King's College London
Online Exhibitions
The Duke of Wellington

'Prince of Waterloo'

Stratfield SayeStratfield SayeWellington now styled 'Prince of Waterloo' was heaped with honours and rewards, including, as a gift from a grateful nation, his new country home Stratfield Saye in Hampshire.

Wellington made Apsley House - No 1 London - his town residence. Returning from administering occupied Paris, he made a surprise move to join Lord Liverpool's government as Master General of the Ordnance.

During this period when he was part of a government faced with tough choices, his popularity waned somewhat, especially during the political crisis surrounding the accusations of adultery levelled at Queen Caroline in 1820, and during the suppression of the 'Peterloo' riots when a peaceful protest in Manchester was violently broken up by soldiers.

However, he also undertook valuable work as a diplomatic envoy on the continent at the Congress of Verona and at St Petersburg.

Lord Liverpool died in 1827 and was replaced by the reforming Prime Minister George Canning. Wellington, regarded by many observers as a high Tory of the old school - fearful of the mob and resistant to political and social change - resigned from the government.

His absence was to be short lived, as the sick Canning died soon afterwards, and his successor, Viscount Goderich, proved incapable.

Wellington stepped into the breach and rode to Downing Street on his horse Copenhagen as Prime Minister in January 1828, just months before chairing the first public meeting for King's College London at Freemasons' Tavern.

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