John Temple (politician)

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Sir John Temple (25 March 1632 – 10 March 1705) was an Irish politician, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and Attorney General for Ireland. He was the great-great-grandfather of the distinguished statesman Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston. His descendants in the female line include the famous poet Lord Byron.


Temple was born in London on 25 March 1632.[1] He was a son of Sir John Temple and his wife Mary Hammond, daughter of Dr. John Hammond, of Chertsey, Surrey. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford where he was awarded BA in 1649 and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 4 May 1650. He was awarded MA at Cambridge University in 1652 and was called to the bar in 1657.[2]

In July 1660, he was appointed Solicitor General for Ireland, and in May 1661, he was elected to the Irish House of Commons as member for Carlow Borough; in September, he became the Speaker of Parliament in Ireland. On the death of King Charles II in 1685, Temple, although a staunch Protestant was happy to continue in office under the Roman Catholic James II,[3] and so remained until the Jacobite takeover of 1689, which involved the exclusion of all Protestant office holders in Ireland; at which time he fled to England, and had his estates confiscated by the Patriot Parliament.[4] He was knighted on 15 August 1663.[2]

On his return to Ireland in 1691 he was granted title to some 12,000 acres in County Sligo; these lands were confiscated from the native Irish.[5]

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 had ended with the defeat of the Jacobite forces in 1691, he returned to Ireland, and served as Attorney General for Ireland until May 1695.

He retired to his estates at East Sheen, south of London, and died there on 10 March 1705.


Temple married Jane Yarner (died 1708), daughter of Sir Abraham Yarner (died 1677), the Muster-master for Ireland, in 1663 and had numerous children with her, of whom at least six reached adulthood. The eldest surviving son, Henry (c.1673–1757) became the first Viscount Palmerston. The younger son John, of Dublin, married his cousin Elizabeth Temple, but had no children.

Temple also had four surviving daughters:


  1. ^ Edward J. Davies, "The Ancestry of Lord Palmerston", The Genealogist, 22(2008):62-77.
  2. ^ a b "Temple, John (TML646J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ Ridley, Jasper Lord Palmerston Constable and Co 1970 p.3
  4. ^ Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ Ridley p.3
  6. ^ Gregg, Edward Queen Anne Yale University Press 1980 p..155

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