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.
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.
The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Lords were members of the Irish peerage and bishops. The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a very restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Chichester House (1661–1727), the Blue Coat School (1729–31), and finally a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green.
The Irish House of Lords was the upper house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from medieval times until 1800. It was also the final court of appeal of the Kingdom of Ireland.
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.
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the title of the chief governor of Ireland from the Williamite Wars of 1690 until the Partition of Ireland in 1922. This spanned the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922). The office, under its various names, was often more generally known as the viceroy, and his wife was known as the vicereine. The government of Ireland in practice was usually in the hands of the Lord Deputy up to the 17th century, and later of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Although in the Middle Ages some Lords Deputy were Irish noblemen, only men from Great Britain, usually peers, were appointed to the office of Lord Lieutenant.
The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant, and officially the "Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant", from the early 19th century until the end of British rule he was effectively the government minister with responsibility for governing Ireland, roughly equivalent to the role of a Secretary of State. Usually it was the Chief Secretary, rather than the Lord Lieutenant, who sat in the British Cabinet. The Chief Secretary was ex officio President of the Local Government Board for Ireland from its creation in 1872.
The Speaker of the Irish House of Commons was the presiding officer of the Irish House of Commons until its disestablishment in 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.
John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel was an Irish peer and politician, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland and as the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
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.
The counties of Ireland are sub-national divisions that have been, and in some cases continue to be, used to geographically demarcate areas of local government. These land divisions were formed following the Norman invasion of Ireland in imitation of the counties then in use as units of local government in the Kingdom of England. The older term ‘shire’ was historically equivalent to ‘county’. The principal function of the county was to impose royal control in the areas of taxation, security and the administration of justice at the local level. Cambro-Norman control was initially limited to the southeastern parts of Ireland; a further four centuries elapsed before the entire island was shired. At the same time, the now obsolete concept of county corporate elevated a small number of towns and cities to a status which was deemed to be no less important than the existing counties in which they lay. This double control mechanism of 32 counties plus 10 counties corporate remained unchanged for a little over two centuries until the early 19th century. Since then, counties have been adapted and in some cases divided by legislation to meet new administrative and political requirements.
University of Dublin is a university constituency in Ireland, which currently elects three senators to Seanad Éireann. Its electorate comprises the undergraduate scholars and graduates of the University of Dublin, whose sole constituent college is Trinity College Dublin, so it is often also referred to as the Trinity College constituency. Between 1613 and 1937 it elected MPs or TDs to a series of representative legislative bodies.
|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
William de Karlell was an English-born judge, administrator and cleric in fourteenth-century Ireland. He held numerous benefices including Archdeacon of Meath and Rector of Youghal, and sat in the Irish House of Commons. After many years as a Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland) served briefly as Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. He is buried in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.
Kilkenny City was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.
John de Karlell was an English-born cleric and judge in fourteenth-century Ireland. He became Chancellor of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, after a contest with his fellow judge Walter de Brugge.
Parliament of 1375
Richard Plunkett (c.1340-1393) was an eminent Irish judge and statesman of the fourteenth century, who held the offices of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. His descendants held the titles Baron Dunsany, Baron Killeen and Earl of Fingall.
Meath was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.
Henry Mitchell (c.1320-1384) was an Irish judge of the fourteenth century. He is one of the first recorded holders of the office of Attorney General for Ireland and was subsequently Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer and Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
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.
Essex was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1290 until 1832. It elected two MPs, traditionally referred to as Knights of the Shire, to the House of Commons. It was divided into two single member constituencies in the Great Reform Act.
Dublin City was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons to 1801.
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 Thomas Littleton, 2nd Baronet was an English politician from the extended Littleton/Lyttelton family who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1640 and 1681.
Sir Arthur Gore, 1st Baronet was an Irish soldier and politician.
John Gore, 1st Baron Annaly PC (Ire) was an Irish politician and peer.
There have been three baronetcies created for persons with the surname Everard, one in the Baronetage of Ireland, one in the Baronetage of England and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. Only one creation is extant as of 2010.
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 Richard Levinge, 1st Baronet was an Irish politician and judge.
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.
Sir Thomas Burdett, 1st Baronet was an Irish politician and baronet.
Sir Henry King, 3rd Baronet PC (I) was an Anglo-Irish politician.