HISTORY

 

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


The Carlow County
Members Of Parliament

 

(The contents of letters which appeared on eBay recently-unseen by myself.)

 

The Carlow County

Members Of Parliament


Free Franking privilege

In 1652 an Order was passed that all public packets and letters of Members of Parliament of the then Commonwealth of England should be carried free. When the monarchy was restored the revenues of the Post Office were vested in the Crown and the privilege of free franking continued. Under an Act of 1764 the system came under the authority of Parliament, and various acts regulating the privilege followed. The system of privilege ended on 9th January 1840 with the introduction of penny postage.

The privilege of free franking was held by four classes: Members of Parliament; peers sitting in the House of Lords; archbishops and bishops sitting in the House of Lords; office-holders, largely as stipulated by Acts of Parliament.

The main requirement for free franking was that the letter or packet had to be signed by the sender; as a result free franks were avidly sought during the first three decades of the nineteenth century for autograph collections. This was done by cutting out the front panels of letters or envelopes which carried the inscriptions required under the use of privilege. These panels are termed free fronts.

Peers whose creation was under the Irish Peerage did not have an automatic right to free franking. In 1800, under the Union with Ireland Act, 28 members of the Irish peerage were elected by the Irish House of Lords to sit in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom as representatives of their class. They were known as Representative Peers for Ireland, and once elected they served for life. Peers who were eligible to sit in the UK House of Lords could not be elected Members of Parliament, but Irish peers, other than Representative peers were entitled to seek election in any UK constituency, and many did, Whilst the contents of the superscription were closely defined and regulated, their format was not. The post town from which the letter was being sent, the date of posting and the signature were all required to appear, in the handwriting of the privilege holder.


The following Members of Parliament held the privilege of free franking at this time as English peers


David LaTouche Jnr. (1769-1816)

MP for COUNTY CARLOW, IRELAND (1802-1816)

From Dublin 24.1.1814 to Thomas Coutts Esq & Co., London.

PC. Of Upton, Co. Carlow. Colonel of the Carlow Militia.

 

Son of  David Latouche, first Governor of the Bank of Ireland, who provided his son with a large estate in Co. Carlow previously held by the Bagenals. Married 24.12.1789 Lady Cecilia Leeson, daughter of 1st Earl of Milltown and with her built Upton House near Fenagh. Born 5 May 1769, he died 15.3.1816


Walter Bagnal (c1762-1814)

MP for CARLOW COUNTY, IRELAND (1802-1812)

From Weymouth, Dorset 6.11.1810 to Miss Johnson, Shiffnal, Shropshire.

MP for Carlow 1802-12. The last male of the influential & ancient Carlow sept of Bagenal. Born 1762 married Elizabeth Chambers. Lived at one time at Bennekerry House, though the family are more associated with Dunleckney, and died at Staplestown where he is buried, and where he is memorialised thus: Sacred to the memory of Walter Bagenal, Esq., of Dunleckney, in this county, who departed this life on the 18th of June, 1814, in the 52nd year of his age.  This monument is erected by Elizabeth and Maria Bagenal, his disconsolate widow and daughter, to perpetuate the memory of a husband and parent, beloved, honoured and respected. His mortal remains lie entombed beneath the adjoining stone. His wife died in 1816. They had only one child, (Maria) who was born in 1778. She married - as his 1st wife - Sir Ulysses de Burgh, 2nd Lord Dowries of Bert House Athy, in June of 1815. She died 20th August 1842, having two children - Anne and Charlotte.


Henry Bruen (3.10.1789-5.11.1852)

MP for CARLOW COUNTY, IRELAND (1812-31, 1835-1837 and 1840-53)

From Carlow 22.6.1828 to Mrs Otley, 37 Park Street, Bath. Of Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland.

Married Anne daughter of Thomas Kavanagh of Borris House, another Co. Carlow MP.

