Shillington, David Graham (1872–1944), politician, was born 10 December 1872 at Tavanagh House, Portadown, Co. Armagh, son of Thomas Shillington, JP, and Mary Jane Shillington (née Graham). Educated at Rydalmount School, Colwyn Bay, he later attended the Methodist College, Belfast, in 1885. On completing his studies he began working in the family business. He joined the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1913 and was one of its leaders in Co. Armagh. He later served in the 9th Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers – part of 36th (Ulster) Division – in the first world war and fought in France and Flanders. At the end of the war he retired with the honorary rank of major. In the Northern Ireland parliament he was elected unionist MP for Armagh (1921–9) and Armagh Central (1929–41). In 1937 he was appointed minister of labour, but the workload seriously affected his health, and he resigned in 1938.
A very religious man, he was a trustee of the Thomas St. methodist church in Portadown and a statutory trustee of the Methodist Church in Ireland, serving on numerous committees. In 1934 he became president of the Methodist College Old Boys’ Association; he was also treasurer and governor of the college. Closely involved in community activities in Portadown, he was held in high regard by local people. He was a district master of the Portadown District Loyal Orange Lodge, and a member of the Black Institution and the Ulster Reform Club Belfast. A former patron of Portadown Football Club, he later became president of the Portadown Musicial Festival. He served as a director of the Broadway Damask Co. Ltd, T. H. Shillington Ltd Portadown, the Lagan Navigation Co., and Portadown Loan Co. Ltd. He died 22 January 1944 in Belfast.
He married (1895) Louisa, daughter of John Collen, DL, JP, of Killycomain House, Portadown. They lived with their two sons and three daughters in Melmore, Craigavad, Co. Down and later moved to Ardeevin, Strandtown, Belfast. Their son Graham Shillington (qv) became chief constable of the RUC (1970–73).