Duke of Wellington (title)

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For the General and Prime Minister, see Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
Dukedom of Wellington
Arms of Dukes of Wellington
Quarterly 1st & 4th: Gules, a cross argent in each quarter five plates in saltire (Wellesley); 2nd & 3rd: Or, a lion rampant gules ducally collared gold (Cowley) over-all in the centre chief point an escutcheon of augmentation charged with the Union badge[1]
Creation date 11 May 1814
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington
Present holder Charles Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington
Heir apparent Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro
Remainder to the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Marquess of Wellington
Marquess of Douro
Earl of Mornington
Earl of Wellington
Viscount Wellesley
Viscount Wellington
Baron Mornington
Baron Douro

Duke of Wellington is a hereditary title and the senior rank in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It derived from Wellington in Somerset, and was created for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington (born The Hon. Arthur Wesley) (1769–1852), the Anglo-Irish Army leader and twice British Prime Minister. Unclear references to "the Duke of Wellington" generally refer to the 1st Duke of Wellington unless the context suggests a later date. He led the decisive victory with Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher over Napoleon Bonaparte's forces at Waterloo in Brabant (now Walloon Brabant, Belgium).

The first duke's father was created the 1st Earl of Mornington and their male-line ancestors were wealthy agricultural and urban landowners in both countries, among the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy.

The dukedom has descended to heirs male of the body with 11 other titles in various jurisdictions (including Portugal) and most of these are courtesy titles, save for Earl of Mornington which came to the second duke and his descendants.

History[edit]

The titles of Duke of Wellington and Marquess of Douro were bestowed upon Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington, on 11 May 1814 after he returned home a hero following Napoleon's abdication. He fought some 60 battles in his military career, and never lost a single one. He was considered 'the conqueror of Napoleon'. Along with the 1st Duke of Marlborough, he stands as one of the finest two soldiers Britain has ever produced.

The subsidiary titles of the Duke of Wellington are: Marquess of Wellington (1812), Marquess of Douro (1814), Earl of Mornington (1760 – but only inherited by the Dukes of Wellington in 1863), Earl of Wellington (1812), Viscount Wellesley (1760 – inherited in 1863), Viscount Wellington (1809), Baron Mornington (1746 – also inherited in 1863), and Baron Douro (1809). The Viscountcy of Wellesley and the Barony and Earldom of Mornington are in the Peerage of Ireland; the rest are in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Apart from the British titles the Dukes of Wellington also hold the titles of Prince of Waterloo (Prins van Waterloo, 1815) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812) of the Kingdom of Spain, and Duke of Victoria (Duque da Vitória, 1812), with the subsidiary titles Marquess of Torres Vedras (Marquês de Torres Vedras, 1812) and Count of Vimeiro (Conde de Vimeiro, 1811) of the Kingdom of Portugal. These were granted to the first Duke as victory titles for his distinguished services as victorious commanding general in the Peninsular War (in Spain and Portugal) and at the Battle of Waterloo (in what is now Belgium).

The family seat is Stratfield Saye House, near Basingstoke, Hampshire. Apsley House, in London, is now owned by English Heritage, although the family retain an apartment there.

Dukes of Wellington (1814)[edit]

1st Duke of Wellington
The family seat since the first Duke's acquisition has been Stratfield Saye House
Created by the Prince Regent (on behalf of George III)
# Name Period Duchess Notes Other titles
1 Arthur Wellesley (born Wesley)
(1769–1852)
1814–1852 Hon. Catherine Pakenham British Army officer and statesman who defeated Napoleon I at Waterloo Prince of Waterloo, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, Duke of Victoria, Marquess of Wellington, Marquess of Douro, Marquis of Torres Vedras, Count of Vimeiro, Viscount Wellington, Baron Douro
2 Arthur Richard Wellesley
(1807–1884)
1852–1884 Lady Elizabeth Hay Son of the preceding Prince of Waterloo
Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo
Duke of Victoria
Marquess of Wellington
Marquess of Douro
Marquis of Torres Vedras
Count of Vimeiro

Earl of Mornington
Viscount Wellesley

Viscount Wellington
Baron Douro
Baron of Mornington
3 Henry Wellesley
(1846–1900)
1884–1900 Evelyn Williams Nephew of the preceding
4 Arthur Richard Wellesley
(1849–1934)
1900–1934 Kathleen Williams Brother of the preceding
5 Arthur Charles Wellesley
(1876–1941)
1934–1941 Hon. Lilian Coats Son of the preceding
6 Henry Wellesley
(1912–1943)
1941–1943 unmarried Son of the preceding
7 Gerald Wellesley
(1885–1972)
1943–1972 Dorothy Ashton Uncle of the preceding
8 Arthur Valerian Wellesley
(1915–2014)
1972–2014 Diana McConnel Son of the preceding
9 Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley
(born 1945)
2014–present Princess Antonia of Prussia Son of the preceding
  • Heir apparent: Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro (born 1978), eldest son of the present Duke
    • His heir apparent: Arthur Darcy Wellesley, Earl of Mornington (born 2010), elder son of Lord Douro

Title succession[edit]

Line of succession[edit]

  1. Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro (born 1978) (elder son of the present Duke)
  2. Arthur Darcy Wellesley, Earl of Mornington (born 2010) (elder son of Lord Douro)
  3. Lord Alfred Wellesley (born 2014) (younger son of Lord Douro)
  4. Lord Frederick Charles Wellesley (born 1992) (second and younger son of the present Duke)
  5. Lord Richard Gerald Wellesley (born 1949) (second son of the 8th Duke)
  6. Lord John Henry Wellesley (born 1954) (third son of the 8th Duke)
  7. Gerald Valerian Wellesley (born 1981) (only son of Lord John)
  8. Lord James Christopher Douglas Wellesley (born 1965)[2] (fourth and youngest son of the 8th Duke)
  9. Oliver Valerian Wellesley (born 2005) (only son of Lord James)
  10. Thomas Richard Henry Wellesley (born 2000) (great-grandson of Lord George Wellesley, fourth and youngest son of the 4th Duke)

Should the direct male line of succession from the first Duke of Wellington become extinct, the dukedom and its subsidiary titles in the British peerage will become extinct, as will the titles of Prince of Waterloo in the Dutch peerage and the dukedom of the Victory and its subsidiary titles in the Portuguese peerage. The dukedom of Ciudad Rodrigo in the Spanish peerage. together with its subsidiary titles, will continue to be held in the female line of descendants of the first Duke. The earldom and barony of Mornington, along with the viscountcy of Wellesley, which are all titles in the Irish peerage, will revert to the line of the Earl Cowley, a male-line descendant of a younger brother of the first Duke of Wellington.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.1140
  2. ^ Wellesley, Jane (2008). A Journey Through My Family. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-85231-5. 

External links[edit]