 

Nov. 5, 1852. At Old Park, co. Carlow, after a few days' illness, in his 62nd year, Henry Bruen, esq. M.P. for the co. Carlow, and Colonel commandant of its Militia. Colonel Bruen was educated with Sir Robert Peel, Lord Byron, and some of the greatest statesmen and scholars of the age, at Harrow; and he subsequently was a member of the university of Oxford, where he was distinguished for his classical acquirements, his taste for literature, and love of antiquarian research, for which he was in after life pre-eminently remarkable. He did not, however, proceed to a degree. He entered public life at an early period, having been returned to parliament as the representative of his native county in the year 1812, which position he occupied, with the exception of a brief interval, until the hour of his death. At five general elections he was returned without a contest, until, on the eve of Reform, at the election of 1830, the county, through the influence of Mr. O'Connell's party, returned two Whigs (Walter Blakeney, esq. and Sir John Milley Doyle), in the place of Colonel Bruen and his father-in-law Mr. Kavanagh. There was no poll on this occasion but in 1832, the first election after the enactment of Reform, the former members were proposed, and defeated by the Liberal candidates, Mr. Blakeney and Mr. Wallace, who both polled 657 votes, Colonel Bruen 483, and Mr. Kavanagh 470. In Jan. 1835 Colonel Bruen and Mr. Kavanagh were returned, polling respectively 588 and 587 votes, Mr. Maurice O'Connell 554, and Mr. Cahill 553 ; but this election was declared void on a petition ; when in June Mr. Vigors and Mr. Raphael were returned by 627 and 626 votes, Mr. Kavanagh and Colonel Bruen recording 572 and 571.

 

This was the election rendered memorable by the large expense incurred for Mr. Raphael by Mr. O'Connell, which was subsequently the subject of public exposure and animadversion. On petition, a committee of the House struck off 105 votes, and thereby reseated Mr. Kavanagh and Colonel Bruen.

At the general election in 1837 the Liberal candidates, Mr. Vigors and Mr. Ashton Yates, were successful, polling 730 votes, Colonel Bruen and Mr. Bunbury having only 643. Mr. Kavanagh had died in February preceding; but on the death of Mr. Vigors, in December, 1840, Colonel Bruen recovered his seat, defeating the Hon. Frederick Ponsonby with 722 votes to 555.

At the election of 1841 the result of the poll was as follows :— Colonel Bruen .... 705, Thomas Bunbury, esq. . 704, John Ashton Yates, esq. . 697, Daniel O'Connell, jun. esq. 696.

In 1847 Colonel Bruen and Mr. W. B. M. Bunbury were elected without opposition; but in 1852 there was again a severe struggle, which terminated thus— John Ball, esq. ... 895, Colonel Bruen .... 893, W. B. M. Bunbury, esq. . 880, John Keogh, esq. . . 877.

As a public man Colonel Brueu possessed indomitable energy and fearless bearing, coupled with a highly cultivated mind, which commanded the respect of his opponents, and won the esteem and sincere attachment of his friends. He was a consistent Conservative, and voted for agricultural protection in 1846. Colonel Bruen married Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas Kavanagh, esq. of Borris, (long his colleague as county member,) by his first wife Lady Elizabeth Butler, sister to the Marquess of Ormonde, Mrs. Bruen died in Sept. 1830. He is succeeded in his extensive estates by his son, Henry Bruen, esq. [Gentleman’s Magazine]

 

At Old Park, ??. Carlow, after a few days' illness, in his 62nd year, Henry Bruen, esq., M.P. for the ??. Carlow, and Colonel commandant of its Militia. Colonel Bruen was educated with Sir Robert Peel, Lord Byron, and some of the greater statesmen and scholars of the age, at Harrow ; and he subsequently was a member of the University of Oxford, where he was distinguished for his classical acquirements, his taste for literature, and love of antiquarian research, for which he was in after life pre-eminently remarkable. He entered public life at an early period, having been returned to Parliament as the representative of his native county in the year 1812, which position he occupied, with the exception of a brief interval, until the hour of his death. The election for Carlow, in 1835, was rendered memorable by the large expense incurred for Mr. Raphael by Mr. O'Conucll, which was subsequently the subject of public exposure and animadversion. Mr. Vigors and Mr. Raphael were returned, but were unseated on petition, and their competitors, Mr. Kavanagh and Colonel Bruen. were placed in their seats. As a public man Colonel Bruen possessed indomitable energy and fearless bearing, coupled with a highly-cultivated mind, which commanded the respect of his opponents, and won the esteem and sincere attachment of his friends. [Annual Register 5.11.1852]

