Conway, Francis (Ingram) Seymour- (1743–1822), chief secretary for Ireland, Viscount Beauchamp , and 2nd marquess of Hertford , was born 12 February 1743 in London, eldest son of Francis Seymour-Conway (qv), later 1st marquess of Hertford, and Isabella Seymour-Conway (née Fitzroy); he was styled Viscount Beauchamp from 1750 until 1793. Educated at Eton, he entered Christ Church, Oxford (1759), before embarking on the grand tour. Deciding upon a career in politics, he entered the Irish house of commons as MP for Lisburn (1761–8) as his family owned large estates in Co. Antrim. His father had been created earl of Hertford in 1750, and on 7 August 1765 was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. In a blatant example of favouritism, he insisted on his son becoming chief secretary, despite his youth and inexperience, and Francis was appointed to the office the same day. Made an Irish privy counsellor on 18 October 1765, he struggled to make an impact and was largely ineffective. Lord Charlemont (qv) had little time for him and called him ‘that cold hearted nobleman’, insisting that he was ‘far more odious’ than his father (G.E.C., Peerage, vi, 512). He served in office for eight months, but effectively resigned on 10 April 1766 when his father decided to return to England. None the less he was appointed constable of Dublin castle, a sinecure he held until his death. Entering the British house of commons, he was MP for Lostwithiel (1766–8) and then represented the family borough of Orford (1768–94). Continuing to sit in the Irish house of commons, he changed constituencies in 1768 when he became MP for Co. Antrim (1768–76). For much of this period he was absent from Ireland, and a parliamentary report in 1773 described him as ‘not liked’ (HIP). However, in Britain he maintained a genuine interest in Irish affairs, praising the loyalty of the country in 1779, and consistently supporting catholic relief. His pamphlet A letter to the first company of Belfast Volunteers (1782) was a strong statement in favour of Irish reform and limited Irish parliamentary independence. However, changing events in Ireland ensured he warmly supported the eventual legislative union (1799–1800). Styled earl of Yarmouth from 1793, he succeeded his father as 2nd marquess of Hertford on 14 June 1794. Custos rotulorum of Co. Antrim from 1802 until his death, he became a KG on 18 July 1807. He died 17 June 1822.
He married first (4 February 1768) Alice Elizabeth Windsor (d. 1772); they had one daughter. He married secondly (20 May 1776) Isabella Anne Ingram Shepheard; they had one son. On 18 December 1807 he inserted the name ‘Ingram’ before ‘Seymour’ in recognition of the large fortune he had inherited from his mother-in-law. He was succeeded as 3rd marquess of Hertford by his only son, Francis Charles Seymour-Conway (1777–1842). Styled earl of Yarmouth (1794–1822), he was a close friend of his first cousin, Viscount Castlereagh (qv).