emancipation, was appointed chief justice in the place of William Downes (afterwards Baron Downes [q. v.]), who had retired.
The most important service, however, which Wellesley rendered was the suppression by law of the secret societies, both protestant and catholic.
On 29 Oct. 1825 Wellesley married for the second time. His second wife was Marianne, an American Roman catholic, the widow of Robert Patterson, and daughter of Richard Caton of Baltimore. She was granddaughter of Charles Caroll of Carollstown, who, at his death in 1832, was the last surviving signatory of the declaration of American independence. She was a woman of wealth, beauty, and refinement, and her marriage with Wellesley greatly increased the happiness of the remainder of his life.
It had long been evident that the views of Wellesley and the Duke of Wellington on the Roman catholic question entirely differed, and when the duke became prime minister in 1828, Wellesley was not invited to join the administration. The two brothers had one passage of arms in the House of Lords in June 1828, when Wellesley supported a motion which had been carried in the commons for the appointment of a committee to consider the claims of the catholics. On that occasion the duke contended that the state of things which then existed furnished securities which were indispensable to the security of church and state, while Wellesley, arguing from his personal knowledge of Ireland, pronounced the condition of that country to be unlikely ‘to lead to a conciliatory termination, or calculated to effect the desired stability of the church, or to secure the re-establishment of harmony and peace.’ Seven months later the measure which Wellesley had so long advocated was carried by the duke, acting upon the advice of Peel, as being essential to the peace of the country.
Wellesley concurred in the policy of the Reform Bill of 1832, the principle of which he had opposed in 1793, but he took no part in the debates on it. After it was passed he was appointed by Lord Grey to be lord steward of the household, and subsequently resumed the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, which he held until the dismissal of the whig ministers by William IV in 1834. His views as to the advantage of a conciliatory policy were unchanged, and he endeavoured to give effect to them by recommending that more Roman catholics should be employed in the higher judicial posts and in other civil offices; but his administration came to an end with the change of government. When the whigs returned to power in April 1835 he is said to have expressed his willingness to resume the government of Ireland; but political ties led to the appointment of Lord Mulgrave, and Wellesley became lord chamberlain, resigning his office in the following month, and retiring finally from public life in his seventy-fifth year. There was some discussion in the House of Lords as to the reason of his retirement; but Wellesley declined to explain it. He lived seven years longer, residing generally at Kingston House, Brompton, enjoying the society of his friends and employing much of his time in prosecuting those classical studies which had had a charm for him since his Eton days.
We have seen that during his government of India Wellesley's treatment by the court of directors of the East India Company had not been satisfactory. They had been unable to appreciate his policy and had been alarmed at the vastness of his plans. A great deal had happened since those days, and the reputation of ‘the Great Proconsul,’ as he is designated by one of his biographers (Torrens, The Marquis Wellesley, 1880), had steadily risen in public estimation. Some of those who had been personally acquainted with his services in India were now in leading positions in Leadenhall Street. In 1837, it being understood that his private means were embarrassed, a grant of 20,000l. was voted and was placed in the hands of the chairman and deputy-chairman of the company and two other persons as trustees, to be applied at their discretion for Wellesley's use and benefit. About the same time it was resolved that copies of his despatches, which had just been published, should be distributed largely to the civil servants in India (Martin, The Despatches, Minutes, and Correspondence of the Marquis Wellesley, K.G., during his Administration in India); and in 1841, the year before his death, a white marble statue was erected in his honour in Leadenhall Street. On that occasion, when acknowledging the resolution in which the wishes of the East India Company were communicated to him, and, after having alluded in complimentary terms to the fact that William Butterworth Bayley, who was then filling the chair, had been in the early part of the century one of the young civil servants employed in the governor-general's office, Wellesley repeated the following words which he had used in returning thanks to the inhabitants of Calcutta on 2 March 1804 for an address presented to him at the close of the second Mahratta war: ‘The just object of public