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Welbore Ellis, 1st Baron Mendip

Welbore Ellis, 1st Baron Mendip, PC, FRS (15 December 1713 – 2 February 1802) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons for 53 years from 1741 to 1794 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Mendip. He held a number of political offices, including briefly serving as Secretary for the Colonies in 1782 during the American War of Independence.

The Lord Mendip

Welbore Ellis, 1st Baron Mendip by Karl Anton Hickel.jpg
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
February 1782 – 8 March 1782
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterLord North
Preceded byLord George Germain
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born(1713-12-15)15 December 1713
Died2 February 1802(1802-02-02) (aged 88)


Ellis was the second but only surviving son of the Most Reverend Welbore Ellis, Bishop of Kildare and Bishop of Meath. He was educated at Westminster School from 1727 to 1732 and then entered Christ Church, Oxford.

Political careerEdit

In 1741, he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Cricklade, then moved to Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (1747–1761), Aylesbury (1761–1768), Petersfield (1768–1774), Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (1774–1790) and Petersfield (1791–1794). [1]

In 1762, he succeeded Charles Townshend as Secretary at War, and in 1763, he proposed the appropriation of twenty army regiments to the colonies of America. In Parliament, with many others, he opposed the reception of papers from the American Continental Congress. He became Treasurer of the Navy on 1777, then succeeded to the Colonial Secretaryship in 1782, which he held for a matter of months, before the American colonies were lost. In 1784, he became the longest-serving member of the House of Commons (having served for 43 years noncontinuously), becoming the honorary Father of the House.

He was created Baron Mendip, of Mendip in the County of Somerset, in 1794 in recognition of his governmental service. The peerage was created with remainder to the three eldest sons of his sister Anne by her husband Henry Agar, of Gowran and Gowran Castle.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1738 he inherited a large fortune from his uncle, John Ellis and built Clifden House in Brentford.

He married firstly in 1747 Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of Sir William Stanhope and secondly in 1765 Anne, the daughter of George Stanley of Paultons, Hampshire. Ellis nevertheless died childless in February 1802, aged 88, and was succeeded in the barony according to the special remainder by his great-nephew, Henry Welbore Agar, 2nd Viscount Clifden, who assumed the surname of Ellis two years later.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ELLIS, Welbore (1713-1802), of Tylney Hall, Hants". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 3 January 2018.

External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Reade, Bt
Charles Gore
Member of Parliament for Cricklade
With: Sir Thomas Reade, Bt
Succeeded by
John Gore
William Rawlinson Earle
Preceded by
John Tucker
Joseph Damer
John Raymond
James Steuart
Member of Parliament for Weymouth
and Melcombe Regis

With: Richard Plumer 1747–51
George Dodington 1747–54
Edward Hungate Beaghan 1747–54
Lord George Cavendish 1751–54
Lord John Cavendish 1754–61
George Dodington 1754–61
John Tucker 1754–61
Succeeded by
John Tucker
Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt
John Olmius
Richard Glover
Preceded by
John Willes
John Wilkes
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
With: John Wilkes 1761–64
Anthony Bacon 1764–68
Succeeded by
Anthony Bacon
John Durand
Preceded by
John Jolliffe
Richard Croftes
Member of Parliament for Petersfield
With: William Joliffe
Succeeded by
William Joliffe
Sir Abraham Hume, Bt
Preceded by
John Tucker
The Lord Waltham
Sir Charles Davers, Bt
Jeremiah Dyson
Member of Parliament for Weymouth
and Melcombe Regis

With: John Tucker 1774–78
William Chaffin Grove 1774–81
John Purling 1774–90
Gabriel Steward 1778–80, 1780–16 & 1788–90
Warren Lisle 1780
William Richard Rumbold 1781–84
Sir Thomas Rumbold, Bt 1784–90
George Jackson 1786–88
Succeeded by
Sir James Pulteney
Richard Johnstone
Andrew Stuart
Thomas Jones
Preceded by
William Joliffe
Marquess of Titchfield
Member of Parliament for Petersfield
With: William Joliffe
Succeeded by
William Joliffe
Charles Greville
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Townshend
Secretary at War
Succeeded by
The Viscount Barrington
Preceded by
Sir Gilbert Elliot, Bt
Treasurer of the Navy
Succeeded by
Isaac Barré
Preceded by
The Lord George Germain
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Charles Frederick
Father of the House
Succeeded by
William Drake
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
(new creation)
Baron Mendip
Succeeded by
Henry Welbore Ellis