John Paul Jones
Oliver Hazard Perry
Robert Edward Lee
William Tecumseh Sherman
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Read More Articles About: Famous Warriors
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
THE GREATEST MAN OF A GREAT AGE
Disraeli, who delivered the eulogium at the funeral services over the Duke of Wellington, pronounced him, "the greatest man of a great age." The British Nation, which owed him much, echoed the sentiment, for among all the great men of the Kingdom, it could boast of none, who in the combined capacity of warrior and statesman, was his equal. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, was the third son of Garrett, second Earl of Mornington. His mother was Anne, the daughter of Arthur Hill, Viscount Dungannon. Strangely enough, the exact date and even the place of his birth, cannot be stated with absolute certainty. It was, however, one of the last days of April or the first day of May, 1769, and his birthplace was either in Merrion street, Dublin, or at Dungan Castle in the County of Meath. The family from which Wellington sprung was one of great antiquity, his ancestors having originally settled in Rutlandshire. His father was a man of extensive acquaintance and endowed with a hospitable disposition, had no inclination for public affairs, but devoted most of his time to the study and practice of music. This fondness for music and failure to interest himself in the affairs of his estate, was responsible for the fact that when he died at his house in Kensington, on May 22, 1781, his large family was not well provided for, his property being encumbered to a considerable extent.
Wellington's earlier education was begun at Eton as was that of his elder brother, Viscount Wellesley, who later completed his course at Oxford. Wellington was placed under the tuition of Rev. H. Mitchell, A.M., vicar of Brighton, and was later sent to the military academy at Angers. In his previous studies he had given little promise of developing into the brilliant statesman and a military genius whose destiny it was to accomplish the overthrow of Napoleon Bonaparte's gigantic schemes of conquest. At Angers, however, he became fairly proficient in the work laid out for him and it early became evident that the prospect of a career at arms inspired him to give his best efforts in this direction. Not long after Lord Mornington, Wellington's senior brother, had attained his majority, he was elected a representative of the royal borough of New Windsor and was named one of the commissioners for Indian affairs. This appointment subsequently made it possible for him to aid his younger brother toward the goal of fame. Wellington obtained his first commission in March, 1787, entering the army as an ensign in the Seventy-third Regiment. His advance was rapid and after having served with various regiments, was, in 1793, gazetted major of the Thirty-third Foot. In September of the same year, upon the retirement of Lieutenant-Colonel Yorke, he secured that position. Wellington had in the meantime become a member of the Irish Parliament. He was first returned to the Parliament in the summer of 1790 from the borough of Trim, whose patronage belonged to the house of Mornington. He sat for the borough in 1791, 1792, and 1793. His appearance at this time is described as a ruddy-faced, juvenile looking youth. He wore a scarlet uniform with large epaulettes and was extremely popular among men of his age and rank. As a speaker he was already possessed of a fluent delivery and his remarks were always terse and directly to the point. As an attaché of the Irish court, having been appointed to the staff of the Earl of Westmoreland, Wellington found himself compelled to make larger expenditures than he could well afford, in order that he might maintain the dignity of his station. At this time a wealthy tradesman generously advanced him the required amount, and it was not many years before he was able to repay the debt and at the same time acknowledge his gratitude by appointing the tradesman to a position of honor. Wellington's career in Parliament was interrupted by a call to active military service. The republican army of France had been making rapid progress, and storm clouds were beginning to appear on the horizon of European political affairs. England concluded that aid given the Bourbon party of France might serve to check the alarming spread of republicanism. As Lieutenant-Colonel of the Thirty-third, Wellington embarked in June, 1794, at Cork and in the following month arrived at Ostend. Here Lord Moore soon arrived with additional troops. The armies of the coalition had been driven off French soil and were trying to maintain their positions in Austrian Flanders. The Austrian and Hanoverian commanders