Young, Samuel (1822–1918), businessman and MP, was born 14 February 1822 in Dunavaly, Portaferry, Co. Down, third son of Samuel Young, farmer, and his wife Sarah, daughter of Arthur Black of Ballyhaft, near Newtownards. Samuel was educated locally and at the Old College, Belfast, and started work as an apprentice in a hardware business in Belfast. He moved to a clerkship in the Belfast woollen firm of Day & Bottomley, and eventually became a partner. When William Bottomley died (1871), Young and two of his sons formed a wholesale drapery business. Young later joined George King in a whiskey-blending business in Belfast, which acquired and developed a distillery at Limavady, Co. Londonderry, about 1880, and he was chairman of the board of the well known Belfast bakery company founded by Bernard (‘Barney’) Hughes (qv).
Though in many ways a typical Church of Ireland businessman (he may have been of presbyterian background, but was strongly Church of Ireland at his death), Young went against type in his political allegiances, and he was also unusually tolerant of Roman catholicism. From the time when he supported the efforts of Daniel O'Connell (qv) to repeal the act of union, he consistently advocated self-government for Ireland, and greatly admired Gladstone. He was prominent in the campaign to give tenant right the force of law. At an age when most men have retired or are thinking of retirement, he stood for election in 1892 in Cavan East as an anti-Parnellite nationalist, and was returned with a significant majority; he retained the seat through the next five elections unopposed. He was generally supported by local catholic priests, at least partly because of his opposition to socialism and to labour rights. His wealth helped him to build a power base in the constituency; he was able on occasion to defy the party leadership. With two other Irish party MPs, he attended King Edward's coronation in 1902, against party orders. He is said to have assisted the political career of the nationalist politician Joseph Devlin (qv), who as a teenager was one of his employees.
He was actively involved in local philanthropic projects, in particular with the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, with which he was associated from its foundation, and he was one of the benefactors of the Mater Infirmorum Hospital, as well as of the Royal Victoria Hospital; he served on the board of the RVH for over thirty years. He wrote several political and theological works. In his nineties he had a diseased eye removed, but continued his involvement in business and politics with almost unchanged vigour and enjoyment of life; he said he could see no reason why he should not live until he was 120. In the event, he died at his home, Avonmore, on Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast, on 18 April 1918 aged 96, as the oldest MP, and was buried in Balmoral cemetery.
He married (1846) Isabella, daughter of Edward Allen, shipowner, of Fenchurch Street, London. They had twelve children, but only three sons and two daughters survived to adulthood, and his wife and one of these sons predeceased him.