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Monday, April 30, 2018

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington was born on May 1

My rule was to do the business of the day in the day. 

~ Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (wiki) (The Earl of Stanhope, Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington
The Duke of Wellington,
by Thomas Lawrence. Painted c. 1815–16
All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavor to find out what you don't know by what you do; that's what I called "guessing what was at  the other side of the hill.

~ Wellington (The Croker Papers, Vol. 3, Ch. 28) 

It has been a damned nice thing -- the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life, by God!

~ Wellington (commenting on the Battle of Waterloo (wiki)

In fact my trust is and has long been in that one man who possesses in a higher degree the gift of common sense than in anyone I have heard or read of.  

~ Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) (of Wellington, letter, February 1829)   

May 1st is the  anniversary of the birth of Britain's greatest general, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (wiki) (1769-1852), in Dublin to a family of English gentry. Wellington entered the army as a young man and first made his military reputation in the colonial wars in India. 

Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford
After brilliantly directing the Peninsular War against the French in Spain (1809-1813), he achieved the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in June 1815.  Wellington later served as prime minister from 1828 to 1830 and during his tenure achieved the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Bill. Toward the end of his life, he was both foreign secretary (1834-1835) and minister without portfolio (1841-1846), living in London at Apsley House, still preserved as a museum today. A man of few words and imperious manner, Wellington is said to have remarked after his first cabinet meeting as prime minister,

"An extraordinary affair.  I gave them their orders, and they wanted to stay around and discuss them."

More on Waterloo in this related post: June 18 is the anniversary of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo: history, quotes and video (including a Lego re-enactment)

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