Appendix VIII: Ireland

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer


Of the 66 Irish Members listed below, 26 were at the same time peers of Ireland; 16 marked with an asterisk were commoners, who sat simultaneously in the Irish House of Commons; seven others, marked with a cross, also sat in both Houses, but not at the same time.

Parliament Irishmen returned

†Francis AnnesleyHon. Henry Coote, later 5th Earl of Mountrath
Henry, 2nd Lord Aylmer 
Matthew Aylmer, later 1st Lord AylmerRobert Corker
Hon. Richard BarryArthur, 3rd Visct. Doneraile
James, 4th Earl of BarrymoreHenry, 4th Earl of Drogheda
*Hon. John Bligh*William, Visct. Duncannon
Sir Montague Blundell, later 1st Visct. BlundellHon. George Evans
 Richard, 5th Visct. Fitzwilliam
Gustavus, and Visct. BoyneGeorge, Visct. Forbes, later 3rd Earl of Granard
†Alan, 1st Lord Brodrick, later 1st Visct. MidletonJeffrey French
*Hon. St. John Brodrick*Hon. Charles Hamilton
*Thomas Brodrick*Hon. George Hamilton
Charles Cadogan†John Hamilton
Hon. Charles Sloane Cadogan*Trevor Hill, later 1st Visct. Hillsborough
William CadoganHon. Wills Hill, later 2nd Visct. and 1st Earl of Hillsborough
 George, 1st Lord Carbery
Henry CartwrightHenry Holmes
†Christopher, 2nd Visct. CastlecomerArchibald Hutcheson
Courthorpe ClaytonWilliam, 4th Earl of Inchiquin
*William ConollyJohn Ivory Talbot
*Henry Conyngham, later 1st Lord ConynghamCarteret Leathes
†James, 1st Visct. Limerick†John, 1st Visct. Perceval, later 1st Earl of Egmont
Martin Madan 
†Robert Molesworth, later 1st Visct. Molesworth*John, Visct. Perceval, later 2nd Earl of Egmont
*Samuel Molyneux*Sir Thomas Prendergast
Arthur MooreRichard, 2nd Visct. Shannon
William MooreHenry, 1st Lord Shelburne, later 1st Earl of Shelburne
Algernon, 6th Earl of Mountrath*Edward Southwell
Hill MussendenRichard Steele
Albert NesbittJames Steuart
Arnold Nesbitt*Hon. Charles Stewart
Robert NugentTheobald Taaffe
*Sir Edward O’BrienJohn, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory
Henry, 1st Visct. PalmerstonGeorge Wade
*John PepperSir Peter Warren


Under George I the most prominent Irish Members were the Brodricks, who took a leading part in the proceedings on the South Sea Bubble and in the agitation in Ireland against the proposed new copper coinage. In 1731 the 1st Lord Egmont was active in organizing an Irish lobby on a bill for taking off the duty on Irish yarn, subject to the registration of Irish wool, so as to prevent it from being smuggled to France. The bill provided for the imposition of a small tax to pay the salaries of the officers appointed to enforce the registry, which the Irish Members objected to because.

it would be taxing of Ireland from England, a thing never yet known, and would be of fatal consequence, for hereafter, such an example being given, England would go on to tax them and appropriate their duties too, so that we should be slaves and lose our Parliament and our freedom.

At a meeting of lords and gentlemen of Ireland, it was decided to send a deputation to Walpole’s brother, Horace,

to win him off from admitting of a registry of the wool of that kingdom by an English law. In the end, he came into this, that if the gentlemen of the House should resolve on extending the Registry Act of Sussex and Kent to all the maritime coasts of England, that reasons should be offered why it should not be extended to Ireland, and that if possible to have no registry for one year to come. In the meantime that the duty on Irish yarn should be taken off, but not to be in force till Lady-day come twelve-months, within which time the Parliament of Ireland should resolve on ... registering their wool to take place at like time, that both Parliaments may go hand in hand ... Hereby we preserved Ireland’s being taxed by an English law.

On this the Irish Members called a further meeting of Irish gentlemen in town to consider ‘the matters before the Parliament relating to Ireland’.

They all absolutely declared against a registry. We then asked them how they would have us of the English Parliament behave, for if we voted against a registry in England we might disoblige those who are for taking off the duty on Irish yarn, and if we voted for it our friends who are against it would be likewise angry, besides that a registry in England would draw on a registry in Ireland. They thought it best we should not vote at all on that point.

But Walpole’s brother

said he did expect the gentlemen of Ireland would vote for a registry, for ... if the registry was not agreed to the whole bill ... would drop, whereby we should lose the advantage ... of having the duty on our yarn taken off.

On this, Egmont writes,

it occurred to me that if part of us gentlemen of Ireland voted one way, and part the other neither those who are for a registry nor those who are against it would have reason to take it ill of us, for it would appear that in this particular point we did not act in a national way, but as our several private judgments lead us. I hurried away with this expedient to Mr. Hamilton, Lord Limerick, Lord Mountrath, Lord Palmerston, Lord Inchiquin, and Mr. Carey [the last not an Irishman but secretary to the lord lieutenant], who all approved it as the only thing we could do, and so we agreed that Mr. Hamilton, Lord Palmerston and I should vote for a registry, and Lord Mountrath, Lord Limerick and Lord Inchiquin against it, which would be the less resented by Mr. Walpole’s friends since these last gentlemen vote always contrary to the ministry. Mr. Carey had no occasion to show himself, for he was to be in the chair. Another thing we agreed was not to speak in the debate, since we should be thought to speak partially for Ireland and have no weight.

The bill passed the Commons but failed to get through the Lords. The only achievement of the Irish Members was to secure an Act allowing unenumerated commodities to come direct from the West Indies to Ireland without first touching at England.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick

End Notes

  • 1. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 159, 161-3, 169-71; see also p. 10.