James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont
The son of the 3rd Viscount Charlemont, he was born in Dublin, and succeeded his father as 4th Viscount in 1734. The title of Charlemont descended from Sir Toby Caulfeild (1565–1627) of Oxfordshire, England, who was given lands in Ireland, and created Baron Charlemont (the name of a fort on the Blackwater), for his services to King James I in 1620. The 1st Viscount was the 5th Baron (d. 1671), who was advanced by Charles II.
Lord Charlemont was well known for his love of Classical art and culture and spent nine years on the Grand Tour in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. He returned to Dublin and employed the Scottish architect Sir William Chambers to remodel his main residence Marino House, to design his town house Charlemont House and the unique Neo-Classical garden pavilion building, the Casino at Marino.
Lord Charlemont is historically interesting for his political connection with Henry Flood and Henry Grattan; he was a cultivated man with literary and artistic tastes, and both in Dublin and in London he had considerable social influence. He was the first President of the Royal Irish Academy and was a member of the Royal Dublin Society. He was appointed Custos Rotulorum of County Armagh for life in 1760. For various early services in Ireland he was made an Earl in 1763, and was in 1783 made a founding Knight of the Order of St Patrick, but he disregarded court favours and cordially joined Grattan in 1780 in the assertion of Irish independence.
He was president of the volunteer convention in Dublin in November 1783, having taken a leading part in the formation of the Irish Volunteers; and he was a strong opponent of the proposals for the Union. His eldest son, who succeeded him, was subsequently (1837) created an English Baron.
His Life, by Francis Hardy, appeared in 1810.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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