The Duke of
Arthur Wesley, later Wellesley, was born near Dublin, Ireland on 1 May 1769. He was the sixth child of the Earl of Mornington, Peer of Ireland. His family destined him for a career in arms. In 1785, Arthur came to Brussels to study French.
He began his military career in the Dutch campaign in 1794 against the French Republicans. He was then a lieutenant in the 33rd infantry. Colonel in 1797, his regiment was sent to the Indies and he did not return until 1805 with the rank of major general.
Lieutenant General, he commanded the troops in Portugal in 1808 and defeated Junot’s army at the battle of Vimeiro, north of Lisbon. After his victory at Talavera (28 July 1809), he received the title of Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Baron Douro de Welleslie.
It was not until May 1814, after Napoleon’s first abdication, that he received the title of Duke of Wellington. This general almost never suffered a defeat.
British representative at the Congress of Vienna, victorious at Waterloo, general-in-chief of the European occupation troops in France, Wellington left the military career in 1818 and devoted himself to the politics of his country.
Several times Prime Minister (1828 to 1830) in this England which saw the rise of machinismo and religious quarrels, he convened in 1830, in London, the Conference of European Powers which allowed the independence of Belgium.
He died at Walmer Castle, near Dover, on 14 September 1852, in the respect and veneration of the entire nation.