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Wellesley, Richard, 1st Marquis Wellesley

Wellesley, Richard, 1st Marquis Wellesley (1760–1842). British administrator and the eldest brother of the duke of Wellington. In 1784 Wellesley entered parliament as MP for Beeralston where he sympathized with the free trade movement but opposed parliamentary reform. In 1793 he became a member of the India Board and from 1797 to 1805 acted as governor-general of Bengal. British rule was threatened by the French in alliance with Tipu Sahib of Mysore and the nizam of Hyderabad. Wellesley retorted by taking control of Mysore, the Carnatic, Hyderabad, and Oudh, bringing native princes under British influence. He served as foreign secretary in Perceval's cabinet and in 1812 tried unsuccessfully to form an administration. Wellesley championed the rights of catholics in Ireland and in 1821–8 and 1833–4 acted as lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In 1835 he became lord chamberlain.

Richard A. Smith

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