Wellington, Duke of Arthur Wellesley

Wellington, Duke of (Arthur Wellesley)

 

Born May 1, 1769, in Dublin; died Sept. 14, 1852, at Walmer Castle, Kent. English general, state figure, diplomat, field marshal (1813); a Tory. Studied at the aristocratic school at Eton and at the military academy of Angers, France.

Wellesley began his military career with the English forces in the Netherlands during the campaign against the French during 1794-95. In 1796 he was sent to India, where he commanded English troops in the conquest of the principality of Mysore and the Maratha principalities. He returned to Great Britain in 1805. During 1807-08 he was chief secretary for Irish affairs. From 1808 to 1813 he commanded allied forces in the war against Napoleonic France on the Iberian Peninsula. He was appointed British ambassador to Paris in 1814. That same year, he received the title of Duke of Wellington. In 1815 he was the commander of the allied Anglo-Dutch army which bore the brunt of the decisive battle against Napoleon at Waterloo.

Wellington participated in the work of the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. From 1815 to 1818, he headed the occupation forces in France. He was the British representative to the congresses of the Holy Alliance in Aachen (1818) and Verona (1822). In 1826 he signed the so-called Greek Protocol in St. Petersburg, which established the positions of Great Britain and Russia with respect to Greece. From 1827 to 1852 he was the commander in chief of the British army. He was prime minister from 1828 to 1830. Under pressure from a mass movement, he implemented the act on Catholic emancipation (1829). Wellington openly opposed parliamentary reforms, which contributed to the fall of his cabinet. He was minister of foreign affairs during 1834-35 and minister without portfolio from 1841 to 1846. In 1848 he headed military units which made preparations for the armed suppression of the Chartists.

REFERENCES

Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 27, pp. 213-14, 225.
Davies, G. Wellington and His Army. Oxford, 1954.

A. N. BAIKOVA

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