Arthur Wellesley, 4th Duke of Wellington

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The Duke of Wellington
Arthur Charles Wellesley, Vanity Fair, 1903-03-05.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
8 June 1900 – 18 June 1934
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 3rd Duke of Wellington
Succeeded byThe 5th Duke of Wellington
Personal details
Born(1849-03-15)15 March 1849
Died18 June 1934(1934-06-18) (aged 85)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Kathleen Emily Bulkeley Williams
ChildrenLady Evelyn Wellesley
Arthur Wellesley, 5th Duke of Wellington
Lord Richard Wellesley
Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington
Lady Eileen Wellesley
Lord George Wellesley
Parent(s)Lord Charles Wellesley
Lady Augusta Pierrepont

Arthur Charles Wellesley, 4th Duke of Wellington, KG, GCVO, DL (15 March 1849 – 18 June 1934), styled Lord Arthur Wellesley from 1884 to 1900, was a British peer and politician, and a member of the well-known Wellesley family. He joined the military and served in the Household Division. Upon his childless brother's death in 1900, he inherited the family title and estates.

Early life and career[edit]

Wellesley was born in 1849, the second son of Major-General Lord Charles Wellesley and Augusta Sophia Anne Pierrepont.[1] Wellesley's paternal grandparents included the famous Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Catherine Pakenham and, on the maternal side, Henry Pierrepont, Lady Sophia Cecil. Between 1861 and 1866, he was educated at Eton.[2] After graduating, Wellesley joined the military. He served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards, the most senior regiment of the Guards' division. The Guards formed part of the Household Division, the elite of the military that provided security for the monarch. To be selected as a member of the Household Division was a great honor, and consequently recipients received two ranks, one as a member of the Household Division and a second, higher rank, as a member of the armed forces. Wellesley received the rank of Ensign, in his regiment, and Lieutenant, in the British Army, on 13 June 1868.[3] He would later gain the rank of Lieutenant, in his regiment, and Captain, in the British Army, on 15 February 1871.[3]

Later life and career[edit]

Throughout his career Wellesley saw no combat action: his duties were largely ceremonial as part of the Household Guard. He received the rank Captain in his regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army on 5 April 1879. Wellesley received the rank of Major in his regiment and Colonel in the British Army on 1 August 1887.[3]

On 8 June 1900 his childless brother Henry died.[4] Wellesley succeeded to all of his brother's titles: Duke of Wellington, Prince of Waterloo, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, and Duke of Victoria.[1] He also inherited the London town-house, Apsley House, and the sprawling family estates of Stratfield Saye House, with over 19,000 acres (7,700 ha) of land[1] granted to the first duke by parliamentary purchase for military services. The estate also included four advowsons; Wellesley had the duty, right, and obligation to select the chief clergyman of those parishes.[5]

From 1900 until 1934 Wellesley was a member of the House of Lords[6] on the Conservative benches. He was also a member of the Marlborough Club, a gentleman's club.[5]

The Duchess died on 24 June 1927 at Apsley House and was interred on 28 June at Stratfield Saye.[7] Wellesley died at Ewhurst Park (House), Basingstoke, Hampshire, on 18 June (Waterloo Day) 1934, aged eighty-five, and was buried three days later at Stratfield Saye House, Hampshire, the home conferred on the Dukes of Wellington.[1] His probate was sworn that year at £150,858 (equivalent to about £11,400,000 in 2021); a further grant was in 1936, for £41,666 (equivalent to about £3,000,000 in 2021), all of which excluded underlying third-party family interests in entrusted land and any gifts before death.[8]

His son, Arthur, succeeded him to the Wellesley family estates and titles.[9]


The Duke received the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) on 1 May 1902.[10] He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902,[11] and was invested by King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 8 August 1902.[12][13] He was also awarded the Spanish decoration of the Grand Cross of Charles III, and the Portuguese decoration of the Grand Cross of the Tower and Sword (GCTE),[2] and the Prussian decorations of the Order of the Black Eagle and the Order of the Red Eagle.[14]


On 24 October 1872, he married Kathleen Emily Bulkeley Williams, daughter of Captain Robert Griffith Williams (brother of Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams-Bulkeley, 10th Baronet) and wife Mary Anne Geale (daughter of Pears Geale, of Dublin).[7] He and his wife had six children :


  1. ^ a b c d Sladen p. 1864
  2. ^ a b c The Peerage #103792
  3. ^ a b c J. Murray p. 186
  4. ^ "Wellington, 3rd Duke of, (Henry Wellesley) (5 April 1846–8 June 1900)". 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U192109. ISBN 978-0-19-954089-1. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b Dod p. 104
  6. ^ The World Almanac p. 457
  7. ^ a b c The Peerage #103793
  8. ^ "Find a will". Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  9. ^ Lindsay p. 559
  10. ^ "No. 27430". The London Gazette. 2 May 1902. p. 2933.
  11. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times. No. 36804. London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36842. London. 9 August 1902. p. 6.
  13. ^ "No. 27475". The London Gazette. 19 September 1902. p. 6020.
  14. ^ Massue, The Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage. 1914. p. 1551
  15. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Lady Evelyn Kathleen Wellesley". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
  16. ^ Lundy, Darryl Lady Evelyn Kathleen Wellesley was the daughter of the 4th Duke of Wellington born (30 July 1873 died 19 January 1922) married the Hon. Robert James, who had one son. She is interred at Easby Abbey near Richmond North Yorkshire. "Hon. Robert James". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
  17. ^ "Casualty Details".
  18. ^ [1][dead link]


External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Duke of Wellington
Succeeded by
Dutch nobility
Preceded by Prince of Waterloo
Succeeded by
Spanish nobility
Preceded by Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo
Succeeded by
Portuguese nobility
Preceded by Duke of Victoria
Succeeded by