ELLIS, Welbore (1713-1802), of Tylney Hall, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



24 Dec. 1741 - 1747
1761 - 1768
1768 - 1774
29 Apr. 1791 - 13 Aug. 1794

Family and Education

b. 15 Dec. 1713, o. surv. s. of Rt. Rev. Welbore Ellis, bp. of Kildare and (1731) Meath, by Diana, da. of Sir John Briscoe of Boughton, Northants. and Amberley, Suss. educ. Westminster 1727-32; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1732. m. (1) 18 Nov. 1747, Elizabeth (d. 1 Aug. 1761), da. and h. of Sir William Stanhope, s.p.; (2) 20 July 1765, Anne, da. of George Stanley of Paultons, Hants, sis. and coh. of Hans Stanley, s.p. suc. fa. 1734; cr. Baron Mendip 13 Aug. 1794.

Offices Held

Ld. of Admiralty 1747-55; jt. vice-treasurer [I] 1755-62; P.C. 20 Mar. 1760; sec. at war 1762-5; jt. vice-treasurer [I] 1770-7; treasurer of the navy 1777-82; sec. of state for America Feb.-Mar. 1782.


In 1738 Welbore Ellis, aged 24, inherited a great fortune from his uncle, John Ellis, M.P., under-secretary of state to William III and Anne, who had acquired by Act of Parliament the forfeited Irish estates of his own brother, Sir William Ellis, secretary of state to James II in exile.1 Entering Parliament for the venal borough of Cricklade after a double return in 1741, he was included, May 1742, in Pelham’s list for a proposed public accounts commission, to which he was not elected.2 In the Cockpit list of ministerial supporters, October 1742, he is put down as receiving the whip through his friend Henry Fox. Voting regularly with the Government, he spoke against an opposition motion for discontinuing the Hanoverian troops in British pay, 6 Dec. 1743, seconded the Address at the opening of the sessions of 1744 and 1745, supported the Hanoverians, 11 Apr. 1746, and spoke second for the Administration on the heritable jurisdictions bill, 14 Apr. 1747.3 He was returned for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis on Pelham’s recommendation in 1747, when the Duke of Bedford, then first lord of the Admiralty, agreed to his succeeding George Grenville at that board.4 He held office for over 30 years, a record rivalling that of his colleague, the 2nd Lord Barrington, to whom Horace Walpole compares him:

They were shades of the same character; the former [Barrington] a little brighter by better parts, the other a little more amiable by less interestedness.5

He died 2 Feb. 1802.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. PCC 173 Brodrepp; HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 350.
  • 2. Horace Walpole to Mann, 26 May 1742.
  • 3. Add. 35876, f. 250.
  • 4. Hartington to Devonshire, 16 June 1747, Devonshire mss.
  • 5. Mems. Geo. II, ii. 141-2.