BURY, see Charles William, Charles William, Lord Tullamore (1801-1851), of 48 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 29 Apr. 1801, o. s. of Charles William Bury, MP [I], 1st Visct. Charleville [I], and Catherine Maria, da. and h. of Thomas Townley Dawson of Kinsaley, co. Dublin, wid. of James Tisdall of Bawm, co. Louth. m. 26 Feb. 1821, in Florence, Harriet Charlotte Beaujolois, da. of John Campbell† of Shawfield and Islay, Argyll, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 2 da. (1 d.v.p.). styled Lord Tullamore 1806-35; suc. fa. as 2nd earl of Charleville [I] 31 Oct. 1835. d. 14 July 1851.
Ld. of bedchamber Dec. 1834-July 1835; rep. peer [I] 1838-d.
Maj. King’s Co. militia
Tullamore was considered by Thomas Creevey* to be ‘justly entitled to the prize as by far the greatest bore the world can produce’.1 His father, an eminent classical scholar who had succeeded to the family estates of the extinct earldom of Charleville as an infant, had sat for Kilmallock in the Irish House in 1790 and from 1792 until 1797, when he was raised to the Irish barony of Tullamore. The following year he took an active part in suppressing the Irish rebellion and married Tullamore’s mother, a noted hostess of Dublin and London society.2 He was created Viscount Charleville at the Union and promoted to an earldom in 1806. In 1821 Tullamore was in Florence, where he married a granddaughter of the 5th duke of Argyll who was much admired for her beauty and reputedly ‘somewhat loose’.3 On being nominated to serve as sheriff of King’s County three years later, he wrote to Peel, the home secretary, to complain that
it will be of the most serious inconvenience to me, to be forced to accept this office, as I have business of a most pressing nature in France in the end of spring ... and some important business solely for the benefit of the county, that I am most anxious to bring forward on the grand jury ... My father also intended returning me to Parliament, should there be an election next year, which of course my appointment as sheriff will prevent and will be a great mortification to me ... I trust that from these reasons you will use your influence to prevent my appointment.
Peel’s response, that he had ‘never before’ received such an application but would transmit the letter to the lord lieutenant, prompted Tullamore to ‘regret’ that his request had been deemed ‘so unusual’ and to apologize ‘for the liberty I took’, following which Peel enclosed ‘a private letter’ from Goulburn, the Irish secretary, ‘which will prove ... that Mr. Peel did not neglect his lordship’s late communication and will perhaps remove some of Lord Tullamore’s difficulties’. Excused from the office shortly thereafter, Tullamore assured Peel of ‘how very kind and friendly I consider your interference in my favour with the Irish government, and shall always feel mindful of it’, 23 Dec. 1824.4
At the 1826 general election Tullamore was returned in absentia for the family’s pocket borough of Carlow, which his father, an Irish representative peer from 1801, had intermittently placed at government disposal since the Union.5 He voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828. He divided for the spring guns bill, 30 Mar., and against the disfranchisement of Penryn, 28 May 1827. He voted against repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb. 1828. In February 1829 he was listed by Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, as ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation. Warning that their concession ‘threatened’ the constitution, 19 Feb., he demanded that ministers first disfranchise ‘the degraded 40s. freeholders’ and ensure that the ‘baneful influence of the priests’ had ‘ceased to exist’, adding that an ‘unjustifiable deception’ had been practised on the country by the ‘defection’ of Peel. In a speech which the Whig Lord Howick* described as ‘absurd’, 27 Feb., he denounced ‘attempts to throw ridicule and contempt’ on anti-Catholic petitions, which he regularly presented thereafter, including one from the Armagh Orange institutions, 30 Mar.6 He of course voted against emancipation, 6 Mar., when Howick recorded that there ‘was a great confusion in which Tullamore contrived to lose possession of the House’, 18, 23, 27, 30 Mar.7 He complained that the measure’s opponents had been ‘undeservedly stigmatized’ as ‘base, infamous and factious ... bigots’, and warned that it was from Ireland that the Catholics had always made ‘encroachments on the relative liberties of England, and endeavoured to overturn its Protestant constitution’, 18 Mar. He voted against allowing Daniel O’Connell to take his seat unimpeded, 18 May. On 7 Apr. he endorsed a petition from the Royal Irish Canal Company against the construction of the Kilbeggan branch of the Grand Canal, which he asserted was funded by ‘public money’ that had been ‘improperly lent’, 13 May. He divided for the issue of a new writ for East Retford, 2 June. In October the Ultra leader Sir Richard Vyvyan* numbered him among ‘Tories strongly opposed to the present government’. On 17 Dec. 1829 Lord Francis Leveson Gower, the Irish secretary, in response to a patronage request from his father, asked Tullamore to clarify his attitude towards the Wellington ministry:
