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Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 1769-1852
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists primarily of selected correspondence of the Duke of Wellington, chiefly with Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville. Wellington is best known as the British general who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo (1815).

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected correspondence, a manuscript (copy), and five engravings of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The bulk of the correspondence is between Wellington and Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville. The two men discuss matters in India, strategy for the British Army and cavalry stationed in the subcontinent, and the forming of a commission to inquire into the special modes of promotion and retirement. In an 1846 letter to Lord John Russell, Wellington writes about troops in Ireland and the promotion or appointment of three generals as field marshals. There are also two letters from the French engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel. In his first letter (1821), Brunel asks to be considered for the post of engineer to the Ramsgate Pier; in the second (1830), he asks Wellington for a position for his nephew in the Customs House. A letter to a "Mr. Dillon" dated December 11, 1828, and another, dated 1827, to "Dear Sir" regarding the settling of some accounts are included in the collection.

Also included is a manuscript (copy) titled "Details of the Military Supply in Use with all the Armies which Major General Wellesley has Commanded in the Dekan, and Which has succeeded in Enabling him to go to a very great distance from the source of the supplies." Dated March 17, 1809, it describes Wellington's plan for providing food and supplies for the European soldiers, the native troops, the horses of the cavalry, and for the cattle and the servants of the officers.

In addition, there are five printed engravings of Wellington. One engraving depicts Wellington and the military heroes of the battle of Waterloo; three portray him at different stages of his life, and one shows him standing in profile.


Arranged in accession number order.

Collection Creator Biography:

Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 1769-1852

Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman. He rose to prominence during the Peninsula War and became a national hero in England after the Napoleonic Wars, during which he led the victorious Anglo-Allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). He was later elected prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1828 to1830 and again in 1834.

Collection History


The autograph document and Dundas' correspondence was purchased on April 26, 1937. .

Letter to "Dear Sir" was transferred from the Office of President of Princeton University on April 30, 1963 .

The engravings of Wellesley were a gift of James Duncan Pitney, Princeton Class of 1943, on May 26, 1965 .

Letter to Mr. Dillon was purchased on January 2, 1975 .

The three letters of Brunel were a gift of Gerald J. Levy on December 12, 1933. . Various AM.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on September 12, 2008. Finding aid written by Dina Britain on January 14, 2009. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1