Irish House of Commons
|Disbanded||31 December 1800|
|Succeeded by||House of Commons of the United Kingdom|
John Foster (1785–1801)
|First past the post with limited suffrage|
|The House of Commons in session (by Francis Wheatley, 1780)|
|1 In 1800|
See also: House of Commons of Great Britain
The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the House of Lords. The membership of the House of Commons was directly elected, but on a highly restrictive franchise, similar to the Unreformed House of Commons in contemporary England and Great Britain. In counties, forty-shilling freeholders were enfranchised whilst in most boroughs it was either only the members of self-electing corporations or a highly-restricted body of freemen that were able to vote for the borough's representatives. Most notably, Catholics were disqualified from sitting in the Irish parliament from 1691, even though they comprised the vast majority of the Irish population. From 1728 until 1793 they were also disfranchised. Most of the population of all religions had no vote. The vast majority of parliamentary boroughs were pocket boroughs, the private property of an aristocratic patron. When these boroughs were disfranchised under the Act of Union, the patron was awarded £15,000 compensation for each.
The British-appointed Irish executive, under the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was not answerable to the House of Commons but to the British government. However, the Chief Secretary for Ireland was usually a member of the Irish parliament. In the Commons, business was presided over by the Speaker. The House of Commons was abolished when the Irish parliament merged with its British counterpart in 1801 under the Act of Union, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The House sat for the last time in Parliament House, Dublin on 2 August 1800.
The Speaker of the Irish House of Commons was the presiding officer of the House and its most senior official. The position was one of considerable power and prestige, and in the absence of a government chosen from and answerable to the Commons, he was the dominant political figure in the Parliament. The last Speaker was John Foster.
The House was elected in the same way as the British House of Commons. By the time of the Union, the shape of the House had been fixed with two members elected for each of the 32 Counties of Ireland, two members for each of 117 Boroughs, and two members for Dublin University, a total of 300 members. The number of Boroughs invited to return members had originally been small (only 55 Boroughs existed in 1603) but was doubled by the Stuart monarchs.
|Constituency||Type||County||Creation||Enfranchised||Fate after the union|
|Antrim County||County||Antrim||1570||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Ards||County||Down||By 1560||Already disfranchised|
|Armagh Borough||Borough||Armagh||1613 (26 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Armagh County||County||Armagh||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Askeaton||Borough||Limerick||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Athlone||Borough||Westmeath||1606 (10 December)||Corporation||One seat|
|Augher||Borough||Tyrone||1613 (15 April)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Ballynakill||Borough||Queen's County||1612 (10 December)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Ballyshannon||Borough||Donegal||1613 (23 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Baltimore||Borough||Cork||1613 (25 March)||Potwalloper||Disfranchised|
|Bandonbridge||Borough||Cork||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Bangor||Borough||Down||1613 (18 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Bannow||Borough||Wexford||Between 1614 and 1692||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Belfast||Borough||Antrim||1613 (27 April)||Corporation||One seat|
|Belturbet||Borough||Cavan||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Boyle||Borough||Roscommon||1613 (25 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Carlow Borough||Borough||Carlow||1613 (19 April)||Corporation||One seat|
|Carlow County||County||Carlow||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Carrick||Borough||Leitrim||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Carrickfergus||County borough||Antrim||1326||Freeholder and householder||One seat|
|Cashel||Borough||Tipperary||By 1585||Corporation||One seat|
|Castlebar||Borough||Mayo||1613 (26 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Cavan Borough||Borough||Cavan||1610 (15 November)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Cavan County||County||Cavan||1579 or 1584 or 1585||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Charlemont||Borough||Armagh||1613 (29 April)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Clare||County||Clare||By 1560||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Clogher||Borough||Tyrone||Between 1614 and 1692||Ecclesiastical||Disfranchised|
|Clonakilty||Borough||Cork||1613 (5 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Clonmel||Borough||Tipperary||By 1560||Corporation||One seat|
|Clonmines||Borough||Wexford||Between 1614 and 1692||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Coleraine||Borough||Londonderry||1613 (25 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Cork City||County borough||Cork||1299||Freeholder and Freemen||Two seats|
