Arthur Wellesley
Medium: Television, Book, Reality
Also known as: Duke of Wellington
Nationality: British
Rank: Peer of the Realm, Field Marshall
Appearances: Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Enemy, Sharpe's Honour, Sharpe's Gold, Sharpe's Battle, Sharpe's Siege, Sharpe's Mission, Sharpe's Waterloo, Sharpe's Challenge, Sharpe's Peril
Actor: David Troughton and Hugh Fraser
In the Sharpe's television series, he was played by two different actors in the series; David Troughton

Troughton as Wellington

(Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe's Eagle) and Hugh Fraser (thereafter) after Troughten swore he'd never go on location in the Ukraine again.

Wellington is cold, imperious and impatient. Sharpe's reluctant patron, having risen Sharpe from the ranks in gratitude for Sharpe saving his life, Wellington is uncomfortable with the ruffian, but not above using Sharpe as a weapon, counting on Sharpe's stubbornness, recklessness, and cleverness to get the job done.


Fraser as Wellington

He also worked his way through the ranks, but as an aristocrat started as an officer. He did, however, earn no end of contempt from his peers. Wellesley's career was only possible because of his aristocratic origins and connections. Nobody not born into the gentry could ever hope to attain commands such as those Wellesley was given, and the only thing that truly distinguished Wellesley from other noblemen given command as a favor rather than on merit was that he proved to have actual talent when it came to command. As did Sharpe.

Because of a prominant nose, he was often called Nosey behind his back.


Arthur Wellesley was born in Ireland in 1769 (the same year as Napoleon Bonaparte) although he himself was always anti-Irish and hated being connected to Ireland. As he said, "Being born in a stable does not make one a horse".

He had changed his surname from Wesley to Wellesley although only a century earlier it had been Colley. His first opportunity came when he was appointed Colonel of the 33rd Regiment (nicknamed the Havercakes) on its voyage to India where Britain was engaged in the Maratha Wars. Wellesley's brother, Marquess Richard Wellesley, Governor of Mysore, upgraded Wellesley to the command of the army in the Indian peninsular.

Wellesley had great success at Assaye, one of his finest and most renowned moments as he was facing a force of 100,000 Indians under the command of European officers with just 15,000 soldiers of whom only 5000 were trained British men; the rest were sepoys, Indian men who fought for the British because they did not like the Marathas. Wellesley also conquered the fortress at Gawilghur, a mountain stronghold which controlled most of the Peninsular.

See AlsoEdit

Wikipedia:Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - the Wikipedia entry for the real Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington