COOTE, Eyre (1806-1834), of West Park, Hants.
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Family and Educationb. 7 Sept. 1806, in Jamaica, 1st s. of Sir Eyre Coote†, MP [I], of West Park and 2nd w. Katherine, da. of John Bagwell† of Marlfield, Clonmel, co. Tipperary. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1824. m. 13 Apr. 1828, Elizabeth Rosetta, da. of James Hewitt Massy Dawson*, 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1823. d. 31 May 1834.
Coote’s father had succeeded to the wealth of his celebrated military uncle and namesake, whom he had followed into the army, in 1796. He had sat in the Irish Parliament for Ballinakill, 1790-7, and Maryborough, 1797-1800, and at Westminster for Queen’s County from 1802 to 1806, when he had been appointed governor and commander-in-chief of Jamaica, where Coote was born. He later represented Barnstaple, 1812-18. In 1816 he had been dismissed from the army and stripped of his honours for improper conduct with young boys, despite the objections of his supporters who claimed that he was suffering from mental illness.1 Following his death in 1823 the bulk of his wealth, under the terms of a will dated 29 Dec. 1817 and proved under £70,000, was divided between his brother Lord Castle Coote and Coote, who thereby obtained a ‘splendid fortune’. On Coote’s marriage in 1828 to the daughter of James Massy Dawson, who had sat for Clonmel since 1820 on the controlling interest of Coote’s uncle William Bagwell* of Marlfield, county Tipperary, his wife received an annuity of £1,000 charged on the family’s freehold estates in Wiltshire and Hampshire.2
In January 1830 Massy Dawson resigned to contest a vacancy in county Limerick, making way for Coote who came forward as the ‘grandson of the late John Bagwell’. He was returned unopposed, but was absent on account of ‘unavoidable circumstances’.3 He was sworn in, 5 Mar. 1830. His only known activity in this Parliament was to vote against Jewish emancipation and present a constituency petition against the increase of Irish stamp duties, 17 May. At the 1830 general election he offered again and appeared in person. Denounced by local independents as ‘a stranger’ ignorant of the town’s ‘wants’ and pressed for his views on Irish tax increases, he declared, ‘I did oppose the assimilation of taxes in the last Parliament, and I now pledge myself to oppose them in the new’. He was again returned unopposed.4 He was listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘friends’ and he voted in their minority on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., presented a constituency petition for repeal of the Irish medical regulations next day, and divided for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. On 24 Apr. 1831 Duncombe Pleydell Bouverie* reported hearing his name mentioned at Cricklade, not ‘as likely to stand’, but as one of those who had ‘been thought of’.5
At the 1831 general election he was again returned unopposed for Clonmel in absentia.6 He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July 1831, but was absent from the divisions against the inclusion of Chippenham in schedule B, 27 July 1831, and the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. He divided against the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He was one of the ‘anti-reformers’ listed as absent from the division on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July 1832. At that year’s general election he retired in favour of his cousin John Bagwell, the successor to the Marlfield estates of their uncle William in 1826, who was defeated by a Repealer. He died in Naples in May 1834. By his will, dated 7 Feb. 1834 and proved under £16,000, he left £10,000 to his daughter and the residue to his only son and namesake (1830-64).7