Blennerhassett, Sir Rowland, 1839-1909 (4th Baronet political writer)
- Existence: 1839 - 1909
Rowland Blennerhassett, born in Co. Kerry, Ireland, on 5 September 1839, was the only son of Sir Arthur Blennerhassett (1794-1849) and Sarah Blennerhassett (née Mahony). He was educated at Downside School, Stonyhurst College and Christ Church, Oxford. He left Oxford without completing a degree and went on to study at the University of Louvain and in Germany, where he met Ignaz von Dollinger in Munich. In 1849, he succeeded his father as fourth baronet. On 9 June 1870, he married Charlotte von Leyden (1843-1917), who he had met in Rome earlier in 1870 at the First Vatican Council. They had four children. He was actively involved in Irish politics and served as the Member of Parliament for Galway Borough between 1865 and 1874 and for County Kerry between 1880 and 1885. He was particularly involved in the debates concerning the Irish University Bill in the 1870s. Following his parliamentary retirement, Blennerhassett wrote extensively on political issues for ‘The Times’, ‘The Daily Telegraph’, ‘Nineteenth Century’, ‘Fortnightly Review’ and ‘National Review’. He served as commissioner of national education in Ireland, later served on the Irish Privy Council and was president of Queen’s College, Cork, between 1897 and 1904. He died on 22 March 1909 in London. His eldest son, Arthur Charles Francis Bernard Blennerhassett, succeeded to the baronetcy.