Sir John Temple (25 March 1632 – 10 March 1705) was an Irish politician, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and Attorney General for Ireland. He was the great-great-grandfather of the distinguished statesman Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston. His descendants in the female line include the famous poet Lord Byron.
Temple was born in London on 25 March 1632. He was a son of Sir John Temple and his wife Mary Hammond, daughter of Dr. John Hammond, of Chertsey, Surrey. He waa the brother of Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet, the distinguished diplomat and friend of Jonathan Swift. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford where he was awarded BA in 1649 and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 4 May 1650. He was awarded MA at Cambridge University in 1652 and was called to the bar in 1657.
In July 1660, he was appointed Solicitor General for Ireland, and in May 1661, he was elected to the Irish House of Commons as member for Carlow Borough; in September, he became the Speaker of Parliament in Ireland. On the death of King Charles II in 1685, Temple, although a staunch Protestant was happy to continue in office under the Roman Catholic James II, and so remained until the Jacobite takeover of 1689, which involved the exclusion of all Protestant office holders in Ireland; at which time he fled to England, and had his estates confiscated by the Patriot Parliament. He was knighted on 15 August 1663.
He retired to his estates at East Sheen, south of London, and died there on 10 March 1705.
Temple married Jane Yarner (died 1708), daughter of Sir Abraham Yarner (died 1677), the Muster-master for Ireland, in 1663 and had numerous children with her, of whom at least six reached adulthood. The eldest surviving son, Henry (c.1673–1757) became the first Viscount Palmerston. The younger son John, of Dublin, married his cousin Elizabeth Temple, but had no children.
Temple also had four surviving daughters:
- Jane Martha (1672-1751) who married firstly John Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley of Stratton, and secondly William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, and had issue by her second marriage. Her portrait was painted by Michael Dahl. On the accession of Queen Anne, who disliked her, she was forbidden the Court, but was restored to favour under George I, and became governess to the royal children.
- Frances (died 1707) who married Lord Berkeley's brother and heir William Berkeley, 4th Baron Berkeley of Stratton, and had issue: through her daughter Frances, Lady Byron, she was ancestor to the celebrated poet Lord Byron.
- Mary who married Thomas Flower and was the mother of William Flower, 1st Baron Castle Durrow.
- Catherine (died 1694), who married firstly Charles, only son of Sir Robert Ward, first and last of the Ward Baronets of Killagh, and secondly Charles King.
- Edward J. Davies, "The Ancestry of Lord Palmerston", The Genealogist, 22(2008):62-77.
- "Temple, John (TML646J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Ridley, Jasper Lord Palmerston Constable and Co 1970 p.3
- Dictionary of National Biography
- Ridley p.3
- Gregg, Edward Queen Anne Yale University Press 1980 p.155