Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - Military Career - Peninsular War - Aftermath


Hailed as the conquering hero by the British, Wellington was created "Duke of Wellington", a title still held by his descendants (as he did not return to England until the Peninsular War was over, he was awarded all his patents of nobility in a unique ceremony lasting a full day). Although Wellesley spent nearly six years driving the French Army from Spain and removing Joseph Bonaparte from the Spanish throne, he has received little recognition in Spain: history, as taught in Spanish schools, minimises his contribution and those of the British and Portuguese soldiers that fought with him. He received some recognition during his lifetime (the title of "Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo") and the Spanish King Ferdinand VII allowed him to keep part of the works of art from the Royal Collection which he had recovered from the French. His equestrian portrait features prominently in the Monument to the Battle of Vitoria, in present-day Vitoria-Gasteiz.

He was appointed ambassador to France, then took Lord Castlereagh's place as first plenipotentiary to the Congress of Vienna, where he strongly advocated allowing France to keep its place in the European balance of power. On 2 January 1815 the title of his Knighthood of the Bath was converted to Knight Grand Cross upon the expansion of that order.

Read more about this topic:  Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke Of Wellington, Military Career, Peninsular War

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