Henry Dillon, 13th Viscount Dillon

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Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee
Viscount Dillon
Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee Hoppner.jpg
Detail from the portrait below
PredecessorCharles, 12th Viscount Dillon
SuccessorCharles, 14th Viscount Dillon
Born28 October 1777
Died24 July 1832
Spouse(s)Henrietta Browne
Henrietta, Charles, Constantine, & others
FatherCharles, 12th Viscount Dillon
MotherHenrietta Maria Phipps

Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee, 13th Viscount Dillon (1777–1832), was an Irish politician, soldier and writer. Despite being a Protestant, he supported Catholic emancipation in Ireland and wrote on the topic. He sat as MP for Harwich in England in the last parliament of Great Britain and the first parliament of the United Kingdom. In the second parliament of the United Kingdom he sat for County Mayo in Ireland. Through his daughter Henrietta, He was ancestors to Clementine (the wife of Winston Churchill) and to the Mitford sisters.

He was the colonel of a regiment and wrote on military subjects. He wrote fiction publishing two historical novels.

Birth and origins[edit]

Family tree
Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee with wife, parents, and other selected relatives.[a]
1st Baron



d. 1794



d. 1833






Harold Arthur


d. 1917
XXXSubject of
the article

Henry Augustus was born on 28 October 1777 at Brussels, then the capital of the Austrian Netherlands. He was the eldest son of Charles Dillon-Lee and his first wife Henrietta Maria Phipps.[2] His father was the 12th Viscount Dillon, who had in 1767 conformed to the established religion.[3]

Henry Augustus's mother was the daughter of Constantine John Phipps, 1st Baron Mulgrave. Her family was Anglo-Irish. Thus both parents were Protestants and part of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. They had married in 1776 at Brussels.[4] Henry Augustus had one sister, who appears on the list in his father's article.

Early life[edit]

Henry Augustus's mother died in 1782 when he was four.[5] In 1787 his father remarried to Marie Rogier of Mechelen,[6] who was an actress in Brussels and had been his mistress before he married Henry's mother.[7] Henry Augustus had three half-siblings, a brother and two sisters, who were born from his fathers second marriage. They are listed in his father's article.

Henry Augustus was brought up by his uncle Constantine Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave.[8] In 1794, when Dillon-Lee (i.e. Henry Augustus) was 17, he was made the colonel of a regiment in the newly created Catholic Irish Brigade, an unlikely employment for a Protestant, that was due to his family's military connection to the Irish Brigade. This Catholic Irish Brigade lasted four years, being dissolved in 1798. On 21 October 1795 Dillon-Lee immatriculated at Christ Church, Oxford.[9]

In 1799, aged 22, he contested and won a by-election caused by the death of Richard Hopkins MP for Harwich Borough, County Essex. This was during the 18th and last parliament of Great Britain, summoned in 1796 to meet at Westminster on 12 July 1796. It continued without a general election as the 1st Parliament of the United Kingdom, 1801–1802. He sat therefore until 29 June 1802 when parliament was dissolved.[10]

In the general election of 1802 he was elected for one of the two seats for County Mayo in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

In 1805 he raised a new regiment in Ireland, called the Duke of York's Irish or the 101st Regiment of Foot. He owned the regiment and hired out its services to the British army under a letter of service.

Henrietta Browne, Viscountess Dillon.

Marriage and children[edit]

In February 1807, Dillon-Lee married Henrietta Browne, sister of Dominick, 1st Baron Oranmore and Browne, daughter of Dominick-Geoffrey Browne, by Margaret, daughter of George Browne, 4th son of the 1st Earl of Altamont. The marriage took place at Browne ancestral Castle MacGarrett near Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland. The Brownes of Mayo were an Anglo-Irish, Protestant family.[11] Henrietta's niece was married to George A. Lawrence, author of "Guy Livingstone".

Henry Augustus and Henrietta had ten children:

  1. Henrietta Maria (1807–1896), married Edward Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley, and campaigned for better education for girls[b]
  2. Charles Henry (1810–1865), born in Dublin, died at Ditchley, Oxford; succeeded his father as 14th Viscount[15]
  3. Theobald Dominick (1811–1879), the 15th Viscount Dillon, who died childless and was succeeded by his brother[16]
  4. Arthur Edmund Denis (1812–1892), married Ellen Adderley and succeeded his brother as the 16th Viscount Dillon[17]
  5. Constantine (1813–1853), who emigrated to New Zealand[18]
  6. Robert George Lee (1817–1822), who died young[19]
  7. Margaret Frances Florence (1818–1885), who was a maid of honour to her majesty and married the geologist William Hamilton[20]
  8. Gerald Normanby (1823–1880), married Louisa FitzGibbon, daughter of Richard Hobart FitzGibbons, 3rd Earl of Clare, and changed his surname to hers[21]
  9. Louisa Anne Rose (1825–1902), married Spencer-Cecil Ponsonby of Bessborough[22]
  10. Helena Matilda (born 1827)[23]
Painted portrait of a clean-shaven man with fair curly hair wearing a dark coat and sitting on a red chair.
Henry Dillon-Lee, Viscount Dillon, by John Hoppner

