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Antrim County (Parliament of Ireland constituency)


The county constituency was enfranchised as a Parliamentary constituency at an uncertain date, between the first known meeting of the Parliament in 1264 and the division of the area into baronies in 1584. It sent two knights of the shire to the Irish House of Commons.

The county was represented in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, under the Instrument of Government, after it was established in 1654. It was part of the Down, Antrim and Armagh (constituency). Following the restoration of the King in 1660 the Parliament of Ireland was re-established and the constituency again returned two Members of Parliament. See First Protectorate Parliament for the list of Irish constituencies during the Protectorate. In the Patriot Parliament of 1689 summoned by King James II, Antrim County was represented with two members.[1]

Boundaries and Boundary ChangesEdit

1264-1800: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis discusses the administrative history of Antrim. It is uncertain when Antrim was made a County and given representation as such in Parliament. Something like the modern arrangements seem to have originated in 1584 when the Lord Deputy Sir John Perrot divided the area into baronies. From whatever point the county constituency existed it comprised the whole of County Antrim, excluding the parts in the borough constituencies of Antrim Borough (from 1666), Belfast (1613), Carrickfergus (1326), Lisburn (1661) and Randalstown (1683).

Members of ParliamentEdit

Election First member First party Second member Second party
1585 Edward Berkeley Shane McBrien O'Neill
1613 Sir Fulke Conway Sir Moyses Hill[2]
1634 Arthur Chichester John Clotworthy
1639 Sir Roger Langford
1660 Sir John Clotworthy Sir George Rawdon[3]
1661 Sir John Skeffington, Bt John Davys
1665 Sir Toby (or John) Poyntz, vice Skeffington succeeded as 2nd Viscount Massereene[note 1] Conway Hill, Esq, vice Davys, long absent without leave[2]
1689 Patriot Parliament Cormack O'Neile Randal MacDonnell
1692 Sir Robert Colvill Clotworthy Skeffington
1695 Arthur Upton
1697 Hugh Colvill
1703 Clotworthy Skeffington Clotworthy Upton
November 1715 John Skeffington [note 2]
1715 Sir Arthur Langford, 2nd Bt
1716 Thomas Upton
1725 John Upton
1727 John Skeffington
1741 Arthur Skeffington Henry Seymour Conway
1747 Hugh Skeffington
1768 Viscount Dunluce Viscount Beauchamp
1776 Hon. Henry Seymour-Conway James Willson
1783 John O'Neill Hon. Hercules Rowley
1792 Edward Jones-Agnew
1794 Hugh Boyd
1796 John Staples
1798 Edmund Alexander Macnaghten
1801 Succeeded by the Westminster constituency Antrim


General Election 1761: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Henry Seymour Conway 663
Hugh Skeffington 659
John O'Neill 406
C. O'Hara 351
General Election 1768: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Viscount Dunluce Uncontested
Viscount Beauchamp Uncontested
General Election 1776: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Hon. Henry Seymour-Conway 1,246
James Willson 1,234
Hugh Skeffington 1,125
M. Dalway 1,021
General Election 1783: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
John O'Neill Uncontested
Hon. Hercules Rowley Uncontested
General Election 1790: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
John O'Neill 1,939
Hon. Hercules Rowley 1,867
J. Leslie 1,708
Edmund Alexander Macnaghten 1,499
Turnout 3,507
Antrim County by-election, 1793[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Hugh Boyd Uncontested
Antrim County by-election, 1795[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
John Staples Uncontested
General Election 1797: Antrim County[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
John Staples 1,984
Edmund Alexander Macnaghten 1,518
Edward Jones-Agnew 981
Turnout 4,483


  1. ^ The Lord Lieutenant wrote to the Sheriff of Antrim on 2 November 1665 recommending Poyntz as the successor of Skeffington, who had inherited a peerage in September as Viscount Massereene. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is assumed that, in this period, such a recommendation was tantamount to election.
  2. ^ Declared not duly elected in 1715


  1. ^ O'Hart (2007), p. 500
  2. ^ a b Return of Members of Parliament, Part II (1878), P605
  3. ^ Clarke, Aidan. Prelude to Restoration in Ireland: The End of the Commonwealth, 1659–1660.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Johnston-Liik, E. M. (2006). MPs in Dublin: Companion to History of the Irish Parliament, 1692-1800. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 235.


  • O'Hart, John (2007). The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed Gentry: When Cromwell came to Ireland. vol. II. Heritage Books. ISBN 0-7884-1927-7.
  • Leigh Rayment's historical List of Members of the Irish House of Commonscites: Johnston-Liik, Edith Mary (2002). The History of the Irish Parliament 1692-1800 (6 volumes). Ulster Historical Foundation.