Local boy Hugh Howard (Bushy Park) features in this week’s Irish Times’ History of Ireland in 100 objects. He was rewarded with the job of Postmaster General in return for voting for the Act of Union in 1800. Howard’s elder brothers were the Earl of Wicklow (Shelton Abbey) and Viscount Wicklow.
Howard’s daughter Theodosia would go on to be 5th Viscount Powerscourt’s second wife, when he remarried in 1822 (he died the following year).
Bribery was a feature of the Act of Union. Lord Monck at Charleville became 1st Viscount Monck in 1801 in return for his support. Powerscourt was one of only five Lords who voted against Union—he reportedly told one of the king’s messengers who came to offer him a marquess (roughly equivalent to an earldom) in return for support for the Union that he would not be bribed (one version of the story has Powerscourt kicking the messenger down the stairs!).