took place on March 12, 1811, during Masséna's retreat from Portugal, by a French division under Marshal Ney against a considerably larger Anglo-Portuguese force under Wellington. Challenging the Allies with only one or two divisions, Ney's 7,000...

, allowing Masséna to evade Wellington and escape from Portugal.

1811

In 1811 Masséna returned toward Portugal to relieve Almeida; Wellington narrowly checked the French at the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
In the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro , the British-Portuguese Army under Viscount Wellington checked an attempt by the French Army of Portugal under Marshal André Masséna to relieve the besieged city of Almeida.-Background:...

. Simultaneously, his subordinate, Viscount Beresford
William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford
General William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, 1st Marquis of Campo Maior, GCB, GCH, GCTE, PC , was a British soldier and politician...

, fought Soult's 'Army of the South' to a mutual bloody standstill at the Battle of Albuera
Battle of Albuera
The Battle of Albuera was an indecisive battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.From...

. In May, Wellington was promoted to full General on 31 July for his services. The French abandoned Almeida
Siege of Almeida (1811)
The Siege of Almeida took place during the Peninsular War portion of the Napoleonic Wars. After a month-long blockade, the French garrison under Brigadier-General Antoine Brenier escaped, leaving the fortress in Anglo-Portuguese hands.Almeida is located in eastern Portugal, near the border with...

, slipping away from British pursuit, but retained the twin Spanish fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo
Ciudad Rodrigo
Ciudad Rodrigo is a small cathedral city in the province of Salamanca, in western Spain, with a population of about 14,000. It is the seat of a judicial district as well....

 and Badajoz
Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

, the 'Keys' guarding the roads through the mountain passes into Portugal.

1812

In 1812 Wellington finally captured Ciudad Rodrigo by a rapid movement as the French went into winter quarters, storming it before they could react. He then moved south quickly, besieged the fortress of Badajoz for a month and captured it during one bloody night. On viewing the aftermath of the Storming of Badajoz
Battle of Badajoz (1812)
In the Battle of Badajoz , the Anglo-Portuguese Army, under the Earl of Wellington, besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison....

, Wellington lost his composure and cried at the sight of the bloody carnage in the breaches.

His army now was a veteran British force reinforced in by units of the retrained Portuguese army. Campaigning in Spain, he routed the French at the Battle of Salamanca
Battle of Salamanca
The Battle of Salamanca saw Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish armies under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles south of Salamanca, Spain on July 22, 1812 during the Peninsular War....

, taking advantage of a minor French mispositioning. The victory liberated the Spanish capital of Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. As reward, he was created "Earl" and then "Marquess of Wellington" and given command of all Allied armies in Spain. Wellington attempted to take the vital fortress of Burgos
Siege of Burgos
At the Siege of Burgos, from 19 September to 21 October 1812, the Anglo-Portuguese Army led by General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington tried to capture the castle of Burgos from its French garrison under the command of General of Brigade Jean-Louis Dubreton. The French repulsed every...

, which linked Madrid to France. But failure, due in part to a lack of siege guns, forced him into a headlong retreat with the loss of over 2,000 casualties.

The French abandoned Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, and combined the troops of Soult and Marmont outnumbering the British, to put the British forces into a precarious position. Wellington withdrew his army and, joined with the smaller corps commanded by Rowland Hill
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill
General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill of Almaraz GCB, GCH served in the Napoleonic Wars as a trusted brigade, division and corps commander under the command of the Duke of Wellington. He became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1829.-Early career:Educated at a school in Chester, Hill was...

, began to retreat to Portugal. Marshal Soult declined to attack. Despite the withdrawal, the victory at Salamanca had forced the French to cede control of southern Spain, and the temporary loss of Madrid damaged the prestige of the Bonapartist
Bonapartist
In French political history, Bonapartism has two meanings. In a strict sense, this term refers to people who aimed to restore the French Empire under the House of Bonaparte, the Corsican family of Napoleon Bonaparte and his nephew Louis...

 regime.

1813

In 1813, Wellington led a new offensive, this time against the French line of communications. He struck through the hills north of Burgos, the Tras os Montes
Trás-os-Montes (region)
Trás-os-Montes was one of the 13 regions of continental Portugal identified by geographer Amorim Girão, in a study published between 1927 and 1930.Together with Alto Douro it formed Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province.- See also :...

, and switched his supply line from Portugal to Santander
Santander, Cantabria
The port city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. Located east of Gijón and west of Bilbao, the city has a population of 183,446 .-History:...

 on Spain's north coast; this led to the French abandoning Madrid and Burgos. Continuing to outflank the French lines, Wellington caught up with and smashed the army of King Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

 in the Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

, for which he was promoted to field marshal on 21 June. He personally led a column against the French centre, while other columns were commanded by Sir Thomas Graham
Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch
General Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch, GCB, GCMG, GCTE was a Scottish aristocrat, politician and British Army officer....

 and Rowland Hill
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill
General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill of Almaraz GCB, GCH served in the Napoleonic Wars as a trusted brigade, division and corps commander under the command of the Duke of Wellington. He became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1829.-Early career:Educated at a school in Chester, Hill was...

 and looped around the French right and left (this battle became the subject of Beethoven's opus 114, Wellington's Victory
Wellington's Victory
Wellington's Victory, or, the Battle of Vitoria, Op. 91 is a minor orchestral work composed by Ludwig van Beethoven to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory over Joseph Bonaparte's forces at the Battle of Vitoria in Basqueland on June 21, 1813...

). The British troops broke ranks to loot the abandoned French wagons instead of pursuing the beaten foe. This gross abandonment of discipline caused an enraged Wellington to write in a famous dispatch to Earl Bathurst
Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst
Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst KG PC was a British politician.-Background and education:Lord Bathurst was the elder son of Henry Bathurst, 2nd Earl Bathurst, by his wife Tryphena, daughter of Thomas Scawen...

, "We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers".

Although later, when his temper had cooled, he extended his comment to praise the men under his command saying that though many of the men were, "the scum of the earth; it is really wonderful that we should have made them to the fine fellows they are".

After taking the small fortresses of Pamplona
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

, Wellington invested San Sebastián
Siege of San Sebastian
In the Siege of San Sebastián Allied forces under the command of General Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington captured the city of San Sebastián in northern Spain from its French garrison under Brigadier-General Louis Rey...

 but was frustrated by the obstinate French garrison, losing 693 dead and 316 captured in a failed assault and suspending the siege at the end of July.
Soult's relief attempt was blocked by the Spanish Army of Galicia at San Marcial
Battle of San Marcial
At the Battle of San Marcial, 31 August 1813, the Spanish Army of Galicia under General Freire turned back MarshalNicolas Soult's last major offensive against Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington's allied army.-Background:...

