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Through the tuition of the local Protestant clergyman, who was interested in the boy, he got a scholarship in 1756 at Trinity College, Dublin, and subsequently became a fellow. At some point he joined the Anglican faith. He studied law at the Middle Temple, was called to the Irish bar in 1767  and obtained a rich practice, mainly in the area of law relating to tithes. At that time tithes were levied from the majority Roman Catholic population for the benefit of the minority Church of Ireland, and were consequently unpopular. While Duigenan supported Catholics' political rights, he provided his Catholic wife with a chapel at their home and arranged for a priest to say Mass for her on Sundays. He opposed the Maynooth Grant and was appointed Grand Secretary of the Orange Order in 1801.
He is remembered, however, mainly as a politician, on account of his opposition to Grattan, his support of the Union, and his violent antagonism to Catholic emancipation, both in the Irish House of Commons and in pamphlets. As a Member of Parliament (MP), he represented Old Leighlin one of the Bishop’s boroughs of the Irish Parliament between 1791 and 1798 and subsequently Armagh Borough until 1801. He sat then for Armagh City in the first Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was an Irish Privy Counsellor from 1808 and a well-known character at Westminster until he died on 11 April 1816.
He had married twice; firstly around 1782, to Angelina, daughter of Thomas Berry of Eglish Castle, Kings County, and secondly, on 2 October 1807, Hester Watson, the widow of George Heppenstall, solicitor to the Dublin police, of Sandymount. He had no children by either marriage.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Duigenan, Patrick". Dictionary of National Biography. 16. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 143.
- "DUIGENAN, Patrick (?1737-1816), of Lilliput Lodge, Sandymount, Dublin". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- Patrick Duigenan (1737-1816) www.histparl.ac.uk
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Duigenan, Patrick". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
|Parliament of Ireland|
Hon. Arthur Acheson
|Member of Parliament for Old Leighlin
With: Hon. Arthur Acheson
Sir Boyle Roche, 1st Bt
Robert Hobart, Lord Hobart
|Member of Parliament for Armagh Borough
With: Hon. Thomas Pelham 1798–1799
Gerard Lake 1799–1801
Parliament of the United Kingdom
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Armagh City
Daniel Webb Webber