Beresford, John bĕr´ĭzfərd, –ĭs– [key], 1738–1805, Anglo-Irish Protestant politician. He entered the Irish Parliament in 1760, became a privy councillor (1768), a commissioner of revenue (1770), and chief revenue commissioner (1780). Committed to the continued political dominance of his own class in Ireland, he was a strong supporter of and chief adviser on Irish affairs to William Pitt. He advocated both a commercial treaty that emphasized economic dependence on England and the parliamentary union of England and Ireland, the eventual passage (1800) of which he steered through the Irish Parliament. The extent of his personal power and patronage provoked his brief dismissal (1795) by the 2d earl of Fitzwilliam, who was attempting to reassert the role of the lord lieutenant, but Fitzwilliam was recalled and Beresford reinstated. He sat in the united British Parliament until 1802.
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