James Haughton was a native of Carlow town Ireland. He was a successful businessman, who was a strong supporter of Father Mathew’s Temperance Movement. He was also a philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner. His was the father of the well-known scientist Samuel Haughton who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin.
James Haughton was born in Carlow on May 5th 1795. He was educated at Ballitore Co Kildare. Following his education he settled in Dublin. With his brother William he established a successful corn and flour business. Haughton was born into a Quaker family and was educated at a school run by the Quakers. However he joined the Unitarians in 1834. Haughton retired form his business in 1850.
A social reformer and campaigner on several issues Haughton began writing to the press on a range of topics starting around 1835. He wrote letters on issues such as slavery, temperance, crime, capital punishment, sanitation and land reform. Through his letter writing Haughton became widely known. Haughton was a delegate to the Anti-slavery Convention in London in 1838. He was a friend and supporter of Daniel O’Connell and campaigned for the repeal of the Act of Union. When the temperance campaigner Father Mathew was imprisoned Haughton led the campaign to raise funds for his release.
Haughton was convinced that much of the crime, disease and poverty in Ireland could be attributed to the abuse of alcohol. Although he was one of the most successful grain merchants in Dublin, he refused to deal in malt or barley as they were used to produce alcohol. Haughton was a founder of the Mechanics Institute in Dublin and believed that the welfare of people could be improved through the provision of education. He was a leader of the campaign which led to Dublin Zoo and the Botanical Gardens being opened to the public on Sundays. He was a member of the committee which established the People’s Garden in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.
James Haughton died at the age of 78 at his home at 35 Eccles Street, Dublin, in 1873. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross where on his headstone is written:
A follower of Christ he did his best.
He was a well-known advocate of
PEACE and TEMPERENCE
James Haughton businessman and campaigner on many social issues, who was a native of Carlow town Ireland died in the year 1873 On This Day.
Haughton James HouseJames Haughton [5 May 1795 – 20 February 1873]