In 1842 Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington died.
Wellesley was born in Dublin, Ireland on the 1st of May 1769. His father was the 1st Earl of Mornington and his mother was the daughter to the 1st Viscount of Dungannon. He grew up the middle child with his five brothers and lived in the family mansion in Dublin as well as their second home of Dangan Castle.
He attended Schools in Dublin, Ireland, Chelsea, England and later Eton. His father, who was a politician, died on the 22nd of May 1781 while Arthur was attending Eton and the death of his father caused, among other things, a massive decline in the family’s wealth. Arthur left Eton shortly after and due to his lack of direction he signed up to the British Army on the 7th of March 1787 as an ensign and by Christmas that year he had been promoted to lieutenant. Becoming a soldier proved the making of Wellesley and he quickly made his way through the ranks.
In 1808 Sir Arthur Wesley, The duke of Wellington, took control of the British, Portuguese and Spanish forces in the ‘Peninsular War’ and by 1814 he had defeated Napoleon and his forces on land, and returned Spain to the Spanish. Napoleon was again defeated by the combined forces of Russia, Austria and Prussia in the battle of Paris.
On the 11th of April 1814 Napoleon abdicated as emperor and as per the Treaty of Fontainebleau, he was exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba. Napoleon would once again amass an army only to be defeated once more by Wellington at the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ on the 18th of June 1815. Napoleon was exiled and died six years later. Napoleon is considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time and was determined to expand the French empire in Europe and conquering his enemies such as Great Britain and Portugal. His war machine seemed almost unstoppable but thanks to the great leadership of Nelson, Prussia’s Gebhard Von Blucher and Wellington, Napoleon was defeated. Wellington was praised for his strategic defensive style that allowed him to defeat much larger armies with low loss of life to his men and is still considered one of the greatest military strategist of all time. On the 22nd of January 1827 Arthur Wellesley the 1st Duke of Wellington became commander and chief of the British Armed forces (a title he maintained till his death).
Wellington began a political carer on the 26th of December 1818 and he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the first time on the 22nd of January 1828 until 16th of November 1830 and then again for a month from the 14th of November 1834 until the 10th of December 1834. In a BBC poll held in 2002 which saw millions of Britons vote for their favourite Briton of all time saw Wellesley at 15th place.