BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER [EARL OF CLANRICARDE’S COPY]
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The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the United Church of England and Ireland: Together with The Psalter, or Psalms of David. London: Published for John Reeves, Esq. one of the Patentees of the Office of King’s Printer. Sold by J. Wright, Piccadilly, 1801. Contemporary full calf, covers framed by double fillets and dotted border. Professionally restored flat spine with gilt tooling and title. Inscribed on front free endpaper ‘Clanricarde / given to him at Portumna / 1856’. Spine starting to split. All edges gilt. A very good copy. Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde KP, PC (1802-1874), styled Lord Dunkellin until 1808 and known as The Earl of Clanricarde between 1808 and 1825, was a British Whig politician. Born at Belmont, Hampshire, Clanricarde was the son of General John de Burgh, 13th Earl of Clanricarde, and Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Burke of Marble Hill, 1st Baronet. Henry de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde, was his uncle. He succeeded in the earldom in July 1808 at the age of five, on the death of his father. He was educated at Eton. Burgh was a member of the Anglican Church, like his father, although his mother was a Catholic.
In 1825, at the age of 24, Clanricarde was created Marquess of Clanricarde in the Peerage of Ireland, a revival of the title which had become extinct on his uncle’s death in 1797. The following year he was made Baron Somerhill, of Somerhill in the County of Kent, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which entitled him to a seat in the House of Lords. In January 1826 the Earl of Liverpool appointed him as Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (alongside Lord Howard de Walden), a post he held until August of the same year. In 1830 he joined the Whig government of Lord Grey as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard (Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords, which he remained until 1834. He was sworn of the Privy Council in December 1830.
Between 1838 and 1840 Lord Clanricarde served as Ambassador to Russia. In 1846 he was appointed Postmaster General, with a seat in the cabinet, by Lord John Russell, an office he retained until the government fell in 1852. He held his last ministerial post when he was briefly Lord Privy Seal under Lord Palmerston for a few weeks in February 1858. Apart from his political career he was also Lord- Lieutenant of County Galway between 1831 and 1874. In 1831 he was made a Knight of the Order of St Patrick.
De Burgh was a substantial landowner in County Galway, with his Norman-descended family holding their seat at Portumna. During the years of the Great Hunger in Ireland, his record was mixed. A supporter of the British Whigs and sitting member of the Russell Ministry, his principal aim was upholding the interests of the Anglo-Irish landowning class. Although he did not initiate mass clearances of destitute tenants from the estates, as Palmerston and Lansdowne were notoriously known for, there were more small-scale displacements over a longer period of time. Burgh was the Crown’s Lord Lieutenant of Galway during the Famine and did not condemn the large-scale evictions by his fellow Galway landowners, John Gerrard (and his wife Marcella Netterville) at Ballinlass, Christopher St George at Connemara and Patrick Blake at Tully.
On the other hand, De Burgh highlighted in his correspondence with Russell and the Whig administration in Ireland the plight of starving tenants. He advocated a paternalistic state intervention, rather than a purely laissez-faire approach. He suggested state sponsored public works and land drainage and sought to have corn depots set up in Loughrea and Portumna to distribute food. He donated some monies to local relief committees and supported financially assisting the emigration of poor tenants; this issue is controversial due to the fact that it still meant the displacement of the native population from the land, but supporters argue that it would have at least saved more lives (Charles Trevelyan opposed such programs). De Burgh did not initiate any private work schemes on the estates under his control for tenants, like some neighbouring landlords, nor did he improve agriculture on the estates.
Lord Clanricarde married the Hon. Harriet Canning (1804-1876), daughter of Prime Minister George Canning, on 4 April 1825 at Gloucester Lodge in Brompton. The couple had seven children: Lady Elizabeth Joanna de Burgh, married Henry Lascelles, 4th Earl of Harewood; Ulick Canning de Burgh, Lord Dunkellin; Lady Emily Charlotte de Burgh, married Richard Boyle, 9th Earl of Cork; Lady Catherine de Burgh, married John Weyland, and together they had a son. Lady Margaret Anne de Burgh, married Wentworth Beaumont, 1st Baron Allendale; Hubert George de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde; Lady Harriet Augusta de Burgh, married Thomas Frederick Charles Vernon- Wentworth, maternal grandson Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Marquess of Ailesbury. They had a son, and daughter.
Lord Clanricarde died at Stratton Street, Piccadilly, London, in April 1874, aged 71, and was succeeded in the Marquessate by his second but only surviving son, Hubert. The Marchioness of Clanricarde died in January 1876, aged 71.
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