, allowing the Allies to consolidate their position and tighten the ring around the city, which fell in September after a second spirited defence.
Wellington then forced Soult's demoralised and battered army into a fighting retreat into France, punctuated by battles at the Pyrenees
Battle of the Pyrenees
The Battle of the Pyrenees was a large-scale offensive launched on 25 July 1813 by Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult from the Pyrénées region on Emperor Napoleon’s order, in the hope of relieving French garrisons under siege at Pamplona and San Sebastián...

, Bidassoa
Battle of the Bidassoa (1813)
In the Battle of the Bidassoa on 7 October 1813 the Allied army of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wrested a foothold on French soil from Nicolas Soult's French army. The Allied troops overran the French lines behind the Bidassoa River on the coast and along the Pyrenees crest between the...

 and Nivelle
Battle of Nivelle
The Battle of Nivelle took place in front of the River Nivelle near the end of the Peninsular War . After the Allied siege of San Sebastian, Wellington's 80,000 British, Portuguese and Spanish troops were in hot pursuit of Marshal Soult who only had 60,000 men to place in a 20-mile perimeter...

.
Wellington invaded southern France, winning at the Nive
Battle of the Nive
The Battles of the Nive were fought towards the end of the Peninsular War. Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish army defeated Marshal Nicolas Soult's French army in a series of battles near the city of Bayonne.Unusually, for most of the battle, Wellington...

 and Orthez
Battle of Orthez
The Battle of Orthez saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington defeat a French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France near the end of the Peninsular War.-Preliminaries:...

.
Wellington's final battle against his rival Soult occurred at Toulouse
Battle of Toulouse (1814)
The Battle of Toulouse was one of the final battles of the Napoleonic Wars, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition...

, where the Allied divisions were badly mauled storming the French redoubt
Redoubt
A redoubt is a fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on earthworks, though others are constructed of stone or brick. It is meant to protect soldiers outside the main defensive line and can be a permanent structure or a...

s, losing some 4,600 men. Despite this momentary victory, news arrived of Napoleon's defeat and abdication and Soult, seeing no reason to continue the fighting, agreed on a ceasefire with Wellington, allowing Soult to evacuate the city.

Aftermath

Hailed as the conquering hero by the British, Wellington was created "Duke of Wellington", a title still held by his descendants (as he did not return to England until the Peninsular War was over, he was awarded all his patents of nobility in a unique ceremony lasting a full day). Although Wellesley spent nearly six years driving the French Army from Spain and removing Joseph Bonaparte from the Spanish throne, he has received little recognition in Spain: history, as taught in Spanish schools, minimizes his contribution and those of the British and Portuguese soldiers that fought with him. He received some recognition during his lifetime (the title of "Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo") and the Spanish King Ferdinand VII allowed him to keep part of the works of art from the Royal Collection which he had recovered from the French. His equestrian portrait features prominently in the Monument to the Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

, in present-day Vitoria-Gasteiz.

He was appointed ambassador to France, then took Lord Castlereagh's
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, KG, GCH, PC, PC , usually known as Lord CastlereaghThe name Castlereagh derives from the baronies of Castlereagh and Ards, in which the manors of Newtownards and Comber were located...

 place as first plenipotentiary
Plenipotentiary
The word plenipotentiary has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent his government as a prerogative...

 to the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

, where he strongly advocated allowing France to keep its place in the European balance of power. On 2 January 1815 the title of his Knighthood of the Bath was converted to Knight Grand Cross
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 upon the expansion of that order.

Waterloo campaign

On 26 February 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba
Elba
Elba is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino. The largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Elba is also part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia...

 and returned to France. He regained control of the country by May and faced a renewed alliance against him. Wellington left Vienna for what became known as the Waterloo Campaign. He arrived in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 to take command of the British-German army and their allied Dutch-Belgians, all stationed alongside the Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n forces of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt , Graf , later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall who led his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 with the Duke of Wellington.He is...

.

Napoleon's tactics have been criticised as lacking in the brilliance he had exhibited earlier in his career. Given the forces arrayed against him, including the Russians and Austrians mobilising in the east, the choices that confronted him, and his responses to them, were brutally clear: he would use his "central position"; after he had defeated the Prussians at Ligny on 16 June, and compelled Wellington's forces to retreat, Napoleon's aim was to keep the Prussians and the Allies from combining in the same battle, if he was to have any chance of victory and the possibility of a peace with Austria and Russia.

The French invaded Belgium, defeated the Prussians at Ligny
Battle of Ligny
The Battle of Ligny was the last victory of the military career of Napoleon I. In this battle, French troops of the Armée du Nord under Napoleon's command, defeated a Prussian army under Field Marshal Blücher, near Ligny in present-day Belgium. The bulk of the Prussian army survived, however, and...

, and fought an indecisive battle with Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras
Battle of Quatre Bras
The Battle of Quatre Bras, between Wellington's Anglo-Dutch army and the left wing of the Armée du Nord under Marshal Michel Ney, was fought near the strategic crossroads of Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815.- Prelude :...

. These events compelled the Anglo-Allied army to retreat to a ridge on the Brussels road, just south of the small town of Waterloo
Waterloo, Belgium
Waterloo is a Walloon municipality located in the province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium. On December 31, 2009, Waterloo had a total population of 29,573. The total area is 21.03 km² which gives a population density of 1,407 inhabitants per km²...

. On 17 June, a torrential rain soaked in, hampering movement. The next day, on 18 June, the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 was fought. This was the first time Wellington had encountered Napoleon, and he commanded an Anglo-Dutch-German army that consisted of approximately 73,000 troops, 26,000 (36 percent) of whom were British.

The battle

Napoleon wished to divide Wellington and Blücher, rather than drive them together. His plan was to pin Wellington's right with an attack on Hougoumont
Hougoumont
Hougoumont was a fortified farm held by Wellington's army in the Battle of Waterloo. It may also refer to:* Hougoumont , a convict ship;...

, then shatter Wellington's left position with an all-out infantry assault. This tactic had been successful with other opponents earlier in Napoleon's career.

