HARE, Hon. Richard (1773-1827).

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



1812 - 24 Sept. 1827

Family and Education

b. 20 Mar. 1773, 1st s. of William, 1st Visct. Ennismore and Listowel [I] (d. 1837), and 1st w. Mary, da. of Henry Wrixon of Ballygiblin, co. Cork. educ. ?Eton 1783-8; Oriel, Oxf. 1792. m. 10 June 1797, Hon. Catherine Bridget Dillon, da. of Robert, 1st Bar. Clonbrock [I], 5s. 2da. styled Visct. Ennismore 1822-d. d.v.p. 24 Sept. 1827.

Offices Held

MP [I] 1797-1800.

Trustee, linen board [I] 1824-d.


Hare, considered ‘our worst Irish politician’ by the Whig Thomas Spring Rice*, and noted for his ‘false impressions’ and ‘artifice’ by Lord Donoughmore, continued to sit for county Cork on his family interest with the support of the independent ‘high church’ Protestant gentry.1 A mostly silent Member who attended ‘very seldom’, when present he generally voted with the Liverpool ministry, but he complained frequently of their insufficient attention to his patronage requests.2 (In 1819 Peel, the Irish secretary, had urged Lord Liverpool to grant his request for an earldom for his father, citing his ‘marked attachment’ to government and retention of his seat at the 1818 election, despite the ‘desertion’ to opposition of his former ally the 3rd earl of Shannon.)3 On 4 Feb. 1820 Hare informed Liverpool that owing to the government’s ‘neglect’ of his supporters in county Cork, ‘should a contest again arise, the results might be very different’:

I have received no advantage whatsoever. The promotion of my father, the only family object I had in view, and the only favour I asked for some years, has been deferred to so indefinite a period, that it has lost considerably as to its importance, [he] being considerably advanced in life ... In other matters, likewise, I have only experienced disappointment from numerous applications made to me by those who incurred much trouble and expense in my support ... I should feel that I was wrong, were I not to state ... the causes for disaffection which have occurred, and which must naturally effect a change in the sentiments of one who has every possible wish ... to be a strenuous supporter of your lordship.

Liverpool replied, 21 Feb.:

If you have met with either neglect or inattention ... I very much regret it. Upon the only point which has reference to myself, a promotion in the peerage ... I never concealed from you that your father’s promotion could not take place individually, but ... whenever any promotion was made to the Irish peerage ... With respect to the other considerations ... they are wholly new to me and I can do no more than inquire about them. But I have no hesitation in saying that you are fully entitled to every degree of favour and consideration from government, to which any friend ... under similar circumstances can have claim.4

At the 1820 general election attempts to get up an opposition came to nothing and he was again returned unopposed.5 He endorsed a petition to the king for a pension from the mother and sister of the late General William Hume, deputy assistant commissary in Demerara, 4 Apr.6 He was granted six weeks’ leave on urgent private business, 23 June 1820, 13 Mar. 1821. He voted against disqualifying civil officers of the ordnance from voting in parliamentary elections, 12 Apr., and parliamentary reform, 9 May. Presenting a constituency petition complaining of agricultural distress, 7 May, he ‘strongly urged the necessity of devising some speedy measure of relief’.7 He voted for the third reading of the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 4 June. He was in the majority against the omission of arrears from the duke of Clarence’s grant, 18 June 1821. On his father’s elevation to an Irish earldom, he assumed the title of Viscount Ennismore, 5 Feb. 1822. He brought up a county Wexford petition against the distress resulting from tithes, 26 Apr., for which he blamed the ‘exorbitant rents ... demanded by the middle men’, 20 May.8 He voted against relieving Catholic peers of their disabilities, 30 Apr. He was appointed to the select committees on Irish grand jury presentments, 3 May, and the Irish linen trade, 18 May 1822. He obtained returns of county Cork convictions under the Irish Insurrection Act, 21 Apr., and advocated harsher measures, warning that ‘it was necessary to strike terror into the lower orders’ or a ‘formidable rebellion would break out’, 12 May 1823.9 That year he applied at least twice to Liverpool for an East India Company cadetship for his nephew William Boldero.10 He presented constituency petitions against repeal of the Irish linen bounties, 6, 7 May, and one from Youghal against slavery, 19 May 1824.11 He was appointed to the select committee on the Irish Insurrection Act, 11 May, and voted for its second reading, 14 June. He divided against condemnation of the trial in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith, 11 June 1824. He divided for suppression of the Catholic Association, 15, 25 Feb. 1825. That day Daniel O’Connell* recorded that Ennismore had asked him ‘a few’ questions in the select committee on the state of Ireland, to which he had been appointed, 17 Feb.12 He voted to consider Catholic claims, 1 Mar., but on 19 Mar. stated that he ‘intended to vote against the second reading’ of the relief bill, as the clauses he had hoped for, ‘providing for the Catholic clergy and regulating the franchise’, had not been included. He was not listed in the divisions on the second, 21 Apr., or third reading, 10 May, but later informed the Tory Cork Constitution that he had been ‘omitted’ from the latter’s hostile minority.13 He presented constituency petitions against alteration of the corn laws, 28 Apr., 3 May 1825.14

