Ulysses Bagenal de Burgh was born in Dublin in 1788. He later became Lord Downes and was the only son to Thomas Burgh, the Comptroller-General and Commissioner of the Revenue of Ireland.
Burgh joined the army, but was wounded in the Peninsular War at Toulouse in 1814, and subsequently returned to England to marry and become an MP. On 20 March 1820, he was appointed Surveyor General of the Ordnance, a position he held until 1830 when he also stepped down as MP for Queenborough.
For the next thirty years, Lord Downes enjoyed life as a country gentleman, and eventually died in 1863.