Wellesley, Richard, Marquess Wellesley (formerly Wesley; 1760–1842)
Governor-General of Bengal, who returned to England in early 1806. Wellesley’s governorship was marked by a drive to acquire more territory in India. On his return, political controversy soon erupted: James Paull (1770–1808; DNB), Indian trader (1790–1805), accused Wellesley of ruining his trade in Lucknow (Bengal) and undermining the nawab of Oudh’s authority there during the years 1801–1802. This challenge kept Wellesley out of political office until 1809. In that year Wellesley was appointed Ambassador to Spain, and he arrived in Seville in August 1809 to negotiate with the embattled Supreme Central Junta. Here, he found himself once again in the same theatre of military and diplomatic activity as his brother Sir Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington), his main aim being to support his brother’s army in the Peninsula. The Junta’s unwillingness to organise supplies for the British Army while urging a policy of attack led Wellesley (and Southey) to suspect some of the Junta of co-operating with the French. Southey was suspicious of Wellesley’s role in the Cabinet as Foreign Secretary 1809–1812, because he knew Wellesley favoured Catholic Emancipation. Nevertheless, he had some hopes that Wellesley’s appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1821–1828 might lead to stern measures to suppress rural disorders.