WARD, Hon. Robert (1754-1831), of Bangor, co. Down.
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Family and Education
b. 14 July 1754, 3rd s. of Bernard, 1st Visct. Bangor [I], by Lady Ann Bligh, da. of John, 1st Earl of Darnley [I], wid. of Robert Hawkins Magill, MP [I], of Gill Hall. educ. Harrow 1770-1; Trinity, Dublin 1773. m. (1) May 1782, Sophia Frances (d. Sept. 1793), da. of Richard Chapel Whaley, MP [I], of Whaley Abbey. co. Wicklow, 2s. 1da.; (2) May 1797, Louisa Jane, da. and coh. of Rev. Abraham Symes, DD, of Hilbrook, co. Wicklow, 4s. 2da.
MP [I] 1777-83, 1790-1800.
PC [I] 1805.
Trustee, linen board [I] 1801.
Sheriff, co. Down 1792-3, gov. 1805.
Lt.-col. commdt. Ward’s Ft. 1794; capt. Bangor inf. 1798; col. S. Down militia 1803.
Ward’s father and brother Edward both represented county Down before the Union. The family controlled the close borough of Bangor and Ward shared £7,500 compensation for its disfranchisement with his brother Edward. He himself had been returned for Wicklow on the Tighe interest, uncertain in his politics, and subsequently by Sir John Blackwood for Killyleagh in 1790, when his conduct was thought to be governed by his brother-in-law Sir John Parnell, before coming in for Bangor in 1797.1
He was returned to Westminster for Down as a ‘stopgap’ at Castlereagh’s instigation in 1812, so that the latter might replace him at the ensuing general election. There is no evidence of parliamentary activity, though he later reported that, on the strength of his attendance in June 1812, he formed the opinion that Lord Liverpool’s government was ‘the best possible for these countries’. To judge by his correspondence with the Irish secretary in 1818 he was an active and well informed governor of the county.2 He died in May 1831.