WALTER COWLEY, solicitor-general of Ireland in 1537; who, on surrendering that office, in 1546, to John Bathe, was appointed, in 1548, surveyor-general of that kingdom.
The elder son and heir of this learned person,
THE RT HON SIR HENRY COLLEY, of Castle Carbery, who was a captain in ELIZABETH I's army, a privy counsellor, and a personage of considerable influenence, wedded Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Cusack, of Cussington, County Meath, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and had two sons,
George (Sir), of Edenderry; andSir Henry of Castle Carbery, in the reign of ELIZABETH I, was Constable of Philipstown Fort, seneschal of the King's County, and providore of the army.
SIR HENRY COLLEY, of whom hereafter.
He married, in 1561, Anne, second daughter of the Most Rev Adam Loftus, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, by whom he had two sons and three daughters, and was succeeded by his elder son,
SIR HENRY COLLEY, of Castle Carbery, who married Anne, daughter and heiress of Christopher Peyton, auditor-general of Ireland; and dying in 1637, was succeeded by his eldest son,
DUDLEY COLLEY (c1621-74), of Castle Carbery, MP for Philipstown in the first parliament after the Restoration.
This gentleman espoused firstly, Anne, daughter of Henry Warren, of Grangebegg, County Kildare, and had eight sons and seven daughters; of whom
ELIZABETH, the third but eldest surviving daughter, married Garrett Wellesley, of Dangan, County Meath.
Mr Wellesley was succeeded by his elder son,
WILLIAM WELLESLEY, of Dangan, at whose decease, without an heir, the estates devolved upon his brother,
GARRETT WELLESLEY, who died without issue, in 1728, when all his estates devolved upon his cousin,
RICHARD COLLEY, on that gentleman's assumption of the surname and arms of WELLESLEY.
Mr Colley's younger son,
RICHARD COLLEY, having succeeded, in 1728, to the estates of the Wellesley family, assumed the surname and arms of WELLESLEY.
This gentleman's descendant, Elizabeth Colley, married Garrett Wellesley, of Dangan, by whom she was mother of Garrett Wellesley, member in several parliaments for County Meath, who died in 1728, leaving all his estates to his cousin, Richard Colley, second son of Henry, above named, on condition of his taking the name and arms of WELLESLEY.
In 1713, Mr Colley had been appointed Second Chamberlain of the Court of Exchequer in Ireland, and sat in parliament for Trim, until elevated to the peerage, in 1746, by the title of Baron Mornington.
His lordship wedded, in 1719, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Sale LL.D, registrar of the diocese of Dublin, and MP for Carysfort, by whom he had one surviving son and four daughters.
On his decease, in 1758, he was succeeded by his only son,
GARRETT, 2nd Baron, born in 1735; who was further advanced, in 1760, to the dignities of Viscount Mornington and EARL OF MORNINGTON.
He espoused, in 1759, Anne, daughter of Arthur [Hill], Viscount Dungannon, of Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, County Down.
Lady Mornington subsequently enjoyed the multiplied glories and well-earned honours of her children.
They had issue,
RICHARD, 2nd Earl of Mornington and 1st Marquess Wellesley;and five other offspring.
Arthur Gerald, died in childhood;
WILLIAM, Baron Maryborough;
ARTHUR, DUKE OF WELLINGTON, KG etc;
The very eminent family of Wesley, or Wellesley, or, as it was formerly written, de Welesley, alias Welseley, was founded in Ireland by a gentleman of that name, of an ancient Anglo-Saxon family, who held the honourable station of standard-bearer to HENRY II; and having accompanied that monarch into Ireland in 1172, obtained for his military services large grants of land in the counties of Meath and Kildare, a considerable portion of which his descendants enjoyed.
From this successful soldier descended
WILLIAM DE WELLESLEY, who appears to have been summoned to parliament as a baron of the realm, by the title of Baron Noragh, in 1330, and had a grant by patent from EDWARD II of the custody of Kildare castle for life; but that monarch conferring subsequently the office upon John FitzThomas, Earl of Kildare, together with the county of Kildare, to hold to his male heirs forever, William de Wellesley was removed, and lost the fee of £20 a year annexed thereunto; in recompence whereof, however, EDWARD III granted him a commission, dated 1342.
First published in March, 2012.