LATOUCHE, Robert (?1773-1844), of Harristown, co. Kildare.
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Family and Education
b. ?1773, 1st s. of John Latouche I*, and bro. of John II*. educ. Kildare; Harrow 1785-8; Eton 1788-90; Trinity, Dublin 8 Nov. 1790, aged 17. m. 17 Apr. 1810, Lady Emily Le Poer Trench, da. of William, 1st Earl of Clancarty [I], 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1810.
MP [I] 1794-1800.
Sheriff, co. Kildare 1797-8.
Commdt. Kilcullen yeoman cav. 1798.
Latouche succeeded to his father’s partnership in the family bank and to substantial estates in county Kildare. He sat in the Irish parliament for the family borough of Harristown and opposed the Union. Having lost his seat by disfranchisement, he succeeded his father in the representation of the county in 1802, with the good wishes of government who desired to conciliate his family, but also of the Duke of Leinster who was in opposition. On 4 Mar. 1803 he voted against government on the Prince of Wales’s finances and the viceroy soon afterwards reported that he and his brother John (known as Count and Discount) were among the Irish Members enticed by the Prince by means of ‘the dinners at Carlton House’: he repeated this view, 29 Feb. 1804:
The latter are both, as it appears to me great coxcombs, captivated last year by the Prince of Wales’s dinners, and not to be counted upon as friends of government ... The two ... go over tonight, undetermined as I hear, what part they shall take, but probably determined to vote as they did last year.
The Prince expected this too, and on 7 Mar. Latouche was in the minority on Wrottesley’s motion censuring the Irish government, and on 15 Mar. joined opposition in favour of Pitt’s naval motion.1 When Pitt came to power, Latouche was evidently in Dublin, but ‘strong against Mr Pitt’, which he confirmed by his opposition to the additional force bill, June 1804. He was labelled ‘Irish Prince’ that year and ‘Opposition’ the next, when after pairing off for the early part of the session, he was in the minorities against the suspension of habeas corpus in Ireland, 8, 15 Feb. 1805, against war with Spain, 12 Feb., against the salt tax, 4 Mar., for the repeal of the Additional Force Act, 6 Mar., for Catholic claims, 14 May, and in the majorities against Melville, 8 Apr., 12 June 1805.2
Latouche supported the Grenville administration, though Fox had to make a personal appeal for his attendance in May 1806 after the viceroy had failed to budge him. It was feared that he was motivated in this by ‘coldness or disgust’ at government’s failure to find a place for his brother-in-law at the revenue board.3 Latouche voted against the new ministers, 9 Apr. 1807, and, though said to be ‘neutralized’ in June, went into opposition for the rest of his parliamentary career. He remained a friend of Catholic relief and one of his few speeches was in defence of the respectability of the protestant Irish petition in favour of it, 20 Apr. 1812. Apart from absences in the session of 1809 and early 1810, and again probably from June 1813 to April 1815, he appeared frequently in the opposition lobby on all major issues, including parliamentary reform.4 He died between 19 and 22 May 1844.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: P. J. Jupp
- 1. Add. 35705, f. 135; 35713, f. 122; 35750, f. 39; 35772, f. 112; Prince of Wales Corresp. iv. 1820, 1827.
- 2. Corresp. Rt. Hon. J. Beresford, ii. 288; Add. 35754, f. 296.
- 3. HMC Fortescue, viii. 215, 217; NLS mss 12920, Fox to Elliot [May], 22 May .
- 4. Wellington Supp. Despatches, vi. 76; NLI, Richmond mss 64/655; unless he was the ‘Mr Latouche’ who assented to Peel’s bill to improve the Irish magistracy, 23 June 1814, Parl. Deb. xxviii. 174.