The Duke of Wellington an alcoholic?


Ad Honoris
May 2011
Navan, Ireland
Being born in a stable does not make one a horse! ;)
A comment that he may have never made but was attributed to Daniel O'Connell to explain away the most British gentleman of the age was not Irish.

I have also read that he did make the comment but in relation to Irish regiments and their love of 'drink'.
It was pointed out that Irish units in his army had a 'fondness' for alcohol it was pointed out that he was Irisdh to which he answerd 'Just because you are born in a stable doesn't make you a horse'


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
I don´t know the individual case of Wellesley... But.... I know many soldiers are alcoholic... I know alcoholic soldiers from Spain, UK, France, Russia, Germany, USA, CS, CZ, Hungary, Georgia, Ukrainia, Poland, Yugoslavia.... so... If Wellesley was an alcoholic.. I don´t know.. but it would not be a random case.. unique case or something extraordinary... but another normal case!


Ad Honorem
May 2016
Very diplomatic sir.
There is nothing like a diplomatic (bad) joke to ease the thread, especially after a mod warning.

On a more serious tone, I think that today many people (including pop historians and even less scrupulous historians) fall into the trap of raising “theories” with thin air, without sources, or with sources that in a court of law would be seen as “circumstantial” and then fill the gaps with pop fictional material that its relevance is much more directed to the sell than to the historical truth.

Was he an alcoholic? The person that raises the idea needs to provide sources for that and/or compare his consumption of beverage with other persons at the time, in his society, both alcoholics and non-alcoholics.

Do we have enough data for that? Then we can proceed? We don’t have enough data? Then, in a historical research perspective, it is a waste of time to speculate.
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