Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock

Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock GCSI GCIE KCB VD PC (12 May 1849 – 15 January 1912) was a British soldier, Liberal politician and colonial administrator who was the Governor of Madras from 1891 to 1896.

The Lord Wenlock

Governor of Madras
In office
23 January 1891  18 March 1896
Governor-GeneralThe Marquess of Lansdowne
The Earl of Elgin
Preceded byJohn Henry Garstin (acting)
Succeeded bySir Arthur Elibank Havelock
Member of Parliament
for Chester
In office
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byJohn George Dodson
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1849-05-12)12 May 1849
London, England
Died15 January 1912(1912-01-15) (aged 62)
Portland Place, London, England
Political partyConservative Party
Spouse(s)Lady Constance Mary Lascelles (1882–1912)
Alma materEton College,
Cambridge University

Early life

Lawley was the son of Beilby Lawley, 2nd Baron Wenlock and his wife Lady Elizabeth Grosvenor, daughter of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster. He was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He was commissioned into the Yorkshire Hussars in 1869, and rose to the rank of Captain.

Political career

Wenlock was active in local affairs as a Justice of the Peace for the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire and as Chairman of East Riding County Council. At the 1880 general election he was elected Member of Parliament for Chester but inherited his peerage later in the year and was elevated to the House of Lords.

Governor of Madras

In 1890, Lawley was appointed Governor of Madras by the Conservative Party which came to power in the United Kingdom. Beilby Lawley served as the Governor of Madras from 23 January 1891 to 18 March 1896. Lawley laid the foundation stone for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway which was begun in August 1891 when he was Governor.[2] During 1891–92, the northern districts of Madras Presidency were gripped by a terrible famine.[3] The government's persistence in continuing grain export from the districts of Ganjam and Viazgapatm made the situation even worse.[4] Lawley established the Board of Mohammedan Education in 1893. In 1895, Lawley laid the foundation stone for a solar observatory at Kodaikanal.[5] The Wenlock Ward of General Hospital, Madras was established in his memory.

Lawley made significant enlargements to the Government House (now Raj Bahvan), Madras. Lawley also laid the foundation stone of the Madras High Court.[6][7]

Later life

In 1901 Wenlock was appointed a Privy Counsellor and made a Lord of the Bedchamber[8] to the new Prince of Wales (later George V). He was elected chairman of the East Riding of Yorkshire County Council in January 1902.[9] Wenlock held the position of Vice Chamberlain to Queen Mary from 1910 until his death.[10]

Lord Wenlock was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry on 15 May 1902 and later became its Honorary Colonel.[11] He also held the honorary colonelcies of several Volunteer units, including the 2nd East Riding Artillery Volunteers (from 30 March 1880) and its successors in the Territorial Force, the II Northumbrian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, whose drill hall at Anlaby Road, Hull, was later named Wenlock Barracks.[12][13][14][15]


In 1872 he married Lady Constance Mary Lascelles, (1852–1932), daughter of the 4th Earl of Harewood, by whom he had one daughter: Hon. Irene Constance Lawley (b. 1889). She married Colin Gurden Forbes-Adam of Skipwith, Yorkshire.[16] The Forbes-Adam family retain the Escrick estate which they now operate as a holiday and pleasure park.[17]

He was succeeded in the Barony by his brother Richard.

Honours and awards

Lord Wenlock received several British Orders and decorations:


  1. "Lawley, Beilby (LWLY867B)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. "History of Ooty".
  3. "Starving to Death in Madras: Another terrible famine in some districts of India" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 August 1891.
  4. Ghose 1982, p. 380
  5. "Of astronomical significance". The Hindu. 31 May 2001.
  6. "History of the Madras High Court" (PDF). Madras High Court.
  7. Restoring the old Article from NewIndPress news website Archived 26 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "No. 27290". The London Gazette. 1 March 1901. p. 1499.
  9. "Court Circular". The Times (36676). London. 28 January 1902. p. 7.
  10. Cokayne, G.E.; Gibbs, V. (1959). The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom: extant, extinct, or dormant. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom: Extant, Extinct, Or Dormant. The St. Catherine press, ltd. p. 487. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  11. "No. 27437". The London Gazette. 27 May 1902. p. 3463.
  12. Army List.
  13. Hull at Great War Centenary Drill Halls.
  14. Hull at Drill Hall Project.
  15. Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1881
  16. "". Retrieved 10 December 2006.
  17. "Papers of the Forbes Adam/Thompson/Lawley Family of Escrick". Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  18. "No. 27380". The London Gazette. 26 November 1901. p. 8086.
  19. "No. 27378". The London Gazette. 19 November 1901. p. 7471.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Cecil Raikes
John George Dodson
Member of Parliament for Chester
With: Henry Cecil Raikes
Suspension until 1885
Title next held by
Balthazar Walter Foster
Military offices
Preceded by
The Lord Herries of Terregles
Honorary Colonel of the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry
Succeeded by
J.B. Stacey-Clitheroe
New title Honorary Colonel of the 2nd East Riding Artillery Volunteers
New title Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA
Title next held by
O. Sanderson
Government offices
Preceded by
John Henry Garstin
Governor of Madras
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Havelock
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Beilby Richard Lawley
Baron Wenlock
Succeeded by
Richard Lawley
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