A further telling entry of his continued, even active, interest
in Lodge affairs is his part purchase of an English Lottery
Ticket on 16 February 1795 from the Lodge treasurer.
The minutes for that date show that two English lottery
tickets, the property of the only remaining seven regular
Brethren of the Lodge, cost £45 10s 0d and:
…the members who subscribed and are entitled to benefit
of the tickets purchased of part of their fifty pounds are…the
Honorable A. Wesley…
The logical conclusion that Arthur had intentions to
progress in the Craft is supported by Lord Combermere,
Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire, at the death of
Wellington. On 31 December 1852 the Freemasons’
Quarterly Magazine and Review reported verbatim Lord
Combermere’s words, addressed to the Brethren of the
Province on 27 October that year:
Perhaps it is not generally known that he (the Duke of
Wellington) was a mason; he was made in Ireland; and often
when in Spain, where Masonry was prohibited, in conversation
(with Lord Combermere), he regretted repeatedly how
sorry he was his military duties had prevented him taking the
active part his feelings dictated.
In June 1794 Wellington left Cork for Ostend in command
of a brigade for his first taste of active service, and resigned
from the Lodge when he was posted to Austria and then to
India in 1796.
He returned to England in September 1805, and in April
1806 was elected MP for Rye in Sussex. He was later to
represent Mitchell, Cornwall and Newport, Isle of Wight.
A year later he joined the Duke of Portland’s Tory
Government as Chief Secretary for Ireland.
Meanwhile, his military career was reaching a peak. In
1808 he was made a Lieutenant General and was involved in
the various military campaigns against Napoleon, known as
the Peninsular War.
Whilst stationed in Portugal in the autumn of 1809, an
interesting episode provides an insight into his attitude toward
Freemasonry. The Portuguese government, no doubt still
under the influence of the several catholic Papal Bulls banning
Freemasonry, had a natural political and religious distrust of
Freemasons and other liberal bodies considered to be