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Imperial Magazine;




(1830. Biographical Sketch of

jesty George the Second, that, in 1747, he HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,

created him a peer of Ireland, by the title K.G. K.G.C.B. &c. &c.

of Baron Mornington.

His eldest son,

Garret, succeeded him in his barony, and Arma, pirumque cano.

was, in 1760, created Viscount Wellesley

and Earl of Mornington. He married (With a Portrait.)

Anne, daughter of the right honourable The subject of this memoir has, by his Arthur Hill, Viscount Dungannon, by great actions, associated himself so inti- whom he had issue, the present Marquis mately with the history of our country, Wellesley, William, now Wellesley Pole, that his biography includes a series of the and Artuur, the subject of our history. most interesting national events--and fur- The Earl of Mornington dying while nishes a proud memorial of British valour the greater part of his family were in and independence, which will survive so

their infancy, his lady was left, with a long as the field of Waterloo remains fortune impaired by unavoidable circumunforgotten.

stances, to conduct them to maturity. The family of Wellesley is descended Her ladyship’s matemal virtues and enerfrom the Colleys, who, in the reign of getic mind enabled her, however, to supHenry the Eighth had been settled from port the trying difficulties of her situation. time immemorial in the county of Rut- Her eldest son nobly submitted the guidland. In this king's reign,' Walter and ance of the family estates to her hands; Robert Colley, two brothers of the family, and afterwards, from motives of filial established themselves in the county of respect, paid off the whole of his deceased Kilkenny, Ireland, when his Majesty father's debts. granted them, for their lives, the office of ARTHUR WELLESLEY was born May clerks of the crown in chancery. Robert 1st, 1769. At an early age he was placed subsequently became Master of the Rolls; at Eton; from whence, having chosen the while Walter was appointed, first, Solicitor army for his profession, he was sent to General, and afterwards, Surveyor General Angiers in France, where he remained of that kingdom.

some time under the tuition of the celeSir Henry Colley, eldest son of Walter brated Pignerol, to be instructed in the Colley, took up the profession of arms, art of war. and held a commission under Queen Having acquired a considerable knowElizabeth. His able conduct procured ledge of military tactics, he entered the him the favour of his sovereign, and he army; and, receiving his first commission was appointed a member of the Privy (in the 41st) during the time of peace, Council. He married Catherine, daughter devoted his mind to the acquisition of of Sir Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of the whole economy of war, and thus laid Ireland, by whom he had three sons. the basis of his future fame. The second of these, Sir Henry Colley, At the age of twenty-three he obtained of Castle Carbury, was the immediate the rank of captain in the 18th regiment ancestor of the present family of Wel- of light dragoons; and, in 1793, was lesley.

appointed to the majority of the thirtyAnother Sir Henry Colley, a descendant third, vacant by the resignation of Major of the last mentioned, left a numerous Gore. Availing himself of his right of issue ; among whom was Richard Colley, seniority to purchase in succession, he who first assumed the name of Wellesley, obtained the lieutenant-colonelcy of bis in consequence of his succession to the regiment, in the latter part of the same estates of his cousin, Garret Wellesley of year. At this time he served under Earl Dangan. This gentleman held several Moira, and, early in 1794, accompanied offices under the crown, and so highly were the late Duke of York in his unfortunate his public services esteemed by his Ma- expedition into Flanders. 133.-VOL. XI.


The subsequent invasion of Holland | Tope, from whence they considerably was attended with fresh disasters, and, on annoyed the British camp, Colonel Welthe evacuation of that country by the lesley received orders, on the evening British forces, Lieutenant-colonel Wellesley before the attack on Seringapatam, to coreturned to England.

operate with Colonel Shaw in scouring Immediately after the arrival of the this retreat of the enemy. A little after troops in this country, great expedition was sun-set the detachments advanced, both used to prepare them for foreign service, at the same time, under the disadvantages and the thirty-third being under orders for of complete darkness. Colonel Wellesley, the West Indies, their lieutenant-colonel on entering the Tope, was assailed so vioembarked with them in the feet com- lently, that he was unable to do more manded by Admiral Christian, and des- | than make a diversion in favour of Colonel tined for that country.

Shaw, who found means to seize upon a Heavy gales, however, frustrating their ruined village, which sheltered his troops voyage, the troops were placed under fresh from the musketry of the enemy. The orders; the thirty-third being sent into next morning, however, Wellesley adIreland to recruit, where they remained vanced with a strong force to the Tope, till once more called into active service. and eventually succeeded, in conjunction

In 1797, Lieutenant-colonel Wellesley with Shaw, in driving the enemy from the received an appointment to accompany strong hold. his brother, Lord Mornington, then Go- After the capture of Seringapatam, vernor-General, into India.

