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Sundry correspondence: letters from Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1769-1852)

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1769-1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. 

Wellesley was born in Dublin. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. He was a colonel by 1796 and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian Army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Nathan Rothschild was commissioned by the British Government to supply the Duke with the necessary funds to pat the troops on the battlefield, and together with his brothers he set up a network of agents to buy up coin and transfer it to Wellington in the form of local currency. 

After the end of his active military career, Wellington returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, and for a little less than a month in 1834. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

See also The Rushbrooke Collection for later correspondence between successive Dukes of Wellington and members of the Rothschild family.

Private papers (non-Rothschild): Wellington correspondence, 1826-1835

000/7, 1 file

Correspondence with Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1769-1852), collected by Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild. The letters are private letters addressed to members of the Rothschild family, and business letters to NMR. These letters are beleived to have been removed from various series in the Archive; the original provenance of these letters is now unknown.