Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Trevor, Arthur Hill-

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

TREVOR, ARTHUR HILL-, third viscount Dungannon of the second creation in the peerage of Ireland (1798–1862), born in Berkeley Square, London, on 9 Nov. 1798, was the only surviving son of Arthur Hill-Trevor, second viscount (1763–1837), by Charlotte, third daughter of Charles Fitzroy, first baron Southampton.

His great-grandfather, Arthur Hill-Trevor (d. 1771) of Belvoir, co. Down, and Brynkinalt, Denbighshire, was the second son of Michael Hill of Hillsborough, by Anne, daughter and heir of Sir John Trevor (1637–1717) [q. v.] He inherited the Trevor property from his father's half-brother, Marcus Hill (d. 1751), who was son of William Hill and Mary, daughter of Marcus Trevor, first viscount Dungannon of the first creation [q. v.] He was chancellor of the Irish exchequer in 1754–5. On 17 Feb. 1766 he was created Viscount Dungannon and Baron Hill of Olderfleet. He died in Dublin on 30 Jan. 1771, and was buried at Belvoir. His second wife, whom he married in January 1737, was Anne, daughter and heir of Edmund Francis Stafford of Brownstown, Meath, and Portglenone, Antrim. She died on 13 Jan. 1799. Their daughter, Anne, married in February 1759 the Earl of Mornington, by whom she became mother of the great Duke of Wellington and of the Marquis Wellesley. There were two other daughters and a son Arthur, who was father by Letitia, eldest daughter of Hervey, first viscount Mountmorres, of Arthur Hill-Trevor, second lord Dungannon; he succeeded his grandfather in the title, and died at Brynkinalt on 14 Dec. 1837.

His son, Arthur Hill-Trevor, was educated at Harrow, and matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 17 Oct. 1817, graduating B.A. in 1820 and M.A. in 1825. In 1830 he was elected to the House of Commons for New Romney, and in the following year for the city of Durham. He was a vigorous opponent of the reform bills of 1831–2, both in the house and outside it. On 30 Aug. 1831 he moved an amendment to the effect that the existing non-resident freemen should keep their votes during their lives. In the course of the year Trevor issued an anti-reform pamphlet in the guise of a ‘Letter to the Duke of Rutland.’ When the bill was reintroduced he again combated it, and sent forth another pamphlet exhorting the peers to stand firm. At the dissolution he lost his seat, but was re-elected at Durham in the election of 1835. He offered a vigorous opposition to corporation reform, regarding it as an attempt to extend the parliamentary franchise indirectly, and constituted himself the defender of the freemen, moving to omit the clause disfranchising them (23 June 1835). He was defeated by a majority of forty-six. In February 1837 he obtained the rejection of the motion of Sir William Molesworth [q. v.] for the repeal of the property qualification for members of parliament. He seconded the motion of Peter Borthwick [q. v.] for the revival of convocation (3 May), and also his proposal for the establishment of a system of national education in connection with the church (2 June). During this parliament he several times introduced a measure for the control of beershops, but met with little support. He forbade any of his tenants to set one up. In the session of 1839 he opposed the Irish municipal corporation bill as an attempt to put down protestantism. In 1841 he joined Sir Robert Harry Inglis [q. v.] in opposing the further restriction of capital punishment, which he thought should still be inflicted in cases of arson, midnight burglary, and some other offences. While a member of the commons he always singled out for attack the radical section of his opponents. He was more than once denounced by O'Connell, who on one occasion referred to him ironically as ‘the meek and modest representative of the clergy of Durham.’

Hill-Trevor, who had succeeded his father as third viscount Dungannon in 1837, was not returned at the ensuing general election, and, though elected at a by-election in April 1843 for his former constituency, was immediately afterwards unseated on petition. In September 1855 he was elected a representative peer for Ireland, and henceforth took an active part in the proceedings of the House of Lords. His strongest efforts were directed against legislation dealing with the marriage laws. He himself led the opposition to the divorce bill of 1857, and two years later (22 March 1859) moved the rejection of Lord Wodehouse's marriage law amendment (deceased wife's sister) bill. His speech on the latter bill was printed the same year. On 27 May 1862 he led the opposition to Lord Ebury's motion for the abolition of clerical subscription.

Dungannon died at 3 Grafton Street, London, on 11 Aug. 1862. He married, in 1821, at Leghorn, Sophia, fourth daughter of Colonel Gorges Marcus Irvine of Castle Irvine, Fermanagh. She died on 21 March 1880. There being no male issue, the peerage again became extinct.

Lord Arthur Edwin Hill inherited the estates and took the additional name of Trevor. In 1880 he was created Baron Trevor of Brynkinalt. He died in 1894.

Dungannon was a member of several learned societies, and published, besides several pamphlets, ‘The Life and Times of William III,’ 1835–6, 2 vols. 8vo. It is dedicated to Edward Nares [q. v.], regius professor of modern history at Oxford. The author had the assistance of Henry John Todd [q. v.], archdeacon of Cleveland, and was given access to the documents at Stowe; but the book is of slight historical value.

[G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Mrs. Delany's Autobiogr. and Correspondence, iii. 514, 515, 536; Gent. Mag. 1862, ii. 360; Ann. Reg. 1862, App. to Chron. p. 348; Illustr. London News, 23 Aug. 1862; Hansard's Parl. Deb.; Ret. Memb. Parl.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Boase's Modern Biography.]

G. Le G. N.