HARE, Hon. Richard (1773-1827), of Convamore, co. Cork.
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Family and Education
b. 20 Mar. 1773, 1st s. of William, 1st Earl of Listowel [I], by 1st w. Mary, da. of Henry Wrixon of Ballygiblin. educ. ?Eton 1783-8; Oriel, Oxf. 1792. m. 10 June 1797, Hon. Catherine Bridget Dillon, da. of Robert, 1st Baron Clonbrock [I], 5s. 2da. Styled Visct. Ennismore 1822-d.
MP [I] 1797-1800.
The Hares were Cork gentry who made a late entry into Irish parliamentary politics. Hare’s father was returned for Cork city in 1795 and in 1797 purchased his own and his son’s return for the close borough of Athy. They gave a firm support to the Union and the father was awarded an Irish peerage as Lord Ennismore. As Athy was disfranchised, the son was left without a seat. As early as 1803, Lord Longueville was applying to government on behalf of Lord Ennismore, for his promotion to a viscountcy.1
In 1812 Richard Hare was returned to Westminster in a blaze of loyalist glory by capturing a seat for his county from the Whig sitting Member, Ponsonby. This victory set the seal of official approval on his family. The viceroy wrote that Hare’s success showed ‘that the Protestants are not to be beat anywhere’, a conclusion ‘highly desirable for the present administration and in my opinion for the country’.2 Hare had promised his Catholic supporters that he would support the investigation of their claims3 and on 2 Mar. and 13 May 1813 he voted for them, but on 24 May he voted against the Catholic relief bill. On 21 May 1816 and 3 May 1819 he also sided against them.
Government could count on Hare’s vote when he attended, though they never had the benefit of his voice in the House. His chief object, which he relied on his personal friendship with Peel as chief secretary to obtain, was his father’s promotion to a viscountcy, if not an earldom. The respectability of father and son and the fairness of the claim were admitted, though it was not until January 1816 that Ennismore became a viscount, and Hare failed to have him made a representative peer at the same time.4 Government rallied to Hare when Lord Shannon withdrew his support for him in county Cork in 1817, considering him ‘a very decided friend’; in 1818 he secured his return.5 It was a signal for fresh applications for his father’s promotion to an earldom. Hare had pressed Peel for it before the latter left Ireland in July 1818 as ‘the only favour we have requested from government for ourselves’. On 26 Nov. 1818 he applied to the lord lieutenant, who recommended it to Lord Liverpool, pointing out that the promotion of Ennismore would create a counterpoise to the desertion of Shannon in county Cork.6 On 6 Mar. 1819 Peel reminded Liverpool:
His father’s property is very extensive and unencumbered, the character of both father and son highly respected, and on every occasion they have marked their attachment to the present government. I must say I know no peer in Ireland who has a fairer claim upon the administration.7
By February 1820 Hare was dissatisfied at his failure to secure his object, but the premier would not hear of individual promotions and it was not until 1822 that Ennismore became Earl of Listowel. Hare died v.p. 24 Sept. 1827, ‘always a supporter of the constitution in Church and State’.8
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: P. J. Jupp
- 1. Add. 33111, f. 170.
- 2. NLI, Richmond mss 74/1754, 1856.
- 3. Add. 40222, f. 319.
- 4. Add. 40189, f. 43; 40229, f. 171; 40249, f. 44; 40286, f. 172; 40287, f. 92; 40289, ff. 141, 194.
- 5. Add. 40181, f. 103; 40293, f. 38.
- 6. Add. 38274, f. 217; 40279, f. 166.
- 7. Add. 38195, f. 97.
- 8. Add. 38282, f. 371; 38283, f. 100; Gent. Mag. (1827), ii. 366.