Leaders » Political Leaders » ARTHUR WELLESLEY, 1ST DUKE OF WELLINGTON
|Full name||: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington|
|Alias||: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington|
|Father||: Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington|
|Wife||: Catherine Pakenham|
|Children||: Arthur, Charles|
|Education||: Eton College|
|Activists||: Political Leaders|
One among the world’s most legendary military leaders, Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington was perhaps the greatest of British soldiers in history. Widely regarded as the greatest man in the 19th century, Wellesley was despised by the men he commanded, for he was a rather strict disciplinarian. Born into a family of noblemen, Wellesley began his career in the army after his family faced financial problems post the death of his father. He was victorious at Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, the Battle of Seringapatam, Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo. After serving a successful term as an army man, he returned to become the prime minster of The United Kingdom and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, a position that he retained until his death. He is known for his unique defensive commanding style and today, many of his military strategies and battle plans are a part of academic programs in military academies across the world. Wellesley always planned extensively before battles and is thus, regarded as one among the best defence commanders of all time.To know more about his childhood, personal life and achievements in the field of military and politics, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
In 1787, he joined the army as a junior rank officer and he was assigned to The 73rd Regiment of Foot. In October that year, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to Lord Buckingham, the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
In 1788, after he became a lieutenant, he was assigned to work in the 41st Regiment of Foot. The next year he was assigned to work for the 12th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons.
In 1789, he became a Member of Parliament for Trim in the Irish House of Commons and served in the Dublin Castle. He was later promoted to the position of captain and was appointed to the 58th Regiment of Foot.
By 1793, he was promoted to the position of major in the British Army and after a few months he was upgraded to the post of lieutenant-colonelcy.
In September 1793, he became the commander of a brigade. He later returned as a Member of Parliament for Trim but was unhappy as he was not promoted. Subsequently, he returned to the army.
In 1796, he travelled with his regiment to India. In 1798, he was commissioned to be a part of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, in order to capture and extend the rule of the British Empire in India. He also led a night attack during the Battle of Seringapatam.
In 1801, after defeating Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, he became the brigadier-general and resided in Sultan’s summer palace. He made many reforms in the tax system.
In 1803, he was commissioned to be part of The Second Anglo-Maratha War. The war ended in the year 1805 and it resulted in the victory of the British Empire.
In 1805, he was commissioned to serve at the Anglo-Russian expedition to north Germany and in 1807, he commanded the infantry brigade in the Second Battle of Copenhagen.
In 1808, he came back to England, where he was made lieutenant general. He defeated the French forces in the war against them, which occurred in the Iberian Peninsula region.
He led the Anglo-Portuguese Army, which was victorious in the second Battle of Porto, during which he crossed the Douro River. During the Douro river coup, the Porto forces were found to be weak.
In 1810, he slowed the French army, by constructing the Lines of Torres Vedras, which was a fortress that was built in order to prevent French invasion.
In 1814, after the Peninsular War, French forces withdrew from Spain and Portugal and Napoleon was abdicated. He returned back victorious and was given the tittle of the Duke of Wellington.
Until Napoleon returned in 1815, he served as the ambassador to France and also attended the Congress of Vienna. He later, commanded the allied armies and defeated the Napoleon forces in the Battle of Waterloo.
In 1818, he assumed a post in Lord Liverpool's Tory government and in the following year, he became Governor of Plymouth.
In 1827, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.
In 1828, he resigned as Commander-in-Chief and became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
In 1829, he passed the Catholic Relief Act, which granted all Catholics in the country civil rights and removed restrictions that were caused by any previous Acts. This was one of the highlights of his tenure.
In 1846, he retired from politics although he still retained his position as the Commander-in-Chief.
In 1848, he helped organise a military force to protect London during European Revolution.
He was born as ‘The Honourable Arthur Wesley’ in Dublin, Ireland to Garret Wesley, who was the 1st Earl of Mornington and Anne Hill-Trevor, who was the daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon.
He grew up in two of his family homes, a bungalow in Dublin and the Dangan Castle located in County Meath. While he was at Dublin, he attended Mr. Whyte's Academy and in County Meath he went to the diocesan school.
He studied at the Eton College until 1784 and later went to the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he trained to be a horseman and also studied French.
In 1806, he married Kitty Pakenham. The couple led a very unhappy married life and spent several years living apart from each other. She died of cancer in 1831.
He died at the age of 83, after suffering from a series of strokes that resulted in epileptic seizure. He was laid to rest at the St Paul's Cathedral, London.