 

About a mile and a half from the town of Carlow is Oak Park, the mansion of Henry Bruen, Esq., certainly the finest place in this neighbourhood. The house is not large, but tastefully built, in the Grecian style of architecture, and the entrance very massive, and well designed. This opens on a demesne, containing no less than thirteen hundred acres, beautifully wooded ; and, owing to the taste and munificence of the father of the present owner, the late Colonel Bruen, the windows of the mansion command a varied prospect, for water combines with wood to beautify the landscape. This gentleman spent a considerable sum in forming the artificial lake, which is well planned, and in conjunction with a hill of considerable altitude, much increases the beauty of the surrounding scenery. On the opposite side of the Dublin-road is a deer park, containing about five hundred acres, and we have often seen the antlered denizens ranging from covert to covert, heedless of the short span of life allotted to them. [Dublin University Magazine 1855]

 

We are all sensible of the necessity of returning such members to Parliament as are most likely to promote the best interests of the country at large, and of our county and town in particular. Of the three candidates who at present claim our suffrages, two only can be returned—one must be rejected. Let us examine their
respective merits in order to come to a just determination." Re-ferring to Henry Bruen, who had represented Carlow since 1812, Mr. Doyle went on to say : "One of them is a resident amongst us; he expends a large fortune—if not in the employment of the tradesman and the labourer, in the promotion of the arts and industry, or in administering to the relief of the widow and the orphan—yet he spends it at the table or on the turf, and thus, while ministering to his own pleasures, serves, in some measure, the country where he dwells. I admit that we are little interested in his private habits, nor should the situation of his ragged tenantry have great influence on our votes, if he possessed the qualities which one should require in a representative. His residence in Ireland (which seems to be the only claim put forward on his behalf by his friends) may be a good reason why he ought to rank high upon a grand jury, or take the chair at a public assembly, if he were in the habit of attending either; but it seems to be no reason why we should select him to promote the interests of our country in Parliament.

I would anxiously inquire of this gentleman what good has he effected, what evil has he prevented, what useful or honourable vote has he given in his place, for the last six years? Has he advocated the liberties of the subject, or opposed the suspension of the charter of our freedom? Has he detailed the sufferings of Ireland? has he refuted the calumnies of her enemies? has he ever attempted to promote her interests, or ever used his parliamentary interest for the benefit of our town or county? No! What are his claims, then? They are of a most secret nature indeed. We should search the back benches of the treasury retainers to discover them, if they exist. Such a man is not fit to be our representative." [Rev Dr Doyle 1818]

 

Married daughter of T. Kavanagh, esq., of Borris. Is colonel of the Carlow Militia, A Conservative; voted for agricultural protection, 1846. Sat for the county in the Parliaments of 1830 and 1831, but lost his seat in I832. Was petitioned against in Feb. 1835, and election declared void; on the new writ being issued, Messrs. Vigors and Raphael were returned at the head of the poll, but unseated on petition by Col. Bruen and Mr. Kavanagh. In 1840, on the death of Mr. Vigors, was again returned for the county. 3, Suffolk-st. ; Carlton; Oak Park, co. Carlow.


Thomas Kavanagh. (1767-1837)

MP for CARLOW COUNTY, IRELAND (1826-31, & 1835-37)

From London 1.6.1836 to William Morris Esq., Exeter, Devon.

Descended from the Kings of Leinster. Of Borris House, Co. Carlow.

