Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

Search This Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Refused to be Members of the Second Dáil - Dawson Bates

Richard Dawson Bates c. 1920.

Sir Richard Dawson Bates, 1st Baronet, OBE, JP, DL (23 November 1876 – 10 June 1949), also known as Sir Dawson Bates (as knight bachelor), was an Ulster Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland House of Commons.

Born in Strandtown, Belfast, son of Richard Dawson Bates, solicitor and Clerk of the Crown, and Mary Dill. His father's father, John Bates (d. 1855) had been a minor figure in the Conservative Party in Belfast, before his duties were discharge on a Chancery Court ruling of maladministration.

Bates was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution. Studying at Queen's College, Belfast, became a solicitor in 1900, in 1908 founding a firm with his uncle - E and R. D. Bates. In 1906 he was appointed Secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council. During this time, he was instrumental in the events of Ulster Day and in the formation of the UVF, organised the Larne gun-running and supported the formation of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association to counter socialism. He toured Northern Ireland, working hard to build up the Unionist Party, while portraying all Roman Catholics as traitors.

Bates stood down as Secretary on his election to Stormont in 1921, where he represented first East Belfast and later Belfast Victoria. In the government of Sir James Craig he was the first Minister for Home Affairs and a member of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland. He introduced the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act, but opposed the Ulster Protestant Association. Under his administration, he was accused of gerrymandering, and of intervening to ensure that prison sentences were not imposed on Protestants who attacked Catholics.

Bates was also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Down.

He married Jessie Muriel Cleland, daughter of Sir Charles John Cleland. They had one son Major Sir John Dawson Bates, 2nd Baronet (an Oxford-educated Wykehamist, d. 1998).

He was appointed OBE in 1919, Knight Bachelor in 1921 and was made a Baronet of Magherabuoy, near Portrush, in County Londonderry on 7 June 1937. In his retirement strained financial circumstances and security (he constantly required a police escort) led him to rent Butleigh House, near Glastonbury, Somerset. It was here he died in 1949; Sir Dawson's body was flown back to Ulster for burial at Ballywillan Church of Ireland.

No comments:

Post a Comment