He had two extremely successful careers – the first in the military, the second in politics – and he invented the gumboot.
He received six – count them, six! – knighthoods, and not one of them was for the gumboot, which is surely worth a knighthood in its own right.
Arthur Wellesley was born in 1769 in Dublin, as the son of Anglo-Irish aristocracy. He was a military hot shot, commanding British forces against the Dutch, India, the Maratha Empire, Denmark, and, most famously, Napoleon’s French army.
His final and most significant victory was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This was the end of Napoleon’s two decade campaign to spread revolution throughout Europe. The defeat allowed the return of monarchy and aristocracy across the continent, and deferred the widespread and practical application of the metric system for another 150 years.
Arthur, by now the Duke of Wellington, then kicked off his political career, and in 1828 he resigned as the army’s Commander in Chief so that he could become Prime Minister. Arthur clearly didn’t muck around in middle management roles.
As Prime Minister he gave the vote to Catholics and tried, but failed, to take the vote away from British Jews. He also engaged other politicians in duels. After his term as Prime Minister ended he became the Leader of the House of Lords, continued as Commander in Chief, and finally ended his military career after about 50 years in uniform.
Our wonderful little harbour city is named after the Duke of Wellington – it was originally called Britannia, but Wellesley was still a popular figure in 1840 when the colony moved from Petone beach to Lambton Harbour, and the new town was called Wellington.
Wellington has grown to become a thriving craft beer capital with steep streets, cliff-face houses, fresh breezes, and an all-round bold attitude to climate and geography. Just living in this environment makes you bold. It’s entirely fitting, because The Duke of Wellington’s personal motto was ‘Virtutis Fortuna Comes’ – “Fortune Favours the Bold”.
Which leads us obviously and directly to the Fortune Favours tap takeover at the Malthouse this Thursday 5 December.
Fortune Favours is a neat little brewpub on Leeds Street, just around the corner from the Malthouse, and this week it’s bringing eight beers along to the ‘house, including its popular and bold Wellingtonian NZIPA. Malthouse/Fortune Favours collaboration brew Session Impossible will also be launched on the night.
And while Fortune Favours takes over the taps, Soul Shack Hot Chicken takes over the Malthouse kitchen. Look out for merch giveaways and prizes on the night.
Here’s the Fortune Favours tap list:
Session Impossible collaboration brew
Decadent Vanilla Coffee Porter
Fever Pitch Lager
Behemoth/Fortune Favours collaboration hazy
Thursday 5 December – Malthouse Hot Luck. Soul Shack Hot Chicken kitchen takeover and Fortune Favours collab!