Robert Ward (1754–1831)

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Col. Robert Ward PC (Ire) (14 July 1754 – March 1831),[1] styled The Honourable from 1770, was an Irish politician and colonel of the South Down militia.


He was the fourth son of Bernard Ward, 1st Viscount Bangor and his wife Lady Ann Bligh, daughter of John Bligh, 1st Earl of Darnley and his wife Theodosia Bligh, 10th Baroness Clifton.[2] His older brothers were Nicholas Ward, 2nd Viscount Bangor and Edward Ward.[3] Following the latter's death in 1812, he conveyed the by-that-time-insane 2nd Viscount out of his residence Castle Ward and plundered it.[4]


He entered the Irish House of Commons in 1777, sitting for Wicklow Borough until 1783.[1] Ward was elected for Killyleagh in 1790 and represented it until 1798, when he was returned for Bangor, the family's customary constituency, until the Act of Union in 1801.[1] In November of the latter year, he was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland.[5] He was appointed High Sheriff of Down for 1792–93.

Ward was a trustee of the Irish Linen Board and from 1805 was Governor of County Down.[6] In 1800, he became the first colonel of the new established South Downshire Militia.[4] Ward won a by-election to the British House of Commons for Down in May 1812, however he did not stand in the next general election in October.[7][8]


In May 1782, he married firstly, Sophia Frances Whaley, third daughter of Richard Chapel Whaley, and had by her four sons and a daughter.[6] She died in 1793 and Ward married secondly, Louisa Jane Symes, second daughter of Reverend Abraham Symes, four years later.[6] By his second wife, he had four sons and two daughters[6] Ward died in 1831, aged 76.[9] His oldest son Edward was a diplomat and his fifth son James a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy. His daughter Anne-Catherine married the barrister John Goddard Richards of Ardamine Estate, County Wexford.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Leigh Rayment - Irish House of Commons 1692-1800". Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ Debrett, John (1828). Debrett's Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. vol. II (17th ed.). London: G. Woodfall. p. 785. |volume= has extra text (help)
  3. ^ Burke, John (1832). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. vol. I (4th ed.). London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. p. 75. |volume= has extra text (help)
  4. ^ a b "Public Record Office of Northern Ireland - Ward Papers" (PDF). Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  5. ^ "Leigh Rayment - Privy Council of Ireland". Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b c d Sylvanus, Urban (1831). The Gentleman's Magazine. part I. London: J. B. Nicholls and Son. pp. 464–465.
  7. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Down". Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ Brian Walker, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, P 208
  9. ^ a b Lodge, Edmund (1859). The Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire (28th ed.). London: Hurst and Blackett. p. 41.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Wicklow Borough
With: Sir William Fownes, 2nd Bt 1777–1778
George Ponsonby 1778–1783
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Killyleagh
With: James Stevenson Blackwood
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Bangor
With: John Stewart
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Down
May–October 1812
With: John Meade
Succeeded by