Duke of Wellington (title)

Dukedom of Wellington
Quarterly 1st & 4th: Gules, a cross argent in each quarter five plates in saltire (Wellesley); 2nd & 3rd: Or, a lion rampant gules ducally collared gold (Cowley) over-all in the centre chief point an escutcheon of augmentation charged with the Union badge[1]
Creation date 11 May 1814
Monarch The Prince Regent (acting on behalf of his father King George III)
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington
Present holder Charles Wellesley, 9th Duke
Heir apparent Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Mornington
Remainder to the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Marquess of Wellington
Marquess of Douro
Earl of Mornington
Earl of Wellington
Viscount Wellesley
Viscount Wellington
Baron Mornington
Baron Douro
Seat(s) Stratfield Saye House
Apsley House

Duke of Wellington is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It derived from Wellington in Somerset, and was created for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington (born The Hon. Arthur Wesley) (1769–1852), the Anglo-Irish Army leader who is distinguished for leading the decisive victory with Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher over Napoleon Bonaparte's forces at Waterloo in Brabant (now Walloon Brabant, Belgium); Wellesley later served twice as British Prime Minister.

The first duke's father was created the Earl of Mornington and their male-line ancestors were wealthy agricultural and urban landowners in both countries, among the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy.

The dukedom has descended to heirs male of the body with 11 other hereditary titles.


The titles of Duke of Wellington and Marquess of Douro were bestowed upon Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington, on 11 May 1814 after he returned home a hero following Napoleon's abdication. He fought some 60 battles in his military career, and never lost a single one. He was considered 'the conqueror of Napoleon'. He stands as one of the finest soldiers Great Britain and Ireland has ever produced, others being the Duke of Marlborough & John, 2nd Duke of Argyll.

The subsidiary titles of the Duke of Wellington are: Marquess of Wellington (1812), Marquess of Douro (1814), Earl of Mornington (1760 – but only inherited by the Dukes of Wellington in 1863), Earl of Wellington (1812), Viscount Wellesley (1760 – inherited in 1863), Viscount Wellington (1809), Baron Mornington (1746 – also inherited in 1863), and Baron Douro (1809). The Viscountcy of Wellesley and the Barony and Earldom of Mornington are in the Peerage of Ireland; the rest are in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Apart from the British titles the Dukes of Wellington also hold the titles of Prince of Waterloo (Prins van Waterloo, 1815) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812) of the Kingdom of Spain, and Duke of Victoria (Duque da Vitória, 1812), with the subsidiary titles Marquess of Torres Vedras (Marquês de Torres Vedras, 1812) and Count of Vimeiro (Conde de Vimeiro, 1811) of the Kingdom of Portugal. These were granted to the first Duke as victory titles for his distinguished services as victorious commanding general in the Peninsular War (in Spain and Portugal) and at the Battle of Waterloo (in what is now Belgium).

The family seat is Stratfield Saye House, near Basingstoke, Hampshire. Apsley House, in London, is now owned by English Heritage, although the family retain an apartment there.

Dukes of Wellington (1814)

Created by the Prince Regent (on behalf of George III)
#NamePeriodDuchessNotesOther titles
1Arthur Wellesley (born Wesley)
1814–1852Hon. Catherine PakenhamBritish Army officer and statesman who defeated Napoleon I at Waterloo and Tipu Sultan at the Siege of Seringapatam (1799)Prince of Waterloo, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, Duke of Victoria, Marquess of Wellington, Marquess of Douro, Marquis of Torres Vedras, Count of Vimeiro, Viscount Wellington, Baron Douro
2Arthur Richard Wellesley
1852–1884Lady Elizabeth HaySon of the precedingPrince of Waterloo
Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo
Duke of Victoria
Marquess of Wellington
Marquess of Douro
Marquis of Torres Vedras
Count of Vimeiro

Earl of Mornington
Viscount Wellesley

Viscount Wellington
Baron Douro
Baron of Mornington
3Henry Wellesley
1884–1900Evelyn WilliamsNephew of the preceding
4Arthur Richard Wellesley
1900–1934Kathleen WilliamsBrother of the preceding
5Arthur Charles Wellesley
1934–1941Hon. Lilian CoatsSon of the preceding
6Henry Valerian George Wellesley
1941–1943unmarriedSon of the preceding
7Gerald Wellesley
1943–1972Dorothy AshtonUncle of the preceding
8Arthur Valerian Wellesley
1972–2014Diana McConnelSon of the preceding
9Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley
(born 1945)
2014–presentPrincess Antonia of PrussiaSon of the preceding

