HAYES, Sir Edmund Samuel, 3rd bt. (1806-1860), of Drumboe Castle, co. Donegal

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



1831 - 30 June 1860

Family and Education

b. 2 July 1806, o.s. of Sir Samuel Hayes, 2nd bt., of Drumboe and Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Lighton, 1st bt., MP [I], of Merville, co. Dublin. educ. Trinity, Dublin 1823. m. 3 July 1837, Emily, da. of Hon. Hercules Robert Pakenham*, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 10da. suc. fa. as 3rd bt. 16 Sept. 1827. d. 23 June 1860.

Offices Held

Sheriff, co. Donegal 1830-1.


Hayes’s great-grandfather Challis (or Charles) Hayes of Bridgwater, Somerset, who married Deborah Holditch of Totnes, Devon, was vice-consul in Lisbon, where he was murdered by his servant in 1737. His only son Samuel, who worked as a London surgeon, married the heiress Mary Basil and so gained the valuable estate of Drumboe in the north of Ireland. As Member for Augher, 1783-90, he was an inactive opposition Whig, but he was awarded an Irish baronetcy on 27 Aug. 1789, and, presumably through his friendship with Lord Abercorn, he served as joint-governor of Donegal, 1789-1800. Following the general election of 1797 he quarrelled with one of the county Donegal Members, Alexander Montgomery, who apparently alleged that Hayes was ‘an old pintle farrier: his father was kept on charity and his mother was a Brazil mulatta slave’. A duel ensued, in which Hayes was slightly wounded twice without hitting his opponent. On his death in 1807 he was succeeded by his only son and namesake, an army officer, who also became a governor of their county. In 1803 he had married the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Lighton, who began life as a Strabane trader but made a fortune in India, represented Tuam, 1790-7, and Carlingford, 1798-1800, as a ministerialist and ended his days a wealthy Dublin banker.1

On the death of his father, who had signed the anti-Catholic petition of the Irish noblemen and gentlemen earlier that year, Hayes inherited Drumboe Castle and the baronetcy in September 1827.2 He moved the resolution for the subscription to fund the Donegal Brunswick Club at the county meeting on 25 Sept. 1828, and spoke in defence of the Protestant constitution at another, 5 Jan. 1829.3 As sheriff, he presided at the Donegal election in 1830, when he explained that he would have resigned this office to stand against the sitting pro-Catholic Member Lord Mount Charles had he not believed that a stout Protestant would have come forward. At the general election the following spring, when he was praised in the Ultra press as an ‘estimable and upright young gentleman’, he successfully contested Donegal with another anti-Catholic landowner against two reformers.4 He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and to postpone consideration of the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July 1831. He made his maiden speech, defending the independency of the magistracy, on the Irish lord lieutenants bill, 15 Aug. He divided against issuing the Liverpool writ, 5 Sept., and for inquiry into the effects of the renewal of the Sugar Refinery Act on the West India interest, 12 Sept., when he was listed in the minority against committing the truck bill. He voted against the third reading, 19 Sept., and passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. He divided against the Maynooth grant, 26 Sept. 1831, 27 July 1832.

Hayes signed the requisition for and was present at the abortive anti-reform meeting in county Donegal, 14 Jan. 1832, when he was described by a radical paper as a ‘brainless booby’; on the 17th, at the Protestant meeting in Dublin, he denounced the Catholic priesthood for having orchestrated the disturbances which led to its cancellation.5 Having missed the division on the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, he voted against the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar., and for Waldo Sibthorp’s amendment on Lincoln freeholders, 23 Mar. He divided for the Liverpool disfranchisement bill, 23 May, and Alexander Baring’s bill to exclude insolvent debtors from Parliament, 25 June. He voted against the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and to preserve the voting rights of Irish freemen, 2 July. He brought up many petitions, 4 Apr., 25 June, 2, 27 July, against the ministerial plan for Irish education, against which he spoke and voted, 23 July. He condemned the Irish tithes bill as destructive to the established church, 30 Mar., and voted against Crampton’s amendment to it, 9 Apr., although he divided in the majority for the introduction of another bill, 13 July. He was naturally expected to join the Protestant Conservative Society of Ireland that summer.6 His speech (and vote) against the Irish party processions bill as a blatantly partial measure, 25 June, was praised in Ulster, although following its withdrawal he used his position as grandmaster of the Orange Order in Donegal to urge restraint prior to the marches on 12 July.7 His only other known votes in this Parliament were with opposition against the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July. A founder member of the Carlton Club in March, Hayes was returned unopposed for Donegal as a Conservative at the general election of 1832 and sat for the rest of his life. He died in June 1860 and was succeeded in turn by his two surviving sons, Samuel Hercules (1840-1901), an army officer, and Edmund Francis (1850-1912), on whose death the baronetcy became extinct.8

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


  • 1. Hist. Irish Parl. iv. 387; v. 94; Intro. to Abercorn Letters ed. J.H. Gebbie, 201-2.
  • 2. Add. 40392, f. 5; PROB 11/1749/708.
  • 3. Enniskillen Chron. 2 Oct. 1828; Impartial Reporter, 15 Jan. 1829.
  • 4. Enniskillen Chron. 26 Aug. 1830, 2 June; Strabane Morning Post, 3, 24 May; Impartial Reporter, 5 May 1831.
  • 5. Ballyshannon Herald, 13, 20 Jan.; Newry Examiner, 18 Jan.; Enniskillen Chron. 26 Jan. 1832.
  • 6. NLI, Farnham mss 18611 (3), Lefroy to Farnham, 4 June 1832.
  • 7. Ballyshannon Herald, 6 July; Londonderry Sentinel, 7 July 1832.
  • 8. Ballyshannon Herald, 29 June 1860.