|Cork County||County||Cork||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Coleraine County||County||Londonderry||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Already disfranchised|
|Donegal Borough||Borough||Donegal||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Donegal County||County||Donegal||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Drogheda||County borough||Louth||1299||Freeholders and freemen||One seat|
|Dublin City||County borough||Dublin||1299||Freeholders and freemen||Two seats|
|Dublin County||County||Dublin||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Dublin University||University||Dublin||1603||Graduates||One seat|
|Duleek||Borough||Meath||Between 1614 and 1692||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Dundalk||Borough||Louth||By 1560||Corporation||One seat|
|Dungannon||Borough||Tyrone||1612 (27 November)||Corporation||One seat|
|Dungarvan||Borough||Waterford||By 1560||Potwalloper||One seat|
|Ennis||Borough||Clare||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||One seat|
|Enniscorthy||Borough||Wexford||1613 (25 May)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Enniskillen||Borough||Fermanagh||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||One seat|
|Fermanagh||County||Fermanagh||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Ferns||County||Wexford||By 1579||Freeholders||Already disfranchised|
|Fethard||Borough||Tipperary||1613 (15 April)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Fethard||Borough||Wexford||1613 (15 April)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Fore||Borough||Westmeath||Between 1614 and 1692||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Galway Borough||County borough||Galway||By 1560||Freemen||One seat|
|Galway County||County||Galway||By 1579||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Gorey (also Newburgh)||Borough||Wexford||1620||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Gowran||Borough||Kilkenny||1608 (15 September)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Kilbeggan||Borough||Westmeath||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Kildare Borough||Borough||Kildare||By 1560||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Kildare County||County||Kildare||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Kilkenny City||County borough||Kilkenny||1299?||Freeholders and Freemen||One seat|
|Kilkenny County||County||Kilkenny||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Killyleagh||Borough||Down||1613 (10 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|King's County||County||King's County||1556||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Kinsale||Borough||Cork||1334?||Corporation and Freemen||One seat|
|Lifford||Borough||Donegal||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Limerick City||County borough||Limerick||1299||Freeholders and Freemen||One seat|
|Limerick County||County||Limerick||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Lismore||Borough||Waterford||1613 (6 May)||Manor||Disfranchised|
|Londonderry City||Borough||Londonderry||1613 (29 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Londonderry County||County||Londonderry||1613||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Longford County||County||Longford||1571||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Mallow||Borough||Cork||1613 (27 February)||Manor||One seat|
|Mayo||County||Mayo||By 1579||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Monaghan Borough||Borough||Monaghan||1613 (26 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Monaghan County||County||Monaghan||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Two seats|
|New Ross||Borough||Wexford||By 1560||Corporation||One seat|
|Newcastle||Borough||Dublin||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Newry||Borough||Down||1613 (27 February)||Potwalloper||One seat|
|Newtown Limavady||Borough||Londonderry||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Newtownards||Borough||Down||1613 (25 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Old Leighlin||Borough||Carlow||Between 1614 and 1692||Ecclesiastical corporation||Disfranchised|
|Portarlington||Borough||Queen's County||1668||Corporation||One seat|
|Queen's County||County||Queen's County||1556||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Randalstown||Borough||Antrim||1683||Freeman / Potwalloper||Disfranchised|
|Rathcormack||Borough||Cork||Between 1614 and 1692||Potwalloper / Manor||Disfranchised|
|Ratoath||Borough||Meath||Between 1614 and 1692||Manor||Disfranchised|
|Roscommon Borough||Borough||Roscommon||1613 (27 February)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Roscommon County||County||Roscommon||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|St Canice||Borough||Kilkenny||Between 1614 and 1692||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Sligo Borough||Borough||Sligo||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Sligo County||County||Sligo||By 1579||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Strabane||Borough||Tyrone||1613 (18 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Tallow||Borough||Waterford||1613 (1 May)||Manor / Potwalloper||Disfranchised|
|Cross Tipperary||County||Tipperary||by 1585||Freeholders||Already disfranchised|
