Robert Adair, 1st Baron Waveney

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"Suffolk"
Lord Waveney as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, April 1881

Robert Alexander Shafto Adair, 1st Baron Waveney (25 August 1811 – 15 February 1886)[1] was a British Liberal Party politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge for 8 of the years from 1847 to 1857.

Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland,[2] he was the older of the two sons of Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st Baronet, and his first wife Elizabeth Maria Strode.[3] He married Theodosia Meade in 1836; they had no children.[4]

Adair first stood for election to Parliament in April 1843, when he was the runner-up at a by-election for the Eastern division of Suffolk.[5] He was unsuccessful again at a by-election for the borough of Cambridge in July 1845,[6] but at the 1847 general election he was elected as one of Cambridge's two MPs.[6] He was defeated at the 1852 general election, but that result was overturned on petition and he was returned to the House of Commons at the resulting by-election in August 1854. He was unseated again in 1857 general election, and did not contest the 1859 general election.[6] He stood again one more time, in Canterbury at the 1865 general election, but did not win a seat.[7] He was appointed High Sheriff of Antrim in 1853. [8]

A Fellow of the Royal Society,[2] he succeeded to the baronetcy in 1869, on the death of his father.[1] He was ennobled on 10 April 1873, as Baron Waveney, of South Elmham in the County of Suffolk.[9][10] He served as Lord Lieutenant of Antrim from 1884 until his death in 1886,[11][10] aged 74, when the peerage became extinct and he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother Hugh (1815–1902), who had been MP for Ipswich from 1847 to 1874.

Ballymena[edit]

The Adair family owned extensive estates in Ballymena, and have been described as the "founding fathers" of the town.[12] The town is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles 1 in 1626, on the provision that the town holds two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity.[13]

In 1865 Adair began the construction in the demesne of Ballymena Castle, a substantial family residence in the Scottish baronial style.[14] The castle was not completed until 1887,[15] and was demolished in 1957 after having lain empty for some years and being vandalised; the site is now a car park. In 1870, Adair donated a People's Park to Ballymena, engaging fifty labourers to work for six months landscaping it.[16]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Baronetage: A, part 1". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Adair, Robert Alexander Shafto". Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Retrieved 12 January 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st Bt.". ThePeerage.com. Retrieved 12 January 2010. [unreliable source]
  4. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Robert Alexander Shafto Adair, 1st and last Baron Waveney". ThePeerage.com. Retrieved 12 January 2010. [unreliable source]
  5. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 461. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  6. ^ a b c Craig, op. cit., pages 76–77
  7. ^ Craig, op. cit., page 79
  8. ^ "Fellows of the Royal Society who are or were Freemasons, listed alphabetically". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23964. p. 1822. 4 April 1873.
  10. ^ a b "Peerages: W, part 1". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Fellows of the Royal Society who are or were Freemasons, listed alphabetically". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  12. ^ "View from above: Ballymena Castle (The Adair Castle)". Belfast Newsletter. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "History". Ballymena Borough Council website. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Brief History of Ballymena". Ballee Baptist Church website. Retrieved 13 January 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Ballymena Historic Timeline". Ballymena Borough Council website. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "History of the People’s Park". Ballymena Borough Council website. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. John Manners-Sutton
Fitzroy Kelly
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
18471852
With: Hon. William Campbell
Succeeded by
Kenneth Macaulay
John Harvey Astell
Preceded by
Kenneth Macaulay
John Harvey Astell
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
18541857
With: Francis Mowatt
Succeeded by
Kenneth Macaulay
Andrew Steuart
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Shafto Adair
Baronet
of Flixton Hall, Suffolk
1869–1886
Succeeded by
Hugh Edward Adair
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Waveney
1873–1886
Extinct
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Donegall
Lord Lieutenant of Antrim
1884–1886
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Porter Cowan