YOUNG, John (1807-1876), of Bailieborough Castle, co. Cavan

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



1831 - Mar. 1855

Family and Education

b. 31 Aug. 1807, in Bombay, 1st s. of Maj. Sir William Young, 1st bt., of E.I. Co. Service (Bombay) and Lucy, da. of Lt.-Col. Charles Frederick of E.I. Co. Service (Bombay). educ. Eton 1823; Corpus, Oxf. 1825; L. Inn 1829, called 1834. m. 8 Apr. 1835, Adelaide Annabella, da. of Edward Tuite Dalton of Fennor, co. Meath, s.p. suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 10 Mar. 1848; GCMG 16 May 1855; KCB 4 Feb. 1859; GCB 13 Nov. 1868; cr. Bar. Lisgar 16 Oct. 1870. d. 6 Oct. 1876.

Offices Held

Ld. of treasury Sept. 1841-May 1844, sec. May 1844-July 1846; PC 28 Dec. 1852, PC [I] 28 Jan. 1853; chief sec. to ld. lt. [I] Jan. 1853-Mar. 1855; ld. high commr. Ionian Islands 1855-9; gov. New S. Wales 1861-7; gov.-gen. Canada and gov. Prince Edward Island 1869-72.

Ld. lt. and custos rot. co. Cavan 1871-d.


Young’s father, the second son of the Rev. John Young of Eden, county Armagh, joined the infantry of the Bombay army as a cadet in 1788 and rose steadily through the ranks. On 20 Sept. 1806 he married the daughter of a fellow officer Charles Frederick (d. 1791), whose father, Sir Charles Frederick, was Member for New Shoreham, 1741-54, and Queenborough, 1754-82. Having obtained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1809, Young retired in 1813 and earned plaudits for his military career, including his contributions to the recruitment and supply systems of the Company’s forces.1 He settled in Cavan, where he purchased Bailieborough Castle in 1815 from Thomas Corry, Member for Monaghan, and in London, where he had residences at 15 Bishopsgate and 24 Upper Wimpole Street. He was awarded a baronetcy on 28 Aug. 1821. Described by John Maxwell Barry, in a letter recommending him for an East Indian directorship, as ‘a powerful constituent of mine’ in Cavan, he backed the leading Orangeman Henry Maxwell* to succeed Barry (on his becoming Lord Farnham) in the summer of 1823, but expressed the hope that he might find a close borough for himself in order to promote his ambitions within the Company.2 He did not in the end offer for the county at the general election of 1826, when he seconded Maxwell.3 He was elected a director of the East India Company in 1829.

Although he does not seem to have participated in the Protestant activities there towards the end of the decade, Sir William Young unsuccessfully stood against the other sitting Cavan Member, the now pro-Catholic Alexander Saunderson, at the general election of 1830, when it was thought that he could only have won by bribing the Farnham tenants into giving him their second votes.4 It was at this contest that John Young, who graduated from Oxford and began his legal training in 1829, first made his mark with his highly promising closing speech in vindication of his absent father.5 Following the dissolution in April 1831 it was he, not the baronet, who took advantage of Saunderson’s resignation to offer in conjunction with Maxwell and he was duly returned as an anti-reformer at the general election, defeating a pro-Catholic radical in a four-day contest.6 It had been understood that Young’s father would be assisted with his expenses by a grant from Tory funds, but his demand for £1,200 was considered ill-timed and excessive.7

Young divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, at least four times for adjourning the proceedings on it, 12 July, against the disfranchisement of St. Germans, 26 July, and for postponing consideration of the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July 1831. He voted to censure the Irish government over the Dublin election, 23 Aug., against issuing the Liverpool writ, 5 Sept., and for inquiry into the effects of the renewal of the Sugar Refinery Act on the West India interest, 12 Sept. He spoke against the disbandment of the Irish yeomanry, 9 Sept., and defended Maxwell’s comments on the Newtownbarry affray, 3 Oct. He voted against the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. He divided against the Maynooth grant, 26 Sept., and condemned the partisan appointments of often non-resident lord lieutenants in Irish counties, 6 Oct. He attended Protestant gatherings in Dublin, 7 Dec. 1831, and Cavan, 13 Jan. 1832.8 He divided against the second reading, 17 Dec. 1831 (unless this was Joseph Yorke, Member for Reigate), and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832, of the revised reform bill. He was granted two weeks’ leave to attend the assizes, 27 Feb. He urged the continuation of the grant to the Kildare Place Society, 18 Mar., and voted against one for Irish national education, 23 July. He was listed in the minority against Crampton’s amendment to the Irish tithes bill, 9 Apr., but in the majority against postponing it to the next session, 13 July. He voted against the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and, claiming to have done likewise on a former occasion, divided for Daniel O’Connell’s motion to restore the 40s. freehold in Irish counties, 13 June. His only other known votes that session were with opposition against the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July 1832.

A founder member of the Carlton Club that year, Young was again returned for Cavan as a Conservative at the general election of 1832. He served as Sir Robert Peel’s* chief whip in the mid-1840s and, having succeeded to the title and estates of his recently disgraced father in March 1848, was Irish secretary under Lord Aberdeen in the early 1850s. He left the Commons in March 1855, on being appointed to the first of a series of overseas postings, but he obtained a seat in the Lords 15 years later. He died in October 1876, when the barony of Lisgar became extinct, and was succeeded as 3rd baronet by his nephew, William Muston Need Young (1847-1934), an official in the Indian telegraph department. Lady Lisgar subsequently married her late husband’s former private secretary, Sir Francis Charles Fortescue Turville of Bosworth Hall, Leicestershire.9

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1848), i. 660.
  • 2. Add. 40357, f. 195; NLI, Farnham mss 18602 (1), Young to Farnham, 16 Aug. 1823.
  • 3. PRO NI, Richardson mss D2002/C/27/3; Farnham mss 18602 (18), Young to Maxwell, 10 June; Newry Commercial Telegraph, 23 June 1826.
  • 4. Newry Commercial Telegraph, 6, 9, 13, 23, 30 July, 3, 17, 20 Aug.; Farnham mss 18602 (41), Saunderson to Maxwell [14 Aug.] 1830.
  • 5. Enniskillener, 1 Sept. 1830.
  • 6. Dublin Evening Post, 3, 24 May; Enniskillen Chron. 19, 26 May; Farnham mss 18602 (45), Headfort to Maxwell, 7 May 1831.
  • 7. Farnham mss 18606 (1), Arbuthnot to Maxwell, 7 May, 15 June; Wellington mss, same to Wellington, 10, 17 Aug. 1831.
  • 8. Belfast Guardian, 16 Dec. 1831; Ballyshannon Herald, 20 Jan. 1832.
  • 9. The Times, 13 Mar. 1848, 9 Oct. 1876; Ann. Reg. (1876), Chron. p. 157; DNB; Oxford DNB.