La Touche, David Digues I (1671–1745), soldier and businessman, was born 15 November 1671, fourth son among six sons and three daughters of Denis Digues, seigneur de la Touche et de la Motte, nobleman, and his second wife Madeleine Digues (née Deplanche) of Château de la Touche, Blessois, France. David La Touche (his full formal title while in France was David Digues de la Touche des Rompures) was placed in the care of his aunt after the death of his parents c.1680. He obtained a cadetship in the Honourable Company of Valenciennes c.1685; this was probably due to his eldest brother Paul La Touche, who was catholic and had influence in court circles. David La Touche did not conform to catholicism after the revocation of the edict of Nantes (1685) and fled to Holland c.1685. With the patronage of his uncle, Louis Digues, he completed his military education in Holland and joined Gen. Caillemotte's regiment.
In 1689 La Touche was sent to Ireland, where he served in the army of William of Orange (qv) at the battle of the Boyne. On 9 April 1692 he was commissioned as an ensign in Princess Anne of Denmark's regiment of foot, commanded by Col. John Beaumont. By 1694 he had been promoted to captain. The regiment in which La Touche served was disbanded c.1695 and shortly afterwards he set up as a manufacturer/dealer of woollen goods with Nathaniel Kane in Dublin. Many of his fellow French refugees left their money and valuables with him in Dublin for safe keeping. Capital was scarce in the 1690s and La Touche invested his friends' assets wisely. His moneylending activities expanded rapidly and he laid the foundations of the family bank, but he did not abandon his other business ventures, and his prudent property speculation in the city of Dublin and profits from the textiles business helped to cushion his bank during financial crises. The relative solidity of La Touche & Kane's bank induced the nobility and gentry of Ireland to invest their fortunes with them. La Touche had a network of agents, who could act on behalf of his customers, all over Ireland, England, and on the Continent. By the 1720s the partners of the bank received an annual profit of about £1,500 on a stock of £8,000. In c.1735 La Touche moved his bank from High St. to a more fashionable address on Castle St., Dublin. He became a member of the Weavers' Guild in 1701 and was elected master of this body in 1708. In 1717 he became a member of the Guild of Merchants, and in 1735 was admitted to the common council of the Trinity Guild of Merchants. He also served on the board of the ballast office.
La Touche was a shrewd businessman who made a fortune during his lifetime, yet he was respected for his honest dealings and charitable activities. He enjoyed the status and respect that his civic offices gave him, but he was quietly conservative and could not be drawn into local or national political debates. He was deeply religious and worshipped regularly with the French congregation at St Patrick's cathedral and at the Chapel Royal, Dublin castle. Though La Touche spent most of his life in Ireland, his huguenot roots remained important to him; both his wives were huguenots, his son David La Touche was educated in Holland, and both of his sons took huguenot brides.
He married first (1 July 1698) Judith (d. March 1713), daughter of Nöel Biard and Judith Biard (née Chevalier). They had two daughters, Martha Judith and Jeanne, and two sons. David La Touche (qv) was born on 31 December 1703 and became a partner of the bank; James Digues (or Digges) La Touche (qv) was born in 1706/7 and took over the cloth business. David La Touche I married secondly (16 April 1714) Wilhelmina Sanbregan. He was taken ill while kneeling in prayer at the Chapel Royal in Dublin and died a few days later on 17 October 1745. He was buried at the huguenot burial ground off Upper Kevin St., Dublin.