But Hougoumont held out, defended by the Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

, and Scots Guards, and the infantry attack by the French was broken up by Allied cavalry, in badly controlled charges which resulted in many losses to the allies. Napoleon's only option left was an all-out assault on the Allied centre. Wellington's reorganisation of his line was taken as the prelude to retreat, and waves of French cavalry attacked the Allies, which drove them into scattered defensive infantry square
Infantry square
An infantry square is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order when threatened with cavalry attack.-Very early history:The formation was described by Plutarch and used by the Romans, and was developed from an earlier circular formation...

 formations. This type of massed cavalry attack relied almost entirely on psychological shock for effect. Close artillery support could disrupt infantry squares and allow cavalry to penetrate; at Waterloo, however, co-operation between the French cavalry and artillery was not well coordinated. The French artillery did not get close enough to the Anglo-allied infantry in sufficient numbers to be decisive.

Napoleon's tactical skills are deemed to have been inferior to his skills as a strategist according to historians—coordination of the various branches of the French army at Waterloo was haphazard throughout, and at this moment decisively lacking. The squares held, the spaces between them protected by remnants of the Allied cavalry, and gradually the French cavalry assault, obliged to charge uphill through muddy terrain criss-crossed by sunken roads, petered out. The Prussians had begun driving through Napoleon's outposts, and it was now clear that the Prussians had fought their way through to the battlefield.
Napoleon made a last attempt to smash Wellington's centre before his two enemies could achieve any kind of linkage. At about six in the evening, the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte, lynch pin of the Allied front, was finally taken. Wellington redrew the remnants of his front and prepared for the final assault; he did not know that the dark uniforms visible in the distance were the forces of Blücher rather than those of Grouchy. Napoleon sent forward the Old Guard, held in reserve to provide the decisive blow, and it branched out in a two-pronged attack to finish off what Napoleon believed to be an Allied army on the verge of annihilation. But Wellington had prepared a large-scale ambush for the Guard; they ran into local counter-attacks and enfilade fire from British infantry, hidden behind slopes. Unprepared and completely outnumbered, the Guard faltered, was checked, and triggered a French panic.

Wellington ordered an advance of the Allied line, just as the Prussians were overrunning the French positions to the east, and what remained of the French army abandoned the field in disorder. Wellington and Blücher met at the inn of La Belle Alliance, on the north-south road which bisected the battlefield, and it was agreed that the relatively rested Prussians should pursue the retreating French army back to France.

Wellington's army had held off the French attacks for several hours before Blücher's arrival, but there is still debate about whether the Allied victory would have been so crushing had it not been for the arrival of the Prussian Army. A third of Napoleon's army, under Marshal Grouchy, were engaged against the Prussians at Wavre some miles to the east, while 50,000 under Blücher attacked the French right. Considering these factors, and the fact that about a third of Wellington's army were German, German historian Peter Hofschröer
Peter Hofschröer
Peter Hofschröer is a historian who specialises in the Napoleonic Wars. He is a graduate of King's College London and currently lives in Austria....

 went so far as to describe Waterloo a "German Victory".

Controversy

Much historical discussion has been made about Napoleon's decision to send 33,000 troops under Marshal Grouchy to intercept the Prussians, but—having defeated Blücher at Ligny on 16 June and forced the Allies to retreat in divergent directions—Napoleon may have been strategically astute in a judgement that he would have been unable to beat the combined Allied forces on one battlefield. Wellington's comparable strategic gamble was to leave 17,000 troops and artillery, mostly Dutch and Belgian, 13 km (8.1 mi) away at Hal, north-west of Mont-Saint-Jean, in case of a French advance up the Mons-Hal-Brussels road. The potential benefits of this decision were not only to provide Wellington with a reserve with which to fight again the following day, should the action on 18 June prove inconclusive, but to protect his line of retreat to the sea.

Many later attempts, some of them made to Wellington in person, also suggested that, by his own standards, Waterloo had been chaotic. But Wellington always maintained that his strategy had been clear from the beginning. He wanted to hold his position against everything Napoleon could bring against it, and to counter-attack the positions of the French at the right time, with the aim of ending the battle, a plan he had achieved. He had agreed to make a stand at Mont-Saint-Jean only on condition the Prussians would march west to link up with him, and he only received information late in the day that the Prussians were in fact making inroads on the French right.

Aftermath

On 22 June, the French Emperor abdicated again, and was transported by the British to Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

, an island in the Atlantic. Waterloo marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars and was included in the classic work The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World
The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World
The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo is a book written by Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy and published in 1851. This book tells the story of the fifteen military engagements which, according to the author, had a significant impact on world history.-Chapters:Each...

(1851) by Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy
Edward Shepherd Creasy
Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy was an English historian. He was born in Bexley, England. He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge and called to the Bar in 1837. In 1840, he began teaching history at the University of London. He was knighted in 1860 and assumed the position of...

.

The Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1815)
Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the...

 was signed on 20 November 1815.

Political career

Wellington entered politics again in 1819, when he was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance
Master-General of the Ordnance
The Master-General of the Ordnance was a very senior British military position before 1855, when the Board of Ordnance was abolished.-Responsibilities:...

 in the Tory
Tories (political faction)
The Tories were members of two political parties which existed, sequentially, in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries.-Overview:...

 government of Lord Liverpool. In 1827 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Army
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief , was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff . From 1870, the C-in-C was subordinate to...

. He retained the position until his death.

Prime Minister

Along with Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846...

, Wellington became an increasingly influential member of the Tory party, and in 1828 he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

. Wellington was the first Irish-born person to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Wellington is erroneously reputed to have responded to comments regarding his Irish birth by stating that "being born in a stable does not make one a horse". This was in fact a quote made about him by Irish Nationalist politician Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

.

During his first seven months as prime minister he chose not to live in the official residence at 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

, finding it too small. He moved in only because his own home, Apsley House
Apsley House
Apsley House, also known as Number One, London, is the former London residence of the Dukes of Wellington. It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic interchange and Wellington Arch...

, required extensive renovations. During this time he was largely instrumental in the foundation of King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

.

As prime minister, Wellington was conservative, fearing the anarchy of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 would spread to England. The highlight of his term was Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws...

; the granting of almost full civil rights to Catholics in the United Kingdom. The change was forced by the landslide by-election
By-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....

 win of Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

, an Irish Catholic proponent of emancipation, who was elected despite not being legally allowed to sit in Parliament. The Earl of Winchilsea
George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea
George William Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea, 5th Earl of Nottingham , politician.Hatton, born at Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire, on 19 May 1791, was grandson of Edward Finch-Hatton, and son of George Finch-Hatton of Eastwell Park, near Ashford, Kent, M.P...

 accused the Duke of, "an insidious design for the infringement of our liberties and the introduction of Popery into every department of the State". Wellington responded by immediately challenging Winchilsea to a duel
Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

. On 21 March 1829, Wellington and Winchilsea met on Battersea fields
Battersea Park
Battersea Park is a 200 acre green space at Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth in England. It is situated on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Chelsea, and was opened in 1858....

