WELD, George II (1674-1748), of Willey Park, Salop.
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Family and Education
bap. c.9 Apr. 1674, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of George Weld I*. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1691; I. Temple 1692. m. lic. 26 July 1699, Margaret, da. and h. of Richard Lugg (d. 1699), of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, Mdx., 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1701.1
Freeman, Much Wenlock 1696, bailiff 1705–6, 1711–12, 1715–16; freeman, Shrewsbury 1696; sheriff, Salop 1745–6.2
Weld was returned in December 1701 on the all-powerful family interest of the Welds at Much Wenlock, shortly after having succeeded his father. On 26 Feb. 1702 he was a teller for what appears to have been a Tory motion to postpone hearing a report from the committee of privileges, but in later Parliaments he departed from his father’s politics and became a staunch Whig. He voted on 13 Feb. 1703 for agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the oath of abjuration; was forecast as an opponent of the Tack, was included on Robert Harley’s lobbying list and on 28 Nov. 1704 voted against it or was absent. On 20 Dec. he was given leave of absence. Classed as ‘Low Church’ in a parliamentary list of 1705, he voted for the Court candidate in the election of a Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705 and, having been given leave of absence on 17 Dec. for a month, supported the Court over the regency bill on 18 Feb. following. He was again given leave for a month on 24 Jan. 1708. Listed as a Whig twice in 1708, he did not put up for re-election that year, preferring to bring in his younger brother Thomas on his interest.
Weld was one of several Whig gentlemen of Shropshire who in April 1710 signed a letter to the lord lieutenant of the county protesting against the riotous way in which Tories in Shrewsbury had gone about drawing up and circulating an address to the Queen in favour of Dr Sacheverell. In 1710 he stood again at Much Wenlock, with some reluctance and in response to a rare challenge to his interest. In the only contest in the constituency in this period he and Sir William Forester easily defeated two Tories. Prior to the election Forester had reported having canvassed a local Whig gentleman who had promised support: ‘yet I could not persuade him to promise for you’, he told Weld, ‘and his only objection seemed to be your being too hot, and having last election disobliged so many’. Having been anxious for some time to withdraw from political life, Weld did not stand at the next election, giving his interest to his cousin William Whitmore*, nor did he ever put up again.3
A traveller in Shropshire in 1735 recorded having gone ‘through Willey to some coal pits, belonging to Mr Weld, who had a very good house in the last mentioned place’. In his later years Weld was active in exploiting these coal mines and in promoting industries. In 1732 he leased the furnace of Coalbrookdale to the Dale Company for 21 years, the agreement including a stipulation that Weld was to supply to the company at a fixed price the coal necessary to their operations; and John Thursfield, the tenant of Haybrooke pottery, is said to have started the latter venture ‘under’ Weld. Weld died in 1748 and was buried on 9 July.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Salop Par. Reg. Soc. Hereford dioc. xvi. Willey, 4; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 3, i. 209, 212; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 1431; Shropshire N. and Q. n.s. ii. 71; PCC 203 Pett.
- 2. Salop RO, Forester mss, copy Much Wenlock corp. bk.; Shrewsbury Burgess Roll ed. Forrest, 300.
- 3. Letter to Rt. Hon. the Earl of Bradford, Ld. Lt. County of Salop; Forester mss, Sir William Forester to George Weld, 23 May, 20, 25 July, 10 Aug. 1710.
- 4. Salopian Shreds and Patches, ix. 35; VCH Salop, i. 434, 462; B. S. Trinder, The Industrial Revol. in Shropshire, 110–11; Salop Par. Reg. Soc. 29.