PARSONS, John Clere (1760-1826), of Hampstead, Glasnevin, co. Dublin

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1818 - July 1821

Family and Education

b. 29 Jan. 1760, 2nd s. of William Parsons, 4th Bt., MP [I], of Birr Castle, King's Co. by Mary, da. and h. of John Clere, MP [I], of Kilburry, co. Tipperary; bro. of Sir Lawrence Parsons, 5th Bt.* educ. Trinity, Dublin 1778; M. Temple 1782, called [I] 1785. m. Nov. 1805, Mary Anne, da. of William Moore, 3s. 2da.

Offices Held

KC [I] 1815; ccor. of insolvent ct. [I] 1821-d.


Parsons, one of the lesser lights of the Irish bar, was recommended to successive governments by his elder brother Sir Lawrence from 1803 onwards for judicial promotion. The official reponse was that while Parsons was said to be respectable, there wa no obvious opening for him, and when the application was renewed in October 1807 government was guided by Pitt's directive of 1805, 'that whoever was raised to the Bench should be so raised totally independent of political interests'.1 Although his promotion remained an object of his brother's, government subsequently took the view that he had been sufficiently gratified in other respects.2

In 1818 Parsons was returned on the family interest for the King's County, stepping into the shoes of his brother-in-law Hardress Lloyd. His candidature was approved by government and he was expected to support them, but made no mark in Parliament. On 22 June 1819 he voted with the majority for the extension of the franchise at Penryn. In 1821 he obtained judicial office and left Parliament. His brother described him a year later as having supported governemnt and as 'a liberal unsuspecting man ... friendly to every concession to the Catholics'.3 Parsons died 1 May 1826.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: P. J. Jupp


  • 1. Add. 35782, ff. 122-6; Wickham mss 5/44, Parsons to Addington, 23 Dec. 1803; Wellington mss, Long to Wellesley, 24 Oct. [1807]; Wellington Supp. Despatches, v. 154, 156.
  • 2. Add. 40288, f. 87.
  • 3. Glos. RO, Redesdale mss, Rosse to Redesdale, 3 May 1822.
  • 4. PRO NI, Rosse mss F/21, commonplace bk.