. When it came time to fire, the Duke took aim and Winchilsea kept his arm down. The Duke fired wide to the right. Accounts differ as to whether he missed on purpose; Wellington, noted for his poor aim, claimed he did, other reports more sympathetic to Winchilsea claimed he had aimed to kill. Winchilsea did not fire, a plan he and his second almost certainly decided upon before the duel. Honour was saved and Winchilsea wrote Wellington an apology. In the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, facing stiff opposition, Wellington spoke for Catholic Emancipation, giving one of the best speeches of his career. He had grown up in Ireland, and later governed it, so had some understanding of the grievances of the Catholic communities there. The Catholic Relief Act 1829
Catholic Relief Act 1829
The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 24 March 1829, and received Royal Assent on 13 April. It was the culmination of the process of Catholic Emancipation throughout the nation...

 was passed with a majority of 105. Many Tories voted against the Act, and it passed only with the help of the Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

.

The nickname "Iron Duke" originates from this period, when he experienced a high degree of personal and political unpopularity. Its repeated use in Freeman's Journal
Freeman's Journal
The Freeman's Journal was the oldest nationalist newspaper in Ireland. It was founded in 1763 by Charles Lucas and was identified with radical 18th century Protestant patriot politicians Henry Grattan and Henry Flood...

throughout June 1830 appears to bear reference to his resolute political will, with taints of disapproval from its Irish editors. His residence at Apsley House was targeted by a mob of demonstrators on 27 April 1831 and again on 12 October, leaving his windows smashed. Iron shutters were installed in June 1832 to prevent further damage by crowds angry over rejection of the Reform Bill, which he strongly opposed. These events are commonly thought to be the origin of his nickname.

Wellington's government fell in 1830. In the summer and autumn of that year, a wave of riots
Swing Riots
The Swing Riots were a widespread uprising by agricultural workers; it began with the destruction of threshing machines in the Elham Valley area of East Kent in the summer of 1830, and by early December had spread throughout the whole of southern England and East Anglia.As well as the attacks on...

 swept the country. The Whigs had been out of power for most years since the 1770s, and saw political reform in response to the unrest as the key to their return. Wellington stuck to the Tory policy of no reform and no expansion of suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

, and as a result lost a vote of no confidence on 15 November 1830. He was replaced as Prime Minister by Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC , known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the...

.

The Reform Act

The Whigs introduced the first Reform Bill
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 whilst Wellington and the Tories worked to prevent its passage. The bill passed in the British House of Commons, but was defeated in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

. An election followed in direct response, and the Whigs were returned with an even larger majority. A second Reform Act was introduced, and defeated in the same way, and another wave of near insurrection swept the country. During this time, Wellington was greeted by a hostile reaction from the crowds at the opening
Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway took place on 15 September 1830. Work on the L&M had begun in the 1820s, to connect the major industrial city of Manchester with the nearest deep water port at the Port of Liverpool, away...

 of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Liverpool and Manchester Railway
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the world's first inter-city passenger railway in which all the trains were timetabled and were hauled for most of the distance solely by steam locomotives. The line opened on 15 September 1830 and ran between the cities of Liverpool and Manchester in North...

. The Whig Government fell in 1832 and Wellington was unable to form a Tory Government partly because of a run on the Bank of England. This left King William IV no choice but to restore Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC , known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the...

 to the premiership. Eventually the bill passed the House of Lords after the King threatened to fill that House with newly created Whig peers if it were not. Wellington was never reconciled to the change; when Parliament first met after the first election under the widened franchise, Wellington is reported to have said "I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life".

Conservative Government

Wellington was gradually superseded as leader of the Tories by Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846...

, whilst the party evolved into the Conservatives. When the Tories were returned to power in 1834, Wellington declined to become Prime Minister and Peel was selected instead. However, Peel was in Italy at that time and for three weeks in November and December 1834, Wellington acted as interim leader, taking the responsibilities of Prime Minister and most of the other ministries. In Peel's first cabinet (1834–1835), Wellington became Foreign Secretary, while in the second (1841–1846) he was a Minister without Portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

 and Leader of the House of Lords
Leader of the House of Lords
The Leader of the House of Lords is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Lords. The role is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, usually one of the sinecure offices of Lord President of the Council,...

.

Retirement

Wellington retired from political life in 1846, although he remained Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief , was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff . From 1870, the C-in-C was subordinate to...

, and returned briefly to the spotlight in 1848 when he helped organise a military force to protect London during that year of European revolution.

The Conservative Party had split over the Repeal of the Corn Laws
Corn Laws
The Corn Laws were trade barriers designed to protect cereal producers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports between 1815 and 1846. The barriers were introduced by the Importation Act 1815 and repealed by the Importation Act 1846...

 in 1846, with Wellington and most of the former Cabinet still supporting Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846...

, but most of the MPs led by Lord Derby supporting a protectionist stance. Early in 1852 Wellington, by then very deaf, gave Derby's first government
Who? Who? Ministry
The First Derby Ministry, known as the "Who? Who?" Ministry, was a short-lived British Conservative Government which was in power for a matter of months in 1852. Lord Derby was the Prime Minister and Benjamin Disraeli served as Chancellor of the Exchequer...

 its nickname by shouting "Who? Who?" as the list of inexperienced Cabinet Ministers was read out in the House of Lords.

Death

Wellington died, aged 83, of the after effects of a stroke culminating in a series of epileptic seizures, on 14 September 1852, at Walmer Castle
Walmer Castle
Walmer Castle was built by Henry VIII in 1539–1540 as an artillery fortress to counter the threat of invasion from Catholic France and Spain. It was part of his programme to create a chain of coastal defences along England's coast known as the Device Forts or as Henrician Castles...

—his honorary residence as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is a ceremonial official in the United Kingdom. The post dates from at least the 12th century but may be older. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports was originally in charge of the Cinque Ports, a group of five port towns on the southeast coast of England...

, which he enjoyed and at which he hosted Queen Victoria.

Funeral

Although in life he hated travelling by rail (after witnessing the death of William Huskisson
William Huskisson
William Huskisson PC was a British statesman, financier, and Member of Parliament for several constituencies, including Liverpool...

