Wellesley, George Greville (DNB12)

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WELLESLEY, Sir GEORGE GREVILLE (1814–1901), admiral, born on 2 Aug. 1814, was third and youngest son of Gerald Valerian Wellesley, D.D. (1770–1848), prebendary of Durham (the youngest brother of the duke of Wellington), by his wife Lady Emily Mary, eldest daughter of Charles Sloane Cadogan, first Earl Cadogan. He entered the navy in 1828, taking the course at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. He passed his examination in 1834, and received his commission as lieutenant on 28 April 1838. In Jan. 1839 he was appointed to the flagship in the Mediterranean for disposal, and on 30 March was sent from her to the Castor frigate, in which he served for over two years, ending the commission as first lieutenant. In her he took part in the operations of 1840 on the coast of Syria, including the attacks on Caiffa, Jaffa, Tsour, and St. Jean d'Acre; he was twice gazetted and received the Syrian and Turkish medals with clasp. In November 1841 he was appointed to the Thalia, frigate, going out to the East Indies, and from her was, on 16 April 1842, promoted to commander and appointed to the Childers, brig, which he paid off two years later. On 2 Dec. 1844 he was promoted to captain, and in that rank was first employed in the Daedalus, which he commanded in the Pacific from 1849 to 1853. In February 1855 he was appointed to the Cornwallis, screw 60 gun ship, for the Baltic, and commanded a squadron of the fleet at the bombardment of Sveaborg. He received the Baltic medal, and in February 1856 the C.B. The Cornwallis then went for a year to the North America station, after which Wellesley was for five years in command of the Indian navy. He was promoted to rear-admiral on 3 April 1863, and in June 1865 was appointed admiral superintendent at Portsmouth, and held the post for four years. On resigning it he was appointed, on 30 June 1869, commander-in-chief on the North America and West Indies station, and on 26 July following became vice-admiral. He returned home in September 1870, and from October 1870 to September 1871 was in command of the Channel squadron. In September 1873 he again became commander-in-chief on the North America station, where he remained till his promotion to admiral on 11 Dec. 1875. From November 1877 to August 1879 he was first sea lord in W. H. Smith's board of admiralty. In June 1879 he was awarded a good service pension, and retired on 2 August of the same year. He was raised to the K.C.B. in April 1880, and to the G.C.B. at the Jubilee of 1887. In 1888 be became a commissioner of the Patriotic Fund. He died in London on 6 April 1901.

Wellesley married on 25 Jan. 1853 Elizabeth Doughty, youngest daughter of Robert Lukin. She died on 9 Jan. 1906, leaving a daughter, Olivia Georgiana, wife of Lieut.-col. Sir Henry Trotter, K.C.M.G.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.; The Times, 8 and 12 April 1901; R.N. List; Burke's Peerage; a photographic portrait was published in Illus. London News, 1901.]

L. G. C. L.