Tag Archives: wit

Wit in the Irish parliament

This is an extract from an article I once wrote on the Irish parliament (1692-1800).

Reported witticisms were many. The Duke of Rutland, making conversation with Sir John Stewart Hamilton (MP for Strabane) at a levee, once remarked on the prospect of an excellent harvest, saying that the timely rain would bring everything above ground. Sir John replied: ‘God forbid! For I have three wives under it.’ When Cornelius O’Callaghan (a lawyer and future MP for Fethard (Tipperary)) was making suit for his wife, her mother asked where his estates lay. O’Callaghan is alleged to have stuck out his tongue and pointed at it.

Montagu Mathew (MP for Ballynakill) was sometimes confused with his fellow Harrovian, Mathew Montagu, causing him to remark on one occasion that ‘I wish it to be understood that there is no more likeness between Montagu Mathew and Mathew Montagu than between a chestnut horse and a horse chestnut.’ Continue reading



Filed under History, Ireland