INGRAM, Arthur, 3rd Visct. Irwin [S] (1666-1702), of Templenewsam, Whitkirk, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Dec. 1693 - Nov. 1701
Dec. 1701 - 21 June 1702

Family and Education

bap. 25 Jan. 1666, 2nd s. of Henry Ingram, 1st Visct. Irwin [S], of Templenewsam by Lady Essex, da. of Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, sis. of Hon. George Montagu†.  m. 6 Oct. 1685, Isabella (d.1764), da. and coh. of John Machell*, 9s. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. bro. Edward, 2nd Visct. Irwin [S], as 3rd Visct. 16 Sept. 1688.1

Offices Held

V.-adm. Yorks. 1692–1702; freeman, Scarborough 1693; gov. Scarborough Castle 1694–1702; ld. lt. N. Riding, Yorks. 1699–1702.2


Lord Irwin was the grandson of Sir Arthur Ingram†, a Parliamentarian, and the nephew of Sir Thomas Ingram†, a Royalist who represented Thirsk after the Restoration. In 1670 some of his father’s estates were sold by Act of Parliament for the payment of debts. At the time of the Revolution in 1688 it was reported that Irwin had left his home ‘very privately’, telling neither his wife nor his father-in-law of his plans. Instead of joining the Earl of Danby (Sir Thomas Osborne†) at York, Irwin went to Leicester accompanied by ‘sixteen men well-armed’, in order to accompany Princess Anne first to Oxford and then to London. The expedition was said to have cost him £500. In 1689 he was active in settling the Yorkshire militia in co-operation with Danby (now Marquess of Carmarthen). Appointed vice-admiral of Yorkshire in April 1692, he and his agents were employed in pressing seamen for the navy, with varying degrees of success. At the West Riding sessions at Leeds in 1693 Irwin boxed Sir William Lowther* on the ear over a right of way. Lowther brought a charge of assault, and Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†), the Tory secretary of state, issued a caveat that no royal pardon should be granted without his approval. It was not until after the fall of Nottingham that proceedings against Irwin ceased.3

Irwin first stood for Parliament at a by-election in December 1693 at Scarborough. The previous month he had been made a freeman of the borough, on which occasion he had given £50 ‘for the use of Scarborough corporation’. He was returned following a close contest, which cost him £679 12s. 9d. In January 1694 he was informed that the town of Leeds was much opposed to a free trade bill then pending before the House which threatened the interests of the Hamburg Company and the market in English woollens. However, he does not appear to have paid much heed to such matters, and proved an inactive Member. He was back in London by the end of the year, sending his wife a copy of a Jacobite ballad which he had been told would be sung at Queen Mary’s funeral. During January 1695 he sent her the votes of the House, saying he would have been home before but could not get leave of absence. As she had been ‘so godly’ in her last letter, he sent her a copy of the sermon preached on the Sunday after the Queen died, adding ‘you talk of meeting in Heaven, but I hope we shall meet in Yorkshire before we meet there’. The following month he again expressed his desire to leave ‘this nasty town’. At this time his interest in Scarborough was made greater by his appointment as governor of the castle, though it did mean that borough affairs, in theory, became a greater concern for him. In early 1695 the Scarborough corporation wrote to him requesting that he prepare an address to the King expressing their concerns over rates of ‘chimney money’.4

In September 1695 Irwin was given notice by Charles Montagu* that the King intended to call a new Parliament, and that he should go to Scarborough to secure his interest. The following month Irwin was returned in a contested election. He was forecast as likely to support the government in the divisions on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696. He was granted leave of absence on 21 Feb. for one month, which was extended on 16 Mar., when the House was informed of his readiness to take the Association. A correspondent wrote to him from London on the 21st that Parliament ‘was all yesterday about settling of guineas, but could not do it, so the town is in a confusion’. Irwin was listed as having voted with the government for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In April he went to Doncaster to sign the Association, accompanied by 200 horsemen. He was still in Yorkshire in August, when Christopher Stockdale* sent him an account of parliamentary proceedings, and was absent from the division on the attainder of Sir John Fenwick† in November. However, the concerns of Scarborough corporation came to the fore once more the following month, when they wrote to both their MPs requesting information on the grants of charters to corporations, and asking for their help in securing a renewal of Scarborough’s charter. This does not appear to have caused Irwin any great concern, however, for on 8 Feb. 1697 he was granted leave of absence for the recovery of his health. His absence from a call of the House was noted on 16 Dec. when he was ordered to attend. He was granted leave of absence once again on 17 Mar. 1698. At the general election later that year he was returned unopposed for Scarborough, and in September was classed as a Court supporter in a comparative analysis of the old and new House of Commons. Despite receiving a petition from the corporation of Leeds soliciting support for the Aire and Calder navigation bill in February 1699, Irwin appears to have been inactive throughout the 1698–1700 Parliament, and was granted further leave of absence on 23 Mar. 1699 and 9 Mar. 1700; in the latter year he was classed as an adherent of the Junto in an analysis of the House by ‘interests’. In August 1699 Irwin was made lord lieutenant of the North Riding, as one of several significant Whig appointments in the county following the dismissal of Carmarthen (now Duke of Leeds) from his Yorkshire offices.5

