BLACKBURNE, John Ireland (1783-1874).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1807 - 1818
1835 - 1847

Family and Education

b. 26 May 1783, 1st s. of John Blackburne*. educ. Eton 1796; Christ Church, Oxf. 1801. m. 13 Apr. 1811, his cos. Anne, da. of William Bamford of Bamford, Lancs., 1s. 5da. suc. fa. 1833.

Offices Held

Capt. 2 R. Lancs. militia 1803, lt.-col. commdt. Warrington regt. 1809.


Blackburne replaced Thomas Brooke, whose sister was married to his uncle, as Member for Newton in 1807, during the minority of the patron Thomas Legh*, to whom he was also distantly related. In his first Parliament he generally followed the same line as his father, an independent somewhat loosely attached to Lord Sidmouth. He voted in favour of the Liverpool petition against the orders in council, 3 Mar., in the minority on the mutiny bill, 14 Mar. 1808, against Perceval’s exculpatory resolution on the Duke of York’s transgressions, 17 Mar., and for Hamilton’s charges of electoral corruption against Castlereagh, 25 Apr. 1809. In January 1810 Richard Ryder, Home secretary in the Perceval ministry, heard that the two Blackburnes, hitherto ‘always disposed to Lord Sidmouth’, had ‘avowedly changed sides’, but he divided against government on the Scheldt inquiry, 23 Feb. The Whigs listed him as ‘hopeful’ in mid March and he paired with them for the decisive division on the Scheldt on the 30th. His only other recorded votes in this Parliament were against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810, against government on the Regency bill, 21 Jan. 1811, and McMahon’s appointment as private secretary to the Regent, 14 May 1812, and as one of the die-hards who opposed Canning’s motion to consider Catholic relief, 22 June 1812.

Sidmouth’s inclusion in the Liverpool ministry led them to expect Blackburne’s support and they generally received it, though his voting record suggests that he was an indifferent attender. He voted with government on the army estimates, 6 and 8 Mar., the civil list accounts, 6 May and 24 May 1816, Admiralty reductions, 25 Feb. 1817, against inquiry into the employment of spies, 5 Mar., on the Duke of Clarence’s marriage grant, 15 May, and the imprisonment of radical booksellers, 21 May 1818. His only known wayward votes were against the property tax, 18 Mar., and clauses of the public revenues bill, 14 and 17 June 1816. He opposed Catholic relief, 2 Mar. and 24 May 1813, 21 May 1816 and 9 May 1817. Blackburne, who is not known to have spoken in the House in this period, retired in 1818 to make way for Legh’s brother-in-law, but he re-entered Parliament 17 years later. He died 27 Jan. 1874.

NLI, Richmond mss 62/530.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher