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Arthur Wellesley (Dublin, Ireland, May 1, 1769-Walmer, Kent, England, September 14, 1852), better known, from 1814, by its title of Duke of Wellington , was a British military man, politician and statesman, of Irish origin, who was one of the most notable personalities in European history of the 19th century, as one of the most prominent English generals, during the Napoleonic wars, particularly at the head of the Anglo-Portuguese troops in the expulsion of the French armies in the three attempts to invade Portugal (1808, 1809 and 1810) and in the Spanish War of Independence, becoming Commander-in-Chief of the Army British already hold twice the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was appointed knight of the Order of the Garter, knight of the Order of St. Patrick, knight great cross of the Order of Bath, of the Royal Order Gülélfica, Member of the Royal Society and the Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Coming from a noble family (his father was the first Earl of Mornington and his older brother, who would inherit the county from his father, would create the marquesado of Wellesley). Two of his other brothers would also be barons (Maryborough and Cowley). His outstanding performance in the Napoleonic wars earned him the rank of field marshal.
Wellesley commanded the allied forces during the War of Spanish Independence and in 1812 he was appointed commander-in-chief of all the Spanish troops on the Peninsula, and even expelled the French army from Spain and invaded the south of France.
Victorious and elevated to hero status in England, he returned to Europe to command the Anglo-Allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo, after which Napoleon Bonaparte was permanently exiled to the island of St. Helena. Wellington is often compared to the first Duke of Malborough, with whom he shared many characteristics, mainly the transition to political life after a successful military career. Wellington was prime minister for the Tory party twice and was one of the leading figures of the House of Lords until his retirement in 1846.
The Duke of Wellington is considered one of the most acclaimed heroes in the history of the United Kingdom. His reputation equals or even surpasses well-known figures such as Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill or Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. His London mansion (Apsley House) is open to the public as a museum and exhibits the many gifts he has collected, works of art and luxury items, donated by various governments and royal houses.
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