“Our army is composed of the scum of the earth – the mere scum of the earth.”
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769 to 1852)
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister.
He fought at Flanders in 1794, and directed the campaign in India in 1796, where his elder brother was Governor General.
Elected MP for Rye in 1806 and within a year he was appointed Chief Secretary of Ireland. He continued with his military career despite his parliamentary duties, fighting campaigns in Portugal and France, and being made commander of the British Army in the Peninsular War.
He was given the title Duke of Wellington in 1814, and went on to command his most celebrated campaigns in the Napoleonic Wars, with final victory at Waterloo in 1815. When he returned to Britain he was treated as a hero, formally honoured, and presented with both an estate in Hampshire and a fortune of £400,000.