Charleville’s former relations towards government will I think justify me in asking you as the representative of your family in the House of Commons, whether I am to consider those relations ... still subsist. Of course I am not supposing that an independent Member of Parliament is to pledge his vote and attendance in Parliament for a situation in the stamp office for his nominee, but I think the lord lieutenant in receiving such an application has a claim to inquire without giving offence, whether your view of those measures of last session to which you were opposed, is such as to place you in opposition to the administration, or whether, as I hope and wish, that government as at present constituted may indulge a reasonable expectation of receiving your general support.8
His reply has not been found. On the address, 4 Feb. 1830, however, he insisted that national distress had been ‘exaggerated’ by opposition Members and cited returns from Lancashire and Chesterfield showing an increase in the domestic consumption of cotton.9 He was granted a month’s leave on urgent business, 1 Mar. He moved for papers on the Grand Canal Company loan, 5 Apr., and presented multiple petitions against it, 6 Apr., 11 May, when he complained of having been ‘assured’ that the Irish secretary would submit the case to the board of navigation in 1829, condemned the ‘system of jobbing in Ireland’ and made a proposal for a select committee on the grant and its legality, which was negatived without a division. He secured further returns on the matter, 17 June. He presented a Tullamore petition against increases in corn spirit duties, 4 May, and endorsed another against the introduction of an Irish poor law, 26 May. On 4 June 1830 he rejected the ‘false and unfounded’ allegations of a petition against Carlow corporation presented by O’Connell, with whom he repeatedly clashed, and insisted that freemen were ‘not entitled to vote for Members’ under its charter. The petitioners later noted that the debate had been poorly reported by the London press and that Tullamore had ‘equal cause to feel sore’, and that the corporation were ‘not a little annoyed at the speech of their Achilles not being reported’.10
At the 1830 general election the Carlow returning officer refused to grant a poll to an opposition candidate and Tullamore came in unopposed.11 A petition against his return was unsuccessful. He was listed by the Irish agent Pierce Mahony† as a ‘neutral’, but by ministers as one of the ‘moderate Ultras’ and, in brackets, an ‘enemy’ of the government; he voted against them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He defended the return to Parliament of the Dublin recorder and condemned a motion for returns on the Irish magistracy, but on finding that it had the approval of the chancellor of the exchequer withdrew his opposition, 23 Dec. 1830. That day he divided for printing the petition of Sir Harcourt Lees for repeal of the Abjuration Act. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he was again returned unopposed, the Dublin Evening Post predicting that it would be the ‘last time’ that he would ‘represent the little knot who constitute the burgesses of this place’.12 He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and at least five times to adjourn the debates, 12 July, when he accused ministers of attempting to ‘check free discussion’ and ‘expressed his intention to move a further adjournment’, declaring, ‘I rejoice that there is still a party in the House which ... will defend the rights of the minority’. Greville noted how the Tory opposition that day had
gradually dwindled down to about twenty-five people, headed by Stormont, Tullamore and Brudenell (three asses), while the government kept 180 together ... There is still a rabble of opposition, tossed about by every wind of folly and passion, and left to the vagaries and eccentricities of Wetherell, or Attwood, or Sadler, or the intemperate zeal of such weak fanatics as the three lords above, but for a grave, deliberate, efficient opposition there seem to be no longer the elements.13
Tullamore divided for use of the 1831 census to determine the disfranchisement schedules, 19 July, and to postpone consideration of the inclusion of Chippenham in B, 27 July. He voted against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. He denied that the Carlow grand jury had drunk ‘offensive toasts’ in the aftermath of the Newtownbarry massacre, 9 Aug. He presented a petition from a Tullamore distiller against the malt duty regulations, 14 Sept. He divided for a cessation of the Maynooth grant, 26 Sept. He expressed ‘surprise and disgust’ at the ministry’s appointments of ‘absentee’ Irish lord lieutenants, which were ‘a grievous insult to the resident nobility and gentry’, 6 Oct. 1831.