had suffered successive defeats, however, and the result of these reverses was to cause the Duke of York to retreat to Antwerp. Lord Moore decided to evacuate Ostend and hasten to his relief. It was at Antwerp that Wellington first saw an army in the field. The campaign in Flanders was brief and unsatisfactory and at its close, Wellington was selected by Sir David Dundas to cover the retreat of the army. This movement, filled with peril and of a nature to try the stoutest heart, was accomplished in the midst of the rigors of a severe winter and the manner in which the rear-guard fulfilled its mission raised the young Lieutenant-Colonel high in the estimation of his superiors. In 1796, Wellington's regiment was ordered to India, and landed at Calcutta in February of 1797. In May of the following year, his brother, Lord Mornington, afterward Marquis of Wellesley, arrived at Calcutta, having been made Governor-General. At this time Tippoo Saib, Sultan of the Mysore, was preparing to make war in an effort to recover the territory he had lost by the treaty of 1792. The new Governor-General took effective measures to suppress him, after first having attempted pacific methods. The British army, including native allies numbered 40,000 men, while Tippoo Saib had an available force of 76,000 fighting men. War was declared February 22, 1799. The Thirty-third Regiment was attached to a subsidiary force of the Nizam of Ducon, the most formidable ally of the British. Under orders of General Harris, Wellington was given command of this division and the march upon Seringapatam began. In the first engagement with Tippoo he was defeated, with a loss of 1,500 men and in a second battle the division commanded by Wellington defeated a force of 2,000 of the rebel's best cavalry. Tippoo retreated to Seringapatam and the British appeared before the city April 3d. Three days later in an assault upon the works, Welling-ton was wounded in the knee and narrowly escaped fall-into the hands of his savage enemies. It was not until May 4 that the city was captured, Tippoo Saib having been slain. Wellington was then made Military Governor of Mysore. This experience in settling and administering affairs in the conquered territory was of great value to him. His position was by no means a secure one, the frontiers of Mysore being constantly harassed by native tribes, one of the most desperate of the marauding bands being led by a chief called Doondiah. So vigorously did Wellington take up the pursuit after this native bandit and his followers that Doondiah sought refuge in the neighboring territory of Mahratta. Wellington, with his troops, pursued the fugitive through the Mahratta territory and completely put him to rout. During his campaign in this territory he acquired a knowledge of the country and the people, which proved invaluable to him later on when the Mahratta War broke out. In the meantime, however, his career in India threatened to come to an end. He received orders in December, i800, to take command of a body of troops for service in Ceylon. Later, a change was made whereby the destination of the troops was changed to Egypt, and in consequence Wellington was notified that he would be made second in command to General Baird, instead of at the head of the expedition, as at first ordered. He felt deeply aggrieved at this, but so earnest was he for the success of the expedition that without having received any instructions to do so, and at the risk of being severely censured, he removed the troops from Trincomalee, where they had been waiting embarkation for Ceylon, to Bombay, feeling convinced that if the troops were to be of any value for service in Egypt, they would have to be provisioned in Bombay without further delay. In justifying himself in this action before his superiors, Wellington displayed a remarkable acquaintance with the necessities of an invasion of Egypt. His expected trip to Egypt was canceled by an attack of fever on the eve of departure, and when he recovered he was ordered back to Mysore. In the meantime, Holkar and other native chiefs had made war against the Mahratta territory and the Peshwa had fled to the coast. The potentate laid his case before the Indian Government and a treaty was effected with him by which his territory was to be re-stored. This apparently formidable task fell to Welling-ton, who, to the surprise of all, accomplished it without being compelled to strike a blow or defend himself against one. With his troops he left Seringapatam, March 12, 1803, and crossed into Mahratta. He started for Poona, the capital, 600 miles distant, and his progress through the territory was a succession of triumphs. His extraordinary success on this occasion was the result of his tact, firmness, good judgment, and thorough