"The Treasury"
Lord Welby as caricatured in Vanity Fair, March 1910

Reginald Earle Welby, 1st Baron Welby GCB, PC (3 August 1832 – 30 October 1915) was a British peer, former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and former President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Early life and education

Born in his father's rectory at Harston in Leicestershire, he was the seventh child of the Reverend John Earle Welby (1786–1867), a younger son of Sir William Earle Welby, 1st Baronet. His mother was Felicia Elizabetha Hole (1797–1888), the daughter of the Reverend Humphrey Aram Hole (1763–1814) and his wife Sarah Horne (1775–1853), daughter of George Horne, Bishop of Norwich. His younger sister, Felicia Elizabetha Welby (1835–1927), became the wife of Montague Bertie, 11th Earl of Lindsey.

Welby was educated at Eton College where he became known amongst his friends as a "great footballer". He then went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, hoping for a career as a barrister following graduation, although his hopes never realised themselves. Instead he entered the Civil Service as a clerk in the Treasury in 1856 having graduated from Cambridge in 1855.[1]


Heraldic atchievement of Reginald Lord Welby, G.C.B.

Welby held many posts during his tenure at the Treasury and was appointed Assistant Financial Secretary in 1880. In 1885, he succeeded Lord Lingen as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, holding this office until his retirement in 1894. Following his retirement, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Welby, of Allington in the County of Lincoln, on 16 April 1894,[2] although he did not play a great part in debates in the House of Lords. He was appointed a member of the Privy Council in 1913.[3] Lord Welby also became an alderman of London County Council, eventually becoming its chairman, and served as President of the International Free Trade Congress.

Personal life

Lord Welby was involved in a motorcar accident in December 1914, which he recovered from; however, his subsequent instability caused his death in the autumn of 1915. A bachelor,[4] he left no heir[5] and the barony expired on his death.


  1. ^ West, Algernon (1916). "The Right Hon. Lord Welby, G. C. B. An Appreciation". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 79 (1): 1–6. doi:10.2307/2340630. JSTOR 2340630.
  2. ^ "No. 26504". The London Gazette. 17 April 1894. p. 2171.
  3. ^ "No. 28728". The London Gazette. 13 June 1913. p. 4187.
  4. ^ Maurice Wright, 'Welby, Reginald Earle, Baron Welby (1832–1915)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online ed., January 2011 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36821 (subscription required) accessed 18 November 2015
  5. ^ 'Welby', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online ed., Oxford University Press, April 2014 http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U192097 (subscription required) accessed 18 November 2015
Government offices Preceded bySir Ralph Lingen Permanent Secretary to the Treasury 1885–1894with Edward Walter Hamilton (1885–1894) Succeeded bySir Francis Mowatt Political offices Preceded byThomas McKinnon Wood Chairman of the London County Council 1899 – 1900 Succeeded byWilloughby Dickinson Preceded byAlfred Hoare Chairman of the Finance Committee of London County Council 1897–1899 Succeeded byWilliam Wallace Bruce Preceded byWilliam Wallace Bruce Chairman of the Finance Committee of London County Council 1901–1907 Succeeded byAlfred Fowell Buxton Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Baron Welby 1894–1915 Extinct