MCCLINTOCK, John (1769-1855), of Drumcar, co. Louth.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1820 - May 1820
1830 - 1831

Family and Education

b. 14 Aug. 1769, 1st s. of John McClintock, MP [I], of Drumcar and Patience, da. of William Foster of Rosy Park, co. Louth. educ. Drogheda sch.; Trinity, Dublin 1787; L. Inn 1790. m. (1) 11 June 1797, Jane (d. 28 Apr. 1801), da. and h. of William Bunbury, MP [I], of Moyle, co. Carlow, 2s. 1da. d.v.p.; (2) 15 Apr. 1805, Lady Elizabeth Trench, da. of William Power Keating, 1st earl of Clancarty [I], 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1799. d. 12 July 1855.

Offices Held

Dep. sjt.-at-arms of House of Commons [I] 1794-1800.

Sheriff, co. Louth 1798-9.


McClintock’s father, Member of the Irish Parliament for Enniskillen, 1783-90, and Belturbet, 1790-99, came from a well-established family of Scottish Protestant settlers. In 1766 he married a first cousin of John Foster* who, as Irish Speaker, appointed him chief serjeant-at-arms of the Commons and his two eldest sons John and William as deputies, for which they later received a joint pension of £2,545. McClintock, who had been present at the battles of Arklow and Vinegar Hill in June 1798, was reported to be the last person with the Speaker to leave the Irish House following enactment of the Union, to which he had been ‘consistently opposed’.1 In 1815 he wrote twice to Peel, the Irish secretary, to recommend a man for a vacancy as a boatman ‘at the little port of Annagassan near my house’.2 On 27 Jan. 1817 he warned William Gregory, the Irish under-secretary, of the ‘alarming state of the country’:

If we do not partake of the benefit likely to result from an Insurrection Act, you may expect to hear of dreadful results ... As government refused us the advantage of this law, the general observation among the people is that it will never be resorted to. We must have it, as every hour the lawless and diabolical spirit becomes worse.3

At the 1820 general election he served as a locum at Athlone for its patron Lord Castlemaine, a kinsman by his second marriage. He did not take his seat and by 16 May 1820 had vacated.4 A Protestant proselytizer, throughout the 1820s he and his brother Henry, collector of revenues at Dundalk, regularly attended the local Bible meetings of Robert Jocelyn*, 3rd earl of Roden, with their kinsman John Leslie Foster*.5

At the 1830 general election McClintock came forward for Louth on the Foster interest, headed since 1828 by the 2nd Baron Oriel, with the support of Roden, who was now vice-president of the Protestant Reformation Society. He described himself as a ‘constant resident in the county’, where his ‘ancestors had been long established’, and a ‘constitutional representative, anxious to improve every description of oppressive taxation’.6 On learning of his candidature the Wellington ministry’s Irish secretary, Lord Francis Leveson Gower, notified the popular Catholic candidate Richard Sheil* that ‘as a representative of the Foster interest’, government would have to give McClintock ‘such support as it has to give’.7 After a turbulent three-day contest, in which the Catholic vote was split between two ‘belligerent’ candidates, McClintock finished in second place, his brother Henry noting that it was ‘rather a remarkable circumstance that ... John is 61 years old this very day on which he is returned’.8 Following the widespread circulation of a list of ‘Brunswick Papists’ who had voted against Sheil, McClintock subscribed £30 towards the fund established to ‘protect and assist ... the individuals named’.9 Speculation that he would be ‘turned out’ on petition came to nothing.10

He was, of course, listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘friends’, although this was later queried. He presented a petition for the abolition of slavery from the Wesleyan Methodist Society of Dundalk, 5 Nov. 1830. In his only known speech, 11 Nov., he rejected the charges contained in a petition presented by Daniel O’Connell against the Dundalk magistracy, who he insisted were ‘extremely active and zealous in discharging their duty in a proper manner’. He voted in the ministerial minority on the civil list, 15 Nov. He was granted a month’s leave on urgent private business, 2 Dec. 1830. He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing dissolution he retired from Louth, where the Catholics had reunited, without explanation. Expectations that he would be Roden’s nominee at Dundalk proved to be false.11 McClintock died at Drumcar in July 1855 and was succeeded by his eldest son John (1798-1879), Conservative Member for Louth, 1857-9, who was created Baron Rathdonell [I] in 1868.12

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Philip Salmon


  • 1. W. Abbott, McClintock Fam. 1-3; A. Malcomson, John Foster, 267; Extraordinary Black Bk. (1832), 552; Gent. Mag. (1855), ii. 204-5.
  • 2. Add. 40248, f. 258; 40249, f. 80.
  • 3. Add. 40203, f. 169.
  • 4. PRO NI, Redhall mss MIC 582/1/20, McClintock diary, 29 Mar. 1820.
  • 5. Malcomson, 152; Redhall mss MIC 582/2/2.
  • 6. Drogheda Jnl. 20, 24 July 1830.
  • 7. NAI, Leveson Gower letterbks. 7. B.3. 33, Leveson Gower to Sheil, 17 May 1830.
  • 8. Drogheda Jnl. 14, 17 Aug., Dublin Evening Post, 12, 14 Aug. 1830.
  • 9. PRO NI, Anglesey mss D.619/32C/12.
  • 10. Ibid. 32C/14, Flanagan to Anglesey, 1 Dec. 1830.
  • 11. Drogheda Jnl. 30 Apr., 3, 7 May; Dublin Evening Post, 7, 14 May 1831.
  • 12. Gent. Mag. (1855), ii. 204-5.