under-standing of the characters with whom he had to deal. When sixty miles from Poona he learned that a rival of the Peshwa, Amrut Rao, was about to consign the town to the flames. Without losing a moment, at the head of his cavalry he pressed on and reached Poona on the afternoon of April 20, in time to save it from destruction. The Peshwa was restored to his power and became a faithful ally to the British. Wellington was now made Governor-General over all of the states and tribes of that section of India. His most troublesome adversary was Sindhia, one of the chieftains who had put the Peshwa to flight. Failing to arrive at a peaceful understanding with Sindhia, Wellington declared war on him on August 6, 1803. He marched northward, captured Ahmadnager on August crossed the Godavery, and on September 23 came upon the combined forces of Sindhia and the Rajah of Berar. The enemy occupied a strong position, and in point of numbers were greatly superior to Wellington's force, but without hesitation he valiantly attacked the natives and defeated them, though not until after a most desperate battle had been fought, in which 2,500 men were slain. The victory resulted in the capture of 100 cannon. This battle, which is known as the battle of Assaye, was the most sanguinary engagement in which Wellington had thus far participated, but fate had decreed that he should be the leader on another bloody field, in comparison with which, the battle of Assaye could scarcely be ranked as a skirmish. The war against Sindhia and the Rajah of Berar was concluded by a second and decisive victory at Argaum on September 29. Wellington was not yet thirty-five years of age, and yet he had already gained an enviable reputation, not only for bravery and skill upon the field of battle, but also as a master diplomat in dealing with the cunning and often treacherous potentates of India. At this time he presented a striking appearance. He was of middle height, muscular, and straight, and his distinguished air would anywhere attract attention. He sailed for England on March 10, 1804. His merit as a commanding officer was now fully established, and the King and Parliament thanked him for his splendid achievements in the Indian campaigns. In 1805 he was made Colonel of the Thirty-Third Regiment, and the following year was returned to Parliament from the borough of Rye. On April 10, 1806, Wellington married Katherine Pakenham, daughter of Edward Michael, second Earl of Longford. Two sons were the issue of this marriage, Arthur, born in 1807, and Charles, born in the following year.
The administration of the Earl of Mornington, his illustrious brother, was attacked in the House of Commons, and Wellington made such a vigorous defense of his brother that the House gave a vote of thanks to the Earl, instead of criticising his actions in India. In 18o7 Wellington was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland. From August 29 of this year, he aided Lord Cathcart in bringing about the surrender of the Danish forces at Copenhagen and by the terms of the treaty agreed upon, the Danish fleet was delivered over to the British Government. The object of this move was to prevent the squadron from falling into the hands of Napoleon. In February, 1808, Wellington again received the thanks of Parliament, and in April of that year he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He was then placed in command of a detachment of the army, detailed to aid in resisting the aggressions of the French in Spain and Portugal. With his forces he embarked for Spain in July. August 2 he landed his troops at Mondego Bay, and issued a proclamation to the Portuguese explaining his mission. The peninsula was almost completely in the possession of the French. Saborde, with a force of 6,000 French troops, was attacked at Rolica, August 17, and forced to retreat. The battle of Rolica resulted in the killing or wounding of 1,200 of the 5,000 men engaged. On the 19th and 20th insts. reinforcements arrived, which increased the army of Wellington to 16,000 men. A battle was precipitated the following day at Vimeiro, in which the attacking force of 14,000 French were driven back in great confusion, with a loss of 36 officers and 594 men, killed and wounded. In the midst of this engagement he was superseded in command by Sir Henry Burrard, and vainly endeavored to induce the new commander to follow up the victory with pursuit. Wellington returned to England and once more took his seat in the House of Commons. Sir John Moore, who succeeded to the command of the army in Spain, after a disastrous retreat, engaged the French at Corunna, was victorious, but lost his life just as the battle was won and his army hastened to the ships. In spite of the bitter attacks made upon his