William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Mornington
File:William Wellesley-Pole, later 1st Baron Maryborough, by Thomas Lawrence.jpg
William Wellesley-Pole, later 1st Baron Maryborough, and later 3rd Earl of Mornington (Thomas Lawrence)
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Hon. Spencer Perceval
Preceded by Hon. Robert Dundas
Succeeded by Robert Peel
Postmaster General
In office
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by The Marquess Conyngham
Succeeded by The Marquess Conyngham
Personal details
Born 20 May 1763 (1763-05-20)
Dangan Castle, County Meath
Died 22 February 1845 (1845-02-23)
Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) Katherine Forbes
Alma mater None

William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington GCH PC PC (Ire) (20 May 1763 – 22 February 1845), known as Lord Maryborough between 1821 and 1842, was an Anglo-Irish politician and an elder brother of the Duke of Wellington. His surname changed twice: he was born with the name Wesley, which he changed to Wesley-Pole following an inheritance in 1781. In 1789 the spelling was updated to Wellesley-Pole, just as other members of the family had changed Wesley to Wellesley.


He was born as William Wesley, at Dangan Castle, the second son of Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington by his marriage to the Hon. Annie Hill, a daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon. He was the younger brother of Richard Wesley, later Marquess Wellesley, and the elder brother of Arthur, who became Duke of Wellington, and of Henry.

Early life

Wesley was educated at Eton (1774–1776) before entering the Royal Navy as a midshipman, serving in the Navy between 1777 and 1783; most notably aboard HMS Lion, a new ship launched in 1777, at the Battle of Grenada of 1779.[1]

Pole inheritance

File:William Pole of Ballyfin (d 1781), English School of the 18th Century.jpg
William Pole (died 1781), of Ballyfin, Ireland, who at his death bequeathed his estate to William Wesley

Due to the debts of their father, the Wesley family entered into financial stringency. This was partially alleviated following the death in 1781 of the childless William Pole, of Ballyfin in Ireland, his godfather and the husband of his great-aunt Ann Colley, who bequeathed his estates to Wesley, on the condition which was usual in such situations that he should adopt the surname "Pole". Pole was descended from Peryam Pole, third son of the antiquary Sir William Pole (1561-1635) of Shute House, Devon, a brother of Sir John Pole, 1st Baronet. He had married Ann Colley, the sister of Wesley's grandfather Richard Wesley, 1st Baron Mornington (1690-1758). This Wesley had been born Richard Colley, but had changed his name in 1728, following an inheritance, to Wesley. Thus it was that in 1781, in accordance with the Will of his great-uncle William Pole, Wesley changed his name to Wesley-Pole.[2]

Political career

A Tory, Mornington was a Member of the Irish Parliament for Trim from 1783 to 1790 and of the British House of Commons for East Looe from 1790 to 1795 and Queen's County from 1801 to 1821. He served as Secretary of the Admiralty under the Duke of Portland between 1807 and 1809 and as Chief Secretary for Ireland under Spencer Perceval between 1809 and 1812 and was also a Lord of the Irish Treasury between 1809 and 1811 and Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer between 1811 and 1812. Mornington was sworn of both the British Privy Council and the Irish Privy Council in 1809. He served in Lord Liverpool's government from 1814 to 1823 as Master of the Mint. In 1821 he was elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as Baron Maryborough, of Maryborough in the Queen's County (now Portlaoise, Co. Laois). In 1823 he was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Queen's County for life. From 1823 to 1830 he was Master of the Buckhounds and from 1834 to 1835 Postmaster-General.

Succession to earldom

On the death in 1842 of his elder brother Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley and 2nd Earl of Mornington, he succeeded as 3rd Earl of Mornington.

Marriage and progeny

In 1784 Lord Mornington married Katherine Elizabeth Forbes, daughter of Admiral John Forbes and granddaughter of the George Forbes, 3rd Earl of Granard and of William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex. They had the following progeny, one son and three daughters:

File:The Wellesley-Pole sisters, by Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830).jpg
The Wellesley-Pole sisters, by Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). From left to right: Lady Mary Charlotte Anne, Lady Emily Harriet and Lady Priscilla Anne


He died on 22 February 1845.



  1. National Maritime Museum Records, Greenwich
  2. Ancestry from Collins Peerage, 1812, (9 vols.) vol. 8, pp. 540-545
  3. Morgan, Henry James Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada : (Toronto, 1903) [1]
  4. Christie's: Lotnotes by a drawing of the Wellesley-Pole sisters, by Thomas Lawrence. Url visited on 21 March 2012

External links

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
William Arthur Crosbie
John Pomeroy
Member of Parliament for Trim
With: John Pomeroy
Succeeded by
Hon. Arthur Wesley
John Pomeroy
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Viscount Belgrave
The Earl of Carysfort
Member of Parliament for East Looe
1790 – 1795
With: Robert Wood
Succeeded by
Robert Wood
Charles Arbuthnot
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John Parnell
Charles Henry Coote
Member of Parliament for Queen's County
1801 – 1821
With: Charles Coote 1801–1802
Henry Parnell 1802
Eyre Coote 1802–1806
Sir Henry Parnell, Bt 1806–1821
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Parnell, Bt
Sir Charles Henry Coote
Political offices
Preceded by
John Sargent
Clerk of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
John Calcraft
Preceded by
John Calcraft
Clerk of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Hon. Cropley Ashley-Cooper
Preceded by
William Marsden
Secretary to the Admiralty
Succeeded by
John Wilson Croker
Preceded by
Hon. Robert Dundas
Chief Secretary for Ireland
Succeeded by
Robert Peel
Preceded by
John Foster
Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer
Succeeded by
William Vesey-FitzGerald
Preceded by
The Earl of Clancarty
Master of the Mint
Succeeded by
George Tierney
Preceded by
The Marquess Cornwallis
Master of the Buckhounds
Succeeded by
The Viscount Anson
Preceded by
The Marquess Conyngham
Postmaster General
Succeeded by
The Marquess Conyngham
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Richard Wellesley
Earl of Mornington
Succeeded by
William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Maryborough
Succeeded by
William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley