Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley



Richard Colley Wesley, later Wellesley, KG PC (1760 – 1842), 2nd Earl of Mornington and 1st Marquess Wellesley



Richard Wellesley was the eldest son of Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington (1735-1781) and the Hon. Anne Hill-Trevor, eldest daughter of the banker Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Lord Dungannon.
His also distinguished brothers were the Hon. William Wellesley-Pole, 1st Baron Maryborough (1763–1845), Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) and Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley (1773 – 1847).
William Pitt, the Younger, of whom Lord Mornington was a staunch supporter, appointed him Lord of the Treasury in 1784 and later, in 1797, Governor-General of India. Under his rule which lasted till 1805, British power in India was rapidly extended by fighting and defeating the French and their allies namely, the Nizam of Hyderabad and Tippoo Sultan and by submitting the Maratha and all other princes, virtually laying the basis of the British Imperial rule in India.
In 1783, on the foundation of the The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, king Geoge III made Lord Mornington a Knight and in 1799 was made Marquess of Wellesley in the Peerage of Ireland.
In 1809, during the Peninsular War, Lord Wellesley was appointed ambassador to Spain and in December, following the resignation of George Canning which led to the fall of the Duke of Portland’s Cabinet, became Foreign Secretary, under Spencer Perceval, till he was succeeded by Castlereagh in 1812.
Lord Wellesley was an advocate of Catholic Emancipation, a critic of the Congress of Vienna and the European settlement that came out of it, namely the destruction of the Republic of Venice and the partition of Poland.
In 1821, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and favoring Catholic emancipation, the excesses of the Orange faction were firmly repressed. In 1828, Lord Mornington resigned upon his brother, Lord Wellington, who opposed Catholic emancipation, having become Prime Minister.

From his mistress Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland, with whom he married in 1794, Lord Mornington had a daughter Anne Wellesley (1788 - 1875) who married 1stly., on 1806, Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet; 2ndly. on 1816, after she was granted a divorce, her lover and former husband’s friend Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck, a younger son of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy Cavendish.
Through their third child Reverend Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (1817- 1865) they were the grand-parents of H.M. the Queen Mother and through their younger son Lt.-Gen. Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck (1819 - 1877) m. to Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed they were the grand parents of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland.

F. 31282

Arms: Wellesley quartering Colley encircled by the Collar of the Order of St. Patrick and on a circlet the Order’s Motto (Quis separabit?) and date of the order’s foundation.
Crests – 1st., out of a ducal coronet or, a demi-lion gu. holding a banner purp. charged with an etoile, radiated, wavy, surmounted by a pennon ar., charged with the crown of St. George. A motto over this crest, Porro unum est necessarium; 2nd., a cubit arm, erect, vested…enfiled with a ducal coronet…, cuff…, holding a staff, bendways. Motto over this crest Virtutis fortuna comes.

The bookplate must date from after 1783, when Lord Mornington was made a Knight of St. Patrick but before 1799, when he was made Marquess of Wellesley, after which he received augmentations of honour to the arms and crests.

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