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Hubert de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde

"Old Wares"
Clanricarde as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, May 1900

Hubert George de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde (30 November 1832 – 12 April 1916) was an Anglo-Irish ascendancy nobleman and politician.


He was the son of Ulick de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde and his wife Harriet, daughter of British Prime Minister George Canning. He was unmourned in Ireland, where he had a reputation as one of the worst and most repressive absentee landlords in the country. His estate in Portumna, County Galway, comprising 52,000 acres (21,000 ha), yielded 25,000 sterling yearly in rents paid by 1,900 tenants, and was a main target during the 1887 Plan of Campaign fought for fair rents by the Irish Parliamentary Party.

Clanricarde's opposition was so obdurate that a minister commented: "... what right has Clanricarde to be treated better than a lunatic or an orphan?"[1] The estate papers contain letters from the Earl which provide ample evidence of his heartless attitude. His land agent John Blake was murdered in 1882. In 1888 the Earl wrote to Chief Secretary Balfour "the western Irish cannot be kept up to their contracts without the threat of eviction."[citation needed]

Upon the suggestion of Arthur Balfour, the Irish members of parliament submitted a bill to parliament for expropriation of his estates. The Prime Minister, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman expressed his approval of the bill and denounced Clanricarde in parliament in language described as 'scathing'. Never had Clanicarde visited his estates, despite the many thousands of families that had been evicted from them during that time, resulting in mass destitution. "So universal is the execration in which this particular nobleman is held by people of every political party that when the question of this bill was put to the vote by the speaker, liberals, liberal unionists and conservatives all voted with the Irish party, only three of the nearly 700 members of the house of Commons opposing the vote, which would otherwise have been unanimous."[2]

From 1891 onwards the Congested Districts Board attempted to compulsorily purchase the estate but were not successful until 1915.[3] Upon his death all his peerages became extinct, save the second creation of the earldom of Clanricarde, which passed by special remainder to the 6th Marquess of Sligo.

He died in 1916, aged 83, in London, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery, Highgate, London.


  1. ^ Notes on Clanricarde during the Campaign
  2. ^ Cunliffe-Owen, Margarete Letter of Marquis de Fontenoy, "Chicago Tribune, 18 December 1906
  3. ^ "The Clanricarde Estate". Moving Here. Retrieved 4 December 2010.