military record about this time, Wellington was again made Commander-in-Chief of the forces in the Spanish Peninsula. Resigning his position as Secretary to Ireland, he sailed for Spain, April 16, 1809. In addition to his own he was given a large force of Spanish and Portuguese troops, and at once began a movement toward the enemy. Oporto, which had been captured by Marshal Soult, was attacked and retaken, the French being driven out. Baggage, booty, and artillery were left behind, and fell into the hands of the victor. He now bent his energies toward bringing about an engagement with Marshal Vic-tor, whose forces consisted of 53,000 men. Wellington's army consisted of 22,000 British troops and Spanish allies to the number of 56,000. At Talavera the army of Victor was encountered on July 27. The battle opened with an attack by the French light infantry, and soon the engagement became general. The fighting continued into the night, and at daylight the following morning it was resumed. For a time the French were forced back, but rallied, and in a desperate charge swept back the German hussars, who were among the English allies. This advantage was but momentary. The Germans re-formed and fell upon the French with resistless fury. At 6 o'clock on the second day of the battle the French fell back under the repeated onslaughts of the British and allied troops, and ceased to resist. The losses to the French, according to their own figures, were 7,389 men, killed, wounded, and prisoners. The British forces lost 5,423. After this battle, despite the fact that he had been victorious, Wellington found himself placed in an extremely critical condition. His troops, composed to a large extent of raw material, were poorly fed and poorly equipped. Hundreds of horses were unfit for service or had been killed in battle. In addition to these discouraging conditions, his requests for aid from his own Government were received with cold indifference. His enemies were still making accusations against him, and maintained that he had accomplished nothing of importance in the peninsula. Spain's promise to supply the British with provisions was not kept.' Under these circumstances Wellington decided to withdraw from the country, asserting that a half starved army was worse than no army at all. Finally, however, he came to the conclusion that he would henceforth confine his attentions to the protection of Lisbon. On September 16, 1809, Wellington received the gratifying intelligence that he had been raised to the peerage, with the titles of Baron Douro of Wellesley, Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. He now spent several months in strengthening his position in Portugal. He surmised that in the spring Napoleon would throw a tremendous force into the Spanish Peninsula, and strongly fortified the mountain passes to the north of Lisbon, and left no point open to easy invasion between the Tagus and the ocean. His expectations proved to be correct. Marshal Masséna had taken the place of Soult. He was the most distinguished of all the Generals in the Austrian campaign, and as summer drew near, he approached Portugal with an army of 70,000 men. Like his predecessor, he hoped to obtain the crown of Portugal by wresting the territory from the British. At the same time Napoleon, in order to crush all opposition in Spain, dispatched a tremendous force into that country. Wellington's plan was to retire further and further toward the coast in the hope that the French would follow. He figured that they would have an extremely difficult task to perform in the event that they should be compelled to retreat through the hostile territory. The French did exactly what he had anticipated. They attacked Ciudad Rodrigo, and, much to the surprise and disgust of the Spaniards, Wellington firmly refused to lend the beleaguered city any assistance, which he might have done had such a movement accorded with the plans he had mapped out. Rodrigo therefore fell, and after the in-vestment of Coa in the middle of August, the invasion of Portugal was really begun. Masséna captured Almeida and pushed forward, declaring he would drive the English into the sea within a few weeks. In the meantime Wellington was strengthening his position about Busaco. Upon the arrival of the French, the British, to the number of 25,000, were immediately attacked, and succeeded in repulsing the French. Masséna had lost about 6,000 men in killed, wounded, and prisoners. After administering this check to the onward march of the invaders, Wellington withdrew to Lisbon, and there massed an army of 100,000 men, including the allies. At this time Masséna, with his army, was seeking in vain for a way through the mountains, which Wellington had so care-fully fortified during the fall and winter.
