Michael Ward (Irish politician)

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Anne Catharine Hamilton, wife of Michael Ward, portrait attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller

Michael Ward (1683 – 21 February 1759)[1] was an Irish politician and judge.

He was the second son of Bernard Ward of Castle Ward, County Down, and his wife Mary Ward, daughter of Richard Ward of Newport, Shropshire and sister of Michael Ward (died 1681), who was very briefly Bishop of Derry.[2] His father was killed in a duel in 1690, when serving as High Sheriff of Down. He matriculated from the University of Dublin in 1699 and entered the Inner Temple in 1700. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1703.

Ward entered the Irish House of Commons for Down in 1713.[1] In 1715 and 1727, he stood also for Bangor, (both constituencies had long been controlled by his wife's family, the Hamiltons), but chose to sit for Down both times.[1] In the latter year Ward was appointed a Justice of the Court of King's Bench (Ireland), an office he held until 1758, although increasing ill-health made it impossible for him to sit on the Bench for the last few years.[3] He transformed Killough into a port and built a road to Castle Ward, the family's residence, to enable the lead mined on the estate to be carried to the ships.[4]

In 1709, he married Anne Catharine Hamilton, daughter and co-heiress of James Hamilton of Bangor, County Down and Sophia Mordaunt, daughter of John Mordaunt, 1st Viscount Mordaunt and Elizabeth Carey.[5] She died a year after her husband. They had three children, a daughter and two sons.[6] His only surviving son Bernard was elevated to the Peerage of Ireland, first as Baron Bangor in 1770 and then as Viscount Bangor in 1781. His daughter Anne married Sir John Parnell, 1st Baronet.[5]

An obituary praised him for his thirty years service on the Bench, during which he had displayed "probity and assiduity".


  1. ^ a b c "Leigh Rayment - Irish House of Commons 1692-1800". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926
  3. ^ Ball, F. Elrington "The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921" London John Murray 1926
  4. ^ "Public Record Office of Northern Ireland - Ward Papers" (PDF). Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b Burke, John (1832). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. vol. I (4th ed.). London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. p. 75. |volume= has extra text (help)
  6. ^ Lodge, John (1789). Mervyn Archdall (ed.). The Peerage of Ireland or A Genealogical History of the Present Nobility of that Kingdom. vol. VI. Dublin: James Moore. pp. 70–71. |volume= has extra text (help)
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Down
With: Nicholas Price 1713–1715
Trevor Hill 1715–1717
Sir John Rawdon, 3rd Bt 1717–1724
Robert Hawkins Magill 1724–1727
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Bangor
With: Hans Hamilton
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Bangor
With: Acheson Moore
Succeeded by