Arms, titles, honours and styles of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

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Arthur Wellesley, painted by
Sir Thomas Lawrence

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. 1 May 1769–14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His military career culminated at the Battle of Waterloo, where, along with Blücher, he defeated the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also twice Tory Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During his life, Wellington received numerous honours, titles and awards throughout his career as a statesman and soldier.[1] These include awards, statues and monuments, as well as buildings and places named after him.


At his funeral Wellesley's style was proclaimed (laid out in the following order and format in the London Gazette):[2]


Wellington's coat of arms

Wellington's arms were given an Augmentation of Honour of the union badge of the United Kingdom to commemorate his services. He bore, Quarterly, I and IV gules, a cross argent, in each quarter five plates of the same; II and III, Or, a lion rampant gules, armed and langued azure. For augmentation, an inescutcheon charged with the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick combined, being the union badge of the United Kingdom.[3]

Titles, honours and styles[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom[edit]

  • Baron Douro of Wellesley in the County of Somerset – 26 August 1809[4]
  • Viscount Wellington of Talavera, and of Wellington in the County of Somerset – 26 August 1809[4][5]
  • Earl of Wellington – 28 February 1812
  • Marquess of Wellington – 18 August 1812[6]
  • Marquess Douro – 3 May 1814[5]
  • Duke of Wellington – 3 May 1814[5]

His brother William selected the name Wellington for its similarity to the family surname of Wellesley, which derives from the village of Wellesley in Somerset, not far from that of Wellington.

Since he did not return to England until the Peninsular War was over, he was awarded all his patents of nobility in a single day.[7]

British and Irish honours[edit]

The Duke of Wellington stood as godfather to Queen Victoria's seventh child, Prince Arthur, in 1850. Prince Arthur was also born on the first of May; and as a toddler, young Arthur was encouraged to remind people that the Duke of Wellington was his godfather.[citation needed]


The Duke of Wellington wearing several decorations. Neck badges: i) Order of the Sword ii) Order of the Golden Fleece iii) Peninsular Cross with four bars • Stars on the left breast: i) Order of the Garter ii) Order of Saint George iii) Order of Maria Theresa iv) Military Order of Saint Ferdinand v) Order of the Tower and Sword vi) Order of the Sword • Sash over his right shoulder: Order of Maria Theresa

Noble titles[edit]


Military rank[edit]

The nations of Austria, Hanover, the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussian, Russia and Spain gave him their highest military rank:[2]

  • Field Marshal of the Austrian Army
  • Field Marshal of the Hanoverian Army
  • Field Marshal of the Army of the Netherlands
  • Marshal-General of the Portuguese Army
  • Field Marshal of the Prussian Army
  • Field Marshal of the Russian Army
  • Captain-General of the Spanish Army

Each nation presented him with a baton as a symbol of his rank (see Batons of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington)


In the United Kingdom
  • The Hon Arthur Wesley (birth–1 May 1769)
  • Ensign The Hon Arthur Wesley (7 March–25 December 1787)
  • Lt The Hon Arthur Wesley (25 December 1787 – 30 June 1791)
  • Capt The Hon Arthur Wesley (30 June 1791 – 30 April 1793)
  • Maj The Hon Arthur Wesley (30 April–30 September 1793)
  • Lt-Col The Hon Arthur Wesley (30 September 1793 – 3 May 1796)
  • Col The Hon Arthur Wesley (3 May 1796 – 19 May 1798)
  • Col The Hon Arthur Wellesley (19 May 1798 – 29 April 1802)
  • Maj-Gen The Hon Arthur Wellesley (29 April 1802 – 1 September 1804)
  • Maj-Gen The Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley KB (1 September 1804 – 8 April 1807)
  • Maj-Gen The Rt Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley KB (8 April 1807 – 25 April 1808)
  • Lt-Gen The Rt Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley KB (25 April 1808 – 4 September 1809)
  • Lt-Gen The Rt Hon The Viscount Wellington KB (4 September 1809–May 1811)
  • Gen The Rt Hon The Viscount Wellington KB (May 1811–28 February 1812)
  • Gen The Rt Hon The Earl of Wellington KB (28 February–3 October 1812)
  • Gen The Most Hon The Marquess of Wellington KB (3 October 1812 – 4 March 1813)
  • Gen The Most Hon The Marquess of Wellington KG (4 March–21 June 1813)
  • FM The Most Hon The Marquess of Wellington KG (21 June 1813 – 11 May 1814)
  • FM His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG (11 May 1814 – 2 January 1815)
  • FM His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG GCB (2 January 1815 – 14 September 1852)
  • FM His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG GCB GCH (1816–14 September 1852)
  • FM His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG GCB GCH FRS (1847–14 September 1852)
In the Netherlands
In Spain
  • Excelentísimo señor Arthur Wesley, duque de Ciudad Rodrigo, Grande de España, Caballero de la Orden del Toisón de Oro (January 1812–14 September 1852).
In Portugal
  • Sua Excelência o Duque da Vitória (18 December 1812 – 14 September 1852)

