Aungier, Francis (c.1632–1700), 1st earl of Longford , politician and property developer, was the eldest son of Ambrose Aungier (c.1597–1654), chancellor of St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin, and of Grisel, younger daughter of Lancelot Bulkeley (qv) (d. 1650), archbishop of Dublin. His paternal grandfather had been master of the rolls under both James I and Charles I.
He was born in Ireland, most probably in Dublin. He rose to prominence in the 1650s, becoming representative of the King's County, Longford and Westmeath constituency in the Commonwealth parliament that sat in London in 1659, and he subsequently represented Surrey as an avowed royalist in the English convention (later the convention parliament) which met in April 1660. Though he spoke rarely in debates, he was prominent and influential in committee and in conferences between the commons and the lords. His aim was to persuade the king that Irish protestants needed reassurance that their land would be secure under the restored monarchy. (He himself had acquired an adventurer's interest in the Clanmalier estate). He inherited a barony from his uncle Gerald (1655), and was created viscount (1675) and earl (1677). After the Restoration he held several important offices of state: he was a member of the Irish privy council (1660–85); he was made governor of Longford and Westmeath (1661) as well as governor of Carrickfergus; he was vice-treasurer of Ireland (1670–75) and master of ordnance (1679–84); and he was a commissioner of revenue from 1682 until he was deprived by Tyrconnel (qv) in 1687. The earl, though a protestant, took his seat in James II's (qv) Irish parliament in 1689. After the Williamite victory he was keeper of the great seal (1693–6 and 1697–1700). He owned lands in King's County, Westmeath and Longford. In the village of Longford he had a small house where he was besieged (apparently by rapparees) in 1666. As a result of his efforts Longford was incorporated as a borough two years later.
But Aungier is most memorable as a property developer in Dublin. His paternal grandfather, Francis Aungier (qv), 1st Baron Aungier of Longford (1558–1632), master of the rolls, had been granted lands in Dublin formerly belonging to the Whitefriars. These lands, together with others acquired by Francis Aungier, the future earl, lay to the south-east of Dublin castle and west of St Stephen's Green, and so in the Dublin of the Restoration period they were ripe for development. It was on this estate that the ‘first extensive planned surburban development in Dublin took place from 1660 to 1685’ (Burke). The first new street, Aungier Street, then the widest in Dublin, opened about 1661. His wealth increased when he inherited from his brother Gerald (c.1640–77), who was governor of Bombay. As well as houses in Dublin and at Longford he had a mansion in London. (He was elected MP for Surrey in 1660 and for Arundel in 1671.)
Francis Aungier married first (before 1663) Jane Carr (1636–69), a widow, and second (between 1677 and 1682) Anne (d. 1697), née Chichester, daughter of the first earl of Donegall (qv) and widow of John Butler, third son of the 1st duke of Ormond (qv). Aungier died without issue on 22 December 1700, and was buried in St Patrick's cathedral. He was succeeded by his brother Ambrose (d. 1704). The property he had accumulated passed eventually (about 1720) to Michael Cuffe and James Macartney, descendants of Francis and Ambrose's younger sister Alice, who married Francis Cuffe. Michael Cuffe's only daughter and heir, Elizabeth (1719–94), married Thomas Pakenham in 1740; her husband was ennobled as Baron Longford in 1756, and in 1785 she was made a peeress in her own right as countess of Longford. Francis Aungier is a good example of a well-connected, wealthy and influential member of the New English elite that formed in Ireland in the seventeenth century; his only misfortune was to die childless.