An Educational Charity | Charity Reg. No. NIC100280
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Charitable Objectives


Dunleer was enfranchised by Charles II in 1679, by letters patent of 30 Chas II with a corporation comprising a sovereign, 12 burgesses and as many freemen as it was seen fit to admit. The original patron of the borough was Lord Dartmouth, who sold his estate to the Tenisons. Both were negligent, and elections for the borough were disputed in 1715 and 1727. This insecurity enabled the Fosters, who were tenants of the Tenisons, to gain control of the borough. In 1735 the two families came to an agreement each to have one seat; this was sustained until the Union, when the borough was disfranchised and John Foster (0805) and Henry Coddington (0428) (through his mother Mary née Tenison) shared the £15,000 compensation equally.292 The importance of the arrangement was that it gave both Anthony Foster (0804) and his son John (0805) a safe seat. Anthony Foster sat for Dunleer from 1738 to 1760 and for Co. Louth from 1761 until 1766, when he became Chief Baron of the Exchequer. His more famous son entered politics as an MP for Dunleer when barely of age in 1761. In 1768 he was returned for Co. Louth, which he represented for the remainder of his very long parliamentary career; he became Speaker in 1785 and by 1818 the Father of the House (i.e. taking his Irish and United Kingdom service together, he was the longest-serving MP). He finally retired in 1821 when he was created Lord Oriel; he sat in the House of Lords for a further seven years.

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Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280