John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, of Drumcar

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John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, of Drumcar

Birthplace: Trintaugh, St Johnstown, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Death: February 23, 1799 (56)
Drumcar, Co. Louth, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of John McClintock of Trintaugh and Susannah Maria Chambers
Husband of Patience Foster
Father of John McClintock, of Drumcar, MP; Rebecca Hardman; Elizabeth Mcclintock; Rev. Alexander McClintock; Mary-Anne McClintock and 3 others
Brother of Alexander McClintock of Seskinore

Occupation: Landowner, MP
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, of Drumcar

"John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock of Drumcar, successively MP for Enniskillen and Belturbet in the Irish House of Commons, was born on 1 January 1743. He was the son of John McClintock of Trintaugh and his wife Susannah Maria, daughter of William Chambers. He was also an older brother of Alexander McClintock of Seskinore.

In 1766, Bumper Jack married Patience Foster, daughter of William Foster, MP for Co Louth. She was a first cousin of the Right Hon John Foster, Speaker of the House of Commons (afterwards Lord Oriel), with whom the McClintocks were politically allied. For instance, Speaker Foster appointed Bumper Jack chief serjeant-at-arms of the Commons and his two eldest sons John and William as deputies, for which they later received a joint pension of £2,545. Bumper Jack was also High Sheriff of Co. Louth in 1768. From 1783 to 1790, he was MP for Enniskillen in Grattan's Parliament and from 1790 to 1797 he held the seat as MP for Belturbet. When based in Dublin, Jack McClintock had an address at Dominick Street which was presumably the same house where his uncle Alexander McClintock lived. In a famous painting of the Irish Parliament of 1790 Bumper Jack, MP for Belturbet, is seated close to Speaker John Foster. However, Bumper Jack appears to have fallen fast asleep.

It is not yet certain why he was known as Bumper Jack although I suspect it was because he was either brimming with goodness and positivity or an absolute devotee of Bacchus, or, indeed, both! The Oxford English Dictionary defines a 'bumper' as a cup or glass full to the brim, 1677. Andy McConnell, the glass expert on Antiques Roadshow, concurs that it was a term used to indicate a glass of wine full to the brim, rather than a measure in its own right. I am reminded of Sir Jonah Barrington (1760-1834), his near contemporary, who remarked: "I have heard it often said that, at the time I speak of, every estated gentleman in the Queen’s County (aka Laois) was honoured by the gout. I have since considered that its extraordinary prevalence was not difficult to be accounted for, by the disproportionate quantity of acid contained in their seductive beverage, called rum-shrub, which was then universally drunk in quantities nearly incredible, generally from suppertime till morning, by all country gentlemen, as they said, to keep down their claret.” Sylvia Wright (nee McClintock) likewise recalled meeting an American McClintock who had researched her line back to a McClintock who lived either in or near Philadelphia shortly after the American Revolution and who was OUTRAGED when one of the first taxes that the new US Government imposed, was a tax on whiskey. When this story is told to McClintock relations, their unaminous reaction is "Well, that sounds like a McClintock!"!' All this might also explain why Bumper Jack was asleep in Parliament.

In May 1775, Bumper Jack succeeded his uncle Alexander McClintock at Drumcar. He duly commissioned the building of the vast mansion at Drumcar House outside Dunleer in 1777, where the McClintock family remained until the 1940s. [Could it have been Francis Johnston? Note that the Linen Hall on Dominick Street, Drogheda, was built in 1774.] Christine Casey described the property as follows in “The Buildings of Ireland – North Leinster” (Buckley, 1993), p. 249-250: 'Originally a large rectangular mansion, enjoying a clear view across country to Dundalk bay. Three storeys over a basement; two rooms deep with a large central hall. Shallow hipped roof hidden behind a cornice and blocking course with central chimney stacks. The entrance front is of five bays with the windows arranged as a pair, a single central window and a pair, an elegant a-b-a rhythm. The proportions of the Central block are now the most enduring aspect of the 18th century house, which originally had a simple tripartite doorcase set in a shallow relieving arch and single-storey walls with niches and sunken panels joining the main block to a pedimented carriage arch on each side. The four-columned Doric porch with balcony is early to mid 19th century, as are the moulded window surrounds and segmental-headed pediments to the ground-floor windows. Later two-storey, three-bay wings with recessed links; yet later ugly mansard roofs.'

In 1794, Captain George Alexander & George Tyner described the new mansion on page 3 of their work, 'The traveller's guide through Ireland: being an accurate and complete companion to Captain Alexander Taylor's map of Ireland' (P. Byrne, 1794) as follows: ‘2 miles from Dunleer to the R and South East side of the Dee river on an elevation beautifully wooded, and commanding a variety of profpect over the Meanders of that river, which here are many and picturesque, is Drumcarr, a new houfe, and feat of John M'Clintock, Esq’."

[John Fitzgerald's MA thesis from UCD (1972) entitled 'The organisation of the Drogheda economy, 1780-1820’ provides a very useful background to the economic status of County Louth at this time, particularly from page 192]


Alexander left Drumcar to nephew ‘Bumper Jack’ McClintock, grandfather of first Lord Rathdonnell. In 1766 Jack married Patience Foster, whose first cousin John Foster would become the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons in Dublin and one of the greatest men of his age. Such political connections were extremely useful to the McClintocks and Jack was MP for Enniskillen in Grattan’s Parliament from 1783 to 1790, and then MP for Belturbet from 1790 until 1797. He was also one of the original 25 members of the Northern Rangers Hunt Club, founded in 1774, and was elected the club Treasurer in 1783.

It was Jack who commissioned the building of a vast mansion on top of the wooded ridge at Drumcar in 1777, where the McClintock family remained until 1940s. It started out as a rectangular Georgian block, three storeys over basement, two rooms deep and a large central hall. Following a cash injection in the early 19th century, they added the Doric porch and balcony, as well as the moulded window surround and, later, the two-story 3 bay wings. One of jack’s more unusual employees was John Suttoe, a black man who settled in Louth and married a local girl after his ship ran aground at Dunany in 1783.

[John Foster: The Politics of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy - A. P. W. Malcomson]

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John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, of Drumcar's Timeline

January 1, 1743
St Johnstown, Co. Donegal, Ireland
May 17, 1767
Drumcar, County Louth, Leinster, Ireland
August 14, 1770
County Louth, Ireland
Drumcar, Louth, Ireland
Drumcar, Louth, Ireland
Drumcar, Louth, Ireland
January 6, 1775
Drumcar, Louth, Ireland
October 17, 1777
Drumcar, Louth, Ireland
September 28, 1783
County Louth, Ireland