Talk:Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

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I've edited the "won on the playing fields of eton" quote to unfounded. The Dukes of Wellington have denied the quote and its first use appears so long afterwards events and in a French source (Montalenbert 1856) it's difficult to give it any credibility. No accademic source can site a genuine providance.

Give me night or give me Blucher[edit]

I have altered the quote "Either night or the Prussians will come." (Said during the thick of the Battle of Waterloo, as quoted in The True Issue, and the Duty of the Whigs: An Address Before the Citizens of Cambridge (1856) by Joel Parker, p. 26)

to "Give me night or give me Blucher" (Prayer during Battle of Waterloo at about 5.45 pm on 18 June. The Military Maxims of Napoleon by Napoleon Bonaparte, David G. Chandler, William E. Cairnes ,p. 143)

Although, the first quote is considered correct, Joel Parker states that Wellington is to have said:"Give me night or give me Blucher". However, Joel Parker was a politician and not an historian, furthermore, his assertion came 40 years after the event and at a political rally. It is, therefore,more likely to be more of a paraphrasing than that of the The Military Maxims of Napoleon. The quote is sometimes given the other in the reverse: "Give me Blucher or give me night" but of the sources I could find the above seemed the most reliable. --Philip Baird Shearer 12:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


Did he give this advice to Queen Victoria when asked about ridding the Crystal Palace glass house of sparrows? I was told this at school, but I'm not sure now because I was also told the "won on the playing fields of Eton". This is quoted in the main Wikipedia entry on Wellington, as an example of his concise and terse manner. I don't think it's in dispute. Personally I'm looking for verification of the oft quoted letter to the War Office. I'll put it here on the discussion page just for amusement value

Letter from the Duke of Wellington dispatched from Spain in Aug 1812:


Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters. We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:

1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or, perchance,

2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

Your most obedient servant,