GORE (afterwards ORMSBY GORE), William (1779-1860), of Woodford, co. Leitrim.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - 1807
1835 - 1857

Family and Education

b. 14 Mar. 1779, 1st s. of William Gore, MP [I], of Woodford by Frances Jane Gorges, da. and h. of Ralph Gore, MP [I], of Barrow Mount, co. Kilkenny, wid. of Sir Haydocke Evans Morres, 2nd Bt. educ. Eton 1796; M. Temple 1796; Merton, Oxf. 1797. m. 11 Jan. 1815, Mary Jane, da. and h. of Owen Ormsby of Willowbrook, co. Sligo and Porkington, Salop, 3s. 2da. Took additional name of Ormsby by royal lic. 14 Oct. 1814; suc. fa. 1815.

Offices Held

Lt. 1 Drag. Gds. 1800, capt. 1802, maj. 1802, brevet maj. 1813, half-pay 1815.

A.d.c. to ld. lt. [I] 1802-6; gent. of privy chamber 1815.

Trustee, linen board [I] 1807.

Sheriff, Salop 1817-18, Caern. 1820-1; mayor, Oswestry 1823.


In 1804 Gore, then a.d.c. to Lord Hardwicke, offered on a vacancy for Leitrim, which his father and other forebears had represented in the Irish parliament. After declining a contest on that occasion, he was somewhat unexpectedly returned at the general election of 1806, which found him at Brighton, when the Castle favourite Latouche withdrew at the last minute. Gore, who had intervened, came second in the ensuing contest, defeating the Castle substitute.1

Gore was expected to be hostile or at best doubtful as far as the Grenville ministry were concerned. On 30 Mar. 1807 he made overtures to Spencer Perceval through the bishop of Meath, who reported:

His objects, I should hope, are easily to be attained, and not embarrassing to you. He has been eight years in the cavalry, and is high amongst the captains of the first dragoon guards, but he is not very rich, and his father has a large family. A majority of cavalry, and some staff appointment would amply satisfy him, but he would be content with the former if it could be promised him at no very distant time, as he is, if I mistook him not, the first for purchase in his regiment, and it would distress his feelings to have the offer of purchase come to him without being able to avail himself of it. He is certain of being returned on a future occasion, but as a very principal part of his interest is Roman Catholic he will expect to be left at liberty to vote as he thinks right, on the event of any question upon the petition.2

On 9 Apr. Gore voted with government against Brand’s motion and on 15 Apr., on Lyttelton’s motion, he ‘made a foolish speech, which ... was much observed upon by Newport’, so the chief secretary was told. Mindful of his Catholic constituents’ and prepared to support the admission of Catholics to all military commissions, he seems to have attempted to denigrate the outgoing ministry’s endeavours on their behalf. The Catholic backlash cost him his seat at the ensuing general election, when he retired in the face of a contest. Though ‘a firm supporter of the King’s government’, he found that government could do little to help his election.3

Ormsby Gore, as he became on his marriage to a Shropshire heiress, subsequently made no attempt to represent an Irish seat. He died 4 May 1860.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: P. J. Jupp


  • 2. Perceval (Holland) mss B1.
  • 3. Morning Chron. 13 Apr.; NLS mss 12909, Elliot to Bedford, 16 Apr.; Wellington mss, Gore to Wellesley, 18, 29 Apr., Wellesley to abp. of Tuam, 2 May; Belfast News Letter, 5 May 1807.