1887 Dublin University by-election

The 1887 Dublin University by-election was a parliamentary by-election held for the United Kingdom House of Commons constituency of Dublin University on 7–12 July 1887.[1]

The by-election resulted from the resignation of Hugh Holmes, one of the members in this two-seat constituency, following his appointment as a high court judge. Two candidates were nominated: Richard Clere Parsons, an engineer and third son of the Earl of Rosse,[2] and Dodgson Hamilton Madden, a serjeant-at-law. Parsons received 712 votes; Madden received 1,376 and was therefore elected.[3][4]

John Thomas Ball, a former Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was on Madden's support committee and seconded his nomination on 7 July. At the time, Ball was one of the Lords Justices of Ireland deputising for Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry, the absent Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Members of the irish Parliamentary Party complained in the Commons that Ball's action was inappropriate.[5]


1887 Dublin University by-election[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Unionist Dodgson Madden 1,376 65.9 N/A
Irish Unionist Richard Clare Parsons 712 34.1 N/A
Majority 664 31.8 N/A
Turnout 2,088 51.0 N/A
Registered electors 4,092
Irish Unionist hold Swing N/A


  1. ^ Craig, F.W.S. (1987). Chronology of British Parliamentary By-elections 1833–1987. Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 289.
  2. ^ ‘PARSONS, Hon. Richard Clere’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 6 June 2013
  3. ^ The Times, 9 July 1887
  4. ^ The Constitutional Year Book, 1904, published by Conservative Central Office, page 195 (219 in web page)
  5. ^ "Contested Elections—The Lord Justices as Governors of Ireland". Hansard. Vol. HC Deb vol 317. 8 July 1887. cc221–222. Retrieved 5 November 2022.
  6. ^ Walker, B.M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.