At the 1826 general election he offered again, saying that there was insufficient time for a personal canvass. Criticized by the Southern Reporter for his ‘extraordinary’ failure to vote ‘for or against’ relief, ‘upon which every man must ere now have formed an opinion’, he replied, 18 June:

It is true that I did not vote in the first division, because other enactments were proposed as accompaniments to the measure, and I wished to know, before giving my vote, the precise nature of these and whether they were to be adopted. I afterwards found that they were neither to be included in the bill nor to accompany it [and] I therefore voted against the bill ... In Parliament I twice stated most fully my reasons for the line of conduct which I pursued [which] renders your misstatement the more extraordinary.

‘Surely the noble lord does not mean to convey that he either stated reasons or spoke at all!’, retorted the paper, adding that as ‘the names exactly correspond with the numbers’ in the voting lists, ‘we think his memory has been somewhat treacherous on this matter’. Ennismore reaffirmed his account at the hustings, when, during the course of a lengthy ‘catechising’ by John Boyle, editor of the Freeholder, he declared that he ‘would support any measure accompanied by securities, but ... not ... simple emancipation’. Declining to comment on the ‘private family matter’ of whether he had tried to ‘dissuade’ his eldest son William from standing as a supporter of emancipation in county Kerry, he observed, ‘I yield to him the right of his own judgement’, whereupon he was accused of ‘denying to the Catholics that right which you allow to your son’. The opposition having withdrawn owing to the state of the registry, he was returned unopposed, ‘a little shaken’ and regarded as ‘shuffling’ on the ‘great measure’.15

In November 1826 he urged Liverpool to attend to his request for a baronetcy for Arthur Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy, county Kerry.16 On 6 Mar. 1827 he appeared with his son William, Member for Kerry, in the minority for Catholic claims, but that day he was listed by Planta, the patronage secretary, as a ‘Protestant’ and he was later added to the hostile majority by The Times.17 He died v.p., ‘suddenly’ of a ‘violent attack of apoplexy’, in September 1827, it being observed that there were ‘those who believed that his lordship would, at no distant day’ have been found ‘acting in concert’ with his son.18

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Philip Salmon


  • 1. Lansdowne mss, Spring Rice to Lansdowne, 2 Sept. 1825; TCD, Donoughmore mss D/27/1; Southern Reporter, 17 June 1826.
  • 2. Black Bk. (1823), 154; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 462.
  • 3. Add. 38195, f. 97.
  • 4. Add. 38282, f. 371; 38283, f. 100.
  • 5. Dublin Evening Post, 9, 11, 14, 16 Mar. 1820.
  • 6. Add. 38380, f. 148.
  • 7. The Times, 8 May 1821.
  • 8. Ibid. 27 Apr., 21 May 1822.
  • 9. Ibid. 22 Apr. 1823.
  • 10. Add. 38411, ff. 126, 232.
  • 11. The Times, 7, 8, 20 May 1824.
  • 12. O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1176.
  • 13. Cork Constitution, 26 May 1825.
  • 14. The Times, 29 Apr., 4 May 1825.
  • 15. Southern Reporter, 17, 20, 22 June; Cork Constitution, 22 June 1826.
  • 16. Add. 38301, f. 97.
  • 17. Add. 40398, f. 311; The Times, 6 Mar. 1827.
  • 18. Southern Reporter, 25 Sept. 1827; Gent. Mag. (1827), ii. 366.