Colonel Wellesley was made Governor of In the battle of Mallavelly, which im- this place, and one of the commissioners mediately preceded the siege of Seringa. to fix the divisions of the conquered propatam, the gallantry and skill of Colonel vinces. In the execution of the duties Wellesley contributed not a little to the connected with these offices, he displayed success of our arms.

great ability and the strictest integrity. On the 26th of March 1799, the British Having now attained the rank of Major army encamped five miles eastward of General, he distinguished himself in the Mallavelly; the forces of Tippoo Saib, Mahratta war, more particularly in the the Sultan, lying, at the same time, near famous battle of Assye, where he had to the banks of the Maddoor. Tippoo contend with an army ten times superior shewing a disposition to

in numbers to his own.

This victory engagement, Colonel Wellesley's division confirmed his character and reputation, was ordered to move parallel to the left, and its consequences were of such imbut at some distance, so as to cover the portance to the British cause, that a mobaggage, and to be in readiness to act as

was erected to his honour at occasion might require; while the main Calcutta, he received the thanks of the body marched on the great road leading parliament at home, and was made a to Mallavelly. The action having com- Knight Companion of the Bath. menced, Colonel Wellesley taking advan- In 1805, he returned to England, and tage of a critical juncture, and supported shortly after became member of parliaby Major General Floyd, advanced an ment for Newport. His military services echellon of battalions; and the whole line not being immediately required, he was thus moving slowly and steadily, time was sent to Ireland, as Secretary to the Duke given for the whole to act together; the of Richmond ; but was soon after called enemy's cannonade being answered by to accompany Lord Cathcart to Copenas many of the field-pieces as could be hagen ; and for his conduct in that expebrought up

The action thus became dition he received the thanks of both general along the whole front. At this houses of parliament. moment a desperate attempt was made The time was now drawing on when on the part of T'ippoo, by moving forward the abilities of Sir Arthur Wellesley were a column, to the amount of two thousand to be called into a field of martial entermen, in excellent order, towards the thirty- prise peculiarly his own. He sailed from third, Colonel Wellesley's regiment. This Cork on the 12th of July, 1808, with a gallant leader commanded his soldiers to force of ten thousand men, for the Spanish reserve their fire, and advance directly Peninsula, and arrived, on the twentieth, upon the coluinn, which immediately gave at Corunna. way, and fell into total disorder.

When Sir Arthur first arrived in Spain, A body of the Sultan's infantry and the aspect of affairs was far from encourocket men having possessed themselves of raging. The activity of the enemy, and a large grove, called the Sultaunpettah | the divisions which prevailed among the






natives, seemed likely to paralyze any On his arrival in Portugal, Sir Arthur attempt he could make for the promotion was immediately appointed by the Porof the cause in which he had embarked. tuguese, Marshal-general of their armies, Satisfied that the principal things required and thus invested with unrestricted power. by Spain at this time, were arms and But the difficulties with which he had to money, he proceeded at once to Oporto, contend, were of so obstinate a nature, where agents had been provided by the that nothing less than the energetic perEnglish ministers to negotiate the neces- severance and determined conduct which sary supplies.

he brought to the execution of his mighty The indeterminate

of the enterprises, could have rendered them Spaniards continued to threaten the neu- successful. It is impossible for us to give tralization of his plans; and his diffi- a detailed account of the Peninsular war, culties were increased by the still existing or of the subsequent achievements of our want of necessary provision and equip- hero; we can only touch, and that briefly, ment for his own forces. When a court upon the great incidents which, involving of inquiry had been instituted, to examine the fate of Europe, have encircled his into the state of the commissariat, the Grace with a splendid halo, that will illuobservations of Sir Arthur Wellesley gave mine the annals of succeeding ages. rise to a minute investigation, which pro

“No words,” says

an eye-witness, duced changes of the first consequence to

<< would be

adequate to convey the the British army. “The fact is,” said he, faintest idea of the delight exhibited by all “ that I wished to draw the attention of classes of persons, so soon as the arrival the Government to this important branch of Sir Arthur Wellesley at Lisbon became of the service, which is but little under- known. All day long the streets were crowded stood in this country. The evils of which with men and women, congratulating one I complained are probably to be attributed another on the happy event; and at to the nature of our political situation, night the city was illuminated, even in which prevents us from undertaking great the meanest and most obscure of its lanes military operations, in which the subsis. and alleys. In the theatres, pieces were tence of armies becomes a subject of hastily got up, somewhat after the fashion serious consideration and difficulty, and of the masks anciently exhibited among these evils consist in the inexperience of ourselves, in which Victory was made almost every individual belonging to the crown the representative of the hero commissariat, in the mode of procuring, with laurels, and to address him in conveying, and distributing supplies." language, as far removed from the

Sir Arthur was joined at Vimiero by terms of ordinary conversation, as might Generals Ackland and Anstruther, when an be expected from an allegorical personengagement took place, in which Junot's age.” army was defeated with great loss. After The battle of Talavera was, perhaps, the this, an armistice was concluded, and in a first engagement that gave a decisive adshort time the convention of Cintra put a vantage to the allied army of England and stop to further hostilities; when Sir Arthur Portugal; and for this victory, Sir Arthur Wellesley returned to England.

