Young Wellington in India (1797-1805)

Opening on 30th March 2019, Young Wellington in India explores eight overlooked years of Arthur’s life. The story will be told through paintings, sketches, books and objects that belonged to him during this influential period – the majority of which have never been publicly displayed before including the renowned silver-gilt Deccan Dinner Service.

Arthur Wellesley by Hopnor. Copyright Stratfield Saye Preservation Trust.

The 27 year old Colonel Wellesley sails to India in 1797, contemporary accounts reveal him to be a man frustrated by a lack of opportunity in civilian, military and personal life. He was also heavily indebted to his elder brother Richard, Lord Mornington, who had bolstered his career in the army and petitioned influential friends to find a suitable job for young Arthur.

In 1805 he returns to England a Major-General, Knight of the Bath, independently wealthy and ready to marry. Wellesley had shown himself to be an able administrator and a soldier who had honed his military skills and was ready for the next stage of his career.