Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Number of voters:
|1801||ARTHUR COLE HAMILTON|
|31 July 1802||HON. JOHN BERESFORD|
|24 Dec. 1802||WILLIAM BURROUGHS vice Beresford, chose to sit for co. Waterford|
|14 Mar. 1806||JOHN KING vice Burroughs, appointed to office|
|31 July 1806||WILLIAM HENRY FREMANTLE vice King, vacated his seat|
|20 Nov. 1806||NATHANIEL SNEYD|
|14 Jan. 1807||RICHARD HENRY ALEXANDER BENNET vice Sneyd, chose to sit for co. Cavan|
|14 May 1807||CHARLES WILLIAM POCHIN|
|26 Oct. 1812||RICHARD MAGENIS|
|24 June 1818||RICHARD MAGENIS|
Enniskillen, a burgess borough by prescription, was completely in the pocket of the earls of Enniskillen (Cole). It had been since the 17th century, and in 1836 the report on Irish corporations stated that, of the 15 members of the governing body, four were the earl’s relations and the rest his private or professional friends, so that his influence was still ‘paramount’.1
Before the Union it was the usual practice of the family to return a kinsman for one seat and sell the other. Subsequently it became their practice to sell the one remaining seat. In 1802 Beresford was returned as a ‘seat warmer’ until the family could conclude satisfactory terms with government on the basis of £5,000 for the Parliament. After somewhat tortuous negotiations, the government nominated Burroughs as their purchaser.2 When he vacated in 1806, he duly offered the seat to Lord Wellesley, who favoured his friend the prime minister with it. Government therefore in effect returned King and Fremantle in turn.3 At the general election of 1806, Enniskillen returned another seat warmer, Sneyd, in case his brother lost his election for the county. As this did not happen, Enniskillen made the same arrangement with government as in 1802 and repeated it with their successors in 1807.4
In 1812 and 1818 Enniskillen abandoned the practice of allowing government to name purchasers who were complete strangers in favour of a private arrangement with Magenis, who, as his brother-in-law and a local gentleman friendly to ministers, to some extent satisfied all parties.5
Author: P. J. Jupp
- 1. Rep. on Munic. Corps. in Ireland (1836), xxiv. 1085.
- 2. Dublin SPO 520/131/11; Add. 35714, f. 199; 35737, ff. 62, 134, 160; Wickham mss 1/46/25, Wickham to Addington, 5 Nov. 1802.
- 3. Wellington mss, Burroughs to Wellesley, 23 Sept. 1807.
- 4. HMC Fortescue, viii. 399, 404; Wellington Supp. Despatches, v. 22; Wellington mss, Long to Wellesley, 11 May 1807; NLS mss 12918, Fremantle to Elliot, 18 Nov. 1806; Whitbread mss W1/896.
- 5. Add. 40280, f. 41.