was raised to the peerage, by the title of The Junta of Oporto, headed by the Lord Wellington. bishop, an intriguing prelate, began to His Lordship then invested the city and direct their aim at the supreme power; and fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo, but deemed it considerable clamours were raised against prudent to raise the siege, in consequence the convention, both in England and of the great accession of strength that had Portugal. Sir John Moore was appointed been obtained by Massena. On the 16th to the command of an army sent into the of March, 1812, about two months after Peninsula; and, after a long series of his first attempt, he again appeared before military operations, for the most part un- the city, and entered it in twenty days successful, the alarming crisis at which our after. Massena had been succeeded in affairs had arrived in that country, on the the command of the French army by death of this general, determined the Marmont. “On the evening of the twentyministry to invest Sir Arthur Wellesley first of July, Wellington and Marmont lay with the chief command. He accordingly in full view of each other, on two opposite set sail from Portsmouth on the 16th of rising grounds near Salamanca; when a April, 1809, and, after encountering much great storm of thunder and rain came on, boisterous weather on his passage, arrived and, during the whole night, the sky was in the Tagus on the 22d of the same bright with lightning. Wellington was at month.

table when he received intelligence that his



adversary was extending his left with the who was thus enabled to single out the purpose of coming between him and Ciu- offender. A court-martial was held, and dad Rodrigo. He rose in haste, exclaim- the criminal condemned to die on the foling, “ Marmont's good genius has forsaken lowing morning. As early as four o'clock him," and was instantly on horseback. the whole of the allied army was assembled The great battle of Salamanca was fought in the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris, where on the 22d of July. The French were the prisoner was to undergo the sentence. attacked on the point which Marmont's The charge upon which he had been tried movement leftwards had weakened, and and convicted was read aloud, and the unsustained a signal defeat. For this victory, fortunate man prepared for the presence of Lord Wellington received the most distin- an offended Maker. Not a murmur ran guished honours from the Spanish autho- through the ranks. The justice of the derities; whilst his own country testified its cree was acknowledged by every soldier, gratitude by creating him a Marquis, and and if the short lapse of time beiween the conferring a grant of one hundred thousand offence and its solemn expiation excited pounds.

feelings of terror, they were mingled with After the battle of Salamanca, the Mar- respect for the stern severity of their comquis retired with his forces to Ciudad | mander; the drums beat, and the black Rodrigo ; and thus closed the campaign fag waved mournfully in the air. The of 1812.

ministers of justice had raised the engines Advancing from the Portuguese frontier, of destruction, and the fatal monosyllable Marquis Wellington concentrated his forces Fire, was half ejaculated, when the Duke on the plains of Vittoria ; and there, on the of Wellington rushed before the firelocks, 21st of June, 1813, totally defeated King and commanded a momentary pause whilst Joseph_ and Marshal Jourdan. The eyes he addressed the prisoner; “You have of all Europe were now directed towards offended against the laws of God, of honour, him, in the fullest expectation and confi- and of virtue,—the grave is open before dence, that he would eventually procure you,-in a few short moments your soul the safety and repose of the nations, from will appear before its Maker,—your prothe common enemy who disturbed them. secutor complains of your sentence,-the He was rewarded with the grant of an man whom you have robbed would plead estate in Spain, worth ten thousand pounds for your life, and is horror-struck at the a year; and was, moreover, created Duke rapidity of your judgment.

You are a of Vittoria. His present Majesty, then soldier, you have been brave, and, as report Prince Regent, was also graciously pleased says, until now, even virtuous. Speak to send his Lordship a highly compli- | boldly! in the face of Heaven, and as a mentary letter, and

a Field - marshal's soldier of an army devoted to virtue and baton.

good order, declare now your own feelings The interval between these events and as to your sentence. “General," said the the entrance of the allies into Paris, was man, "retire, and let my comrades do their occupied by his Lordship in pursuing his duty; when a soldier forgets his honour, advantages over Marshal Soult. The pas- life becomes disgraceful, and an immediate sage of the Bidassoa, and the battles of punishment is due as an example to the St. Race and Toulouse, reflected additional army--Fire." “ You have spoken nobly," glory on the British arms. The last of said the Duke, with a tear in his eye.these engagements must, however, be “ You have saved your life,-how can I deemed unfortunate; since, if prompt in. destroy a repentant sinner, whose words telligence had been sent to Lord Welling- are of greater value to the troops than his ton, of the signing of the Convention at death would be? Soldiers, bear this in Paris, the consequent effusion of blood mind, and may a sense of honour always might have been prevented.

deter you from infamy." The troops rent The following characteristic anecdote of the air with huzzas; the criminal fell prosthe noble Duke, may not be inappropriately trate before the Duke; the word, March! was introduced in this place :-During the given; he arose, and returned alive in those campaign of the allied troops in Paris, a ranks which were to have witnessed his French citizen, who was returning from execution. the country through the Champs Elysées, The Convention of Paris was signed on where the troops were encamped, was the 23d of April, 1814. In the following robbed of his watch, by a sergeant in the May, Lord Wellington was created Mar British army. Complaint was immediately quis of Douro and Duke of Wellington ; made to the commanding officer, and the and received a grant of four hundred troops were paraded before the Frenchman, I thousand pounds, to be laid out in the

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