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ARTHUR WELLESLEY, DUKE OF WELLINGTON (1769-1852)

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ARTHUR WELLESLEY, DUKE OF WELLINGTON (1769-1852)

GEORGE IV (King of England, 1820-1830). Document signed (as Prince Regent, 'George PR'), a warrant addressed to the Chancellor, Lord Eldon, for affixing the Great Seal to THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S 'FULL POWERS' AUTHORISING HIM TO NEGOTIATE AT THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA in place of Lord Castlereagh, 'Palace of Carlton House', 18 January 1815, including the draft of the text of the authority, 11 pages, folio, papered seal in margin of first page, stitched with dark blue ribbon in centre folds.

Wellington's appointment as plenipotentiary at the Congress of Vienna removed him from his post as ambassador to Paris, thus neatly avoiding the risk to him which the British government envisaged in the probable event of the newly established regime in France being overthrown. The Prince Regent informed Louis XVIII of this move on the same date as the present document. The Congress had assembled in September 1814, and at the beginning of January 1815 Castlereagh had agreed to a secret pact between Britain, France and Austria to curb the territorial ambitions of Russia and Prussia. Wellington reached Vienna on 3 February, and Castlereagh departed on the 15th, reaching Dover just as Napoleon, escaped from Elba, was advancing towards Paris. By the end of March Wellington's work in Vienna was done, and he left at once for Brussels as Commander-in-Chief.
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