LATOUCHE, John I (c.1732-1810), of Harristown, co. Kildare.
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Family and Education
b. c.1732, 4th s. of David Latouche, banker, of Dublin by Mary Anne, da. of Gabriel Canasille of Dublin, formerly of Montaubon. m. 9 Dec. 1763, Gertrude, da. of Robert Uniacke Fitzgerald of Corkbeg, co. Cork, 2s. 2da.
MP [I] 1783-1800.
Dir. Bank of Ireland 1783-4.
Latouche’s grandfather David Digues Latouche, who founded the Irish branch of the family, was a Huguenot refugee who came over to England from Amsterdam with William III, fought at the Boyne and settled in Dublin, first as a maker of poplins and subsequently as a banker. His descendants, whilst remaining bankers, became country gentlemen, married into leading families and purchased Irish close boroughs. Every Irish parliament in the reign of George III included a Latouche and at the Union there were five. They received £30,000 compensation for the disfranchisement of Newcastle and Harristown. Lord Hardwicke, as lord lieutenant, wrote, 29 Feb. 1804:
The whole family have done more good to the country than any family that can be named. They have made large fortunes in the most honourable manner; they have branched off from the banking house, purchased and improved considerable estates, and have been of essential service to the neighbourhood in which they have resided.1
John Latouche, a partner in the family bank, sat in the Irish parliament of 1783 for Newcastle, in that of 1790 for Newtownards and then for Harristown, after purchasing the borough from the Duke of Leinster. In 1797 he was returned for his county. A government supporter, he nevertheless opposed the Union. At Westminster he was thought to be ‘on sale’.2 He did not take his seat until March and voted in the minority against the Irish master of the rolls bill, 19 Mar. 1801, but there is no evidence of any other activity. On 2 Oct. 1801, having decided to retire, he asked government support for his son Robert at the next county election. Government was reluctant to be drawn, particularly as Latouche asked the same favour for his son John in county Dublin, without any promises. The chief secretary thought that in this ‘old John Latouche behaved very foolishly and very intemperately’.3 His sons were nevertheless returned. He died 3 Feb. 1810.