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The Duke of Wellington (1769–1852)

Photo credit: The Royal Hospital Chelsea

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Britain’s greatest soldier, the 'Iron Duke', Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS, also a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. Commissioned into the Army in 1787, he was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. He rose to prominence as a General during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, promoted to Field Marshal after victory at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. He was appointed the Ambassador to France and made a Duke in 1814 before commanding the Allied army of Anglo-Dutch, Hannoverian and Prussian troops that defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo after his return from exile. Prime Minister from 1828 to 1830 and in 1834, he was a leading figure in the House of Lords. He remained Commander-in-Chief of the Army until his death in 1852 when, at his request, he was laid in state at the Royal Hospital Chelsea amongst his old soldiers rather than in St Paul's.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea



The Duke of Wellington (1769–1852)


1839 or before


oil on canvas


H 256 x W 175 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by Robert A. Laing, Esq., 1881

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Road, London, Greater London SW3 4SR England

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