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Examples of the Laconic Style

Wellington's government fell in 1830 because of his opposition to parliamentary reform. In this cartoon, the character John Bull (representing Britain) gives Wellington his marching orders as William IV appoints Lord Grey Prime Minister. Wellington has the slightly startled expression that caricaturist John Doyle often gave him, and which perhaps indicates that the statesman was seen as being behind the times. He had in fact reached the peak of his political career, though he still had a long parliamentary one ahead of him.

Wellington was commissioned to try to form a government in 1832 and in 1834 he briefly held the reigns for Robert Peel, but he was never Prime Minister again. He served in Peel's cabinets as Foreign Secretary (1834–35) and Minister without Portfolio (1841–46), and was a trusted elder statesman in the early years of Queen Victoria's reign.