, one of the first railway accident casualties), his body was then taken by train to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, where he was given a state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

—one of only a handful of British subjects to be honoured in that way (other examples are Lord Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

 and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

)—and the last heraldic state funeral to be held in Britain. The funeral took place on 18 November 1852. At his funeral there was hardly any space to stand because of the number of people attending, and the effusive praise given him in Tennyson's "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington" attests to his stature at the time of his death. He was buried in a sarcophagus
Sarcophagus
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

 of luxulyanite in St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 next to Lord Nelson.

Wellington's casket was decorated with banners which were made for his funeral procession. Originally, there was one for Prussia, which was removed during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and never reinstated.

There is an account of his death, lying in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 and funeral in Joseph Drew
Joseph Drew
Joseph Drew was an English newspaper editor, steamboat proprietor, author and lecturer.Drew was born in Deptford, son of Joseph Drew of the Royal Navy dockyard service. Following the shutting down of Deptford Dockyard in 1830, his family moved to Melcombe Regis where he worked in his father's...

's biography of Wellington.

After his death Irish and English newspapers disputed whether Wellington had been born an Irishman or Englishman. During his life he had openly disliked being referred to as an "Irishman".

Owing to its links with Wellington, as the former commanding officer and colonel of the regiment, the title "33rd (The Duke of Wellington's
Duke of Wellington's Regiment
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army, forming part of the King's Division.In 1702 Colonel George Hastings, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, was authorised to raise a new regiment, which he did in and around the city of Gloucester. As was the custom in those days...

) Regiment" was granted to the 33rd Regiment of Foot, on 18 June 1853 (the 38th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo) by Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

.

Traits

Wellington always rose early, he "couldn't bear to lie awake in bed" once awake, even if the army was not on the march. Even when he returned to civilian life after 1815, he slept in a camp bed, reflecting his lack of regard for creature comforts—it remains on display in Walmer Castle. General Miguel de Álava
Miguel de Alava
Don Miguel Ricardo de Álava y Esquivel Order of Santiago, Order of Charles III, KCB, MWO was a Spanish General and statesman. He was born in the Basque Country of Spain, at Vitoria-Gasteiz, in 1770...

 complained that Wellington said so often that the army would march "at daybreak" and dine on "cold meat", that he began to dread those two phrases. While on campaign, he seldom ate anything between breakfast and dinner. During the retreat to Portugal in 1811, he subsisted, to the despair of his staff who dined with him, on "cold meat and bread". He was, however, renowned for the quality of the wine he drank and served, often drinking a bottle with his dinner—not a great quantity by the standards of his day.

He took up high-technology and mechanical innovations and was one of the first British soldiers to employ shrapnel shells and congreve rocket
Congreve rocket
The Congreve Rocket was a British military weapon designed and developed by Sir William Congreve in 1804.The rocket was developed by the British Royal Arsenal following the experiences of the Second, Third and Fourth Mysore Wars. The wars fought between the British East India Company and the...

s; he was disappointed with the latter, as they were wildly inaccurate. He employed a full time officer to decrypt intercepted French messages. Conversely, although well organised, his supply trains comprised pack mules and ox carts with ungreased axles, plus cargo boats if rivers could be used.

He rarely showed emotion in public, and often appeared condescending to those less competent or less well-born than himself (which was nearly everyone). However, Álava was a witness to an incident just before the Battle of Salamanca
Battle of Salamanca
The Battle of Salamanca saw Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish armies under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles south of Salamanca, Spain on July 22, 1812 during the Peninsular War....

. Wellington was eating a chicken leg while observing the manoeuvres of the French army though a spyglass
Telescope
A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

. He spotted an overextension in the French left flank, and realised he could launch a successful attack there. He threw the drumstick in the air and shouted "Les français sont perdus!" ("The French are lost!"). Another time, after the Battle of Toulouse
Battle of Toulouse (1814)
The Battle of Toulouse was one of the final battles of the Napoleonic Wars, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition...

, when an aide brought him the news of Napoleon's abdication, he broke into an impromptu flamenco
Flamenco
Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which has its foundation in Andalusian music and dance and in whose evolution Andalusian Gypsies played an important part....

 dance, spinning around on his heels and clicking his fingers.

Despite his famous stern countenance and iron-handed discipline (he was said to disapprove of soldiers cheering as "too nearly an expression of opinion"), Wellesley cared for his men; he refused to pursue the French after the battles of Porto and Salamanca, because of the inevitable cost to his army in pursuing a broken enemy through rough terrain. The only time he ever showed grief in public was after the storming of Badajoz; he cried at the sight of the British dead in the breaches. In this context, his famous dispatch after the Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

 calling them the "scum of the earth" can be seen to be fuelled as much by disappointment at their breaking ranks as by anger. He expressed his grief openly the night after Waterloo before his personal physician, and later with his family; unwilling to be congratulated for his victory he broke down in tears, his fighting spirit diminished by the high cost of the battle and great personal loss.

Viva Montgomerie
Viva Seton Montgomerie
Viva Seton Montgomerie was a socialite and minor author, a daughter of the Hon. Seton Montolieu Montgomerie and his wife Nina Janet Bronwen Peers Williams, daughter of Lt.-Col. Thomas Peers Williams...

, niece to the third Duke of Wellington, relates an anecdote that Holman, valet to the duke, often recalled how his master never spoke to servants unless he was obliged to, preferring instead to write his orders on a note pad on his dressing-table. Holman, incidentally, was said to greatly resemble Napoleon.

In 1824 Wellington received a letter from a publisher offering to refrain from issuing an edition of the rather racy memoirs of one of his mistresses, Harriette Wilson
Harriette Wilson
Harriette Wilson was a celebrated British Regency courtesan, whose clients included the Prince of Wales, the Lord Chancellor and four future Prime Ministers.- Life :...

, in exchange for financial consideration. The Duke promptly returned the missive, after scrawling across it, "Publish and be damned".

He was also a remarkably practical man, who spoke concisely. In 1851, when it was discovered that there were a great many sparrows flying about in the Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

 just before the Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October...

 was to open, his advice to Queen Victoria was "Sparrowhawks, ma'am".

As a soldier

Wellington has often been portrayed as a defensive general, even though many, perhaps most, of his battles were offensive (Argaum, Assaye, Oporto, Salamanca, Vitoria, Toulouse). But for most of the Peninsular War, where he earned his fame, his troops lacked the numbers for an attack. Also, the Iberian Peninsula provided excellent defensive terrain and he was never slow to take advantage of it.