Military promotions and dates of rank[edit]

Ranks up to Lieutenant Colonel were obtained by purchasing commissions, subject to minimum service periods. The army did not allow ranks from Colonel and above to be purchased, so they were obtained through promotion only.

Commissions purchased[26]


Statues, monuments and places[edit]

Wellington astride Copenhagen his charger statue on Round Hill, Aldershot.
Great Britain
Wellington statue, in the East End of Edinburgh, Scotland
Hong Kong
  • Mount Wellington, which overlooks Hobart, the capital of the state of Tasmania, Australia, is named after Wellesley. Additionally, Hobart also has Salamanca Place, a row of convict built warehouses which dominate the wharf area of the city, named after the Battle of Salamanca (also known as the Battle of Aripiles) which took place in July 1812. Behind Salamanca Place, which is now an arts, restaurant hub, plus the home of the Salamanca Market, is the riverside suburb of Battery Point. A walk through the area will see streets and crescents named after Napoleon, Waterloo and Arthur's Circus where colonial cottages front a small roundabout. And to add to the links, on Macquarie St sits the Duke of Wellington Hotel with imposing signage of the Iron Duke himself gazing down on all who pass beneath.
  • Wellington Square in the Adelaide suburb of North Adelaide, South Australia, named for Wellington because he is credited with securing the passage of the South Australia Foundation Act through the British House of Lords.
  • The former County of Douro in Victoria, Gipps District, was named in Wellington's honour and was bordered to the west by the County of Mornington. The former County of Douro was found on Victorian maps from 1845 and last appeared on a Victorian map in 1864. Further references to Wellington can be found locally in the naming of Waterloo Bay and Cape Wellington and Lake Wellington. The county was incorporated into the new County of Buln Buln in 1871. The County of Mornington proclaimed in 1849, is incidentally named after the title of Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, Arthur Wellesley's father.
Engraving of Dublin's Wellington Testimonial including the never completed equestrian statue
New Zealand

Military units[edit]

Wellington died in 1852 and in the following year Queen Victoria, in recognition of the 33rd foot regiment's long ties to him, ordered that the 33rd foot regiment's title be changed to The Duke of Wellington's Regiment.


HMS Duke of Wellington, a 131 gun first-rate ship of the line was named after the first Duke of Wellington. HMS Iron Duke, named after Wellington, was the flagship of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe at the Battle of Jutland in World War I, one of three so named in the Royal Navy.


Wellington is the only person to have the honour of having not one but two Royal Air Force bombers named for him - the Vickers Wellesley and the Vickers Wellington, and at a time when the convention was for British bombers to be named after landlocked cities.


Great Western Railways "Iron Duke" Class locomotives were named after Wellington, including one of the 1847 originals which was named "Iron Duke" and lent its name to the class. It was withdrawn in 1871, and a replica built in 1985 for the National Railway Museum to exhibit.[38]


The Duke of Wellington's picture featured on the reverse of Series D (Pictoral Series) £5 banknotes issued by the Bank of England (11 November 1971 – 29 November 1991), along with a scene from the Battle of Waterloo.[39]

Food and drink[edit]

Beef Wellington gets its name from the general and prime minister. Ironically, his favourite meat was mutton.[citation needed]

Wellington's likeness appears on the beer labels of the beer brewed by Wellington Brewery in Guelph, Ontario, and the beer "Iron Duke Strong Ale" was named in his honour.