The natural strength of the English position was considerably increased by the military labors of the leader. Inside the fortifications Wellington's army was enjoying health and plenty, while outside Masséna's soldiers were striving to endure conditions akin to starvation. Under these circumstances it did not require much time for Masséna to come to the conclusion that discretion demanded his departure. He retired with his entire army. Wellington now took the offensive and was soon in full pursuit of the French. From this time, October, 181o, until the following May, there was a series of engagements between the two armies. At Albuera, May 16, a battle was fought which resulted in a victory for the English. In this engagement the allies lost 3,500 men out of 7,000. The French lost 9,500 men. Soon after this battle Badajoz was besieged, but the attempt to take this city failed. All the efforts of the French to maintain themselves in Portugal proved unsuccessful. Wellington took Rodrigo and invested Badajoz a second time. It was not until another and still more determined effort had been made, however, that the stronghold finally fell into the hands of the English. The victors lost 5,000 men, killed and wounded, and took 4,000 prisoners. Wellington moved on to. Madrid, where he was received with enthusiastic demonstration by the people. Before reaching the capital he had fought the battle of Salamanca a decisive victory for the British and a severe blow to the French. The English general continued to assume the offensive in his campaign against the French armies in Spain. His siege of Burgos proved a failure in September, 1812, and the allied army retreated to Agueda. In the following year, after a reorganization of his army, Wellington departed from Portugal. He followed Joseph Bonaparte to Vitoria, and on June 21 he utterly routed the French near that city. Joseph Bonaparte conducted an inglorious retreat, having lost about 7,000. The French armies retreated to the Pyrenees, still hunted by the English, and finally passed over the mountain range and out of Spain. Wellington had finally brought his victorious forces in sight of France. On June 21 the French army in Spain had been practically annihilated, but on July 21 Soult found himself in command of a force 8o,000 strong. The English began a siege of San Sebastian, but the project was abandoned after determined efforts to take the place by storm, and from this time until August 1, Wellington was engaged in what are called the Battles of the Pyrenees. In the various combats here Soult, lost 8,000 men, but Wellington's military ability was tried to the utmost to maintain the advantage he had secured during the previous years.
After these operations the siege of San Sebastian was once more resumed. A fleet of transports from England brought necessary engines and equipment to the British. On September 8, after a vigorous assault by the allies, the stronghold was captured. One of the dark chapters in the history of the peninsular campaigns is that describing the sack of the captured city. Officers attempted to restrain the victors, but in spite of their efforts the soldiers committed the most serious excesses. The fall of Pampeluna was now the only object sought by Wellington before he should march against the entrenched camps of the French. This stronghold was surrendered October 31. The English army next made the famous passage of the Bidassoa, and the advance into France was begun. Soult, with 30,000 men, attacked the English on the Heights of St. Pierre, but was repulsed. During the early months of 1814 Bayonne was invested and taken, the English army crossed the Adour, gave battle at Orthez, and caused the French to retreat. Bordeaux was entered, and Soult added once more defeat to his growing list at Toulouse.
While Napoleon's lieutenants were losing ground thus rapidly in the south of France, Bonaparte himself was undertaking a defense of the approaches to his Capital. One million men had been collected in Europe for the purpose of overthrowing the Emperor, and he found himself more narrowly confined from day to day.
Lamartine describes the situation as follows :
"Wellington had descended from the Pyrenees on the south, with the best troops of Spain and Portugal. The armies of Marshal Soult and Marshal Suchet had retired rapidly on France to defend their native soil against the invasion of two long-provoked nations. Bubna and Bellegarde, two Austrian generals, at the head of 100,000 men, held Prince Eugene, Napoleon's Viceroy, in check on the Milanese territory, and crossed the Alps to debouch at Lyons by the gorge of Savoy. Bernadotte, the modern Coriolanus, had sold himself to the coalition at the price of the crown of Sweden. Against Belgium and the Rhine he conducted a force of 120,000 men, consisting of all the second rate nations of the North. Prince Schwarzenberg, generalissimo of the coalition, and Blücher, the Prussian general, crossed the Rhine on the 31st day of December and directed about 200,000 men of all nations to the foot of the Vosges. Four columns of 400,000 combatants penetrated Germany by four roads to recruit with inexhaustible reinforcements the van of the armies already entered upon the soil of France. The sovereigns themselves (the Emperors of Russia and Austria and the Kings of Prussia and of Sweden), marched with their troops. Against these masses, recruited by patriotism, Napoleon could only bring the exhausted and broken-up remains of his once splendid armies."
