RICHARDSON, William (?1749-?1820), of Rich Hill, co. Armagh.
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Family and Education
b. ?1749, 1st s. of William Richardson, MP [I], of Rich Hill by Isabella, da. of Daniel Mussenden, merchant, of Belfast, co. Antrim. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 11 Oct. 1765, aged 16. m. (1) 9 May 1775, Dorothy (d. 14 Sept. 1793), da. of Henry Munroe of Roe’s Hall, co. Down, s.p.; (2) 20 Oct. 1794, Louisa, da. of Richard Magenis, MP [I], of Waringstown, co. Down, 3da.
MP [I] 1783-97.
Trustee, linen board [I] 1801.
Sheriff, co. Armagh 1777-8.
Capt. Rich Hill cav. 1797.
Richardson’s family had been settled at Rich Hill since 1611 and had frequently represented the county in the Irish parliament. He was returned unopposed in 1783, became a steady opponent of administration and would probably have opposed the Union if he had been returned in 1797.1
Richardson needed Lord Gosford’s support to secure his return for the county in 1807 and was probably guided by the latter in giving a general support to ministers. The Irish secretary reported him in 1808 as having attended and as having ‘no objects that I know of’.2 On 25 Apr. 1809 he voted for the censure of Castlereagh for corruption. He voted with government on the Scheldt inquiry, 26 Jan., 30 Mar. 1810. He was ‘doubtful’ in the Whig list of that year, but listed by the government as a supporter after the election of 1812. He voted against Catholic relief, 1 June 1811, 2 Mar., 11 and 24 May 1813, and again on 21 May 1816, 9 May 1817 and 3 May 1819. He opposed the renewal of the property tax, 20 Apr. 1815 and 18 Mar. 1816, and on 7 May 1816 voted for retrenchment on an opposition motion. On 5 May 1819 he was in the minority for the repeal of the Irish window tax, but on 18 May sided with government against Tierney’s censure motion. No speech by him is known. He did not seek re-election in 1820 and died not long afterwards.3