Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ward, William (1787-1849)
WARD, WILLIAM (1787–1849), financier, born at Highbury Place, Islington, in July 1787, was the second son of George Ward (d. 1829), of Northwood Park, Cowes, a London merchant and large landowner in the Isle of Wight and Hampshire, by his wife Mary (d. 1813), daughter of Henry Sampson Woodfall [q. v.] Robert Plumer Ward [q. v.] was William's uncle.
William was educated at Winchester College. He was destined for commerce, and spent some time at Antwerp in a banking-house. On his return his father took him into partnership in 1810. In 1817 he was elected a director of the bank of England, and distinguished himself by his accurate knowledge of foreign exchanges. In 1819 he gave evidence before the parliamentary committees on the restrictions on payments in cash by the bank of England. On 9 June 1826 he was returned to parliament in the tory interest for the city of London, and in 1830 at the request of the Duke of Wellington, he acted as chairman of the committee appointed to investigate the affairs of the East India Company preparatory to the opening of the China trade. In 1831, discontented at the spirit of reform, he declined to stand for parliament. In 1835 he presented himself as a candidate, and was defeated by the whigs. From that period he retired from public life. In 1847 he published a treatise entitled ‘Remarks on the Monetary Legislation of Great Britain’ (London, 8vo), in which he condemned the act of 1816 establishing an exclusive gold standard, and called for a bi-metallic currency. Ward was a famous cricketer, and patron of the game. He made at that time the unequalled score of 278, on Lord's ground 24 July 1820, for the M.C.C. against Norfolk. In 1825 Ward bought the lease of Lord's ground to save it from builders' speculation. He continued to play occasionally down to 1845.
Ward died on 30 June 1849 in London at Wyndham Place. On 26 April 1811 he married Emily, fifth daughter of Harvey Christian Combe, a London alderman. She died on 24 Sept. 1848, leaving four sons—William George Ward [q. v.], Henry Ward, Matthew Ward, and Arthur Ward—and two daughters.
[Gent. Mag. 1849, ii. 206; Men of the Reign; Official Return of Members of Parliament, ii. 304, 318; Burke's Landed Gentry.]