|Tralee||Borough||Kerry||1613 (31 March)||Corporation||One seat|
|Tuam||Borough||Galway||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Tyrone||County||Tyrone||1585 (September)||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Liberty of Ulster||County||Multiple||1297||Already disfranchised|
|Waterford City||County borough||Waterford||1299||Freemen and freeholders||One seat|
|Waterford County||County||Waterford||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Wexford Borough||Borough||Wexford||By 1560||Freemen||One seat|
|Wexford County||County||Wexford||1297||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Wicklow Borough||Borough||Wicklow||1613 (30 March)||Corporation||Disfranchised|
|Wicklow County||County||Wicklow||1577 1606||Freeholders||Two seats|
|Youghal||Borough||Cork||1374||Corporation and Freemen||One seat|
Parliament of 1374
Parliament of 1375
Parliament of 1380
Parliament of 1429
Parliament of 1450
Speaker: Sir Thomas Cusack
|1||1 June 1557||1 March 1558||James Stanyhurst||3|
|1||12 January 1560||1 February 1560||James Stanyhurst||1|
|2||17 January 1569||25 April 1571||James Stanyhurst||10|
|3||26 April 1585||14 May 1586||Nicholas Walsh||7|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1585–86
|1||18 May 1613||24 October 1615||Sir John Davies||?|
|1||14 July 1634||18 April 1635||Sir Nathaniel Catelyn|
|2||16 March 1639 (prorogued 1641)||30 January 1649||Sir Maurice Eustace||?|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1639–49
|1||8 May 1661||7 August 1666||Sir Audley Mervyn||?|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1661–66
|1||7 May 1689||20 July 1689||Sir Richard Nagle||?|
|1||5 October 1692||26 June 1693||Sir Richard Levinge||1|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1692–93
|2||27 August 1695||14 June 1699||Robert Rochfort||2|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1695–99
|1||21 September 1703||6 May 1713||Alan Brodrick; John Forster (from 19 May 1710)||6|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1703–13
|2||25 November 1713||1 August 1714 on death of Queen Anne||Alan Brodrick||1|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1713–14
|1||12 November 1715||11 June 1727||William Conolly||6|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1715–27
|1||28 November 1727||25 October 1760 on death of King George II||William Conolly; Sir Ralph Gore, Chancellor of the Exchequer (from 13 October 1729); Henry Boyle (from 4 October 1733); John Ponsonby (from 26 April 1756)||17|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1727–60
Members: (elected 1727)
Members: (elected 1728/29)
Members: (elected 1739)
Members: (in 1747)
Members: (elected 1751/1752)
Members: (elected 1753/1754)
|1||22 October 1761||28 May 1768 Octennial Act||John Ponsonby||4|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1761–68
|2||17 October 1769||5 April 1776||John Ponsonby to 4 March 1771, Edmond Pery Sexton||5|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1769–76
|3||18 June 1776||25 July 1783||Edmund Sexton Pery||4|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1776–83
|4||14 October 1783||8 April 1790||Edmund Sexton Pery, then John Foster from 5 September 1785||7|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1783–90
|5||2 July 1790||11 July 1797||John Foster||8|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1790–97
|6||9 January 1798||31 December 1800||John Foster||3|
Members: List of Irish MPs 1798–1800
Until 1793 members could not resign their seats. They could cease to be a member of the House only by one of four ways:
In 1793 a methodology for resignation was created, equivalent to the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead as a means of resignation from the British House of Commons. From that date, Irish members could be appointed to the Escheatorship of Munster, the Escheatorship of Leinster, the Escheatorship of Connaught or the Escheatorship of Ulster. Possession of one of these Crown offices, "office of profit under the Crown" with a 30-shilling salary, terminated one's membership of the House of Commons.
Baron Annaly is a title that has been created three times, twice in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Annaly is named after the ancient term for the general locale, which in turn was named after the original ancient king. The third creation is currently extant.
Baltimore was a potwalloper constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons from 1614 to 1801.
Carlow Borough was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons.
Sir Arthur Gore, 1st Baronet was an Irish soldier and politician.
Cork County was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons to 1800.
Sir Ralph Gore, 2nd Baronet was an Anglo-Irish politician, soldier and baronet.
Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet, was an Irish lawyer and politician.
Sir John Blunden, 1st Baronet was an Irish baronet and politician.
Sir William Parsons, 1st Baronet of Bellamont PC (Ire), was one of the Lord Justices of Ireland from 1640 to 1643. He served as Surveyor General of Ireland and an undertaker in several plantations and was known as a "land-hunter" expropriating land from owners whose titles were found defective.
Sir Richard Levinge, 1st Baronet was an Irish politician and judge.
