Wolverhampton BTW

Henry George Ward

Ward, Henry George (Sir), 1797—1860

by Benjamin Colbert

Sir Henry George Ward was the only son of Robert Plumer Ward (1865-46; ODNB), novelist and politician, and Catherine Julia Ward, Née Maling. He was educated at Harrow School, and learned languages abroad.

He was appointed attaché to Sweden in 1816, The Hague in 1818, and Spain in 1819. He became joint commissioner in Mexico from 1823 to 1824, and chargé d’affaires, 1825-27. Between his Mexican appointments, Ward returned to England where, on 8 April 1824, he married Emily Elizabeth Swinburne (1798-1882). They sailed for Mexico in January 1825 and remained there until 1827. Ward's account, Mexico in 1827, appeared in 1828. He contributed letterpress, as well, to a collection of Emily Ward’s sketches, Six Views of the Most Important Towns, and Mining Districts … of Mexico (1829).

Ward began his parliamentary career in 1833 as a Liberal, and furthered his agenda as political editor of the Weekly Chronicle from 1836. He helped found the Colonial Society in 1837 and, after running into debts and out of options for paying them, accepted the post of lord high commissioner in the Ionian Islands from 1849. His suppression of nationalist movements there helped fuel the nationalist sentiment that led to the union of the islands to Greece, but in other ways he was an able administrator. In 1855 he became governor of Ceylon, and in 1860 governor of Madras.

Ward died at Madras on 2 August 1860 after contracting cholera. He was survived by Emily Ward and ten children.


Seymour, A. A. D. 'Ward, Sir Henry George (1797–1860), politician and colonial governor'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 3 Jan. 2008. Oxford University Press. Web. 6 Mar. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/28685

Ward, Sir Henry George. Mexico in 1827. 2 vols. London: Henry Colburn, 1828. Print.


Title Published
Six Views of the Most Important Towns, and Mining Districts, upon the Table Land of Mexico 1829

[see updates]