MAHON, Hon. Stephen (1768-1828), of Strokestown, co. Roscommon
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Family and Educationb. 6 Feb. 1768, 2nd s. of Maurice, 1st Visct. Hartland [I] (d. 1819), and Hon. Catherine Moore, da. of Stephen, 1st Visct. Mountcashell [I]; bro. of Hon. Thomas Mahon†. unm. d. 27 May 1828.
MP [I] 1800.
Ensign 47 Ft. 1786, lt. 1790; capt. 5 Drag. 1791; maj. 7 Drag. 1793, brevet lt.-col. 1796; lt.-col. 7 Drag. 1797, brevet col. 1805; lt.-col. 8 Drag. 1808; maj.-gen. 1810; lt.-gen. 1819.
At the death in January 1819 of his father, who had been created Baron Hartland in 1800, Mahon inherited a property at Strokestown, with an annual income of £4,000. Like his elder brother Thomas, who had briefly represented Roscommon at the time of the Union and now succeeded to the title and principal estates, he was promoted lieutenant-general that August, but this sop failed to dispel their disgruntlement at their stalled military careers and the 2nd baron’s thwarted ambition for promotion in the Irish peerage. Mahon, who had held the county seat on the family interest since 1806 as an inactive pro-Catholic ministerialist, was again returned unopposed at the general election of 1820, but now voted with opposition, for instance on economies and reduced taxation, on his infrequent appearances in the Commons.1 He voted against Wilberforce’s compromise motion on the Queen Caroline affair, 22 June 1820, and to censure ministers’ conduct towards her, 6 Feb. 1821. He paired for inquiry into Peterloo, 16 May 1821, and was in the majority for abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 2 May 1822. He divided for parliamentary reform, 24 Apr. 1823, and inquiry into the state of Ireland, 11 May 1824. He voted against the Irish unlawful societies bill, 15, 18, 21, 25 Feb., and (as he had on 28 Feb. 1821) for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. No trace of parliamentary activity has been found for the 1826 session. Mahon, who is not known to have spoken in debate, had been expected to stand a contest against the Tory Robert King, the son of the county’s leading anti-Catholic proprietor Lord Lorton, at the general election that year. But, to the impotent fury of the Catholics and their supporters, he withdrew too late (apparently on account of ill health) to allow a suitable replacement to offer and his Roscommon seat was taken by King.2 He died in London in May 1828. By his will, dated 31 Mar. 1819, he left his Roscommon property and personal wealth sworn under £9,000 to his mother (d. 1834) as sole legatee and executrix. Following the deaths of the 2nd baron in 1835 and his brother Maurice, an insane clergyman, in 1845, the Strokestown estates passed to their first cousin Major Denis Mahon, a heavy-handed landlord who was murdered during the Famine in 1847.3
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Stephen Farrell
- 1. Hist. Irish Parl. v. 179, 181; HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 522; Add. 40296, f. 40; Black Bk. (1823), 175; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 475.
- 2. Dublin Evening Post, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20, 22 June 1826.
- 3. PROB 11/1743/426; IR26/1170/419; Gent. Mag. (1828), ii. 272-3; (1848), i. 679; Famine Diary ed. B. Ó Cathaoir, 150-1.