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12.08.2014

Regency Man Monday - The Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)

Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS, was a British soldier and statesman, a native of Ireland from the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His importance in national history is such that he is often referred to as "the Duke of Wellington" instead of "the 1st Duke of Wellington".

Wellesley was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787. A colonel by 1796, Wellesley saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and as a newly appointed major-general won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom.

During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian army under Bl├╝cher, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Wellesley's battle record is exemplary, ultimately participating in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.
He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world. Regarded as one of Britain's most significant military figures, in 2002, he was placed at number 15 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

He was twice British prime minister under the Tory party: from 1828–30 and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.
-Adapted from his Wikipedia page

Further Reading:
Title of Duke of Wellington - Wikiepedia
Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) - BBC
Past Prime Ministers - Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - Gov.UK
The Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) - The Victorian Web
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - Britannica.com

Books:

Wellington at War 1794–1815 by Antony Brett-James
Wellington's Charge: A Portrait of the Duke's England by Berwick Coates
Wellington's War: The Making of a Military Genius by Huw Davies
The Celtic Revolution: A Study in Anti-Imperialism by Peter Berresford Ellis
Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British India by Jack Harrington
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, time and conflicts in India on behalf of the British East India Company and the British crown by Charles Hilbert
European Freebooters in Mogul India by Lester Hutchinson
Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814 by Rory Muir
To War with Wellington, from the Peninsula to Waterloo by Peter Snow
Wellington's Headquarters: A Study of the Administrative Problems in the Peninsula 1809–1814 by S.G.P. Ward
Primary sources:
The dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington: During his various campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France, from 1799 to 1818 by Arthur Wellesley and John Gurwood

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