Biographies A-Z

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Welch, Robert Anthony ('Bob')

Welch, Robert Anthony ('Bob') (1947–2013), academic, poet, critic and writer, was born on 25 November 1947 in Cork City, to Patrick Welch, a factory worker at the Dunlop Rubber Company, and Kathleen Welch (née Kearney). He was educated by the Presentation Brothers at Coláiste…

Welch, Robert John

Welch, Robert John (1859–1936), photographer, was born 22 July 1859 in or near Strabane, Co. Tyrone, second of six children and second of the three sons of David Welch and Martha Welch (née Graham), daughter of a local shoemaker, who was aged 17 at the time of her marriage in 1857.…

Weld, Isaac

Weld, Isaac (1774–1856), writer and vice-president of the RDS, was born 15 March 1774 in Dublin, eldest son of Isaac Weld (d. 1824), official in the Irish customs, and his first wife, Elizabeth (née Kerr). Isaac Weld senior was a noted bon viveur who was given his lucrative position…

Wellesley, Walter

Wellesley, Walter (d. 1539), Augustinian priest and bishop of Kildare, was the younger son of Sir Walter Wellesley and Ismay, daughter of Sir Richard Plunkett of Rathmore. He probably received his early education at the priory of SS Peter and Paul, Trim, Co. Meath, before going to…

Wellesley (Wesley), Arthur

Wellesley (Wesley), Arthur (1769–1852), 1st duke of Wellington , soldier and politician, was born 1 May 1769 at Mornington House, 6 Merrion Street, Dublin, the third surviving son of Garret Wesley (qv) (1735–81), 1st earl of Mornington, and…

Wellesley (Wesley), Richard Colley

Wellesley (Wesley), Richard Colley (1760–1842), Marquis Wellesley , governor-general of Bengal and lord lieutenant of Ireland, was born 20 June 1760 at Dangan Castle, Co. Meath, eldest child of Garret Wesley (qv), 1st Viscount…

Welles, William

Welles, William (c.1410–1463), chancellor of Ireland, was the younger son of Eon (John) de Welles, Lord Welles, and his wife Maud, daughter of Ralph, Lord Greystoke. He had a long career in the service of Richard (qv), duke of…

Welsh, Elizabeth

Welsh, Elizabeth (1843–1921), pioneering woman academic and mistress of Girton College, Cambridge, was born 31 March 1843 in Co. Down, eldest among four daughters of John Welsh of Gransha, Kircubbin, Co. Down, a farmer on over a hundred acres, probably prosperous and possibly also a…

Went, Arthur Edward James

Went, Arthur Edward James (1910–80), fisheries biologist and historian, was born 21 January 1910 in London, first child and only son of Edward B. Went and Louisa A. Went of Mitcham, Surrey. He left school at the age of 15 to work in a chemical laboratory but in his spare time…

Wentworth, D'Arcy

Wentworth, D'Arcy (1762–1827), surgeon and colonial administrator, was born 14 February 1762 near Portadown, Co. Armagh, the sixth of eight children of D'Arcy Wentworth, innkeeper, and his wife Martha (née Dickson/Dixon) of Seagoe, Co. Armagh. His family, who were descended from…

Wentworth, Sir Thomas

Wentworth, Sir Thomas (1593–1641), earl of Strafford, lord lieutenant of Ireland, was born 13 April 1593 in Chancery Lane, London, second but eldest surviving son of William Wentworth of Wentworth House, West Riding, Yorkshire, and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Atkinson of…

Werner, Louis Joseph

Werner, Louis Joseph (c.1858–1936), ophthalmologist, was born in Dublin, one of the three sons of the French artist and portrait painter Louis Wernerife. The Franco–Prussian War had forced the emigration of his parents from Alsace to Ireland, via London. Setting up a…

Wesley, Garrett

Wesley, Garrett (1735–81), amateur musician, politician, and 1st earl of Mornington , was born 19 July 1735, probably at Dangan Castle, Co. Meath, the only surviving son of Richard Wesley (originally Colley), later 1st Baron Mornington, and Elizabeth Wesley (née Sale). Educated by…

Wesley, John

Wesley, John (1703–91), evangelical preacher and church founder, was born 17 June 1703 in Epworth rectory, Lincolnshire, England, thirteenth or fourteenth child and third eldest son of Samuel Wesley, rector, and Susanna Wesley (née Annesley), both of Lincolnshire. He received his…

Wesley, Richard (Colley)

Wesley, Richard (Colley) (c.1690–1758), politician and 1st Baron Mornington , was born Richard Colley, near Edenderry, King's Co. (Offaly), sixth and youngest son of Henry Colley, of Castle Carbery, Co. Kildare, politician and landowner, and Mary Colley (née Usher).…

West, Francis Robert

West, Francis Robert (c.1749–1809), artist, was born in Dublin, eldest son of Robert West (qv), artist and founder of a school of drawing which from 1746 was subsidised by the Dublin Society. After Robert West's death (October 1770…

West, Harry (Henry William)

West, Harry (Henry William) (1917–2004), farmer and politician, was born in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, on 27 March 1917, eldest child and only son (he had five sisters) of William West, farmer and former secretary of Fermanagh County Council, and his wife Harriet (née Spence). West's…

West, John

West, John (1812–87), chartist and textile worker, was born 20 February 1812 in Dublin. His father died when he was a child and he was taken by his mother to live in Manchester; no other details of his family are known. He started work as an adolescent in the textile trade, and…

Weston, Nicholas

Weston, Nicholas (d. 1617), merchant, was the son of John Weston, a merchant of Drogheda, and his wife Hamonella, daughter of Nicholas Merchant, also a Drogheda merchant. In 1577 Nicholas was admitted a citizen of Dublin and lived on the High Street. He rose rapidly up the city's…

Weston, Robert

Weston, Robert (d. 1573), lord chancellor of Ireland, was the third son of John Weston of Lichfield, Staffordshire, and his wife Cecilia, who was a sister to Ralph Neville, 4th earl of Westmorland. Educated at Oxford, he was a fellow of All Souls college in 1536, and became dean…

West, Robert

West, Robert (d. 1770), painter, draughtsman, and art teacher, was born in Waterford city, the son of an alderman. Little is known about his early years, except that he studied in Paris (c.1735) under François Boucher and Carle Vanloo, and supposedly earned the first…

West, Robert

West, Robert (d. 1790), stuccodore and Dublin property developer, was probably born in Dublin between c.1720 and 1730. His family background and early life is unknown but it is possible that he was descended from a long line of Dublin-based builders and artisans such as…

West, Robert Lucius

West, Robert Lucius (c.1774–1850), painter, was born in Dublin, son of Francis Robert West (qv), painter and master of the Dublin Society figure school, and his second wife, Ellen (née Walsh). His grandfather,…

Westropp, Thomas Johnson

Westropp, Thomas Johnson (1860–1922), antiquarian, was born 16 August 1860 at Attyflin, near Patrickswell, Co. Limerick, son (and only surviving child) of John Westropp and his second wife and cousin, Charlotte Louisa Whitehead. His father, a substantial landowner with estates in Co…

West, Sir Raymond

West, Sir Raymond (1832–1912), Indian civil servant and judge, was born 18 September 1832 at Ballyloughrane, Co. Kerry, son of Frederick Henry West, journalist, and his wife Frances, daughter of Richard Raymond of Ballyloughrane. His father neglected his own career, the family…