William Weddell

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William Weddell by Pompeo Batoni

William Weddell (13 May 1736 – 30 April 1792) was a British landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1766 and 1792. He created a collection of antiquities that included the Barberini Venus at Newby Hall.

Life[edit]

William was the son of Richard Elcock, who had adopted the additional surname of Weddell, of Newby Hall, North Yorkshire, and was educated at Dr. Newcome's Academy in Hackney, and later at St. John’s College, Cambridge (1753). He trained as a lawyer at Gray's Inn, London (1753). His great-uncle Thomas Weddell of Earswick was Paymaster to the Navy and had made a fortune by speculating in the South Sea Bubble. He paid for William's education and when he died left his considerable fortune to Richard Elcock on condition that he and William changed their names to Weddell. Richard bought Newby Hall in 1748, which William Weddell inherited in 1762 (his elder brother having died), whilst on the Grand Tour. [1]

The monument to Weddell in the cathedral

William was then in a position to start what became a renowned collection of classical antiquities, including the Barberini Venus, which sold in 2002 for £8 million. He also upgraded and extended Newby Hall to house his collection.

He was elected Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Kingston-upon-Hull in 1766, sitting until 1774. He was elected for Malton in 1775, serving until 1784, and again in 1784, serving until 1792. [2]

He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Ramsden, 3rd Baronet, and half-sister of Lady Rockingham. There is an unusual monument to his memory in Ripon Cathedral, consisting of a representation of a Greek temple, with a bust of an aristocratic man on a pedestal in the centre by Joseph Nollekens.[1] He had no surviving children, and left Newby Hall to his cousin Thomas Philip Robinson, Lord Grantham, later the 2nd Earl de Grey. His cousin changed his name to Weddell in 1803, but changed it again in 1833 to Grey.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "WILLIAM WEDDELL'S REFINED TASTE". Ripon Civic Society. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  2. ^ "WEDDELL, William (1736-92), of Newby, Yorks". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  3. ^ G. C. Boase, ‘Grey, Thomas Philip de , second Earl De Grey (1781–1859)’, rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2009 accessed 9 Aug 2017
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Lord Robert Manners
Sir George Montgomery Metham
Member of Parliament for Hull
1766–1774
With: Lord Robert Manners
Succeeded by
Lord Robert Manners
David Hartley
Preceded by
Savile Finch
Edmund Burke
Member of Parliament for Malton
1775–1784
With: Savile Finch 1775-1780
Edmund Burke 1780-1784
Succeeded by
Edmund Burke
Sir Thomas Gascoigne
Preceded by
Edmund Burke
Sir Thomas Gascoigne
Member of Parliament for Malton
1784– 1792
With: Edmund Burke
Succeeded by
Edmund Burke
Hon. George Damer