The legacy of the Duke of Wellington towers over British history. The hero of Waterloo and vanquisher of Napoleon, the poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson hailed him as the 'last great Englishman'. In fact Wellington was born in Dublin in 1769, Arthur Wesley (later changed to Wellesley) and was the third surviving son in an aristocratic Protestant Irish family. His father's death in 1781 hit the family's financial standing and Wellington followed his mother to Brussels in 1785. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland and later rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. His greatest victory came at Waterloo, when he defeated Napoleons army on 18th June 1815. After Waterloo, the new Duke bought Stratfield Saye with the moneys granted to him by the government of the day, in gratitude and recognition of his outstanding service in the wars against Napoleon, culminating in the victory at Waterloo. We visit this famous house as part of this tour.
Your host and guide is military historian and popular Travel Editions guide, Julian Humphrys.
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