Much of Wellesley's tactics were dictated by politics, supply, or finance. Being merely a general in the field, he had to deal with the vagaries of an unstable government at home, the Portuguese government, various Spanish Juntas, guerrilleros, and warlords. Also, the problem of supply in the barren peninsula was a dire one. The French did not bother to deal with it, and simply looted whatever supplies they needed. Wellesley, needing the goodwill of the populace, was required to bring in his supplies from elsewhere (especially wheat from America) and transport them to his troops in the field. This supply line was his ever-present Achilles' heel, and often he was forced to either retreat or assume a defensive position when his line of supply was threatened.

In his defensive battles, he showed an understanding of defensive tactics almost unmatched. He, almost alone of the Napoleonic commanders, realised the use of a reverse slope defence
Reverse slope defence
A reverse slope defence is a military tactic where a defending force is positioned on the slope of an elevated terrain feature such as a hill, ridge, or mountain, on the side opposite from the attacking force...

, and made use of one whenever he could, to conceal his numbers and protect his men from artillery. Still, he rarely missed an opportunity to counter-attack, and many French columns found themselves cut up by musket volleys, then attacked with bayonets.

Wellesley could be very aggressive. His river crossing at Oporto was a gamble; and only the mistake of a subordinate officer allowed any of Soult's army to escape. On the attack also, he showed a clear understanding of tactics and terrain: at the Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

, he led a massive, well-coordinated attack in four columns from three directions, almost destroying the French army, forcing them to abandon all their baggage and supplies and all but one of their 138 guns.

Still, he had to be very cautious. Besieged at the Lines of Torres Vedras, when Masséna's army was threatening Lisbon, Wellesley often stood on a parapet, surveying the French army with a telescope, muttering, "I could whip them, but it would take 10,000 men, and as this is the only army England has, it behoves me to take care of it."

The total number of French troops in Spain always heavily outnumbered the available number of British and Portuguese, although most French soldiers were used for garrisoning the rebellious population. However it was always possible for the French command to abandon some region, as they did after Salamanca
Battle of Salamanca
The Battle of Salamanca saw Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish armies under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles south of Salamanca, Spain on July 22, 1812 during the Peninsular War....

, in order to concentrate a larger army than the British; Wellington was therefore always cautious during his incursions into Spain, with the great exception of 1813.

In the campaign leading up to the Battle of Vitoria, he was cut off from his supply line to Lisbon, so he re-established one on the north coast of Spain, throwing the French front-line troops back upon their reserves.

Wellington's sieges achieved mixed results, with the Siege of Burgos
Siege of Burgos
At the Siege of Burgos, from 19 September to 21 October 1812, the Anglo-Portuguese Army led by General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington tried to capture the castle of Burgos from its French garrison under the command of General of Brigade Jean-Louis Dubreton. The French repulsed every...

 being probably his worst defeat. Most of his sieges were in India, against Indian armies of worse training, arms, and morale than the French; he may have been overconfident at Burgos. Wellington had to retake the frontier fortresses (like Almeida
Almeida, Portugal
Almeida is a town in Almeida Municipality, Portugal. The fortress around the town guards an important cross-border road from Spain, and underwent several sieges. The siege of 1810 ended spectacularly when a chance shell ignited the main gunpowder magazine, which exploded, killing 500 defenders...

) several times, because the French were equally successful in capturing them from the Allied garrisons. Also, he did not have the time for lengthy, Vauban
Vauban
Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban , commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and breaking through them...

-style sieges, because the French would have been able to gather up relieving forces. Hence, his brief and bloody, though successful, assaults on Ciudad Rodrigo and on Badajoz.

He disliked his cavalry commanders. He wrote a famous letter on 18 July 1812, accusing the cavalry of being unable to manoeuvre except on Wimbledon Common, and of always charging in a body, instead of forming in two lines—one to charge and one as a reserve. Of course, until 1815, he was denied the talents of the brilliant Henry Paget
Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey
Field Marshal Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, KG, GCB, GCH, PC , styled Lord Paget between 1784 and 1812 and known as The Earl of Uxbridge between 1812 and 1815, was a British military leader and politician, now chiefly remembered for leading the charge of the heavy cavalry against...

 because of the family feud between them.

He acted as his own head of intelligence, and closely supervised both the supplying and the payment of his troops.

Much of his energy was diverted to political aims: shoring up his support in the British and Spanish governments, lobbying for his choice of officers, and cultivating the cooperation of the Portuguese and Spanish populations. While the French army alienated the latter by seizing their food and shooting anyone who resisted them, Wellington imported most of his food from abroad, paid cash for what he needed locally, and exercised strict discipline over his troops, regularly hanging men for looting, rape, murder, or desecration of religious sites. The locals repaid him with obedience, enlistment and information on French movements. In particular, the guerrilleros
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

(partisans) operated in fairly close cooperation with British troops against the French, especially in their attacks on French couriers, and the passing of the captured French dispatches to Wellington.

Legacy and contemporaries

As a general, Wellington is often compared to the 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

, with whom he shared many characteristics, chiefly a transition to politics after a highly successful military career.

In September 1805, the then Major-General Wellesley, newly returned from his campaigns in India and not yet particularly well-known to the public, reported to the office of the Secretary for War to request a new assignment. In the waiting room, he met Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, already a legendary figure after his victories at the Nile and Copenhagen, and who was briefly in England after months chasing the French Toulon fleet to the West Indies and back. Some 30 years later, Wellington recalled a conversation that Nelson began with him which Wellesley found "almost all on his side in a style so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me". Nelson left the room to inquire who the young general was and on his return switched to a very different tone, discussing the war, the state of the colonies and the geopolitical situation as between equals. On this second discussion Wellington recalled, "I don't know that I ever had a conversation that interested me more". This was the only time that the two men met; Nelson was killed at his great victory at Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 just seven weeks later.

Titles and tributes

Wellington received numerous awards and honours during and after his lifetime, including statues and monuments raised in his honour. He held a wide range of titles
Arms, titles, honours and styles of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His military career culminated at the Battle of Waterloo, where, along with von Blücher, he defeated the forces of...

, and had various buildings and places
Arms, titles, honours and styles of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His military career culminated at the Battle of Waterloo, where, along with von Blücher, he defeated the forces of...

 named after him around the world which still stand today.

