Charles Tottenham

Tottenham, Charles, a member of the Irish House of Commons, was born about 1685. He resided at Tottenham Green, Wexford, and sat for the borough of New Ross. In 1731 a great opposition was set on foot to a proposal that a surplus of £60,000 in the revenue should be made over to the British Government. Tottenham, hearing that the division was coming on sooner than had been expected, rode on horseback from Wexford to Dublin. Getting down at the House of Commons, he was stopped by the serjeant-at-arms, who reported to the Speaker that a member was trying to enter the House without being in full dress, as was customary. After some hesitation, the Speaker decided that he had no power to exclude him, and the bold rider, splashed from head to foot, and wearing jack-boots, strode in, gave his vote, which proved to be a deciding one, and defeated the unpopular measure. Thenceforward he was known and toasted as "Tottenham in his boots." He died 20th September 1758, aged about 73. A portrait of him, in huge jack-boots reaching his thighs, was shown at the National Portrait Exhibition in Dublin in 1872.


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