Richard Parsons, 1st Earl of Rosse
(1702–1741), Freemason and a founder-member of the Hell-Fire Club, 2nd Viscount Rosse of Bellamont co. Dublin, Baron Oxmantown, 3rd baronet.
An Irish peer he was born at Twickenham, Middlesex, the son of Richard Parsons, 1st Viscount Rosse (c1657-1703) and Elizabeth Hamilton, niece of Sarah Jennings
Duchess of Marlborough. He was advanced to the earldom of Rosse on 16 June 1718. His family had settled at New Ross
co. Wexford at the beginning of the 17th century. The spelling Rosse distinguishes this Irish family from a Scottish title, Ross.
He married, 25 June 1714, Mary Paulet
, granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Bolton
and the marquis de Montpouillon. Their son was the 2nd and last Earl of Rosse (1716–1764) of that creation. They had no grandchildren. After her death on 15 August 1718 he married Frances Claxton who, as Parsons’ widow, married Viscount Jocelyn
, Lord Chancellor of Ireland
Freemason and Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
In 1725, he was elected the Grandmaster
of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
, a post he held for the next six years.
All official records of the Grand Lodge of Ireland prior to 1760, and all minute books prior to 1780, have been lost. While Rosse is the first recorded Grand Master of Ireland, the belief that he was Grand Master in 1723 and again in 1730 is from newspaper accounts of the day.
The Hell-Fire Club
A founder member of the Hell-Fire Club
, Parsons was a notable......