The High Sheriff of Queen's County was the British Crown's judicial representative in Queen's County, Ireland, Ireland from the 16th century until 1922, when the office was abolished in the new Free State and replaced by the office of Offaly County Sheriff. The sheriff had judicial, electoral, ceremonial and administrative functions and executed High Court Writs. In 1908, an Order in Council made the Lord-Lieutenant the Sovereign's prime representative in a county and reduced the High Sheriff's precedence. However the sheriff retained his responsibilities for the preservation of law and order in the county. The usual procedure for appointing the sheriff from 1660 onwards was that three persons were nominated at the beginning of each year from the county and the Lord Lieutenant then appointed his choice as High Sheriff for the remainder of the year. Often the other nominees were appointed as under-sheriffs. Sometimes a sheriff did not fulfil his entire term through death or other event and another sheriff was then appointed for the remainder of the year. The dates given hereunder are the dates of appointment. All addresses are in Queen's County unless stated otherwise.
The High Sheriff of County Kilkenny was the British Crown's judicial representative in County Kilkenny, Ireland from the 16th century until 1922, when the office was abolished in the new Free State and replaced by the office of Kilkenny County Sheriff. The sheriff had judicial, electoral, ceremonial and administrative functions and executed High Court Writs. In 1908, an Order in Council made the Lord-Lieutenant the Sovereign's prime representative in a county and reduced the High Sheriff's precedence. However the sheriff retained his responsibilities for the preservation of law and order in the county. The usual procedure for appointing the sheriff from 1660 onwards was that three persons were nominated at the beginning of each year from the county and the Lord Lieutenant then appointed his choice as High Sheriff for the remainder of the year. Often the other nominees were appointed as under-sheriffs. Sometimes a sheriff did not fulfil his entire term through death or other event and another sheriff was then appointed for the remainder of the year. The dates given hereunder are the dates of appointment. All addresses are in County Kilkenny unless stated otherwise.
The High Sheriff of Wexford was the British Crown's judicial representative in County Wexford, Ireland from the 16th century until 1922, when the office was abolished in the new Irish Free State and replaced by the office of Wexford County Sheriff. The sheriff had judicial, electoral, ceremonial and administrative functions and executed High Court Writs. In 1908, an Order in Council made the Lord-Lieutenant the Sovereign's prime representative in a county and reduced the High Sheriff's precedence. However the sheriff retained his responsibilities for the preservation of law and order in the county. The usual procedure for appointing the sheriff from 1660 onwards was that three persons were nominated at the beginning of each year from the county and the Lord Lieutenant then appointed his choice as High Sheriff for the remainder of the year. Often the other nominees were appointed as under-sheriffs. Sometimes a sheriff did not fulfil his entire term through death or other event and another sheriff was then appointed for the remainder of the year. The dates given hereunder are the dates of appointment. All addresses are in County Wexford unless stated otherwise.
The Sheriff of County Dublin was the Sovereign's judicial representative in County Dublin. Initially an office for lifetime, assigned by the Sovereign, the Sheriff became an annual appointment following the Provisions of Oxford in 1258. Besides his judicial importance, the sheriff had ceremonial and administrative functions and executed High Court Writs.
Sir Frederick Flood, 1st Baronet, KC, was an Irish lawyer and politician. He was a Member of the Irish Parliament from 1776 until 1801, and then later a Member of the Parliament from 1801 until 1818. Although Flood opposed the Act of Union 1801 that merged the Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain, he sat as a member of the united Parliament in London until his retirement.
Sir John Meade, 1st Baronet (1642–1707) was an Irish barrister, judge and politician. He was the first of the Meade Baronets of Balintubber, and an ancestor of the Earls of Clanwilliam. He was unusual among the lawyers of his era for his lack of ambition to become a judge of the High Court, despite being widely regarded as a barrister of "excellent parts". In matters of religion he seems to have been, by the standards of his time, a man of very tolerant views: although he was himself a Protestant, he damaged his career by marrying Elizabeth Butler, who was a Roman Catholic, as his third wife.
Sir Thomas Burdett, 1st Baronet was an Irish politician and baronet.
Sir Henry King, 3rd Baronet PC (I) was an Anglo-Irish politician.
Earl of Arran is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It is not to be confused with the title Earl of Arran in the Peerage of Scotland. The two titles refer to different places: the Aran Islands in Ireland, and the Isle of Arran in Scotland. The Irish earldom is held by the Gore family. The Scottish earldom is a separate title, held as a subsidiary title of the Duke of Hamilton.