Reginald Welby, 1st Baron Welby

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"The Treasury"
Lord Welby as caricatured in Vanity Fair, March 1910

Reginald Earle Welby, 1st Baron Welby GCB, PC (3 August 1832 – 30 October 1915) was a British peer, former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and former President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Early life and education

Born in his father's rectory at Harston in Leicestershire, he was the seventh child of the Reverend John Earle Welby (1786-1867), a younger son of Sir William Earle Welby, 1st Baronet. His mother was Felicia Elizabetha Hole (1797-1888), the daughter of the Reverend Humphrey Aram Hole (1763-1814) and his wife Sarah Horne (1775-1853), daughter of George Horne, Bishop of Norwich. His younger sister, Felicia Elizabetha Welby (1835-1927), became the wife of Montague Bertie, 11th Earl of Lindsey.

Welby was educated at Eton College where he became known amongst his friends as a "great footballer." He then went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, hoping for a career as a barrister following graduation, although his hopes never realised themselves. Instead he entered the Civil Service as a clerk in the Treasury in 1856 having graduated from Cambridge in 1855.[1]


Welby held many posts during his tenure at the Treasury and was appointed Assistant Financial Secretary in 1880. In 1885, he succeeded Lord Lingen as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, holding this office until his retirement in 1894. Following his retirement, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Welby, of Allington in the County of Lincoln, on 16 April 1894,[2] although he did not play a great part in debates in the House of Lords. He was appointed a member of the Privy Council in 1913.[3] Lord Welby also became an alderman of London County Council, eventually becoming its Chairman, and served as President of the International Free Trade Congress.

Personal life

Lord Welby was involved in a motorcar accident in December 1914, which he recovered from; however, his subsequent instability caused his death in the autumn of 1915. A bachelor,[4] he left no heir[5] and the barony expired on his death.

Titles and Honours

  • Mr Reginald Welby (1832–1874)
  • Mr Reginald Welby CB (1874–1882)
  • Sir Reginald Welby KCB (1882–1892)
  • Sir Reginald Welby GCB (1892–1894)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Welby GCB (1894–1913)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Welby GCB PC (1913–1915)


  1. . 79: 1–6. JSTOR 2340630. Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: no. 26504. p. 2171. 17 April 1894.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 28728. p. 4187. 13 June 1913.
  4. Maurice Wright, ‘Welby, Reginald Earle, Baron Welby (1832–1915)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 (subscription required) accessed 18 Nov 2015
  5. ‘Welby’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online edn, Oxford University Press, April 2014 (subscription required) accessed 18 Nov 2015

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Ralph Lingen
Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
with Edward Walter Hamilton (1885–1894)
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Mowatt
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas McKinnon Wood
Chairman of the London County Council
1899 – 1900
Succeeded by
Willoughby Dickinson
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Welby