The Duke of Wellington on the Supremacy of the Smallsword

The Smallsword Project

duke-of-wellignton_phillips Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, is regarded as one of the great military leaders of the 19th Century.  Having served in Belgium and India, he rose to the rank of Major-General and was then appointed Field Marshal in the Peninsular Campaign during the Napoleonic Wars.  Sealing his status as Britain’s top military hero, he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and was subsequently awarded a dukedom.

henry_angelo_mather_brown_1790 Henry Angelo by Mather Brown, Oil on Canvas, ca. 1790. Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 5310.

Two years following his momentous victory, he was reflecting on the nature of swordsmanship among British soldiers.  At the time, Henry Angelo, son of the famed and inimitable Domenico Angelo, had developed and codified the British military’s use of the Scottish back sword in 1798 in his Hungarian and Highland Broad Sword at the behest of his patron, Colonel Herries. …

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