HAMILTON, James, 1st Visct. Limerick [I] (c.1691-1758), of Dundalk, co. Louth.
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Family and Education
b. c.1691, 1st s. of James Hamilton of Tollymore, co. Down by Anne, da. of John Mordaunt, 1st Visct. Mordaunt of Avalon, sis. of Charles, Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth. m. 15 Oct. 1728, Lady Henrietta Bentinck, da. of William, 1st Earl of Portland, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. May 1700. cr. Baron Claneboye and Visct. Limerick [I] 13 May 1719; Earl of Clanbrassil [I] 24 Nov. 1756.
M.P. [I] 1715-19.
P.C. [I] 14 Apr. 1746; gov. co. Louth 1756-d.
Described by Horace Walpole as ‘a pale ill-looking fellow with a bent brow, a whoreson voice and a dead eye of saffron hue ... belonging to Lord Bath [William Pulteney]’,1 Limerick was returned on the Hampden interest for Wendover as an opposition Whig. A member of the gaols committee in 1729, he took an active part on the committee appointed to inquire into the affairs of the Charitable Corporation in 1732, seconding a motion that Sir Robert Sutton had been guilty of promoting the fraudulent practices of the Charitable Corporation, introducing a bill to restrain the directors from leaving the country until the end of the next session of Parliament, and in the following session supporting a motion that Sutton was guilty of frauds and breach of trust. He was active in Irish matters and on the council of the Georgia Society.
In 1734 Limerick was defeated at Wendover, but was seated on a petition ‘notwithstanding the ministry made it their affair’ to oppose him. His petition was supported by the members of the Georgia Society, which he thereafter tried to convert into an instrument of the Opposition. In March 1739 he resigned from the council hoping ‘thereby the trustees would be induced to alter their measures, by which he meant, go over to the minority side.’ On 13 Feb. 1741 he seconded the opposition motion for Walpole’s dismissal.<