Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Upton, Arthur

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UPTON, ARTHUR (1623–1706), Irish presbyterian leader, eldest son of Captain Henry Upton of Castle-Upton (formerly Castle-Norton), co. Antrim, by Mary, daughter of Sir Hugh Clotworthy and sister of Sir John Clotworthy [q. v.], was born at Castle-Upton on 31 May 1623. His father, a Devonshire man, had come into Ireland with Essex in 1599. Upton was a strong presbyterian [see O'Quinn, Jeremiah] and a strong royalist. He refused the ‘engagement,’ and by proclamation of 23 May 1653 was ordered to remove to Munster with other presbyterian landholders. The order came to nothing, and Upton was made a magistrate by Henry Cromwell. After the Restoration he was elected (1661) M.P. for Carrickfergus, and sat in the Irish parliament for forty years; on the disfranchisement of Carrickfergus by James II he was elected M.P. for co. Antrim. He took a very active part on the side of William III. In December 1688 he forwarded to Dublin Castle a copy of an anonymous letter seized at Comber, co. Down, and supposed to reveal a plot for the massacre of protestants. In January 1689 he attended the meeting of protestant gentry at Antrim Castle under his relative, Lord Massereene, was placed on the council of the protestant association for co. Antrim, and appointed to represent it on the supreme council of Ulster. He raised a regiment of foot, and, as its colonel, took part in the disastrous ‘break of Dromore’ (15 March 1689). He was attainted by James's Irish parliament in June 1689. With Patrick Adair [q. v.] and another he was sent to London (November 1689) with a loyal address from Ulster presbyterians to William III. His last public act was the promotion of a petition to the Irish House of Commons (14 March 1705) against the Test Act. He died late in 1706. An anonymous ‘elegy’ on him by James Kirkpatrick [q. v.] was printed at Belfast in 1707, 4to. His funeral sermon, also by Kirkpatrick, is said to have been published, but no copy is known. He married Dorothy, daughter of Michael Beresford of Coleraine, co. Derry, and had eight sons and ten daughters. He was succeeded in his estates by his fourth son, Clotworthy (b. 6 Jan. 1665, d. 6 June 1725), also M.P. for co. Antrim, who, as a presbyterian elder representing the congregation of Templepatrick, took a leading part on the conservative side in the Ulster non-subscription controversy. His sixth son, John (b. 19 April 1671), was father of Clotworthy Upton, first lord Templetown.

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall), 1789, vii. 157; Kirkpatrick's Loyalty of Presbyterians, 1713, pp. 405, 563; m'Skimin's Hist. of Carrickfergus, 1829, pp. 61, 320, 341; Reid's Hist. Presb. Church in Ireland (Killen), 1867, ii. 187, 515, 553; Disciple (Belfast), 1882, ii. 110, 174, 238.]

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