HAMILTON, Hans (1758-1822), of Sheephill Park, co. Dublin

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Constituency

Dates

1801 - 22 Dec. 1822

Family and Education

bap. 19 July 1758,1 1st s. of James Hamilton of Sheephill and Holmpatrick, dep. prothonotary of k.b. [I], and 1st w. Hannah, da. and h. of William Phillips of Dublin. m. (1) 18 June 1787,2 Sarah (d. 9 Feb. 1805), da. of Alderman Joseph Lynam, banker, of Dublin, 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 30 Mar. 1807, Anne, da. of Hugh Henry Mitchell, MP [I], of Glasnevin, 1s. 4da. suc. fa. 1800. d. 22 Dec. 1822.3

Offices Held

Cornet 2nd Regt. of Horse [I] 1777, lt. 1780; capt. 5 Drag. 1783, ret. 1789.

MP [I] 1797-1800.

Sheriff, co. Dublin 1803-4, gov. 1813-d., custos rot. 1821-d.

Commdt. Fingal and Balbriggan yeomanry.

Biography

Hamilton, whose grandfather James had sat for Newry and Carlow between 1723 and 1760, came in for county Dublin shortly before the Union, which he opposed.4 The dearest object of his life was an Irish peerage, for which he thereafter pestered successive governments; these he mostly sided with at Westminster, though he slowly became a supporter of Catholic relief.5 In June 1818 he was regarded as having a ‘promise’ of the next creation, but he was passed over for George Canning† (Lord Garvagh) in October and for Sir John Cradock (Lord Howden), a former Member of the Dublin Parliament, a year later. When he was again returned for county Dublin, on the basis of his territorial interests, after a contest at the general election of 1820, the Liverpool administration merely noted that he had ‘had expectations’ of a peerage.6 It was observed that he slipped away from the county Dublin meeting held in support of Queen Caroline, 30 Dec. 1820, apparently approving of the sheriff’s controversial attempt to curtail the proceedings. He voted in defence of ministers’ conduct towards her, 6 Feb., and earned more local criticism by his failure to speak on the hostile constituency petition, 22 Feb. 1821, when he was not listed in the minority for Lord John Russell’s motion for inquiry into this affair.7 He divided for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He voted against John Maberly’s resolution on the state of the revenue, 6 Mar., and repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr. 1821. Soon afterwards he was appointed custos rotulorum of his county. He was named to the select committee on Dublin local taxation, 20 Mar. 1822, but a few weeks later it was reported that a severe illness had prevented his attending Parliament.8 No further votes have been found and he is not known ever to have spoken in debate.

Earlier that year he had complained to the cabinet minister Lord Sidmouth that his repeated applications for church preferment for his brother had been ignored:

I have supported the present administration for upwards of twenty years and that during that time I have derived very little advantage from the patronage of the crown is not less certain ... My brother has been recommended for promotion ... these twelve years, yet he has been constantly overlooked, and being unconscious of having done anything to forfeit the confidence of government, I feel satisfied that your lordship will upon this occasion recommend my brother to Lord Wellesley for early promotion.9

Whether he got satisfaction from the Irish viceroy on this matter is not clear. If not, he was doubly disappointed, for he died a commoner shortly before Christmas 1822, ‘after a most painful and tedious illness’.10 His son James Hans Hamilton (1810-63) represented county Dublin from 1841 to 1863, when he was succeeded as Conservative Member by his only surviving son Ion Trant Hamilton (1839-98), who occupied the seat until 1885 and was raised to the peerage as Baron Holmpatrick in 1897.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Stephen Farrell / David R. Fisher

Notes

  • 1. IGI.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Dublin Weekly Reg. 28 Dec. 1822.
  • 4. Hist. Irish Parl. iv. 336-7, 343-4; G. Hamilton, Hist. House of Hamilton, 971.