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

Old Leighlin

The borough of Old Leighlin belonged to the diocese of Ferns and the return was made by the bishop, almost invariably on the advice of the government of the day. These ecclesiastical corporations often contained a high proportion of clergy looking for advancement, and - as their bishop had similar ambitions - it was usually, but not invariably, easy for government to control the return of their representatives. Nevertheless, problems could arise. For instance, in 1772 Sir Archibald Acheson (0001) wrote to the Lord Lieutenant asking him to translate Bishop Cope from Clonfert to Ferns, as then he could return Acheson's two sons for Old Leighlin at the next election.77 This translation did not take place until 1782, and the bishop was allowed to return one of Acheson's sons (0004) in 1783. Then, in 1787, the other MP, Henry Lawes Luttrell (1285) succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Carhampton and Thomas Conolly moved for a writ for a new return. The Attorney General, John Fitzgibbon (0749), opposed, considering that they ought to wait until Luttrell had taken his seat. However, the Speaker, John Foster, supported Conolly, being aware that the Bishop of Ferns wanted to bring in his nephew, Mr Archdall,while the government wanted him to bring in Mr Leslie (1225).78 In this case Bishop Cope felt, correctly, that he was unlikely to be promoted and might defy the wishes of government with impunity; nevertheless, Leslie was returned. The borough was disfranchised by the Act of Union and £15,000 was paid to the Commissioners of First Fruits to be used at their discretion.79

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Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280