Tullamore voted against the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, going into committee on it, 20 Jan., the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He divided against the second reading of the Irish bill, 25 May. He voted against ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July. On 18 Apr. he obtained leave for a bill to transfer the King’s County assizes from Philipstown to the more ‘conveniently situated’ Tullamore. The bill was read a second time, 23 May, when he argued that Philipstown had ‘not kept pace with the times’ and was ‘no longer eligible for these purposes’. He presented a petition hostile to the bill the following day but two more in its favour, 30 May, when he denied having any ‘improper motives’ or involvement with the earlier transfer of Philipstown gaol to Tullamore, which had occurred when he was ‘in Naples, given over by my medical attendants, and supposed to be on the point of death ... and my father was also in Italy very unwell’. He was a majority teller for the bill that day and again on 1 June, when he clashed with George Ponsonby, whose family owned property in Philipstown. The bill was read a third time, 6 June, amended by the Lords, 22 June, and received royal assent, 4 July (2 & 3 Gul. IV, c. 60).14 He voted against the Irish party processions bill, 25 June. He argued and was a minority teller for delaying consideration of the Maynooth grant until more Members were present, 27 July. He was in a minority of 12 against the retrospective aspects of the ecclesiastical courts bill, 3 Aug. 1832.
At the 1832 general election Tullamore retired from Carlow, which had been opened by the Reform Act. He came forward on the family interest for King’s County, but withdrew to contest Penryn and Falmouth, where he was returned as a Conservative.15 He lost his seat in 1835 and failed to regain it at a by-election in May 1835. He succeeded to the peerage later that year and in 1838 was elected a representative peer. The following year he organized a petition to the throne from the magistrates of King’s County on the ‘disturbed state of their districts’.16 According to Greville, he and Lord Glengall were ‘furious’ at being passed over for office by Peel in 1841 and considered ‘Ireland, that is Orange Ireland, insulted and neglected in their persons’.17 Tullamore, who was widowed in 1848, died in the ‘neighbourhood of London’ in July 1851. He was succeeded in the peerage by his eldest son Charles William George (1822-59).18
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Philip Salmon
- 1. Creevy Pprs. ii. 288
- 2. Gent. Mag. (1835), ii. 648; (1851), i. 429; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 21-22; Von Neumann Diary, i. 23.
- 3. Disraeli Letters, i. 238, 269; Broughton, Recollections, iv. 101; Creevey Pprs. ii. 288.
- 4. Add. 40371, ff. 117, 119, 187, 189, 236.
- 5. Westmeath Jnl. 22 June; Dublin Evening Post, 15, 20, 27 June 1826.
- 6. Grey mss, Howick jnl.
- 7. Ibid. 6 Mar. 1829.
- 8. NAI, Leveson Gower letterbks. 7. B3. 22.
- 9. The Times, 5 Feb. 1830.
- 10. O'Connell Corresp. iv. 681.
- 11. Kilkenny Moderator, 11 Aug.; Dublin Evening Post, 12 Aug.; Wexford Herald, 1 Sept. 1830.
- 12. Dublin Evening Post, 5 May 1831.
- 13. Greville Mems. ii. 165.
- 14. CJ, lxxxvii. 460.
- 15. O'Connell Corresp. iv. 1940.
- 16. The Times, 7 Mar. 1839.
- 17. Greville Mems. iv. 412.
- 18. Gent. Mag. (1851), ii.317.