Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo

18 June 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the final battle of the Napoleonic wars that followed the French Revolution. It saw the French army, under Napoleon, defeated in modern-day Belgium by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, led in part by Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and founding father of King’s College London.

Following Napoleon’s abdication in 1814, he returned to France in 1815 to overthrow the monarchy and raise an army to invade Belgium. He was defeated by the multinational army, led by Wellington and the Prussian army in a campaign that lasted over 5 days and culminated in the Battle of Waterloo on Sunday 18 June 1815.

Soon after his defeat, Napoleon abdicated for a second time as a result of a lack of support and the triumphant Wellington returned to England a national hero.

The Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1828, following his earlier return to the world of politics and government. The Duke of Wellington chaired the public meeting that launched King’s in 1828 and, early in 1829, the Earl of Winchilsea publicly challenged Wellington about his simultaneous support for the Anglican King’s College and the Roman Catholic Relief Act. The result was a duel in Battersea Fields where shots were fired but no-one was hurt.

The Battle of Waterloo retains its significance today as a war of sacrifice to keep Europe steady through the long-term and cementing Britain’s role as the balancing agent that keeps everything stable.

In this film, Professor Andrew Lambert from the Department of War Studies explores the events of the battle and it’s continued significance today.

As part of the Waterloo Festival at St John’s Church on 16th June, Waterloo, Dr Michael Rowe, History, will debate the pros and cons of Napoleonic rule and consider whether Europe might not have been better off if Napoleon rather than Wellington had triumphed on the field of Waterloo. , please visit: http://stjohnswaterloo.o­rg/waterlo­ofestival/


Professor Andrew Lambert is available for on the Battle of Waterloo. or to arrange an please Claire Gilby, PR Manager (Arts & Sciences) on 0207 848 3092 or claire.gilby [a] (p) uk