Later life, death, and timeline[edit]

Dillon-Lee's regiment was ordered to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to where he also took his wife and where his eldest child was born in 1807.[12]

Ditchley House, inherited from the Earl of Lichfield (Lee). Later used in Downton Abbey as "Mallerton"

On 9 November 1813 his father died at Loughglinn House, County Roscommon, and was buried in the Dillon Vault at Ballyhaunis.[24][25] Henry succeeded as the 13th Viscount Dillon, at the age of 36, he also inherited Ditchley House, inherited from the Earl of Lichfield (Lee family). Lord Dillon, as he now was, lived with his wife and children in Florence, Italy in the late 1810s and in London in the 1820s where he seems to have had an affair with the writer Eliza Rennie.[26] and where he wrote his two historical novels, Maltravers, published in 1822, and Rosaline de Vere, published in 1824.

Breaking my own horse (H. A. Dillon) by James Gillray, 1803

Dillon died on 24 July 1832 in London and was buried in the All Saints Church at Spelsbury.[27] He was the first Dillon to be buried in Spelsbury. His widow died thirty years later at the Hotel Windsor, Paris, 18 March 1862, aged 73.

Age Date Event
0 1777, 28 Oct Born in Brussels.[2]
4 1782, 1 Aug Mother died.[5]
9–10 1787 Father remarried to Marie Rogier.[6]
21 1799, 10 Apr Wins by-election for Harwich[10]
29 1807, Feb Married Henrietta Browne at Castle MacGarrett near Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland.[11]
36 1813, 9 Nov Father died at Loughglinn, County Roscommon, Ireland, and was buried at Ballyhaunis.[24]
42 1820, 29 Jan Accession of King George IV, succeeding King George III[28]
54 1832, 24 Jul Died in London and was buried in Spelsbury.[27]


Dillon's published works include:

  • Short View of the Catholic Question (London: J. Debrett, 1801), 32 pages
  • Letter to the Noblemen and Gentlemen who Composed the Deputation from the Catholics of Ireland on the Subject of their Mission (London: J. Budd, Crown and Mitre, 1805), online at Google Books, 56 pages
  • A Commentary on the Military Establishments and Defence of the British Empire (Dillon publisher: Printed by Cox, Son, and Baylis ... for E. Kerby, 1811)
  • The Tactics of Ælian: Comprising Military Systems of the Grecians (London: E. Kerby, 1814), online at Google Books
  • Discourse upon the Theory of Legitimate Government (Florence, 1817), online at Google Books, 89 pages
  • The Life and Opinions of Sir Richard Maltravers: an English Gentleman of the Seventeenth Century, Volume 1 (London: G. and W.B. Whittaker, 1822), online at Google Books Corvey CME 3-628-48097-3; ECB 345; EN2 1822: 29; NSTC 2D13576; OCLC 35663915.
  • The life and opinions of Sir Richard Maltravers: an English gentleman of the seventeenth century, Volume 2 (London: G. and W.B. Whittaker, 1822), online at Google Books
  • Rosaline de Vere, Volume 1 (London: Treuttel and Würtz, Treuttel junior and Richter, 1824), online at Internet Archive Corvey CME 3-628-48547-9; ECB 502; EN2 1824: 29; NSTC 2D13577; OCLC 12423730.
  • Rosaline de Vere, Volume 2 (London: Treuttel and Würtz, Treuttel junior and Richter, 1824), online at Internet Archive

Also: various works of jurisprudence.

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ This family tree is partly derived from the Dillon family tree pictured in La Tour du Pin.[1] Also see the list of children in the text.
  2. ^ Henrietta Stanley was born on 21 December 1807 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,[12][13] but John Debrett (1828) wrongly says in 1808.[14]


