Sir William Wellesley, Knight

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Sir William Wellesley, Knight

Also Known As: "Wesley", "de Welesley"
Birthplace: Meath, Republic of Ireland (Ireland)
Death: April 29, 1502 (58-59)
Place of Burial: County Kildare, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Christopher Wellesley
Husband of Ismay Wellesley
Father of Alison Wellesley; Walter Wellesley, Bishop of Kildare and Garett Wellesley

Occupation: Bishop of Kildare
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir William Wellesley, Knight


He married firstly Genet Cusack,[7] and by her had one son who probably predeceased him. He married secondly Marion Cruise, daughter and heiress of Sir Christopher Cruise of Rathmore, County Meath, and in her right became Lord of the Manor of Rathmore.[8] His second marriage, though advantageous, was said to be a love affair, and there are some romantic but rather improbable legends about it, describing how Thomas as a young barrister in London restored Marion, then a penniless refugee in England, to her rightful inheritance.[9]

He and Marian had five children:

  • Edmund, who inherited Rathmore but died without issue
  • Sir Alexander Plunket, Lord Chancellor of Ireland
  • Ismay, who married Sir William Wellesley of Dangan: their children included Walter Wellesley, Bishop of Kildare, and Garett Wellesley, ancestor of the Duke of Wellington
  • Margaret, who married Barnaby Barnewall, judge of the Court of King's Bench (Ireland)
  • Elizabeth, who married Christopher Barnewall, 2nd Baron Trimleston; their son John, 3rd Baron, was Lord Chancellor of Ireland[10]

He should not be confused with his nephew Sir Thomas Plunket of Dunsoghly Castle, Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas. The second Sir Thomas was the son of Sir Robert Plunket, who was briefly Lord Chief Justice in 1447.


"... Walter Wellesley, penultimate Prior of Great Connell, County Kildare, a religious house belonging to the Augustinian canons. Judged a man of both exceptional learning and political wisdom, Wellesley, who became Bishop of Kildare in 1529, had sufficient influence with Henry VIII to ensure the survival of Great Connell during the following decade when other religious houses were being suppressed. When he died in 1539 this tomb was erected in his memory but the following year the priory was closed down and its occupants dispersed. The buildings subsequently passed into other hands and in the early 19th century much of the original masonry was used to construct a military barracks in Newbridge. At that time surviving fragments of Bishop Wellesley’s tomb were incorporated into the wall of a graveyard at Great Connell where they remained until 1971 when removed to St Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare. There they remain in the south transept although portions of the tomb have never been recovered."

More on this family - A view of the legal institutions, honorary hereditary offices, and feudal ... By William Lynch at

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Sir William Wellesley, Knight's Timeline

Meath, Republic of Ireland
Meath, Republic of Ireland
Dangan, Meath, Ireland
April 29, 1502
Age 59
County Kildare, Ireland