La Touche, William George Digges (1747–1803), diplomat and banker, was born on 28 August 1747, third son of James Digges La Touche (qv) and his second wife, Martha (née Thwaites) of St Stephen's Green, Dublin. He was admitted to St Paul's School, London, on 30 August 1757. In 1764 he accompanied ‘Mr Moore’, the British resident at Basra, to the Persian Gulf. La Touche acted as personal secretary to Moore for a number of years before succeeding him as British resident. Basra was then one of the key trading places for the East India Company, and both the British and Dutch governments had official representation there. Digges La Touche seems to have obtained the respect of both Arabs and Europeans. At the siege of Basra in 1775 he gave refuge to prominent citizens of the city and their families. When Zobier was captured by the Persians in the same year La Touche allegedly ransomed all of the inhabitants at his own expense to save them from slavery. While serving in the east for twenty years he collected illuminated Persian manuscripts (some of which came from the royal library at Shiraz); a number of these volumes were presented to TCD in 1786 and 1787. He returned to London c.1784 and married Grace, daughter of John Puget, a wealthy London-based banker of huguenot origins. By c.1786 he settled in Dublin and became a partner of the La Touche bank. In the years 1786, 1788, 1790, 1792, 1794, and 1796 he sat on the board of the Bank of Ireland. He was an active opponent of the act of union and chaired a large meeting on the subject in 1798. Like other members of his family he gave large sums to charity and was a governor of Dr Steeven's Hospital and the Lying-in Hospital, Dublin, and a director of the Grand Canal Company. He lived on St Stephen's Green, Dublin and at Sans Souci (a country estate that he purchased at Booterstown, Co. Dublin). William George Digges La Touche died on 6 November 1803 leaving four sons. A small pastel portrait of him (and another of his wife Grace) probably by Hugh Douglas Hamilton (qv) is in the Bank of Ireland collection. La Touche is known to have had his portrait painted in oils by Gilbert Stuart (qv).
His eldest son, James Digges La Touche (1788–1827), was born on 28 August 1788. His early education took place mainly at home and was supplemented after c.1795 by lessons at a day school in Dublin. La Touche continued his studies as a boarder at the classical school in Rathmines, Dublin, run by Dr Barry. He was admitted to TCD as a fellow-commoner on 2 October 1803. The death of his father in 1803 led to a short break in his studies and he worked part-time at the La Touche bank during his undergraduate years. Despite these distractions he achieved excellent examination results and was awarded a college gold medal in 1808. La Touche was deeply religious, but did not feel moved to take holy orders. Instead he carried on working at the family bank and tried wherever possible to promote religious education.
In 1808 La Touche was secretary of the Dublin Weekly Schools and in 1809 was a founding member of the Society for Encouraging Sunday Schools (later Sunday School Society of Ireland). He served as secretary of this society for eighteen years until his death. As well as attending to the mass of correspondence that the society generated, he gave public addresses and helped with the teaching of children in Dublin. La Touche was a communicant member of the Church of Ireland, like the other members of his family, but he worked closely with nonconformist Christian denominations, particularly the methodists, and held the view that all communities at home and abroad should be rooted in the teachings of the Bible. He criticised proposals for a Utopia-like industrial community at New Lanark in Scotland on the basis that no provision had been made for compulsory religious instruction. He inherited estates in Jamaica (originally acquired by his uncle James Digges La Touche in the 1760s) and promoted schemes to evangelise the black Africans who worked there.
La Touche lived on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, and at his seat, Sans Souci, Co. Dublin. He married (date unknown) Isabella, daughter of Sir James Cotter of Rockforest, Co. Cork. She was also involved with charitable works and was governor and vice-patron of the Magdalen Asylum in Dublin for ‘reformed’ female prostitutes (she worked there as a volunteer for fifty years). They had at least four sons and three daughters. James Digges La Touche died in 1827 after contracting a ‘fever’ the previous year. He was buried at the huguenot cemetery off Kevin St., Dublin.