Shaw, Sir Frederick (1799–1876), 3rd baronet, politician, was born 11 December 1799 in Dublin, second son among eight children of Sir Robert Shaw (qv), eminent banker and politician, and his wife Maria, daughter of Abraham Wilkinson of Bushy Park, Dublin. Frederick entered TCD (July 1814) but transferred two years later to Brasenose College, Oxford, whence he graduated BA (1819). After attendance at Lincoln's Inn, London, and the King's Inns, Dublin, he was called to the Irish bar in 1822 and quickly built up a considerable practice. In 1826 he was appointed recorder of Dundalk and two years later was made recorder of Dublin (1828–76).
His father, MP for Dublin city 1804–26, helped secure him the tory candidature for that constituency and in 1830 Shaw was elected for Dublin city (1830–31), together with the Orangeman George Moore. Henry Grattan (qv) (1789–1859), son of the statesman, was the defeated whig candidate. Shaw was a moderate tory who claimed to be reconciled to emancipation and to have received some catholic support. Nevertheless both he and Moore were decisively beaten in the next general election in May 1831 by the reform candidates, the lord mayor Robert Harty (1779–1832) and Louis Perrin (qv), who received 85 per cent of the freeholders' vote. A petition alleging bribery and undue government influence led to a house of commons committee's declaring the election invalid; at a new election, with a considerably reduced turn-out, Shaw topped the poll. Each of these elections cost him £10,000. The following year his name was mooted by Daniel O'Connell (qv) as a potential running mate if he could be induced to sign the repeal pledge. Shaw rejected the overtures and withdrew his candidature from Dublin city (October). O'Connell and Edward Ruthven (qv) were returned for Dublin city in December 1832, and Shaw for Dublin University (1832–48).
In the commons Shaw emerged as one of the leaders of the Irish conservatives and a scourge of O'Connell. His debating talents were praised by (among others) Gladstone, but James Grant, the then anonymous author of the pithy Random recollections of the house of commons (1836) observed: ‘He is cold and monotonous on ordinary topics, but violent both in voice and manner when the clergy, church, or Orangemen are attacked. Then his energy of manner verges on the ludicrous' (Random recollections, 81). Grant did, however, concede the brilliance of Shaw's defence of Sir William Cusack Smith (qv), baron of the exchequer and judge on the Munster circuit. On 13 February 1834 O'Connell carried by a majority of ninety-nine a motion for the appointment of a committee of inquiry into Baron Smith's conduct in court; it was principally through Shaw's vindication that the motion was rescinded a week later.
On the accession of Sir Robert Peel (qv) as prime minister in November 1834, Shaw was appointed to the Irish privy council and during Peel's short administration was so influential an adviser to Lord Haddington, lord lieutenant (1834–5), that the period was called by opponents ‘the Shaw viceroyalty’. On the return of the whigs to office in April 1835, Shaw first opposed the Irish municipal corporations bill, but as the bill dragged through parliament without resolution, was persuaded by Peel in 1838 to support it. He became leader of those Irish conservatives willing to compromise over the bill, as against the hard-liners who were supported and advised by Isaac Butt (qv). On 10 August 1840 the bill finally became law, by which time Shaw was being reviled as a Judas by Dublin corporation. In the election of 1847 he was only just returned after a severe contest with Sir Joseph Napier (qv); and the following year resigned his seat. On the death of his unmarried brother Robert on 19 February 1869, he succeeded to the baronetcy. He died 30 June 1876 at his home, Terenure Manor, Crumlin, Dublin, having been predeceased by his wife (m. 16 March 1819), Thomasine Emily (née Jocelyn; d. 1859), granddaughter of Robert Jocelyn (qv), 1st earl of Roden. They had five sons and three daughters.