James Chaine

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James Chaine (1841 – 4 May 1885)[1] was an Irish shipping businessman and a Conservative Party[2] politician from County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The son of James Chaine of Ballycraigy and his wife Maria, née Whittle, from Antrim, he was educated in Blackheath and in 1863 married Henrietta Creery from Newcastle, County Down.[3]

Chaine was influential in developing the cross-channel links between Larne and Stranraer, Scotland. He was the director of the Larne and Stanraer Boat Company, and was the key figure behind the building of the Port and Harbour of Larne.[4] He promoted and financed construction of railroad lines from Larne to Ballyclare and from Larne to Ballymena[5] (the Ballymena and Larne Railway). He was elected at the 1874 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Antrim,[2] and held the seat until his death[2] at the age of 43 in May 1885.[1] Chaine, James Porter Corry and William Ewart formed a minority of Irish MPs from "the world of the big business" while the majority were either landowners or descendants of the landed families.[6] Chaine himself became a major landowner by the purchase of a ₤64,000 estate in Carncastle followed by a £22,000 estate in Killead.[5]

He died after catching a chill, which developed into pneumonia.[7] His estate was valued at ₤62,681.[4] He was buried, in an upright position, overlooking Larne Lough, near Sandy Point.[8] The Chaine Memorial, a replica Irish round tower, was built in Larne in 1888 to commemorate him.


  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b c Walker, p. 249.
  3. ^ Debrette, p. 44.
  4. ^ a b Campbell, p. 146.
  5. ^ a b Thomson, p. 54.
  6. ^ Campbell, pp. 145-146.
  7. ^ Boyd, pp. 34-35.
  8. ^ Long, Bill (1997). Bright Light, White Water. The Lighthouses of Ireland. New Island Books, Dublin. p. 181. 


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Earl of Yarmouth
Hon. Edward O'Neill
Member of Parliament for Antrim
1874May 1885
With: Hon. Edward O'Neill to 1880
Edward Macnaghten from 1880
Succeeded by
William Pirrie Sinclair
Edward Macnaghten