This site is dedicated to Arthur Wellesley (1769–1852), British general and statesman.
As a commander, he won every battle he fought. He served in both India and Europe and led the Allied army that defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
As Prime Minister, he brought about Catholic emancipation, despite the opposition of King George IV. His Home Secretary, Robert Peel, founded the basis of the modern police (hence "Bobby's").
Staunchly conservative, honest and unafraid of either enemy, or opinion, he also had a wry humour:
During the Peninsular War a detachment of energetic but inexperienced young officers arrived to strengthen Wellington's forces. Wellington observed, "I don't know what effect they will have upon the enemy, but by God, they frighten me."
At Vienna, Wellington was compelled to sit through a performance of Beethoven's "Battle of Victoria" (or, "Wellington's Victory"). Afterward, a Russian envoy asked him if the music had been anything like the real thing. "By God, no," said the duke. "If it had been like that I'd have run away myself."
On Education: "Educate people without religion and you make them but clever devils."
On Prayer: "The Lord's prayer contains the sum total of religion and morals."
"Nothing except a battle lost can
be half so melancholy as a battle won."
"It is very true that I have said that I considered Napoleon's presence in the field equal to forty thousand men in the balance. This is a very loose way of talking; but the idea is a very different one from that of his presence at a battle being equal to a reinforcement of forty thousand men."
Memorandum by the Duke, 1 Sept. 18, 1836.
"Circumstances over which I have no control. "
"I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life. "
Upon seeing the first Reformed Parliament.
"There is no mistake; there has been no mistake; and there shall be no mistake. "
Letter to Mr. Huskisson.