In August 1701 it was reported that the Yorkshire gentry had decided to ‘change their knight of the shire, Sir John Kaye [2nd Bt.], as thinking him too lukewarm, and they will choose Lord Irwin in his stead, who has accepted of their kindness and will offer himself at the next election’. In that same month Irwin commenced his campaign for the county election, canvassing Yorkshire gentry, peers and the archbishop of York for their individual and group support. Many of the gentry assured him of their interest, and actively canvassed on his behalf. He also secured the significant support of the Duke of Newcastle (John Holles†), Lord Wharton (Hon. Thomas*) and other Whig grandees, as well as that of Lord Downe (Hon. Henry Dawnay*). Kaye’s decision not to contest the election prevented any competition, and Irwin was returned unopposed. At the same time Irwin successfully recommended William Thompson II to replace him as MP for Scarborough.6

After the accession of Queen Anne Irwin was removed as lord lieutenant of the North Riding, though by that time he was nearing death. Previously it was reported on 7 Feb. 1702 that he was ‘very ill and . . . weak. You never saw him so shrunk in all your time as he is now and I believe his lordship thinks he is going the way of all flesh.’ Later in the month Irwin’s condition was said to have improved to some extent, and by March he had recovered sufficiently to begin to make an interest for the next election, at which he proposed to combine interests with Lord Fairfax (Thomas*). However, Irwin was ill once again in May, though expected to recover. He had erected ‘a very noble monument’ at Whitkirk to the memory of his brother, at a cost of £700, but did not live to see it long, as he died on 21 June 1702, and was buried there on 8 July. Three of Irwin’s sons represented Horsham in the Hanoverian period, while five of them succeeded in turn to the viscountcy, the last also serving as a chaplain to the Commons.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. HMC 8th Rep. pt.1, p. 151.
  • 2. HMC Var. viii. 72; W. Yorks. Archs. (Leeds), Temple Newsam mss TN/P010/3, bill for admission as freeman, Nov. 1693; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 153.
  • 3. HMC 8th Rep. 151; HMC Var. 67–68, 72–77; Egerton 3337, f. 63; CSP Dom. 1693, p. 339; 1694–5, pp. 435, 494, 506.
  • 4. Temple Newsam mss TN/P010/3, bill for £50 and election expenses, Nov. 1693; TN/LA/3/5, petition of several Leeds cloth merchants, [n.d.]; HMC Var. 73–74, 77–79; N. Yorks. RO, Scarborough bor. recs. DC/SCB/II/1/3, common hall mins. 1664–96, f. 136.
  • 5. HMC Var. 81–84; Temple Newsam mss TN/LA/5/1/1, petition from Leeds corporation, 1 Feb. 1699; Scarborough bor. recs. DC/SCB/II/1/4, common hall mins. 1696–1743, 4 Dec. 1696; N. Yorks. RO, Worsley mss ZON13/1/220, (Sir) Thomas Frankland I* (2nd Bt.) to Thomas Worsley I*, 3 Aug. 1699; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/2/2, James* to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, 22 Aug. 1699.
  • 6. Add. 40775, f. 67; Glos. RO, Sharp mss 4/B39, Irwin to abp. of York, 5 Sept. 1701; Speck thesis, 264.
  • 7. Glassey, 153; Temple Newsam mss TN/C9/182, 186, 188, 224, George Hollings to John Roades, 7, 12, 14 Feb. 1701[–2], 21 Mar. 1701[–2], TN/C9/233, ? to Irwin, 10 Apr. 1702; Glos. RO, Newton mss D.1844/C/10, Timothy Kiplin to Sir John Newton, 23 May 1702; Thoresby Diary, i. 348, 372.