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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington; Horatio Nelson

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington; Horatio Nelson

by T.C. Wilson, printed by W. Clerk, published by E. Glover
lithograph, probably 1830s
9 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in. (249 mm x 189 mm) paper size
Given by Ernest E. Leggatt, 1922
Reference Collection
NPG D13770

Sittersback to top

Artistsback to top

  • W. Clerk (active 1830s), Lithographic printer. Artist associated with 10 portraits.
  • E. Glover (active 1830s), Publisher. Artist associated with 1 portrait.
  • T.C. Wilson (active 1837-1841), Lithographer. Artist associated with 15 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The only meeting between Nelson and Major-General Wellesley, before he was the Duke of Wellington, took place in 1805 in the ante-room of the Colonial Office. Wellesley had just returned from his first succession of brilliant campaigns in India while Nelson was in London for the last time before leaving for the Battle of Trafalgar. Wellesley was at first unimpressed by Nelson's 'vain and silly' conversation, but during their long wait he saw enough to be satisfied that Nelson 'really was a superior man'. It was this very sense of Nelson's human frailties, combined with his heroic endeavours that made him such a popular hero. That this meeting was still celebrated in the 1830s, when this lithograph was published, demonstrates the powerful hold the accidental encounter of the soon-to-be martyred hero and his natural successor had on the public imagination.

Placesback to top

Events of 1830back to top

Current affairs

George IV dies at Windsor on 26 June; William IV succeeds to the throne.
Duke of Wellington resigns as Prime Minister to be succeeded by Earl Grey.
'Captain Swing' disturbances among agricultural districts in southern England. Taking their name from a mythical leader, hundreds of labourers break the threshing machines that threaten their winter employment.

Art and science

Liverpool and Manchester Railway opens; MP William Huskisson is run down by a train and killed at the inaugural ceremony.
William Cobbett publishes Rural Rides; a nostalgic tribute to the English countryside which expresses dismay at the sweeping changes taking place.


July Revolution in France overthrows the Bourbon dynasty. Charles X goes into exile in England and Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orleans is proclaimed King by the Chamber of Deputies who fear European opposition to the declaration of a second Republic.

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