Freedom of the City[edit]

British Empire


  1. ^ Gifford, C.A. (1817). The Life of the Most Noble Arthur, Duke of Wellington. London: W.Lewis. p. 375.
  2. ^ a b "No. 21388". The London Gazette. 6 December 1852. pp. 3563–3564.
  3. ^ Brooke-Little, J.P., FSA (1978) [1950]. Boutell's Heraldry (Revised ed.). London: Frederick Warne LTD. p. 127. ISBN 0-7232-2096-4.
  4. ^ a b "No. 16291". The London Gazette. 26 August 1809. p. 1342.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Elliott, George (1816). The Life of the Most Noble Arthur, Duke of Wellington. London: J.Cundee. p. xiii–xiv.
  6. ^ a b c d Gifford, C.A. (1817). The Life of the Most Noble Arthur, Duke of Wellington. London: W.Lewis. p. 100.
  7. ^ Nafziger, George F. (2001). Historical Dictionary of the Napoleonic Era. Scarecrow Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-8108-6617-1.
  8. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 176
  9. ^ Shaw, p. 180
  10. ^ Watson, Garth (1988). The Civils. Thomas Telford. p. 118. ISBN 0-7277-0392-7.
  11. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1834), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 35
  12. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1819. Landesamt. 1819. p. 23.
  13. ^ Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 471. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
  14. ^ Hannoverscher und Churfürstlich-Braunschweigisch-Lüneburgischer Staatskalender: 1818. 1818. p. 10.
  15. ^ Kurhessisches Staats- und Addreß-Handbuch: auf das Jahr ... 1834. Verlag des Waisenhauses. 1834. p. 15.
  16. ^ Almanach royal des Pays-Bas: pour l'an . 1818. p. 36.
  17. ^ Militaire Willems-Orde: Wellesly 1st Duke of Wellington KG GCB, Arthur, (in Dutch)
  18. ^ Almanach de la cour: pour l'année ... 1817. l'Académie Imp. des Sciences. 1817. p. 67.
  19. ^ a b Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington (1769–1852) – website
  20. ^ Cibrario, Luigi (1869). Notizia storica del nobilissimo ordine supremo della santissima Annunziata. Sunto degli statuti, catalogo dei cavalieri (in Italian). Eredi Botta. p. 99. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  21. ^ Staatshandbuch für den Königreich Sachsen (1843) (in German), "Königliche Ritter-Orden", p. 4
  22. ^ Posttidningar, 30 April 1814, p.2
  23. ^ (Stato), Napoli (1841). Almanacco reale del Regno delle Due Sicilie: per l'anno .... 1841 (in Italian). Stamp. Reale. p. 475. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  24. ^ Stato, p. 479
  25. ^ Württemberg (1815). Königlich-Württembergisches Hof- und Staats-Handbuch: 1815. Guttenberg. p. 17.
  26. ^ a b Wellesley, Arthur (1837). Gurwood, John (ed.). The dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington: During his various campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France, from 1799 to 1818. Vol I. London: John Murray. p. xviii.
  27. ^ "No. 12836". The London Gazette. 6 March 1787. p. 118.
  28. ^ "No. 12959". The London Gazette. 26 January 1788. p. 47.
  29. ^ "No. 13347". The London Gazette. 27 September 1791. p. 542.
  30. ^ "No. 13542". The London Gazette. 29 June 1793. p. 555.
  31. ^ "No. 13596". The London Gazette. 23 November 1793. p. 1052.
  32. ^ "No. 13892". The London Gazette. 14 May 1796. p. 460.
  33. ^ "No. 16510". The London Gazette. 3 August 1811. p. 1526.
  34. ^ "Wellington College History". Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  35. ^ The Wellington Club
  36. ^ "Mount Wellington". Retrieved 20 May 2009.
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  38. ^ "Broad-gauge 'Iron Duke' 4-2-2". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  39. ^ "Withdrawn banknotes reference guide". Bank of England. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.