He inherited estates and coal and lead mining interests at Whitfield, Northumberland on the death of his father. His residence was Whitfield Hall. After his father's death, his mother remarried Thomas Creevey in 1803.
Ord was granted the Freedom of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1808. He was Member of Parliament for Morpeth 1802–32, when one of the seats was eliminated for that constituency. He was defeated that year when standing for South Northumberland, but was returned for Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1835–52. Politically, Ord was a left-wing Whig, a follower of Samuel Whitbread.
Their only son, also named William Henry (1803–1839), was a barrister and Member of Parliament for Newport, Isle of Wight, married Frances Vere Lorraine in 1829 but died aged only 36 in 1839. In 1855 his father left his estates to his son's widow Frances (who remarried Sir Edward Blackett, 6th Baronet in 1851) and to his niece, Anne Jane Hamilton, who married Rev John Alexander Blackett, Rector of Wolsingham, the youngest son of Christopher Blackett of Wylam, on condition that he changed his name to Blackett-Ord.
- Rapp, Dean (Spring 1982). "The Left-Wing Whigs: Whitbread, the Mountain and Reform, 1809-1815". The Journal of British Studies. 21 (2): 35–66. doi:10.1086/385789. JSTOR 175533.
- "Blackett-Ord Papers". Retrieved 2006-12-14.
- Porritt, Edward; Maxwell, Herbert (April 1904). "Review of "The Creevey Papers; A Selection from the Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Thomas Creevey, M. P. Born 1768; Died 1838 by Herbert Maxwell"". The American Historical Review. American Historical Association. 9 (3): 581. doi:10.2307/1833494. JSTOR 1833494.
- "Career of William Ord". Archived from the original on 25 March 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-14.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Ord
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Viscount Howard of Morpeth
|Member of Parliament for Morpeth
With: Viscount Howard of Morpeth 1802–1806, 1826–1830
William Howard 1806–1826, 1830–1832
Frederick George Howard
Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bt
John Hodgson Hinde
|Member of Parliament for Newcastle-upon-Tyne
With: Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bt 1835–1836
John Hodgson Hinde 1836–1847
Thomas Emerson Headlam 1847–1852
Thomas Emerson Headlam
John Fenwick Burgoyne Blackett