East Lulworth

A  Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC Network

The Weld Family

If you have any information about The Weld Family which you would like to share, be it stories or old photographs etc., please email us at info@eastlulworth.org.uk

This page is in its infancy - more information will be added soon Gravestones of The Weld Family Charles Joseph Weld Henry Joseph Weld James Joseph Weld

The Genteman’s Magazine - July 1837

April 10. At his palace at Rome, aged 63, his Eminence Thomas Weld, Cardinal of the Church of Rome; brother-in-law to Lord Stourton, and father-in-law of Lord de Clifford.

He was born Jan. 22, 1773, the eldest son of Thomas Weld, esq.  Of Lulworth castle, Dorsetshire who was the founder of the Roman catholic college at Stoneyhurst in Lancashire. His mother was Mary , eldest daughter of Sir John Stanley Massey-Stanley, Bart. Of Hooton. He resided for many years at Clifton, near Bristol. He succeeded to his ancestral estates on the death of his father in 1810; but after the decease of his wife, in 1815, he took holy orders in the church of Rome, and some years after was consecrated coadjutor Bishop of Canada. Having accompanied to Rome his daughter Lady de Clifford, who went to Italy for her health, he received in 1829 the extraordinary mark of the favour of Pope Pius VIII in being elevated to the dignity of a Cardinal. Mr. Weld had for many years before devoted the whole of his time and a large share of his fortune to objects of piety and charity. He relinquished his estates to his next brother the present Joseph Weld, esq. And in 1830 the exiled Royal family of France found refuge at his mansion of Lulworth castle, where they remained for some weeks until their removal to Holyrood House.

Mr. Weld married in 1796 Lucy-Bridget fourth daughter of the Hon. Thomas Clifford, fourth and posthumous son of Hugh third Lord Clifford, and sister to the present Sir Thomas Hugh Clifford Constable, of Tixall, Bart. By this lady, who died on the 1st June 1815, he had issue an only daughter Mary-Lucy, who was married at Paris, 31 Aug. 1818, and afterwards at Ugbrooke, 9n Jan. 1819, to Hugh-Charles present and seventh Lord Clifford, of Chudleigh, and died in June 1831, leaving six children.

In a letter from Rome, dated the 15t h April, it is stated: ‘Yesterday the Pope was present at a requiem, celebrated in honour of Cardinal Weld. The Sovereign Pontiff wished thus to express the great esteem he felt for that dignitary. Newer was mourning more general here.”

Extract from "The Weld Family & Lulworth", undated:

Edward Weld 1705-1761

Edward, like his father, inherited before he was 21. He married Catherine Aston, daughter of Lord Aston of Forfar, but they soon separated. In a rather lurid court case, she sued him for breach of promise on the ground of non-consummation, but failed. To preserve his reputation, Edward counter-sued her for libel and won but was not free to remarry until shed died in 1739. A year later he married Mary Vaughan and had five children.


Press Release issued by The Lulworth Estate, 10 March 2003:

While sorting through her attic Sally Weld, had an amazing and rare find. Rummaging through boxes she came across a Harrods hat box which at first she thought contained a 'Red Riding Hood' fancy dress outfit. On closer inspection she found a silk robe. Wilfrid Weld, looking through the box later that day, recognised his mother's handwriting saying "Cardinal's Robes".

After looking at all the pieces carefully they found they had discovered the Cardinal's robes originally belonging to Thomas Weld, who the Pope made Cardinal-Priest of San Marcello in 1830, a year after the final Catholic Emancipation Bill. He was more widely known as the Cardinal of the Seven Sacraments as he was one of the few Catholics to have been both married and ordained.

Speaking form her home today Sally Weld said "This was an amazing discovery. I was up in the attic looking for some display items for my antique shop when I discovered the box. When my parents-in-law died we moved most of the boxes from their house into the attic and have slowly been going through them, but my husband and I never knew that they still had the original robes of the Cardinal."

The robes have since been sent to Fiona Hutton, who is a textile conservator and undertakes a lot of work for the National Trust. Fiona was amazed at the condition the garment was in, "All I had to do was send the robe to a specialist dry cleaner and just clean a few of the smaller items".

The robes have now been put on display in St Mary's Chapel which is in the grounds of Lulworth Castle. The Chapel had been built by the Cardinal's father, also Thomas, in 1786 and was the first free-standing Roman Catholic Church built after the reformation.


For any further information please contact Hennie Weld or James Weld on 01929 400352

10th March 2003

Extract from the Victoria History of the County of Dorset 1908:

The Lulworth Hounds were kept by the Welds in Purbeck and hunted from 1790 till 1810. The Lulworth estate contains the best hare and partridge land in the county, and some remarkable bags have been made there year after year.

Extract from Tyneham A Lost Heritage by Lilian Bond 1956 reprinted 1984:

We had a regular and welcome visitor in Mrs. Augustus Foster who 'tripped' , as she liked to call it, from her cottage at East Lulworth over heath and hill, disdaining roads and taking rough short cuts but looking as neat and well groomed at her journey's end as if she had driven all the way in a carriage and pair. She wore a long, dark petticoat and kilted up her ankle-length black dress well out of the wet. On reaching Tyneham she pulled off her draggled petticoat and sent it by the footman to be dried at the kitchen fire while she had her tea. She kept these expeditions up until she was over seventy.

Before she settled at Lulworth she had lived at Holworth and had regularly 'tripped' to early Mass at Lulworth, a good six miles from point to point, by circuitous downland paths.

The friendship between Welds and Bonds withstood the test of centuries and, during penal times, when to possess a horse was, for a Roman Catholic, a punishable crime, my family's stables housed mysterious animals which were 'lent' to Lulworth Castle when required.


Extract from The Western Flying Post, June 1777:

Some days since a Dunkirk schooner landed near Arish Mills [Mell] on the Dorchester coast upwards of twenty tons of tea, in sight of and in defiance of the Custom House officers and others, as they were mounted twenty four-pounders, which she brought to bear on the beach. The smugglers on shore carried it off in three waggons and on horses, except twelve hundredweight, which the officers seized, and carried to a public house at West Lulworth, two miles from the place of landing; but thirty or forty of the schooner's people, well armed, followed after, and broke into the house, beating and cutting the people they found there in a cruel manner, and carried off the tea.