of circular design inset with a gold portrait medallion, depicting the profile of the Duke of Wellington, within a frame of old-mine diamonds, the reverse with a glazed locket containing a lock of hair, fitted case stamped Lambert.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS 1st May 1769 – 14th September 1852, was a British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His importance in national history is such that he is often referred to as "the Duke of Wellington" instead of "the 1st Duke of Wellington". Wellesley rose to prominence as a General during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
Wellington died on 14 September 1852, aged 83, his body was then taken by train to London, where he was given a state funeral, one of only a handful of British subjects to be honoured in that way along with Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill and the last heraldic state funeral to be held in Britain. The funeral took place on 18 November 1852. At his funeral there was hardly any space to stand because of the number of people attending, and the effusive praise given him in Tennyson's "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington" attests to his stature at the time of his death. He was buried in a sarcophagus in St Paul's Cathedral next to Lord Nelson.