The allied army concentrated forces at Chalons on March 22, and thence marched on Paris. The city was occupied by some 15,000 troops under Marmont, but on the evening of March 30, after a short combat, the capital capitulated. On the following day it was occupied by the allies. March 31 Napoleon brought his army within ten miles of Paris, but finding it in the hands of his enemies, he hastily retreated, and began to muster all his available forces at Fontainebleau. Hostilities ceased throughout Europe. Wellington was made Ambassador at the court of France, and arrived in Paris May 4.
He was elevated to a Dukedom. After visiting Madrid in order to avert an impending crisis in Spanish affairs, the Duke rejoined the army at Bordeaux on June Io. The armies were disbanded as peace had been signed by the allied powers, and on June 23 Wellington reached Dover. He was received after an absence of five years with expressive demonstrations in his honor. He had left England trembling at the success of Napoleon and the alarming spread of Republicanism. In person he received the thanks of the House of Lords, and a similar honor was accorded him by the House of Commons. An annuity of £10,000 was unanimously voted him, and a former grant of £200,000 pounds was increased to £300,-000. Several of his distinguished associates were also substantially rewarded. Wellington did not remain in England long, leaving to assume his duties at Paris, and arriving in that capital August 22. In the meantime Napoleon had been assigned to the small Island of Elba as his future kingdom and retreat. Numbers of retired officers and soldiers who had fought under Napoleon's banners were scattered throughout France. Later events proved these disbanded military men still clung with remarkable devotion to the cause of their fallen Rader. This was the condition in France when the year 1815 opened. Elba was so near the scene of Napoleon's extended campaigns, that it was an easy matter for him to maintain communication with his partisans. Napoleon left Elba and landed at Cannes on March I with 1,200 troops. This movement called forth a declaration )f Austrian, Spanish, French, British, Portuguese, Russian, Prussian, and Swedish plenipotentiaries denouncing the ex-Emperor as an enemy and a disturber of the world's peace. Napoleon increased his forces with remarkable rapidity, and became more aggressive as the days passed. In the face of the approaching crisis, the Duke of Wellington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Netherlands. The man whose inordinate ambition had caused Europe to tremble, found himself opposed by an allied force notably united in a common purpose: that of finally wresting from him the last vestige of his regained strength.
His forces altogether had been estimated at about :5o,000 men. The allied armies included British, Germans, and Hanoverians, numbered 74,000 men. The Duke's headquarters were at Brussels. The Prussian army of 115,000 men was concentrated on the Meuse. The French army, 150,000 strong, was commanded by Marshal Grouchy. The first battle between fragments of these forces was fought at Ligny on June 14. Napoleon attacked the Prussian outposts, and forced them to re-treat. After this engagement Wellington's corps were united at Quatre Bras on the road from Charleroi to Brussels. On June 15 Napoleon attacked a brigade of Wellington's army at Frasne and forced it also to retreat. Another attack was made by Marshal Ney, near Quatre Bras, upon the forces under Blücher. In the engagement the British and their allies sustained a loss of 3,750. The assault failed, but Blücher fell back to unite with the fourth corps. On June 17 Napoleon's and Welling-ton's armies were ready for combat, but the latter had detached Marshal Grouchy and Blücher had still failed to join Wellington. On the 18th the British line was formed. Napoleon gazed upon the simple arrangement of the British troops with satisfaction, and disposed his own forces accordingly. After the battle started both Wellington and the Emperor were in its midst. The French directed the first attack shortly before 11 o'clock on the old storehouse of Hougoumont. The first assault did not succeed in dislodging the allies, and was followed by another. Blow after blow fell upon the defense of Hougoumont during the remainder of the day, but the place held its own until the last furious attacks were made upon Wellington's left. Picton commanded the British here. Drouet led his columns of French up to within forty yards of the English. His forward sections were confused by a well directed volley of musketry. Picton ordered a charge. At that moment he fell mortally wounded, but his command was carried out, and the French infantry was disorganized and routed. Napoleon's division under d' Erlon moved against the farm-house of La Haye Sainte, but was compelled to retreat with considerable loss. The position was finally taken, however, and its defenders were put to death. Napoleon attempted to wear out the English at other points, but