George Ward, a London merchant "of great eminence". In 1793, began buying land in Northwood, Isle of Wight; by 1858 the family was said to own four-fifths of the parish. In 1820, with partner William Fitzhugh, George established the Isle of Wight Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, the first steamer service between Cowes and Southampton and a predecessor of the Red Funnel ferry service, which still operates.