William Abraham (Irish politician)

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William Abraham (1840 – 2 August 1915) was an Irish Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons. He was born in Limerick.

Although a Protestant in religion (a Congregationalist), he became active in Irish Nationalist politics. He was involved in the Irish Land League in 1881 and was at one stage imprisoned as a political suspect. He served as Chairman of Limerick Board of Guardians (who administered the Poor Law in their district) 1882-1883 and 1885-1886.

Abraham represented three constituencies at the Palace of Westminster. He was elected unopposed as MP for West Limerick at the 1885 general election as a Nationalist supporter of the Irish Parliamentary Party, and served until he retired in 1892. When the Party split over the leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell in December 1890 he went with the Anti-Parnell majority, and was in fact the proposer of the vote of no confidence in Parnell as leader in the proceedings in Committee Room 15. In 1893, he was elected unopposed as an Anti-Parnellite Nationalist at a by-election for North-East Cork, succeeding Michael Davitt, and sat until he was defeated in the January 1910 general election by the dissident Nationalist William O'Brien, by the wide margin of 2,984 votes to 1,510. He was unopposed at the by-election for Dublin Harbour in June 1910, and won comfortably against an O'Brienite Nationalist in the same seat in the general election of December 1910. He represented Dublin Harbour until his death in 1915.

According to the Irish Independent, he was assiduous in his duties at Westminster, and spoke at one time or another in every constituency in Great Britain, including Orkney and Shetland. He was a Treasurer of his party, and a prominent member of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons. However, in Patrick Maume's view (1999, p. 223), his age and lack of local contacts made him ineffective in his final role as a Dublin M.P.


  • Irish Independent, 3 August 1915
  • Patrick Maume, The Long Gestation: Irish Nationalist Life 1891-1918, New York, St Martin's Press
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Vol. II 1886-1918, edited by M. Stenton & S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1978)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland 1801-1922, edited by Brian M. Walker (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy 1978)

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Limerick
Succeeded by
Michael Austin
Preceded by
Michael Davitt
Member of Parliament for North-East Cork
1893January 1910
Succeeded by
William O'Brien
Preceded by
Timothy Charles Harrington
Member of Parliament for Dublin Harbour
Succeeded by
Alfie Byrne