Luke Gardiner

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Gardiner, Luke, Viscount Mountjoy, an Irish statesman, was born 7th February 1745. He for some time represented the County of Dublin in Parliament, was a Privy-Councillor, and Colonel of the Dublin Militia. Both in 1778 and 1781 he introduced measures of Catholic relief, which were partially carried; while his proposals for complete equality (on the subscription of a simple oath of allegiance, and declaration against foreign jurisdiction) were successfully opposed by FitzGibbon and others. In 1789 he was created Baron Mountjoy, and six years afterwards a viscount. Upon the Insurrection breaking out in Wexford in 1798, he hastened thither at the head of his regiment of militia, and formed a portion of General Johnson's army that took part in the battle of New Ross on the 5th June.

According to Musgrave, Lord Mountjoy fell early in the engagement, while Froude quotes authorities going far to prove that he was taken prisoner, and fell a victim to the fury of the insurgents in the course of the day. Musgrave says: "His public and private virtues made him an object of general esteem. He was possessed of high mental endowments, being an elegant scholar and a good public speaker. He had the gentlest manners and the mildest affections, warm and sincere friendship, and was so benevolent and humane that he never harboured revenge." His son, the 2nd Viscount, created Earl of Blessington, took as his second wife the well-known authoress of that name. [See BLESSINGTON, MARGUERITE.]

Sources

52. Burke, Sir Bernard: Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages. London, 1866.

141. Froude, James A.: The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century. 3 vols. London, 1872-'4.

249. Musgrave, Sir Richard: Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland. Dublin, 1801.

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