Wednesday, 20 October 2021

1st Earl of Ardglass

THOMAS CROMWELLBaron Cromwell, of Wimbledon, thus created, in 1536, by HENRY VIII.

Being descended from the Bourchiers, he was also created EARL OF ESSEX (sixth creation), Knight of the Garter, and His Majesty's Vice-Regent.

After his lordship had served his royal master faithfully, and to the utmost, the King caused him to be beheaded, to satisfy Bishop Gardiner and the Duke of Norfolk.

But in the same year, 1540, the attainder being reversed,

GREGORY CROMWELL (c1514-51), the son of Thomas, was created BARON CROMWELL, of Oakham, Rutland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Seymour, and sister of Edward, Duke of Somerset, and widow of Sir Anthony Oughtred, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Catherine; Frances.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 2nd Baron (1538-92), summoned to Parliament in the reign of ELIZABETH I, who wedded the Lady Mary Paulet, daughter of John, Marquess of Winchester, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Gregory (Sir);
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

EDWARD, 3rd Baron (1559-1607), who espoused firstly, ca 1580, Elizabeth, daughter of William Upton, of Puslinch, Devon, and had issue, an only daughter, ELIZABETH.

He wedded secondly, ca 1593, Frances, daughter of William Rugge, of Felmingham, Norfolk, and had further issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Frances; Anne.
His lordship was with the Earl of Essex in his expedition at sea against the Spaniards, and joined in the insurrection three years afterwards, which cost Lord Essex his head.

The 3rd Baron received, however, an especial pardon in 1601. 
Lord Cromwell, having alienated his estates in England by sale, purchased the barony of Lecale in County Down from Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy, or "made an exchange thereof".
His lordship settled at Lecale, 1605, after creditors had seized his Leicestershire manors. 
He was granted lands which had been possessed by a local Irish chieftain, Phelim McCartan, on condition that he educated and provided for McCartan's son in his household.
The King also appointed him Governor of Lecale, with the power to exercise martial law.
He was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 4th Baron (1594-1653), who married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert Meverell, of Throwleigh, Staffordshire, and had issue,
WINGFIELD, his heir;
VERE ESSEX, 4th Earl;
His lordship was created by CHARLES I, in 1624, Viscount Lecale; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1645, as EARL OF ARDGLASS.
Lord Ardglass remained firmly attached to the interests of the King during the civil wars, notwithstanding his friendship with Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex

Ardglass was an important town during the middle ages, which would explain Cromwell's choice of title.

The 1st Earl was commander of the Regiment of Horse in Ireland for CHARLES I during the Civil War; and subsequently made his peace with Parliament, paying £460 for his "delinquency".
1st Earl of Ardglass

The 1st Earl married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert Meverell, of Throwleigh, Staffordshire, and had issue,
WINGFIELD, his heir;
VERE ESSEX, 4th Earl;
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son, 

WINGFIELD, 2nd Earl (1622-68), who wedded Mary, daughter of Sir William Russell, 1st Baronet, and had issue, an only child,

THOMAS, 3rd Earl (1653-82), who married Honoria, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Michael Boyle, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland; but dying childless, 1682, the honours reverted to his uncle,

VERE ESSEX, 4th Earl (1623-87), PC, second son of the 1st Earl, who espoused, in 1672, Catherine, daughter of James Hamilton, of Newcastle, County Down.

His lordship died without male issue, when the titles expired except the barony of CROMWELL, originating in the writ of 1539, which devolved upon his daughter,

THE LADY ELIZABETH CROMWELL (1672-1709), as BARONESS CROMWELL suo jure, in which rank her ladyship assisted at the funeral of MARY II, and at the coronation of QUEEN ANNE.

Her ladyship wedded the Rt Hon Edward Southwell MP, Principal Secretary of State for Ireland, and had issue, two sons and a daughter, who all died sine prole; and another son, Edward, who, marrying the Hon Katherine Watson, daughter of Edward, Viscount Sondes, and sole heiress of her brothers, Lewis and Thomas, Earls of Rockingham, left a son,

EDWARD SOUTHWELL, 20TH BARON DE CLIFFORD, who, in right of his mother, succeeded to the barony of DE CLIFFORD.

Her ladyship died in 1709, and the barony of CROMWELL is now supposed to be vested in Lord de Clifford.
Dundrum Castle was held by the 1st Earl between 1605-36.
The Earls of Ardglass were landlords of most of the barony of Lecale.

The lands of Lecale were held, prior to the Reformation, either by the great religious corporations in Downpatrick or by the descendants of the early English colonists.

The Church lands, having become vested in the Crown, were leased to the Earl of Kildare and, after the expiration of that lease, came into the possession of the Cromwells, Earls of Ardglass.

They still form the Downpatrick estate, except large portions of them that have been sold or leased by the Cromwells or their descendants.

The estates held by the descendants of the early English colonists were almost all confiscated under the Act of Settlement, after the termination of the civil wars of 1641.

The 3rd Baron Cromwell and the 4th Earl of Ardglass are both interred at Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, County Down. 

First published in July, 2010.   Ardglass arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

there is a portrait of Lady Elizabeth Cromwell by Kneller in Down County Museum. Also a companion portrait of her husband Edward Southwell