  1. ^ La Tour du Pin 1913a, pp. 14–15. "Note généalogique sur la Maison des Lords Dillon"
  2. ^ a b Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 18. "Henry Augustus (Dillon-Lee), Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen [I. [Ireland] ], only s. [son] and h. [heir], by 1st wife b. [born] 28 Oct. 1777 at Brussels ..."
  3. ^ Brown & Power 2005, p. 284. "... the succession of the title and lands of the Dillons in Ireland was assured by the conversion of Henry's eldest son Charles Dillon (later twelfth Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen) in Dublin of 4 December 1767 ..."
  4. ^ Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 10. "He m. [married], 1stly, 19 Aug. 1776 at Brussels, Henrietta Maria, da. [daughter] of Constantine John (Phipps) 1st Baron Mulgrave [I. [Ireland] ] by Lepell da. of John (Hervey) Baron Hervey of Ickworth. She, who was b. [born] 26 Mar. 1757, d. [died] 1 Aug. 1782.
  5. ^ a b Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 13a. "She [Henrietta-Maria], who was b. [born] 26 Mar. 1757, d. [died] 1 Aug. 1782."
  6. ^ a b Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 13b. "He m. [married], 2ndly, in 1787, Marie Rogier, of Malines, in Belgium.
  7. ^ La Tour du Pin 1913b, p. 162, line 3. "... elle avait toutes les apparences de ce qu'elle était en réalité: une vieille actrice. Mon oncle l'avait eue comme maitresse avant d'épouser Miss Phipps, fille du Lord Mulgrave."
  8. ^ Brown & Power 2005, p. 287. "... was brought up by his childless uncle Constantine Phipps, second Baron Mulgrave of new Ross. He was educated at Chrust Church, Oxford ..."
  9. ^ Foster 1891, p. 371, left column. "Dillon (Lee) Henry Augustus, s. [son] Charles, of Brussels, Viscount Dillon. Chist Church, matric. 21 Oct 1795, aged 18; 13th viscount Dillon ..."
  10. ^ a b House of Commons 1878, p. 203, right column. "Henry Augustus Dillon, esq., vice Richard Hopkins deceased. / 10 April 1799 / ditto [Harwich Borough]"
  11. ^ a b Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 24. "He m. [married], 9 Feb. 1807, at Castle McGarrett, co. Mayo, Henrietta, sister of Dominick, 1st Baron Oranmore and Browne [I. [Ireland] ], da. [daughter] of Dominick Geoffrey Browne by Margaret, da. of the Hon. George Browne, 4th s. [son] of the 1st Earl of Altamont [I. [Ireland] ]."
  12. ^ a b Morgan 1903, p. 322, line 3. "... was born in Nova Scotia, December 21st, 1807, her father being stationed there, at the time, in command of his regiment, the 101st Foot."
  13. ^ Sutherland 2004, p. 210, left column, line . "... born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 21 December 1807 ..."
  14. ^ Debrett 1838, p. 609, right column, line 36. "Henrietta Maria, b. [born] 1808, m. [married] 7 Oct. 1826 Edward-John-Stanley, esq., eldest son of John Stanley of Alderley, bart."
  15. ^ Cokayne 1916, p. 362, line 4. "Charles Henry (Dillon-Lee), Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen [I. [Ireland] ], 2nd but 1st surviv. s. [son] and h. [heir], b. [born] 2 April 1810 in Ely Place, Dublin ..."
  16. ^ Burke & Burke 1915, p. 647, right column, line 56: "Theobald Dominick Geoffrey, 15th Viscount Dillon, D.L., sometime 60th Rifles, b. [born] 5 April 1811; m. [married] 28 Sept. 1856, Sara Augusta (who d. [died] 17 July 1890) dau. [daughter] of Alexander Hanna, and, who d.s.p. [died childless] 31 Nov. 1879, when he was s. [succeeded] by his brother ..."
  17. ^ Burke & Burke 1915, p. 647, right column, line 60: "Arthur Edmund Denis, 16th Viscount Dillon, J.P. and D.L., B.A., F.S.A., F.R.G.S, F.Z.S., b. [born] 10 April 1812, m. [married] 22 April 1843 Ellen dau. [daughter] of James Adderly ..."
  18. ^ Burke & Burke 1915, p. 647, left column, line 40: "Constantine Augustus Dillon served in R.N. [Royal Navy], 7th Dragoon Guards, and 17th Lancers, b. [born] 14 Sept. 1813, m. [married] 10 Feb. 1842 Fanny Dorothea, 3rd dau. of P.L. Story, and d. [died] 16 Aug. 1853 ..."
  19. ^ Burke & Burke 1915, p. left column, line 78. "Robert George Lee, b. [born] 7 Oct. 1817, d. [died] Sept. 1822."
  20. ^ Debrett 1838, p. 609, right column, line 39. "Margaret Frances Florence, b. [born] 3 Feb. 1818, a maid of honour to her majesty."
  21. ^ Burke & Burke 1915, p. 647, left column, line 79. "Gerald Normanby-FitzGibbon of Mount Shannon, co. Limerick, J.P and D.L., Capt. Oxford mil., b. [born] 21 Nov. 1823; m. [married] 22 May 1827 Lady Louisa Fitz-Gibbon, dau. [daughter] and co-heir of 3rd Earl of Clare, and d. [died] 3 Jan. 1880 ..."
  22. ^ Debrett 1838, p. 609, right column, line 41. "Louisa-Anne-Rose, b. [born] 21 July 1825."
  23. ^ Debrett 1838, p. 609, right column, line 42. "Helena-Matilda, b. [born] 31 Jan. 1827."
  24. ^ a b Debrett 1828, p. 749, line 11. "The viscount d. [died] 9 Nov 1813, and was succeeded by his only son ..."
  25. ^ Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 14. "He d. [died] 9 Nov. 1813 at Loughglin House, co. Roscommon, aged 68.
  26. ^ Sunstein 1989, p. []. "... the literary Lord Dillon ... was said to be Eliza Rennie's lover."
  27. ^ a b Cokayne 1916, p. 361, line 27. "He d. [died] in Lower Brook Street, Midx, 24 and was bur. [buried] 31 July 1832 at Spelsbury, aged 54"
  28. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 47, line 12. "George IV … acc. 29 Jan. 1820;"


External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Harwich
With: John Robinson
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of Great Britain Member of Parliament for Harwich
With: John Robinson
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Mayo
With: Denis Browne
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Viscount Dillon
Succeeded by