Sir Standish Hartstonge, 2nd Baronet

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Sir Standish Hartstonge, 2nd Baronet (between 1671 and 1673-1751) was an Anglo-Irish landowner and politician; his teenage marriage caused a bitter family feud which led to many years of controversy and litigation.

Early life[edit]

He was born between 1671 and 1673, probably in Cork. He was the only surviving son of Francis Hartstonge of Rockbarton, near Bruff, Co. Limerick and Mary Brettridge, one of the three daughters and co-heiresses of Captain Roger Brettridge (1630–1683) of Castles Brettridge, Cope and Magner, Co. Cork. Francis was the eldest son by his first marriage of Sir Standish Hartstonge, 1st Baronet, an eminent lawyer, originally from Norfolk, who was twice Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland).[1] Francis died in 1688, and Standish went to live with his grandfather who was then living in retirement in Herefordshire.

Family quarrels[edit]

Within two years of his arrival in Hereford, young Standish had quarreled bitterly with his grandfather, leading to a feud which eventually involved most of the Hartstonge family. The cause was his marriage: by 1690, when he was still in his teens, young Standish had married Ann Price of Presteigne, a neighbour's daughter, who was about six years older than her husband. His grandfather's anger is still evident in his last will which was drawn up almost ten years later: the old man wrote that as to "my grandchild who disobliged me by his marriage; I shall only say God give him joy of it but I shall not add to it for that cause".[2] Apart from the failure even to consult him on such a vital matter, and his grandson's youth, he apparently objected to the bride's family, who were heavily in debt.

The elder Standish returned to Ireland about 1691 for a second term as Baron of the Exchequer;[3] young Standish and his family continued to live in Hereford for some time but settled permanently in Ireland in the mid-1690s. His grandfather died in 1700 or 1701.

The will in which Standish's grandfather expressed such disapproval of the marriage to Anne Price left much of the property to Gwynne, the old man's young son by his third wife Joanne Gwynne. He may reasonably have felt that young Standish was already well provided for, since he had inherited substantial estates in Limerick and Cork from his parents. Young Standish however felt otherwise and brought an action in 1702 against Gwynne and his two other uncles Standish and John, to have the will set aside. As far as we can determine from the records the action went in favour of young Gwynne; who, however, died unmarried in his early twenties.[4]

Later career[edit]

Although they quarreled over the Hartstonge inheritance, Standish was generally on good terms with the most influential of his relations, his uncle John Hartstonge, Bishop of Ossory. With the Bishop's backing Standish entered the Irish House of Commons and had a highly successful career. He sat as MP first for Kilmallock, then Ratoath and finally St. Canice. He died, aged almost eighty, in 1751.


By his marriage to Ann Price he had at least five children, of whom two died in infancy. His elder surviving son, Price Hartstonge followed his father into Parliament but died before him in 1743.[5] The title passed to Price's only son Sir Henry Hartstonge, 3rd Baronet.[6]


  1. ^ Ball F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926
  2. ^ Oliver R.C.B. The Hartstonges and Radnorshire Radnorshire Society Transactions Volume 44 (1974)
  3. ^ Ball Judges in Ireland
  4. ^ Oliver The Hartstonges and Radnorshire
  5. ^ Cokayne, George Edward Complete Baronetage Reprinted Gloucester 1983 Vol. IV p.214
  6. ^ Cokayne p.214
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
John Ormsby
Robert Ormsby
Member of Parliament for Kilmallock
With: Chidley Coote
Succeeded by
John Ormsby
Robert Oliver
Preceded by
Richard Gorges
Edward Forde
Member of Parliament for Ratoath
With: Edward Forde 1703–1705
George Lowther 1705–1713
Succeeded by
George Lowther
Richard Gorges
Preceded by
Richard Connell
Richard Cole
Member of Parliament for St Canice
With: Sir Robert Maude
Succeeded by
James Agar
Richard Dawson
Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by
Standish Hartstonge
(of Bruff, Limerick)
c. 1700–1751
Succeeded by
Henry Hartstonge