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Arthur Wellesley

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, was a British politician. (AUDIO: Other Lives)


Arthur was born in the year 1769, just months apart from his future enemy, Napoléon Bonaparte. Anglo-Irish, Wellesley was born in Dublin to an influential, if hard-up, aristocratic family. His name was Wesley – the Honourable Arthur Wesley, to be precise. Later the family name reverted to its original form, Wellesley. (PROSE: World Game)

He met the Second Doctor in 1794 when the Doctor and his friend Serena thwarted an attempt by the Players to blow up Wellesley and Lord Nelson at the same time, and change history as a result since without either Nelson or Wellington at their respective battles, Napoleon Bonaparte would win. The two humans were awaiting an appointment with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. (PROSE: World Game)

By the age of 35, Wellesley, now Sir Arthur Wellesley, was a Major-general, returning to England after a long series of successful campaigns in India. (PROSE: World Game)

Wellesley led the British effort in the Peninsular War against the French in Portugal and Spain. During this war, Wellesley was responsible for defeating six of Napoleon's marshals, comprising the majority of them, one after another, battle after battle, victory after victory. (PROSE: World Game)

In 1814, he was made the Duke of Wellington. (PROSE: World Game) By this point, Viscount Wellington was a member of the Order of the Garter and a close ally of fellow Garter Knight Viscount Castlereagh. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

At a ball in 1815, Wellington again met the Second Doctor and Serena. Serena sacrificed herself to save Wellesley from an assassin. After the subsequent Battle of Waterloo, Wellesley remarked to the Doctor that "the only thing sadder than a battle lost, is a battle won." (PROSE: World Game) The Fourth Doctor later considered how right he was: the only thing harder than losing was winning and realising whom you had lost to reach that point. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) Wellesley fought alongside Oliver Blazington at the battle. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Jungle) Major General Fergus Lethbridge-Stewart served as the Duke's right-hand man at the battle. (PROSE: The Scales of Injustice)

During a brief visit to 1816, the Doctor met with Wellesley again and took a trip to Brighton with him. They met the Prince Regent, who convinced the Doctor to invest some money he had recently won gambling in a bank that a friend of his had just founded. (PROSE: World Game)

In the years after the Napoleonic Wars, Wellesley served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In 1851, when he was an elderly man near the end of his life, he met the Eighth Doctor's companion Charley Pollard at the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London. He took an immediate liking to Charley, who was initially unaware of his identity; despite the objections of his assistant Fazackerly, Wellesley permitted Charley to call him by his first name. (AUDIO: Other Lives)

At some point, Wellesley gave the Doctor a portrait of himself, of which the Doctor thought the nose flattered him. On the back of the portrait was a message: "Dear Doctor. Sincerest thanks for all your good advice." (AUDIO: The Sands of Life)


In a history project for school in 2009, Clyde Langer and Luke Smith were required to show the battle strategies of Wellington and Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, while playing a game of Waterloo on Mr Smith. Luke, impersonating Napoleon, referred to Clyde as "monsieur Duke". (TV: The Last Sontaran)

Behind the scenes[]

  • He was played by Stephen Fry in an episode of Blackadder the Third and Blackadder: Back and Forth and by David Troughton in Sharpe's Rifles and Sharpe's Eagles. Hugh Fraser played the Duke in all subsequent Sharpe films.
  • Jeremy Clyde is the great-great-great-grandson of the Duke of Wellington.