Their Faithful Representative

dartrey 1

In the late 18th century, Thomas Dawson, Viscount Cremorne, passed responsibility for his Irish estate Dawson’s Grove, County Monaghan to his heir and nephew, Richard Dawson. To the dismay of his uncle, Richard – who served as a local MP in the Irish parliament – proved to be something of a radical and in 1799 consistently voted against the Act of Union. In the event, he died eight years later (predeceasing Lord Cremorne) after which he was remembered as being ‘the most active in promoting improvements, the most useful and the most popular man this country ever knew.’
As evidence, in the aftermath of his death, a fifty-eight foot high limestone Doric column surmounted by a funerary urn was erected on the edge of the Dawson’s Grove demesne. The arms of the Dawson family appear on two sides of the monument’s square base plinth and the following inscription on the other two sides: ‘This column was erected by the free and independent electors of the county of Monaghan to perpetuate the memory of Richard Dawson Esq., who was unanimously returned by them to five successive parliaments. He died their faithful representative on 3 September 1807, aged 44 years.’ The column, its design attributed to James Wyatt, has been restored in recent years. Dawson’s Grove was eventually inherited by Richard Dawson’s son, another Richard, who in 1813 became Baron Cremorne.

3 comments on “Their Faithful Representative

  1. What an elegant remembrance of Mr. Dawson. The funerary urn is a classic example of mourning symbolism during the Regency period, and the column being so high only highlights the deceased’s importance. I collect late 18th and early 19th century hair mourning artwork and adore the symbolism that is so elegantly represented during this period. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photograph with us.

  2. Aidan O Boyle says:

    If I remember correctly Richard Dawson was known in his lifetime as ‘Dashing Dick Dawson’.

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