COOTE, Charles Henry (1754-1823), of Forest Lodge, Queen's Co.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Aug. 1754, 1st s. of Very Rev. Charles Coote of Shaen Castle, Queen’s Co., dean of Kilfenora, co. Clare, by 1st w. Grace, da. of Thomas Tilson of Dublin, wid. of Thomas Cuffe, barrister, of Dublin, bro. of Sir Eyre Coote*. educ. Eton 1767-71; Trinity, Dublin 1772; L. Inn 1776, called [I] 1779. m. 22 May 1779, Elizabeth Anne, da. and coh. of Rev. Henry Tilson, DD, of Eagle Hill, co. Kildare, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1796; kinsman Charles Henry, 1st Baron Castle Coote [I] by spec. rem. as 2nd Baron [I] 2 Mar. 1802.
MP [I] 1776-1800.
Commr. of barracks [I] Apr. 1788-9, of accts. [I] July 1789-95, of customs [I] Oct. 1795-9, 1802-3, first commr. 1806-d., of excise [I] Aug. 1799-1806; PC [I] 23 Dec. 1800.
Genealogist to the order of St. Patrick 1783-1804.
Sheriff, Queen’s Co. 1791-2, gov. 1802; col. Queen’s Co. militia 1799.
Coote sat on his family interest for the Queen’s County 1776-83 and for the borough of Maryborough 1783-97, on account of which, as co-proprietor, he received £7,500 on its disfranchisement. He resumed his seat for the county in 1797, being by then a placeman with £1,000 p.a., who could be relied on to support government on all occasions and had a reputation for somniferous oratory.1 For his services in promoting the Union in his county and standing the expense of a contest for his borough to secure government the vote of a more effective Member than his brother Eyre, he requested and obtained a new barony, with special remainder to himself, for his aged kinsman Charles Henry, 7th Earl of Mountrath.2 He also became an Irish privy councillor.
Coote spoke at least twice at Westminster: on 27 May 1801 for the continuation of martial law in Ireland, and on 10 June, to disoblige his colleague Parnell, in opposition to the latter’s proposal to exempt John Beresford* from the Irish Members’ disqualification bill. He was loath to attend in October 1801, having been detained in Ireland by military and official duties, his wife’s and his own illness, but when pressed by the chief secretary he wrote, 30 Oct., ‘your wishes and those of Mr Addington supersede every other feeling’.3 His chief anxiety, however, was to retain the seat for a member of his family in the face of a contest, in which he expected government to stand by him, as he had ‘firmly adhered to them’.4 On 2 Mar. 1802 his succession to the Irish peerage disqualified him.
When in 1814 he applied for promotion in the peerage ‘as the close and recompense of his services’, the chief secretary reported to the viceroy:
I cannot say that I think Lord Castlecoote’s a very strong claim. He is an Union peer (of course according to his own account, not made for Union services), but as he happens to have been made on the same day with 14 others (31 July 1800) one cannot but have a little doubt on that point. He has been and is chief commissioner of customs. This was once considered, I dare say, a very important office, but as in recent times it has not been thought expedient to adhere to the former practice of making the head of a revenue board a privy councillor, on the same principle, perhaps, service at the board cannot be considered as conferring a claim to a more distinguished honour. If it can, Lord Castlecoote’s claim, I fear, would rest rather in the length than the efficacy of the service.5
He died 22 Jan. 1823.