ARCHDALL, Mervyn I (?1724-1813), of Castle Archdall, Enniskillen, co. Fermanagh and Trilleck, co. Tyrone.
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Family and Education
b. ?1724, o. s. of Nicholas Archdall (formerly Montgomery) MP [I], of Derrygonnelly, co. Fermanagh by 1st w. Angel, da. and event. h. of William Archdall of Castle Archdall. educ. Trinity, Dublin 10 July 1740, aged 16; L. Inn 1745. m. 15 July 1762, Hon. Mary Dawson, da. of William Henry, 1st Visct. Carlow [I], 4s. 8da. suc. mother 1745, fa. 1763.
MP [I] 1761-1800.
Gov. co. Fermanagh 1756, sheriff 1773-4.
Capt. Gore’s Ft. 1760; col. co. Fermanagh drag. 1756, half-pay 1763-d.
The Archdalls represented county Fermanagh continuously from 1731 to 1885 on the basis of their property interest. Mervyn Archdall senior was in steady opposition in the Irish parliament and was a pioneer member of the Irish Whig Club, 26 June 1789. He duly opposed the Union, refusing a peerage in doing so: ‘he would rather sit at the head of the Commons, than at the tail of the Lords’. He had not taken his seat at Westminster by 25 Mar. 1801 and the Castle regarded ‘old Mervyn’ as ‘inactive’ and not likely to trouble them, though a ‘decided opposition man’. At the general election of 1802 he withdrew in favour of his son of the same name. He died 18 June 1813, aged 88.
Life of Grattan, iv. 141; H. B. Archdale, Mems. of the Archdales, 29; PRO 30/9/13, pt. 2; Add. 35735, ff. 76-82.