Hutchinson, Francis Hely- (1759–1827), politician, was born 26 October 1759, third son of John Hely-Hutchinson (qv), lawyer and MP, and his wife Christiana (d. 1788), daughter of Abraham Nickson, of Munny, Co. Wicklow. Francis was educated at Eton (1770–75) and TCD (BA 1779). On his father's instructions, he entered Lincoln's Inn (22 May 1775), was called to the Irish bar (1782), and worked for a time as a barrister, but had little aptitude for the law: ‘His language never exceeds the limits of humble conversation, his delivery is languid and phlegmatic, slow without solemnity and sometimes precipitate without energy’ (HIP, 393–4). He solved some of his career problems by marrying (16 October 1785) an heiress, Frances Wilhelmina (d. 1830), daughter of Henry Nixon of Belmont, Co. Wexford. Her estate was worth £1,000 a year, though encumbered with more than £6,000. In 1814, however, rents rose to £1,525 and in 1820 to £2,820. His father, as provost of TCD since 1775, had already attempted to get one of his sons elected for the university; in 1790 he finally succeeded and Francis sat for TCD (1790–97). Afterwards he sat for Naas, Co. Kildare (1797–1800).
In parliament he cut no better figure than in the law courts. He was not inactive but was a poor speaker; the best that could be said was that he never digressed but came straight to the point. He followed his brothers in supporting catholic relief, and also fought this battle outside parliament. As a member of the Wexford grand jury in 1792, he helped move a resolution supporting the Catholic Committee, which was, however, defeated by 110 votes to 45. After the 1798 rising, he applied to Col. Deering, military commander in Cashel, to have released on bail certain prominent catholics, arrested on dubious evidence. Deering refused. Hely-Hutchinson was felt by contemporaries to be ingratiating himself with catholics for electioneering purposes. He supported the union as a measure likely to bring in emancipation, and at the behest of his eldest brother, Lord Donoughmore (qv), convened unionist meetings. In February 1800 he followed family tradition by securing himself a lucrative sinecure: collector of Dublin port excise, estimated at £1,504 a year. This made him ineligible to stand for the amalgamated parliament; however, he maintained a political role, albeit a reduced one. From 1810 until his death Donoughmore was the champion of catholic rights in the house of lords, and Francis acted as his personal assistant, writing letters and meeting people on his behalf. He seems to have made no contribution to the making of policy but contented himself with taking on Donoughmore's grievances and carrying out his instructions to the letter. He died, two years after his brother, on 16 December 1827 and was survived by his wife, five sons, and four daughters. His eldest son, John, became the 3rd earl of Donoughmore.