Title succession

Wellesley family tree: Dukes of Wellington
Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Spain), 1812
Duke of Victoria (Portugal), 1812
Prince of Waterloo (Netherlands), 1815
Arthur Wellesley,
1st Duke of Wellington,
1st Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Arthur Richard Wellesley,
2nd Duke of Wellington,
2nd Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Lord Charles Wellesley
Henry Wellesley,
3rd Duke of Wellington,
3rd Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Arthur Charles Wellesley,
4th Duke of Wellington,
4th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Arthur Charles Wellesley,
5th Duke of Wellington,
5th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Gerald Wellesley,
7th Duke of Wellington,
8th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Anne Rhys,
7th Duchess of Ciudad Rodrigo

Henry Valerian George Wellesley,
6th Duke of Wellington,
6th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Arthur Valerian Wellesley,
8th Duke of Wellington,
9th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley,
9th Duke of Wellington,
10th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo

(b. 1945)
Arthur Gerald Wellesley,
Marquess of Douro

(b. 1978)
Arthur Darcy Wellesley,
Earl of Mornington
(b. 2010)

Line of succession

  1. Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Mornington (born 1978) (elder son of the present Duke)
  2. Arthur Darcy Wellesley, Viscount Wellesley (born 2010) (elder son of Lord Douro)
  3. Lord Alfred Wellesley (born 2014) (younger son of Lord Douro)
  4. Lord Frederick Charles Wellesley (born 1992) (second and younger son of the present Duke)
  5. Lord Richard Gerald Wellesley (born 1949) (second son of the 8th Duke)
  6. Lord John Henry Wellesley (born 1954) (third son of the 8th Duke)
  7. Gerald Valerian Wellesley (born 1981) (only son of Lord John)
  8. Lord James Christopher Douglas Wellesley (born 1956)[2] (fourth and youngest son of the 8th Duke)
  9. Oliver Valerian Wellesley (born 2005) (only son of Lord James)
  10. Thomas Richard Henry Wellesley (born 2000) (great-grandson of Lord George Wellesley, fourth and youngest son of the 4th Duke)

Should the direct male line of succession from the first Duke of Wellington become extinct, the dukedom and its subsidiary titles in the British peerage will become extinct, as will the titles of Prince of Waterloo in the Dutch peerage and the dukedom of the Victory and its subsidiary titles in the Portuguese peerage. The dukedom of Ciudad Rodrigo in the Spanish peerage, together with its subsidiary titles, will continue to be held in the female line of descendants of the first Duke. The earldom and barony of Mornington, along with the viscountcy of Wellesley, which are all titles in the Irish peerage, will revert to the line of the Earl Cowley, a male-line descendant of a younger brother of the first Duke of Wellington.

Wellesley family tree: Earls of Mornington, Earls Cowley, Dukes of Wellington
Richard Wesley,
1st Baron Mornington

Garret Wesley,
2nd Baron Mornington,
1st Earl of Mornington

Richard Wellesley,
2nd Earl of Mornington,
1st Baron Wellesley,
1st Marquess Wellesley

William Wellesley
1st Baron Maryborough,
3rd Earl of Mornington

Arthur Wellesley,
1st Duke of Wellington

Henry Wellesley,
1st Baron Cowley

William Wellesley-Pole
4th Earl of Mornington

Arthur Richard Wellesley,
2nd Duke of Wellington
6th Earl of Mornington

Henry Wellesley,
2nd Baron Cowley
1st Earl Cowley

William Richard Arthur Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley,
5th Earl of Mornington

Dukes of Wellington
Earls Cowley

The Colley or Cowley family had come to Ireland from Glaston, in Rutland about 1500; Sir Henry Colley was elevated to the Peerage as Lord Glaston by Henry VIII. He married the daughter of Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of Ireland , Catherine Wellesley Cusack (d.1598) whose grandmother was a Wellesley.[3] Upon the death of his cousin, Garret Wesley and his inheritance of the Estates of Dangan and Mornington, Richard Colley (d.1758) and his wife Elizabeth Sale (d.17June 1738) daughter of John Sale, Registrar of the Diocese of Dublin, on 23 December 1719.[4] adopted the name Wellesley (from both Elizabeth's maternal family side from Catherine Wellesley Cusack her grandmother) and through her Husband's Family, his cousin, Garret Wesley (Wellesley).

See also


  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p. 1140.
  2. Wellesley, Jane (2008). A Journey Through My Family. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-85231-5.
  3. Burke's Peerage
  4. Lundy 2011, p. 10645 § 106449 cites Cokayne 2000, p. 235.
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