Colclough, Caesar (1766–1842), politician, of Tintern Abbey, Co. Wexford, was born 8 May 1766, son of ‘Sir’ Vesey Colclough (qv) (1745–94), MP, of Tintern Abbey, and Katherine Colclough (née Grogan) of Johnstown, Co. Wexford. Educated at TCD (1786–9) and Lincoln's Inns (1789), he, by his own account, had to get by on a very meagre allowance from his separated and ‘improvident’ father, which taught him ‘independence and frugality’ (McPeake papers, C/54). According to the lawyer Peter Burrowes (qv), it was Colclough's wish ‘to avoid the disgrace his father's folly and profligacy brought upon him’ (Rosse papers, D/2/15) that prompted him to go to France in 1792. While in Paris he was arrested and made a ‘prisoner of state’ but reputedly procured his release by ‘making a model in wood of a threshing machine’ that attracted the favourable notice of ‘a committee of science’ (ibid.). Taking up residence in Lausanne, Colclough left the management of his family lands, which passed to him burdened with debt on the death of his father, to his brother John, while he chose to remain on the Continent where he occupied himself with ‘all the physical and practical sciences’ (ibid.). Encouraged by his brother to return home to stand in the popular interest for Co. Wexford, he was elected in absentia in May 1806, after which he was arrested on the orders of Napoleon and held as a prisoner of war. (His brother John Colclough (b. 1767) stood for the same seat in 1807 and became involved in an election quarrel with William Congreve Alcock (qv) who shot him dead in a duel.) Caesar remained in France until 1814, when he returned to examine his estates, which now produced an income of £6,500 a year. Four years later he offered himself to the electors of Co. Wexford and was returned to represent the county at Westminster.
He was not inactive in the house of commons, but his views (like his lifestyle) verged on the eccentric. For example, he cautioned against the introduction of gas lighting in London on health grounds. Declining for financial reasons to stand for reelection in 1820, he devoted the remainder of his life to private pursuits. He built a new village, Saltmills, in place of the old village of Tintern, Co. Wexford, which was demolished, and planned a new residence for his wife, Jane Stratford Kirwan (m. November 1818). It was never built. Colclough and his wife lived most of their lives together in England and France until his death at Cheltenham on 23 August 1842. In the absence of a direct heir the property passed (after prolonged litigation) to his second cousin, Mary Grey Wentworth Rossborough-Colclough.