[1828] - Wellington becomes Prime Minister

Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, was a leading army officer and statesman in the early nineteenth century. Born in Dublin in 1769, he went to school in Ireland, England and Belgium before obtaining a commission in the army in 1787. In 1790 he became a Member of Parliament for the borough of Trim. As war was declared between Britain and France in 1793, Wellesley obtained a commission as a major. He subsequently rose to prominence during the Peninsular campaign, being promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allies to victory at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. In 1815 he commanded the allied forces alongside General Blücher, defeating Napoleon decisively at the Battle of Waterloo. He twice served as Prime Minister, first from 1828 to 1830, and then briefly in 1834. A deeply conservative politician, he nonetheless presided over the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in 1828, and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. In addition, he played a prominent role in the establishment of King’s College London in 1829. He retained his position as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death in 1852.

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