Nicknames

The Iron Duke

This commonly used nickname possibly became popular after an incident in 1832 in which he installed metal shutters to prevent rioters breaking windows at Apsley House. The term may have been made increasingly popular by Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...

cartoons published in 1844–45. Earlier examples of its use also exist before 1832, although they appear to relate to his political resolve rather than to any particular incident. In various cases its editorial use appears to be disparaging.

Wellington had various other nicknames:
  • Officers under his command called him "The Beau", as he was a fine dresser, or "The Peer" after he was made a Viscount.
  • Spanish troops called him "The Eagle", whilst Portuguese troops called him "Douro
    Douro
    The Douro or Duero is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto...

     Douro"
    after his river crossing at Oporto in 1809.
  • "Beau Douro"; Wellington found this amusing when hearing it used by a Colonel of the Coldstream Guards.
  • Regular soldiers under his command called him "Nosey" or "Old Hookey", on account of his prominent, aquiline nose.
  • "Arty" or "Our Atty", short for Arthur; he was called this at Waterloo by his Peninsular veterans.
  • "Sepoy General"; Napoleon used this term as an insult to Wellington's military service in India, publicly considering him an unworthy opponent. The name was used in the French newspaper Le Moniteur Universel
    Le Moniteur Universel
    Le Moniteur Universel was a French newspaper founded in Paris on November 24, 1789 under the title Gazette Nationale ou Le Moniteur Universal by Charles-Joseph Panckoucke, and which ceased publication on June 30, 1901...

    , as a means of propaganda.
  • "The Beef"; It is a theory that the Beef Wellington
    Beef Wellington
    Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked...

     dish is a reference to Wellington, although some chefs dispute this.


In addition:
  • His name was given to Wellington boot
    Wellington boot
    The Wellington boot, also known as rubber-boots, wellies, wellingtons, topboots, billy-boots, gumboots, gummies, barnboots, wellieboots, muckboots, sheepboots, shitkickers, or rainboots are a type of boot based upon leather Hessian boots...

    s, after the custom-made boots he wore instead of traditional Hessian boots.

In fiction

TV and film
  • The fourth episode of Yorkshire TV's Number 10
    Number 10 (television series)
    Number 10 was a 1983 British television series originally aired on ITV and lasting for 7 episodes from 13 February to 27 March 1983. It depicted the personal and political lives of seven British Prime Ministers, ranging from the 1780s to the 1920s, during their occupancy of 10 Downing...

     tells the story of Wellington's Premiership, in particular Catholic emancipation and his duel. Wellington is played by Bernard Archard
    Bernard Archard
    Bernard Joseph Archard was an English actor.Born in Fulham, London, he was a tall, imposing actor with a distinctive face. He was a conscientious objector in the Second World War and worked on the land...

    .
  • Christopher Plummer
    Christopher Plummer
    Arthur Christopher Orne Plummer, CC is a Canadian theatre, film and television actor. He made his film debut in 1957's Stage Struck, and notable early film performances include Night of the Generals, The Return of the Pink Panther and The Man Who Would Be King.In a career that spans over five...

     portrayed Wellington in the 1970 Soviet-Italian film Waterloo.
  • In the film Lady Caroline Lamb
    Lady Caroline Lamb (film)
    Lady Caroline Lamb is a 1972 film based on the life of the notorious Lady Caroline Lamb, lover of Lord Byron and wife of Prime MinisterViscount Melbourne...

    (1972) Wellington is portrayed by Sir Laurence Olivier.
  • The Duke is portrayed in the final episode of the Blackadder the Third
    Blackadder the Third
    Blackadder the Third is the third series of the BBC situation comedy Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 17 September to 22 October 1987....

    television series, where Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry
    Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

     played the Duke of Wellington in Duel and Duality and in the Millennium special Blackadder: Back & Forth
    Blackadder: Back & Forth
    Blackadder: Back & Forth is a 1999 short film based on the BBC mock-historical comedy series Blackadder that marks the end of the Blackadder saga...

    . As the Blackadder
    Blackadder
    Blackadder is the name that encompassed four series of a BBC1 historical sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. All television programme episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as anti-hero Edmund Blackadder and Tony Robinson as Blackadder's dogsbody, Baldrick...

    series is a period, situation comedy, his traits are accentuated to match the slapstick
    Slapstick
    Slapstick is a type of comedy involving exaggerated violence and activities which may exceed the boundaries of common sense.- Origins :The phrase comes from the batacchio or bataccio — called the 'slap stick' in English — a club-like object composed of two wooden slats used in Commedia dell'arte...

     nature of the programme.
  • Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry
    Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

     also plays Wellington in the 2000 film Sabotage!
    Sabotage (disambiguation)
    Sabotage may refer to:* Sabotage, an act of destruction or interference intended to weaken an opponent* Sabotage radio, a small two-way radio designed for use by resistance movements in World War II, and after the war often used by expeditions and similar parties-Computer games:* Sabotage , a...

    , alongside David Suchet
    David Suchet
    David Suchet, CBE, is an English actor, known for his work on British television. He is recognised for his RTS- and BPG award-winning performance as Augustus Melmotte in the 2001 British TV mini-drama The Way We Live Now, alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza, and a 1991 British Academy...

     as Napoleon.
  • In the 2009 film The Young Victoria
    The Young Victoria
    The Young Victoria is a 2009 period drama film based on the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Graham King, Martin Scorsese, Sarah, Duchess of...

    , Julian Glover
    Julian Glover
    Julian Wyatt Glover is a British actor best known for such roles as General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-Personal life:Glover was born in...

     plays the old Duke.
  • The Sharpe
    Richard Sharpe (fictional character)
    Sharpe is a series of historical fiction stories by Bernard Cornwell centred on the character of Richard Sharpe. The stories formed the basis for an ITV television series wherein the eponymous character was played by Sean Bean....

    novels have been adapted for TV in a series of television dramas
    Sharpe (TV series)
    Sharpe is a British series of television dramas starring Sean Bean about Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe is the hero of a number of novels by Bernard Cornwell; most, though not all, of the episodes are based on the books...

    . Wellington is played by David Troughton
    David Troughton
    David Troughton is an English actor, best known for his Shakespearean roles on the British stage.- Biography :David Troughton was born in Hampstead, North London. He comes from a theatrical family: he is the son of Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton, elder brother of Michael Troughton, and father...

     in the first two films, followed by Hugh Fraser
    Hugh Fraser (actor)
    Hugh Fraser is an English actor and theatre director.-Early life:Born in London but raised in the East Midlands, Fraser studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art...

     for the remaining films.

