Simon Luttrell, 1st Earl of Carhampton (1713–1787)
Simon Luttrell was another of the more infamous Irish Hellfire Club members. He was the son of Henry Luttrell. Henry was a noted commander of the Jacobite forces in the war against William of Orange, though he was granted a pardon after the war. However, he was said to have been accused by his erstwhile comrades in the Jacobite Army of having betrayed them, and he was later murdered. After his father was killed, Simon Luttrell served as a Member of Parliament. He was later appointed to the rank of Baron Irnham of Luttrellstown.
Following the collapse of the Irish Hellfire Club, Simon Luttrell moved to England, where his ruthless and unscrupulous nature saw him rise to become the 1st Earl of Carhampton in 1784. He is believed to be the anti-hero of the anonymous poem The Diaboliad dedicated to ‘The Worst Man in England’ and published in 1777 (15). He was also described in a contemporary biography in slightly less than flattering terms:
“in short he was publicly and privately insulted and despised, in so much that it became a common phrase amongst most ranks of people, and remains to this day, that if a man was inclined to confer the greatest mark of rascality and resentment against his adversary, it was enough to call him a Luttrell. Traitor, villain, bastard, coward and profligate, and everything that can be conceived odious and horrible, were received, couched and understood in that one word…”
Despite his lack of popularity, Simon Luttrell outlasted all his fellow Club members, and died in 1787. (17).
“Expand your sable wings and speed to Earth!
To every Knave of Power and Imp of Birth
Statesmen and Peers, these welcome tidings tell
That I resolve to quit the Throne of HELL:
But, ere I cease to reign, ’twill be my care
From my dear Children to elect an Heir…”
(The Devil announces the need to find a suitably evil heir (believed to be Simon Luttrell). Taken from the opening lines of the Diaboliad. Written by William Coombe and published in 1777).