British soldier and politician Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, is best remembered for being the commander of the Anglo-allied army that (with the assistance of the Prussian Army) achieved victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, was to call him ‘Le vainqueur du vainqueur du monde‘, the conqueror of the world’s conqueror, and the world’s conqueror was, of course, Napoleon.
But, even before that, Wellesley had gained fame for his victories during the Peninsular War. And, afterward, he served as British Prime Minister (primarily from 1828 to 1830, but also for a few extra weeks in 1834).
Thousands of baby boys across the United Kingdom (and beyond) were named in his honor starting in the early 1810s. Some examples..
- Wellesley Talavera Chawnerb. 1810 in England
- his middle name commemorates the Battle of Talavera (1809)
- Arthur Wellesley Wellington Campbell, b. 1812 in Scotland
- Arthur Wellesley Wellington Tollervey, b. 1812 in England
- he had an older brother named Horatio Nelson Tollervey
- Arthur Wellington Vittoria Watson, b. 1813 in Scotland
- his second middle name commemorates the Battle of Vitoria (1813)
- Wellington Waterloo Thomson, b. 1815 in Scotland
- Arthur Wellesley Waterloo Babington, b. circa 1818 in Ireland
- Arthur Wellesley Wellington Victor Christian Brygmann, b. 1819 in Denmark
- Arthur Wellesley Winterbottom, b. 1822 in England
- Frederick Arthur Wellington Freeborn, b. 1827 in England
- Wellington Waterloo Webb, b. 1828 in New York
- Wellesley Wellington Bowdish, b. 1836 in New York
- Arthur Wellesley Pemberton, b. 1839 in England
- Wellsley Wellington Bain, b. 1840 in Canada
- Arthur Wellington Massy, b. 1846 in Wales
- Arthur Wellesley Wellington Riley, b. 1847 in England
- Duke Wellington Hicks, b. 1850 in South Carolina
- Wellington Waterloo Kennedy, b. 1853 in Scotland
- Arthur Wellesley Wellington Waterloo Cox, b. 1860 in England
Interestingly, Wellesley wasn’t born with the surname Wellesley. He was originally a Wesley. Sometime in the late 1790s, “the Wesley family reverted to the old Anglo-Norman spelling of Wellesley.” Arthur first signed his name “Arthur Wellesley” in May of 1798 (while he was stationed in India).
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington – Wikipedia
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st duke of Wellington – Britannica
- Cornwell, Bernard. Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. NY: HarperCollins, 2015.
- Neillands, Robin. Wellington and Napoleon: Clash of Arms, 1807-1815. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military Classics, 2003.