 

Died, Jan 20,1837. At his seat, Borris-house, co. Carlow, aged 69, Thomas Kavanagh, esq., M.P. for that county ; brother-in-law to the marquess of Ormonde, and son-in-law to the earl of Clancarty. He was the son and heir of Thomas Kavanagh, esq., by Susan, sister to John, 17th earl of Ormonde. His family was, that of the native kings of Leinster, a fact acknowledged in the reign of queen Mary, who created the Kavanagh of that day Baron Ballyane, styling him in the patent  “Princeps suae nationis.” He entered at an early period of life into the Austrian service, (in which several of his relatives, including his uncle, field marshal O'Kavanagh, governor of Prague, had been highly distinguished), and served throughout the war. On the death of his father, he became one of the largest landed proprietors in Ireland, inheriting extensive and valuable estates spread over the counties of Carlow, Wexford, and Kilkenny. —

Mr. Kavanagh was first returned to Parliament for the county of Carlow in 1826, and he continued to represent the county, in conjunction with his son-in-law, colonel Bruen, until at the election of 1831, he was defeated by the papistical faction under the patronage of O'Connell. At the election of 1832, Mr. Kavanagh and colonel Bruen were again unsuccessful; in 1835, they were returned, but their election determined to be void. At the re-election, occurred the memorable contest with Mr. Vigors, and ex-sheriff Raphael ; memorable for the £1000 paid by the latter to O'Connell, and for the long-protracted contest before another 4committee of the House. The retirement of the sitting members at length restored Mr. Kavanagh and colonel Bruen to their seats.

Mr. Kavanagh was twice married; first, to his cousin-german lady Elizabeth Butler, daughter of John, 17th earl of Ormond, second, to lady Harriet-Margaret Le Poer-Trench, second daughter of Richard, second and present earl of Clancarty. He has left a son and heir, yet a minor. On the 7th February, his body was conveyed from Borris-house to the family vault at St. Mullins. There were twenty-one clergymen of the established church in attendance, and on arriving at the burial ground, there could not be less than 10,000 persons present. [Annual register 1837]


John Ashton Yates (1781-1863)

MP for COUNTY CARLOW, IRELAND (1837-41)

From Carlow 13.8.1837 to Messrs Cocks, Biddulph & Biddulph, 43 Charing Cross, London.

MP for Co. Carlow 1837-41. Of Bryanston Square, Middlesex.

 

John Ashton Yates, a Unitarian, was the author of pamphlets on trade and slavery. He was the son of of John Yates (1755–1826), minister of the Unitarian chapel in Paradise Street, Liverpool, and his wife, Elizabeth (1749–1819), daughter of John Brooks Ashton of Woolton Hall near Liverpool and widow of John Bostock (1744?–1774). His brothers were Joseph Brooks Yates (1780–1855), merchant and antiquary, born at Liverpool on 21 January 1780, the eldest, and Richard Vaughan Yates (1785–1856), founder of Prince's Park, Liverpool.

 

John Ashton Yates, Esq. of Dingle Head, Toxteth Park, ??. Lancaster, b. circa. 1781, formerly M.P. for ??. Carlow; m. Frances-Mary, dau. of Rev. Verney Lovett, D.D., rector of Lismore, and niece to Sir Jonathan Lovett, Bart., and had issue:

Frances (married 30 April, 1845, to Sir Richard Musgrave, Bart, of Tourin, ??. Waterford.); Mary Ellen, married to John-Needham Phillips, Esq., M.P. for Bury); Ellin-Mellissina; Isabella, (died unmarried); and Sophia, (married to Louis Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, Esq. youngest son of the late Right Hon. Charles Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, M.P. of Bayons Manor, ??. Lincoln).
He was the son of Rev. John Yates, of Dingle Head, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, (b. Nov. 1765) and Eliza, relict of John Rostock, Esq., M.D. of Liverpool, daughter. of John Ashton, Esq. of Liverpool, by Eliza, daughter of Alderman John Brooks, mayor of Liverpool.


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Source: Auction on eBay Inc. Mar 2008

 
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