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Duke of Wellington

Duke of Wellington, (1769-1852). British field marshal and statesman, known as ‘The Iron Duke’. He was born Arthur Wesley in Dublin, the family name being changed to Wellesley in the 1790s. From 1796 to 1805 he commanded troops in India, resisting French influence there. In the Peninsular War (1808-14) he ousted Napoleon’s forces from Portugal and Spain. With the Prussian general Blucher he finally defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). He subsequently concentrated on politics, becoming a Tory cabinet minister in 1818. As prime minister (1828-30) he accepted Catholic Emancipation but opposed parliamentary reform. He was later foreign secretary (1834-35) under Sir Robert Peel.

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