COLCLOUGH, John (1767-1807), of Tintern Abbey, co. Wexford.
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Family and Education
b. 3 Dec. 1767, 2nd s. of Vesey Colclough of Tintern Abbey, MP [I], and bro. of Caesar Colclough*. unm.
2nd lt. Heathfield cav. 1796.
Colclough ‘was accused of a strong leaning to the side of the United Irishmen at the time of the Rebellion’ but was declared ‘perfectly cured ... of this frenzy’ by the Castle doctors in 1806. He was returned unopposed for his county at the instigation of the Grenville ministry who perceived that his elder brother, whose proxy he had been, was unlikely to return from France to occupy the seat. In his address he referred to the ‘unsullied parliamentary reputation’ of his ancestors and to his ‘independent unambitious mind’. He gave a silent support to the ministry and on 9 Apr. 1807 voted against their successors. The Marquess of Ely had offered to buy a seat for Colclough if he had stood down in 1806, but he declined it. This cost him his life, for on 30 May 1807, when his defeat at the poll was imminent, he was shot dead in a duel by his antagonist Alcock, who accused him of tenant vote poaching. ‘That’s one way of getting an election’ commented George Tierney. In Jonah Barrington’s eyes Colclough was a popular martyr.
HMC Fortescue, viii. 408, 417; Dublin Evening Post, 1 Nov. 1806; Gent. Mag. (1807), i. 593; Procs. of the late co. of Wexford election (1807); Add. 51585, Tierney to Holland, Fri. [5 June 1807]; Personal Sketches, i. 300-6.