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Maxims and Opinions of Field-Marshal His Grace the Duke of Wellington, Selected From His Writings and Speeches During a Public Life of More Than Half a Century   By: (1769-1852)

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[Illustration: FIELD MARSHAL HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, K.G. COMMANDER IN CHIEF &c. &c. &c.]

MAXIMS AND OPINIONS OF FIELD MARSHAL HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, SELECTED FROM HIS WRITINGS AND SPEECHES DURING A PUBLIC LIFE OF MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY.

With a Biographical Memoir,

BY

GEORGE HENRY FRANCIS, ESQ.

"Cujus gloriae neque profuit quisquam laudando, nec vituperando quisquam nocuit."

LONDON:

HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER.

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET

1845.

ADVERTISEMENT

So many works have already appeared of which the Duke of Wellington has been the subject, that an explanation is due to the public on the occasion of adding one more to the number.

That explanation consists in the fact, that those works have been almost exclusively occupied with the military exploits of the Duke, which rendered him so illustrious during the first twenty years of his public life; while his political career, which may be said to have constituted a second life, distinct and different from the other, has been comparatively neglected.

To meet the want thus left unsatisfied, the Editor of the following pages has endeavoured to supply materials, by which a just estimate may be formed of the Duke of Wellington's claims as a minister and as a statesman.

The volume will be found to contain the Duke's deliberate opinions as a member of the House of Peers, and, during many years, as a minister, upon the great questions which have agitated the public mind since the commencement of the present century.

If there are those who hold the Duke of Wellington in light estimation as a politician, they will not continue to entertain that opinion, the Editor believes, after having dispassionately read the extracts of which this work is composed.

Interspersed with the Duke's more elaborate OPINIONS, will be found his MAXIMS on public policy, which, though few and unpretending, may be said to have sunk into the national mind.

The Editor has added a few remarkable sentences and passages from the dispatches of the Duke; with a cursory memoir of his life, which becomes more elaborate from the commencement of his political career; and has also attempted to portray some of his characteristics, as a soldier and as a civilian.

LONDON, February , 1845.

MEMOIR

OF

HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, is the fourth son of Garret, second Earl of Mornington, by Anne, the eldest daughter of Arthur Hill, Viscount Dungannon. He was borne at Dangan Castle, in the county of Meath, Ireland, on the 1st of May, 1769.

As in the case of many of the chief nobility and landholders in Ireland, the ancestors of the Duke were scions of an English house the Colleys (afterwards Cowley), two of whom, named Walter and Robert Colley, proceeded to Ireland in the reign of Henry VIII., and located themselves in the County of Kilkenny. The two brothers were lawyers by profession, and in the year 1531, were invested with the office of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, which they were to hold jointly during their lives. Six years afterwards, we find the elder brother Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and the other Solicitor General. In 1549, Walter was made Surveyor General of Ireland. It was from this Walter that the immediate ancestors of the Duke of Wellington were, by the mother's side, descended.

His eldest son, Henry, acquired some distinction as a soldier in the reign of Elizabeth. He was also a member of the Irish Parliament for the borough of Thomastown. He was, moreover, a Privy Councillor, and was knighted.

Sir Henry Sydney, who was, perhaps, the wisest and most able of all the Lords Deputy whom Elizabeth sent over to Ireland, appears to have entertained a very high opinion of Sir Henry Colley's abilities; for, in recommending him to his successor in the Government, he describes him as "valiant, fortunate, and a good servant;" and speaks of him as his "sound and fast friend." But he more especially praises the "order," in which he kept his county... Continue reading book >>




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