Publications
  • The Duke makes numerous appearances and has many mentions throughout the Sharpe
    Richard Sharpe (fictional character)
    Sharpe is a series of historical fiction stories by Bernard Cornwell centred on the character of Richard Sharpe. The stories formed the basis for an ITV television series wherein the eponymous character was played by Sean Bean....

    historical adventure novels, written by Bernard Cornwell
    Bernard Cornwell
    Bernard Cornwell OBE is an English author of historical novels. He is best known for his novels about Napoleonic Wars rifleman Richard Sharpe which were adapted into a series of Sharpe television films.-Biography:...

    .
  • The Duke appears in The Regency, volume 13 of The Morland Dynasty
    The Morland Dynasty
    The Morland Dynasty is a series of historical novels by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, based around the Morland family of York, England and their national and international relatives and associates.There are currently thirty-two books in the series...

    , a series of historical novels by author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
    Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
    Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is a prolific and successful British novelist, best known for her Morland Dynasty series.Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was born in Shepherd's Bush, London and educated at Burlington School. Her first successful novel was The Waiting Game , and she became a full-time writer in...

    . This volume is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Wellington is a minor character in Susanna Clarke's
    Susanna Clarke
    Susanna Mary Clarke is a British author best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell , a Hugo Award-winning alternate history. Clarke began Jonathan Strange in 1993 and worked on it during her spare time...

     Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, in which he is aided in the Peninsular War by the magician Jonathan Strange. The latter provides him a magical road for the soldiers to walk on, changes the topography of Spain to benefit the British army, and plagues the French army with illusions, among other things. He may also have cast a protective charm over Wellington, who suffered no wounds in twenty years of battle.
  • Wellington is one of the two main protagonists of Simon Scarrow's
    Simon Scarrow
    Simon Scarrow is a UK-based author, born in Nigeria and now based in Norfolk. He completed a master's degree at the University of East Anglia after working at the Inland Revenue, and then went into teaching as a lecturer, firstly at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, then at City College Norwich.He...

     The Revolution Quartet
    The Revolution Quartet
    The Revolution Quartet is a historical fiction series of novels by Simon Scarrow set in primarily the time of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars...

    books, the other being Napoleon. The books explore Wellington on the battlefield and also his personal life.
  • Wellington is a minor character in two of Georgette Heyer
    Georgette Heyer
    Georgette Heyer was a British historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth. In 1925 Heyer married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer...

    's novels: The Spanish Bride
    The Spanish Bride
    The Spanish Bride is a novel by Georgette Heyer. This story is based on the true story of Harry Smith and his wife Juana María de los Dolores de León Smith. He had a fairly illustrious military career and was made a baronet...

    , based on the Peninsular Wars, and An Infamous Army
    An Infamous Army
    An Infamous Army is a novel by Georgette Heyer. In this novel Heyer combines her penchant for meticulously researched historical novels with her more popular Regency romances...

    , set during the Waterloo campaign. Both novels use the Duke of Wellington's correspondence and his known remarks substantially to recreate his character as close-to-real-life as possible.
  • Wellington is mentioned numerous times throughout the Horatio Hornblower
    Horatio Hornblower
    Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy officer who is the protagonist of a series of novels by C. S. Forester. He was later the subject of films and television programs.The original Hornblower tales began with the 1937 novel The Happy Return Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy...

    series of books by C. S. Forester
    C. S. Forester
    Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith , an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen...

    . He is the brother of the famous (and fictional) Lady Barbara and becomes brother in law to Hornblower when the latter marries Barbara.
  • Wellington is a recurring (if minor) character in the Flashman novels by George Macdonald Fraser
    George MacDonald Fraser
    George MacDonald Fraser, OBE was an English-born author of Scottish descent, who wrote both historical novels and non-fiction books, as well as several screenplays.-Early life and military career:...

    .
  • He appears in the fifth Temeraire
    Temeraire (series)
    The Temeraire series of novels by Naomi Novik is composed of His Majesty's Dragon , Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, and Tongues of Serpents...

    novel Victory of Eagles
    Victory of Eagles
    Victory of Eagles is the fifth novel in the Temeraire alternate history/fantasy series by American author Naomi Novik. The series follows the actions of William Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire....

    by Naomi Novik
    Naomi Novik
    Naomi Novik is an American novelist. She is a first-generation American; her father is of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, and her mother is an ethnic Pole. She studied English Literature at Brown University, and holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from Columbia University...

    . In the novel's alternate history Wellesley bests an invasion of England by Napoleon in 1808, earning the title Wellington.
  • He appears in James Joyce
    James Joyce
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

    's novel Finnegans Wake
    Finnegans Wake
    Finnegans Wake is a novel by Irish author James Joyce, significant for its experimental style and resulting reputation as one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Written in Paris over a period of seventeen years, and published in 1939, two years before the author's...

    , where he is associated with the military, aggressive side of the main character, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker.
  • The Duke appears in the Doctor Who
    Doctor Who
    Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

    novel World Game
    World Game (Doctor Who)
    World Game is a BBC Books original novel written by Terrance Dicks and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Second Doctor and the Lady Serena and is set during "Season 6B"...

    , which climaxes with the Battle of Waterloo.

Other
  • The Duke of Wellington appears as a General in the game Napoleon: Total War
    Napoleon: Total War
    Napoleon: Total War is a turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega for the PC. Napoleon was released in North America on 23 February 2010, and in Europe on February 26. The game is the sixth stand-alone instalment in the Total...

    , alongside other generals of the Napoleonic Wars, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and Napoleon.

See also

  • Battle record of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Battle record of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was one of the leading British military and political figures of the 19th century...

  • Army Gold Medal
    Army Gold Medal
    The Army Gold Medal , also known as the Peninsular Gold Medal, with an accompanying Gold Cross, was a British campaign medal awarded in recognition of field and general officers' successful commands in recent campaigns, predominately the Peninsular War...

  • Military General Service Medal
    Military General Service Medal
    The Military General Service Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1847, for issue to officers and men of the British Army.The MGSM was approved on 1 June 1847 as a retrospective award for various military actions from 1793–1814; a period encompassing the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic...

  • Seringapatam medal
    Seringapatam medal
    The Seringapatam medal, commissioned by the East India Company in 1801, was a Conrad Heinrich-designed military medal distributed to those soldiers who contributed to the British victory in the 1799 Battle of Seringapatam against the armies of Tipu Sultan, ruler of the southern India in the...


External links

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