LOWRY CORRY, Hon. Henry Thomas (1803-1873).
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Family and Educationb. 9 Mar. 1803, 2nd s. of Somerset Lowry Corry†, 2nd Earl Belmore [I] (d. 1841), and Lady Juliana Butler, da. of Henry Thomas, 2nd earl of Carrick [I]; bro. of Armar Lowry Corry, Visct. Corry*. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1820; I. Temple 1824. m. 18 Mar. 1830, Lady Harriet Anne Ashley Cooper, da. of Cropley Ashley Cooper†, 6th earl of Shaftesbury, 2s. 2da. d. 5 Mar. 1873.
Comptroller of household Dec. 1834-May 1835; PC 23 Feb. 1835; ld. of admiralty Sept. 1841-Feb. 1845, sec. Feb. 1845-July 1846, Mar. 1858-June 1859; chairman, r. commn. on tidal harbours 1845, commr. 1845-6; commr. of charities 1866-7; vice-pres. cttee. of PC for education July 1866-Mar. 1867; first ld. of admiralty Mar. 1867-Dec. 1868.
Lowry Corry, who graduated from Oxford in 1823, joined his elder brother Lord Corry, Member for Fermanagh, in the Commons in the summer of 1825, when their father Lord Belmore put him up on his family’s significant, if latterly dormant, interest for the neighbouring county of Tyrone. (Not only Belmore, but this Member’s grandfather and great-grandfather had previously occupied the seat.)1 Nothing came of a possible contest and, described as ‘a young man of affable manners and of great promise in point of talent and qualification’, he was returned unopposed at a by-election held within a fortnight of the end of the session; Ahenis, the address given in the Returns, was his qualifying property, not his residence.2 He was an inactive supporter of Lord Liverpool’s administration, like Corry, whose voting record he almost exactly replicated, although it was he, not his brother, who divided against the emergency admission of foreign corn, 11 May 1826. As his potential challengers again stood aside, he was returned unopposed with his colleague William Stewart at the general election the following month.3
Lowry Corry missed the Protestant dinner and county meeting in Omagh, 6 Nov. and 1 Dec. 1826, but signed the anti-Catholic petition of the noblemen and gentlemen of Ireland in February and voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827.4 He divided against repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and, having brought up his county’s hostile petition, 5 May, again against Catholic claims, 12 May 1828. He voted with the Wellington ministry against reducing the salary of the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 4 July, and for Fyler’s amendment on silk duties which was carried with government support, 14 July. He professed that ‘none could be more firmly attached to Protestantism than he’ at the Orange celebration in Enniskillen, 12 Aug., and was expected to attend the meeting for the establishment of the Tyrone Brunswick Club, 26 Sept., but he apparently missed this and another county meeting, 2 Dec.5 To suggestions by the cabinet minister Lord Ellenborough in May and Belmore in December 1828 that he be considered for office, the duke of Wellington replied that it was hopeless to appoint ineffectual young men who were ‘unaccustomed to business’.6 Listed by Planta, the patronage secretary, as likely to be ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, he was considered as a possible mover or seconder of the address and was said by Ellenborough to be delighted with the king’s speech in February 1829.7 However, under pressure from his constituents, he presented hostile petitions from Tyrone and elsewhere, 18 Feb., 3, 11, 16 Mar., and voted against emancipation, 6, 18, 30 Mar., and allowing Daniel O’Connell to take his seat unimpeded, 18 May 1829.8 His parliamentary conduct was praised by a meeting of the leading interests of the county in January 1830.9 He voted against transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb., parliamentary reform, 18 Feb., and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb. He divided against Jewish emancipation, 17 May, paired against abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 7 June, and presented the Tyrone petition against the increased Irish stamp and spirit duties, 9 July. After the withdrawal of another contender, he was again returned unopposed at the general election that summer, this time with Sir Hugh Stewart, who replaced his retiring kinsman with Belmore’s blessing.10
Listed by ministers among their ‘friends’, Lowry Corry voted in their minority on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830, which led to Wellington’s resignation. He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. With the approval of his father, who was allowed to remain as governor of Jamaica despite his opposition to government, he was returned unopposed as an anti-reformer at the ensuing general election.11 He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, to postpone consideration of the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July, and against the passage of the bill, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. 1831. He divided against the Maynooth grant, 26 Sept. 1831, 27 July 1832. He voted against the second, 17 Dec. 1831, and third readings of the revised reform bill, 22 Mar., the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., the second reading of the Irish bill, 25 May, and to preserve the voting rights of Irish freemen, 2 July 1832. In his only other known votes in this period, he sided against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July, but with it for the Irish tithes bill, 13 July. In June 1832 he was considered a potential member of the Protestant Conservative Society of Ireland.12 An acknowledged expert on naval affairs, Lowry Corry, who served in several spells as a junior minister and entered the cabinet under Benjamin Disraeli† in 1867, continued to sit as Conservative Member for Tyrone until his death in March 1873.13 He was presumably succeeded in his estate by his elder son, Armar Henry (1836-93). His younger son, Montagu William (1838-1903), Disraeli’s influential private secretary, was created Baron Rowton in 1880.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Stephen Farrell
- 1. Hist. Irish Parl. v. 123-7; HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 459-60.
- 2. Enniskillen Chron. 9, 30 June 1825; Lord Belmore, Parl. Mems. of Fermanagh and Tyrone (1887), 326.
- 3. Belfast Commercial Chron. 10, 24 June 1826.
- 4. Ibid. 11 Nov., 9 Dec. 1826; Add. 40392, f. 5.
- 5. Impartial Reporter, 14 Aug., 25 Sept., 2 Oct., 11 Dec. 1828.
- 6. Ellenborough Diary, i. 132; Wellington mss WP1/971/19; 974/27.
- 7. Add. 40398, f. 86; Ellenborough Diary, i. 334.
- 8. Impartial Reporter, 5 Mar. 1829.
- 9. PRO NI, Stewart of Killymoon mss D3167/2/310.
- 10. Enniskillen Chron. 15, 22, 29 July, 12, 26 Aug. 1830.
- 11. Ibid. 5, 26 May 1831; PRO NI, Belmore mss D3007/G/30/18; O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1854.
- 12. NLI, Farnham mss 18611 (3), Lefroy to Farnham, 4 June 1832.
- 13. The Times, 7 Mar.; Impartial Reporter, 13 Mar. 1873; Ann. Reg. (1873), Chron. p. 131; DNB; Oxford DNB.