James Haughton (17951873)
Social reformer and Temperance activist.
James Haughton, son of Samuel Pearson Haughton (17481828), by
Mary, daughter of James Pim of Rushin, Queen's County, Ireland,
was born in Carlow 5 May 1795, and educated at Ballitor, County
Kildare, from 1807 to 1810, under James White, a Quaker. After
filling several situations to learn his business he, in 1817,
settled in Dublin, where he became a corn and flour factor, in
partnership with his brother William. He retired in 1850.
Although educated as a Friend, he joined the Unitarians in 1834,
and remained throughout his life a strong believer in their
He supported the anti-slavery movement at an early period and
took an active part in it until 1838, going in that year to
London as a delegate to a convention. Shortly after Father
Mathew took the pledge, 10 April 1838, Haughton became one of
his most devoted disciples. For many years he gave most of his
time and energies to promoting total abstinence and to
advocating legislative restrictions on the sale of intoxicating
In December 1844 he was the chief promoter of a fund which
was raised to pay some of the debts of Father Mathew and release
him from prison. About 1835 he commenced a series of letters in
the public press which made his name widely known. He wrote on
temperance, slavery, British India, peace, capital punishment,
sanitary reform, and education. His first letters were signed
The Son of a Water Drinker, but he soon commenced using his
own name and continued to write till 1872.
He took a leading
part in a series of weekly meetings which were held in Dublin in
1840, when so numerous were the social questions discussed that
a newspaper editor called the speakers the anti-everythingarians.
In association with Daniel O'Connell, of whose character he had
a very high opinion, he advocated various plans for the
amelioration of the condition of Ireland and the repeal of the
union, but was always opposed to physical force. He became a
vegetarian in 1846, both on moral and sanitary grounds.
or three years before his death he was president of the
Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. He was one of the
first members of the Statistical Society of Dublin, 1847, a
founder of the Dublin Mechanics' Institute, 1849, in the same
year was on the committee of the Dublin Peace Society, aided in
abolishing Donnybrook fair 1855, and took a chief part in 1861
in opening the Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin on Sundays.
He died at 35 Eccles Street, Dublin, on 20 Feb. 1873, and was
buried in Mount Jerome cemetery 24th Feb 1873. in the presence of an
immense crowd of people.
- The information contained in these
pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with
others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
- © 2001 County
Carlow Irish Genealogy Project. IGP
Back to the top