FRENCH, Arthur I (1765-1820), of French Park, co. Roscommon
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Family and Educationbap. 6 Apr. 1765,1 1st surv. s. of Arthur French of French Park and Alicia, da. of Richard Magenis of Dublin. m. 8 Oct. 1764, Margaret, da. of Edmund Costello of Edmonstown, co. Mayo, 5s. 4da. suc. fa. 1799. d. 24 Nov. 1820.
MP [I] 1783-1800.
Trustee, linen board [I] 1795-d.
Gov. co. Roscommon 1819-d.
Capt. Elphin and French Park cav. 1796; commdt. French Park cav. vols. 1797.
French, whose ancestors had settled in county Galway in the fifteenth century, was first elected (apparently under age) in 1783 for county Roscommon, which his family had represented, almost continuously, since 1721. A friend of Catholic relief and an importunate supporter of successive governments, who had done well for his family out of the spoils system, he retained his county seat without opposition at the general election of 1820, despite being too ill to canvass.2 He made no mark in the following session, which was his last, for he died in November 1820, ‘after a severe indisposition of a few hours’, supposedly brought on by overexertion in the hunting field. He left £18,000 to be divided among his younger children, having already provided for his eldest daughter Mary with £2,000 on her marriage. His eldest son and namesake succeeded him as head of the family and county Member.3