BERNARD, Francis, Visct. Bernard (1810-1877), of Castle Bernard, Bandon, co. Cork
Available from Cambridge University Press
Family and Education
b. 3 Jan. 1810, 1st s. of James Bernard, Visct. Bernard*, and Mary Susan Albinia, da. of Rev. the Hon. Charles Brodrick, abp. of Cashel. educ. Oriel, Oxf. m. 16 Aug. 1832, Catherine Mary, da. of Thomas Whitmore of Apley, Salop, 1s. 6da. styled Visct. Bernard 1830-56. suc. fa. as 3rd earl of Bandon [I] 31 Oct. 1856. d. 17 Feb. 1877.
Rep. peer [I] 1858-d.; ld. lt. co. Cork 1874-d.
Three days after coming of age Bernard was returned as his father’s successor for Bandon Bridge, where the family had alternate control of the representation. (A public dinner in the town to mark his majority had been ‘suspended’ following the death of his grandfather, the 1st earl of Bandon, in November 1830.)1 He presented petitions for a day of public fasting and prayer, 11, 21 Feb., and for the abolition of slavery, 7, 29 Mar. 1831. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He is not known to have spoken in debate in this period. At the ensuing dissolution he vacated for the nominee of the other patron, a reformer, only to be put in nomination and returned in absentia by rebel Tory burgesses of the corporation, who refused to comply with his father’s wishes. ‘Deferring to filial delicacy’, he took the Chiltern Hundreds, 4 July 1831.2 (Subsequent votes attributed to him were clearly in error.) His nomination in absentia at the ensuing by-election was evidently intended to assist the return of the other patron’s candidate, ‘it being well known that ... if re-elected’, he ‘would again vacate’.3
Bernard unsuccessfully contested county Cork as a Conservative at the general elections of 1832 and 1835. He came in again unopposed for Bandon Bridge on a vacancy in 1842 and sat undisturbed until his succession as 3rd earl in 1856. He died in 1877 and was succeeded in the earldom by his only son James Francis (1850-1924).