Antrim County (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
|Former County constituency|
|for the Irish House of Commons|
The county constituency was enfranchised as a Parliamentary constituency at an uncertain date, between the first known meeting of the Parliament in 1264 and the division of the area into baronies in 1584. It sent two knights of the shire to the Irish House of Commons.
The county was represented in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, under the Instrument of Government, after it was established in 1654. It was part of the Down, Antrim and Armagh (constituency). Following the restoration of the King in 1660 the Parliament of Ireland was re-established and the constituency again returned two Members of Parliament. See First Protectorate Parliament for the list of Irish constituencies during the Protectorate. In the Patriot Parliament of 1689 summoned by King James II, Antrim County was represented with two members.
Boundaries and Boundary Changes
1264-1800: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis discusses the administrative history of Antrim. It is uncertain when Antrim was made a County and given representation as such in Parliament. Something like the modern arrangements seem to have originated in 1584 when the Lord Deputy Sir John Perrot divided the area into baronies. From whatever point the county constituency existed it comprised the whole of County Antrim, excluding the parts in the borough constituencies of Antrim Borough (from 1666), Belfast (1613), Carrickfergus (1326), Lisburn (1661) and Randalstown (1683).
Members of Parliament
- 1634–1635 John Clotworthy
- 1660 Sir John Clotworthy & Sir George Rawdon 
- 1661-1666 Sir John Skeffington, 2nd Viscount Massereene (d. 1695) and ?; Changes: (1665) Sir Toby (or John) Poyntz vice Skeffington succeeded as 2nd Viscount Massereene
The Lord Lieutenant wrote to the Sheriff of Antrim on 2 November 1665 recommending Poyntz as the successor of Skeffington, who had inherited a peerage in September. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is assumed that, in this period, such a recommendation was tantamount to election.
|Election||First member||First party||Second member||Second party|
|1689 Patriot Parliament||Cormack O'Neile||Randal MacDonnell|
|1692||Sir Robert Colvill||Hon. Clotworthy Skeffington|
|1703||Hon. Clotworthy Skeffington||Clotworthy Upton|
|November 1715||John Skeffington [note 1]|
|1715||Sir Arthur Langford, 2nd Bt|
|1741||Arthur Skeffington||Henry Seymour Conway|
|1768||Viscount Dunluce||Viscount Beauchamp|
|1776||Hon. Henry Seymour-Conway||James Willson|
|1783||John O'Neill||Hon. Hercules Rowley|
|1798||Edmund Alexander Macnaghten|
|1801||Succeeded by the Westminster constituency Antrim|
- Declared not duly elected in 1715
- O'Hart (2007), p. 500
- Clarke, Aidan. Prelude to Restoration in Ireland: The End of the Commonwealth, 1659–1660.
- O'Hart, John (2007). The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed Gentry: When Cromwell came to Ireland. vol. II. Heritage Books. ISBN 0-7884-1927-7.
- Leigh Rayment's historical List of Members of the Irish House of Commons([self-published source][better source needed]) cites: Johnston-Liik, Edith Mary (2002). The History of the Irish Parliament 1692-1800 (6 volumes). Ulster Historical Foundation.