Thomas Skeffington, 2nd Viscount Ferrard

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Thomas Henry Skeffington, 2nd Viscount Ferrard (January 1772 – 18 January 1843), styled The Honourable from 1790 until 1824, was an Irish peer and politician.



Born Thomas Henry Foster, he was the son of John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and Margaretta Amelia Burgh, 1st Viscountess Ferrard. [1]

John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel British politician

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Political career

He entered the Irish House of Commons for Dunleer in 1793, representing it until the Act of Union in 1801. Ferrard sat as Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons for Drogheda [2] between 1807 and 1812 and for County Louth between 1821 and 1824. [3] In 1811 he was appointed High Sheriff of Louth and in 1818, appointed High Sheriff of Antrim. [4] He succeeded his mother as second Viscount Ferrard in 1824. As this was an Irish peerage it disqualified him from sitting in the Commons for an Irish seat, but it did not entitle him to a seat in the House of Lords. In 1828 he succeeded his father in the barony of Oriel, which was in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, and was able to take a seat in the upper chamber of the British Parliament.

Irish House of Commons lower house of the irish parliament (until 1800)

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.

Dunleer was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons to 1801.

Drogheda was a parliamentary borough constituency in Ireland, which returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801, replacing the Drogheda constituency in the Parliament of Ireland.


Lord Ferrard married Harriet Skeffington, suo jure 9th Viscountess Massereene, daughter of Chichester Skeffington, 4th Earl of Massereene and 8th Viscount Massereene. She died in 1831. Lord Ferrard died in January 1843 and was succeeded by his son, John, who had already succeeded his mother as tenth Viscount Massereene.

John Foster-Skeffington, 10th Viscount Massereene KP was an Irish peer and poet.

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  1. Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990, [ page needed ]
  4. Reports from Commissioners - Ireland. vol. XVII. The House of Commons. 1826. p. 106.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Nicholas Coddington
Hon. John Foster
Member of Parliament for Dunleer
1793 – 1801
With: Nicholas Coddington 1793–1798
Henry Coddington 1798–1800
Quintin Dick 1800–1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Meade-Ogle
Member of Parliament for Drogheda
Succeeded by
Henry Meade-Ogle
Preceded by
John Foster
John Jocelyn
Member of Parliament for County Louth
1821 – 1824
With: John Jocelyn
Succeeded by
John Jocelyn
John Leslie Foster
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Foster
Baron Oriel
1828 – 1843
Succeeded by
John Skeffington
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Margaretta Foster
Viscount Ferrard
1824 – 1843
Succeeded by
John Skeffington