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Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wellington tended to be suspicious, not without reason, of the performance of his cavalry units and their commanders. Lord Combermere, however, proved a success in Spain, and was in overall command of the division that charged so brilliantly at Salamanca in 1812. 'By God, Cotton,' said Wellington, 'I never saw anything so beautiful in my life; the day is yours.' Wellington, however, had a firm view of Combermere's limitations; when asked why he had recommended his appointment to command a campaign in Burma, when he considered him a fool, Wellington barked: 'So he is a fool, and a damned fool, but he can take Rangoon!'

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 127.6 x W 102.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by the sitter's widow, Viscountess Combermere, 1872

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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