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Alan Brodrick, 1st Viscount Midleton PC (Ire) (c. 1656 – 29 August 1728) was an Irish lawyer and politician.

Background

He was the second son of Sir St John Brodrick of Ballyannan, near Midleton in County Cork, by his wife Alice (d.1696), daughter of Laurence Clayton of Mallow, County Cork and sister of Colonel Randall Clayton M.P., of Mallow. Brodick's father had received large land grants during the Protectorate, and thus the family had much to lose if the land issue in Ireland was settled to the satisfaction of dispossessed Catholics.

He was educated at Magdalen College and the Middle Temple, being called to the English bar in 1678. Brodrick and his relatives fled Ireland during the Glorious Revolution. They were attainted under the rule of King James II in Ireland. In exile in England, Brodrick argued for a speedy reconquest.

Career

In 1690 he returned to Dublin and was given the legal office of Second Serjeant. He also became Recorder of Cork. As a prominent Whig supporter of the outcome of the Glorious Revolution he was not always in agreement with court policies in Ireland, which he considered too lenient on the Jacobites. Despite this he often held Irish government offices and aspired to manage the Irish Parliament for English ministers. He represented Cork City in the Irish Parliament, which met in 1692 and held this seat until 1710. He was a vocal opponent of court policies, until a new Whig Lord Deputy of Ireland decided to appoint him Solicitor-General for Ireland. He promoted penal laws against Catholics, whilst also supporting greater powers for the Irish Parliament.

He was Speaker of the Irish House of Commons from 21 September 1703. After promoting resolutions critical of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland he lost his post as Solicitor-General in 1704. He was Attorney-General for Ireland 1707–1709. He became Chief Justice of Ireland 1710–1711 and was replaced as Speaker on 19 May 1710, but again held the office in the next Parliament 25 November 1713 – 1 August 1714, where he also represented Cork County. He was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1714 and was ennobled in the Peerage of Ireland in 1715, as the 1st Baron Brodrick. He was advanced to the rank of 1st Viscount Midleton in 1717.

Midleton feuded with his successor as Speaker William Conolly, as they were rivals to be the leading figure in Irish politics. Despite intrigues in England (where he was Member of the British Parliament for Midhurst 1717–1728), Midleton lost out and resigned as Lord Chancellor in 1725.

He led the opposition in the next session of the Irish Parliament, but then let others take the lead.

References

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Cork City
with Robert Rogers 1692–1703
Thomas Erle 1703–1710

1692 – 1710
Succeeded by
Thomas Erle
Edward Hoare
Preceded by
Sir John Perceval, 5th Bt
Thomas Brodrick
Member of Parliament for Cork County
with Sir John Perceval, 5th Bt

1713 – 1715
Succeeded by
Henry Boyle
St John Brodrick
Legal offices
Preceded by
unknown
Lord Chief Justice of Ireland
1710–1711
Succeeded by
unknown
Preceded by
Richard Levinge
Solicitor-General for Ireland
1695–1704
Succeeded by
Richard Levinge
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Rochfort
Speaker of the Irish House of Commons
1703–1710
Succeeded by
John Forster
Preceded by
unknown
Attorney-General for Ireland
1707–1709
Succeeded by
John Forster
Preceded by
John Forster
Speaker of the Irish House of Commons
1713–1714
Succeeded by
William Conolly
Preceded by
Sir Constantine Phipps
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
1714–1725
Succeeded by
Richard West
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Fortescue-Aland
Member of Parliament for Midhurst
1717–1728
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Mill
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
New creation
Viscount Midleton
1717–1728
Succeeded by
Alan Brodrick
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