Thomas Weld (cardinal)

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Thomas Weld
Cardinal-priest of San Marcello al Corso
Cardinal Thomas Weld (1773-1837), by Andrew Geddes.jpg
Ordination3 April 1821
by  Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen
Consecration6 August 1826
by  William Poynter
Created cardinal15 March 1830
Rank Cardinal-priest
Personal details
Born22 January 1773
Died10 April 1837 (aged 64)
Buried Santa Maria in Aquiro, Rome
Denomination Roman Catholic
ParentsThomas and Mary Weld
SpouseLucy Bridget Clifford
ChildrenMary Lucy Weld
Previous post Coadjutor Bishop of Kingston and Titular Bishop of Amyclae

Thomas Weld (22 January 1773 – 10 April 1837) was an English Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.



A member of the Weld-Blundell family, Weld was born in London on 22 January 1773, the eldest son of Thomas Weld of Lulworth Castle, Dorset, by his wife Mary, eldest daughter of Sir John Stanley Massey Stanley of Hooton, who belonged to the elder and Catholic branch of the Stanley family, now extinct.

The Weld family is an old English gentry family that claims descent from Eadric the Wild and has branches in several parts of the United Kingdom and America. The senior line descends from Sir Humphrey Weld, Lord Mayor of London, whose grandson of the same name purchased Lulworth Castle in Dorset, England, in 1641. They were notable as a recusant family prior to Catholic Emancipation in the 19th century.

Lulworth Castle Grade I listed historic house museum in Purbeck, United Kingdom

Lulworth Castle, in East Lulworth, Dorset, England, situated south of Wool, is an early 17th-century mock castle. The stone building has now been rebuilt as a museum. The castle is surrounded by Lulworth Park and the Lulworth Estate.

Hooton, Cheshire village in United Kingdom

Hooton is a village near the town of Ellesmere Port within the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England.

He was educated at home under Jesuit Charles Plowden.

Charles Plowden was an English Jesuit priest, teacher, writer and administrator.

On 14 June 1796 Weld married, at Ugbrooke, Lucy Bridget, second daughter of Thomas Clifford of Tixall, fourth son of Hugh, third Lord Clifford. Their only issue was Mary Lucy, born at Upwey, near Weymouth, on 31 January 1799. The loss of his wife at Clifton on 1 June 1815, and the subsequent marriage of his only child to her second cousin, Hugh Charles Clifford (afterwards seventh Baron Clifford), on 1 September 1818, left him at liberty to embrace the clerical state, [1] and to renounce the family property to his next brother, Joseph Weld. He placed himself under the direction of his old friend, the celebrated Abbé Carron, and Mgr Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen, Archbishop of Paris, ordained him priest on 7 April 1821. Father Weld kept a poor orphanage in London.

Ugbrooke Grade I listed historic house museum in Teignbridge, United Kingdom

Ugbrooke House is a stately home in the parish of Chudleigh, Devon, England, situated in a valley between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

Tixall village in United Kingdom

Tixall is a small village and civil parish in the Stafford district, in the English county of Staffordshire lying on the western side of the Trent valley between Rugeley and Stone, Staffordshire and roughly 4 miles east of Stafford. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 census was 239.

Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh was born on 14 April 1700 and died on 26 March 1732 in Ugbrooke, where he was buried. He was the son of Hugh Clifford, 2nd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh and his wife Anne, née Preston.

On 20 June 1822 he began to assist the pastor of the Chelsea mission, and after some time he was removed to Hammersmith. The Holy See having nominated him coadjutor to Alexander Macdonell (1762–1840), Bishop of Kingston, Ontario, the ceremony of Weld's consecration as titular Bishop of Amyclae, a town in the Peloponnese, was performed at St Edmund's College, Ware, by Bishop William Poynter on 6 August 1826.

Chelsea, London area of central London, England

Chelsea is an affluent area of West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above Sloane Square Underground station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King's Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea.

Hammersmith district in west London, England

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Holy See episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

Circumstances, however, delayed his departure for Canada. His daughter being in failing health, he accompanied her and her husband to Italy, and shortly after his arrival at Rome, Cardinal Albani, on 19 January 1830, announced to him that Pope Pius VIII had decided to honour him with the purple. He was admitted into the College of Cardinals on 15 March 1830. [2]

Giuseppe Albani cardinal

Giuseppe (Andrea) Albani was an Italian Roman Catholic Cardinal. He played an important role in the elections of Leo XII, Pius VIII and Gregory XVI.

Pope Pius VIII Pope (1829-30)

Pope Pius VIII, born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 31 March 1829 to his death in 1830.

College of Cardinals body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church

The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its membership is 223, as of 30 January 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.

His daughter died at Palo on 15 May 1831, and was buried on 18 May in the church of San Marcello al Corso at Rome, from which he derived his title. On his elevation to the Sacred College he received assurances from persons of high influence and dignity in England that his nomination had excited no jealousy, but on the contrary had given general satisfaction. His apartments in the Odescalchi Palace were splendidly furnished, and periodically filled by the aristocracy of Rome, native and foreign, and by large numbers of his fellow-countrymen [3]

He died on 10 April 1837, [4] and his remains were deposited in the church of Santa Maria in Aquiro. The funeral oration, delivered by Nicholas (afterwards Cardinal) Wiseman, has been published. [5]


His father, Thomas Weld of Lulworth (1750-1810), a former pupil of the Jesuit school in Liège, in 1794 donated 30 acres of land with buildings, to the Society of Jesus to establish Stonyhurst College. He distinguished himself in relieving the misfortunes of the refugees of the French Revolution, and supported the English Poor Clares who had fled from Gravelines, and the Visitandines; and he founded and maintained a Trappist monastery at Lulworth. [1]

His uncle, Edward Weld (c.1740–1775), married Maria Smythe in July 1775, but he died just three months later after a fall from his horse. His widow later married Thomas Fitzherbert in 1778, but he died in 1781. The widowed Mrs Fitzherbert was introduced to George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV) in spring 1784, and they went through a form of marriage on 15 December 1785. The marriage was considered invalid under the Royal Marriages Act 1772 because it had not been approved by King George III and the Privy Council. [6]

His brother, Joseph Weld (1777–1863), third son of Thomas Weld, was born on 27 January 1777. He received the exiled Royal family of France at Lulworth in August 1830, the king and his suite remaining there for some days, until their removal to Holyrood House. He was the owner of the "Alarm", "Arrow" and "Lulworth" yachts, which he navigated himself until very late in life, and, having a practical knowledge and a real liking for the sea, he was always very fortunate in the construction and sailing of his vessels. He died at Lulworth Castle on 19 October 1863. Joseph was also founder of the Isle of Wight based Royal Yacht Squadron. [7]

His grandson William Clifford was Bishop of Clifton from 1857 to 1893.

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 Pollen, John Hungerford. "Weld." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 18 January 2019
  2. DNB
  3. Wiseman, Recollections of the Four Last Popes, 2nd edn., p. 246
  4. Bernard Ward, The Sequel to Catholic Emancipation, Longmans, Green and Co. (London, 1915) vol.1, p.126
  5. London, 1837, 8vo
  6. Martin J. Levy, "Maria Fitzherbert," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 Oxford University Press
  7. Duke, Gerald (2003). "Joseph Weld – to the America's Cup 2003". Retrieved 19 September 2009.


Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  "Weld, Thomas (1773-1837)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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