his advances terminated in defeat and loss. Wellington drew upon his reserves. His battalions were fearfully depleted, however, and the "Stories of Waterloo" tells us that he "almost despaired. He calculated, and justly, that he had an army which would perish where it stood; but when he saw the devastation caused by the incessant attacks of an enemy, who appeared determined to succeed, is it surprising that his watch was frequently consulted and that he prayed for night or Blücher." Blucher's coming was finally heralded by the rumble of moving artillery. Wellington took courage, but Napoleon was similarly affected by the intelligence that fresh troops were approaching. He believed this to be his corps under Marshal Grouchy, with which he expected to make a final and overpowering attack. He learned his error when the Prussians appeared, and threw back his left wing. The Imperial Guard was hurled against the British infantry, but fell back repulsed, and the pursuit which at once ensued, served to utterly rout them. A second column of the guards were thrown against the infantry, but they, too, were compelled to flee in hope-less disorder. Before the French could rally, Wellington ordered and put into execution a general attack, and in the end, Napoleon's magnificent army of the previous day was completely shattered. Maxwell places the French loss in killed, wounded, prisoners, and soldiers, who, in dismay, fled to their homes, at 40,000. The saine authority places the loss of the allies at 23,000. Wellington proceeded to Paris, while the remnant of the French forces collected at Laon. On July 8 he had the satisfaction of seeing Louis XVIII reenter Paris. On June 22 Napoleon had formally abdicated, and a few weeks later was a captive on the Island of St. Helena. Wellington left Paris for London on June 29, 1816. On the evening before his departure an attempt was made to blow up the building in which he was giving a grand entertainment to men of prominence in Paris. In the fall of 1816 Wellington returned to Paris, and resumed his duties as plenipotentiary to the court of Louis XVIII. He materially aided the Government in settling claims of the powers against France. A second attempt was made to assassinate him on February 11, 1818, when Marie Andre Cantillon, a subaltern officer, discharged a pistol at him as he was entering his hotel. On this occasion Wellington received the congratulations of the allied sovereigns on his escape. The armies of occupation in France broke up November 1, 1819. In December of that year Wellington was made Master-General of Ordnance in England. The following year he took his seat in the House of Lords. In December he became Governor of Plymouth, and on February 19 was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifle Brigade. In 1827 he was made General Commander-in-Chief and Colonel of the First Grenadier Guards. In the meantime he was devoting himself to the performance of public duties, and interesting himself more extensively in politics than he had previously done. In February, 1828, he became Premier to King George IV. After the death of that monarch in 183o, Wellington's popularity greatly declined. He was bitterly assailed for his opposition to the "reform bill," the feeling being so bitter as to lead, at least on one occasion, to personal violence. In 1834 Wellington was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford. In 1842 he became General Commander-in-Chief, a position which he had once resigned. One of the most notable affairs of state with which he had to deal during his Premiership under King George IV, was the movement for Catholic emancipation. It was hoped and expected by the Protestant party that Wellington would steadfastly resist this. But convinced that the time had come when it must be granted, as was usual with him, he subordinated party spirit and personal interest for what be considered the interest of the nation. His Ministry, therefore, in spite of all opposition, presented in 1829 a bill for the relief of Catholics. Although he amply explained and justified his course, he at once became the object of much bitter calumny, and in one instance these aspersions became so annoying that Wellington issued a challenge to the Earl of Winchelsea, one of the loudest of his traducers. In spite of the violent opposition with which the public often received Wellington's position on matters of great importance to the nation, there were none who sincerely doubted his conscientiousness and the splendor of his military career could not but command respect and admiration. The last act of any considerable importance, politically, with which Wellington was connected, was the appointment of the Earl of Derby as Premier upon his suggestion. Wellington was remarkably active to the very last day of his life. His death came suddenly at Walmer, September 14, 1852, being the result of a stroke of apoplexy. He was buried under the dome of St. Paul's, and in the chapel of the cathedral stands a monument erected to his memory.