Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bellamont Forest

THE EARLS OF BELLAMONT OWNED 5,321 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CAVAN

This is the parent stock whence the noble houses of COOTEEarls of Mountrath, and COOTE, Lords Castlecoote, both now extinct, emanated. 

This noble family derives its origin from

SIR JOHN COOTE, a native of France, who married Isabella, the daughter and heir of the Seigneur Du Bois, of that kingdom, and had issue,

SIR JOHN COOTE, Knight, who coming into England, settled in Devon, and married a daughter of Sir John Fortescue, of that county.

His lineal descendant,

JOHN COOTE, heir to his uncle, 28th Abbot of Bury St Edmund's, wedded Margaret, daughter of Mr Drury, by whom he had four sons,
Richard;
FRANCIS, of whom we treat;
Christopher;
Nicholas.
Mr Coote's second son,

FRANCIS COOTE, of Eaton, in Norfolk, served ELIZABETH I; and by Anne, his wife, had issue,

SIR NICHOLAS COOTE, living in 1636, who had two sons,
CHARLES, his heir;
William (Very Rev), Dean of Down, 1635.
Sir Nicholas's elder son,

SIR CHARLES COOTE (1581-1642), Knight, of Castle Cuffe, in the Queen's County,
Who served in the wars against O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, at the head, as captain of the 100th Foot Regiment, with which corps he was at the siege of Kinsale, and was appointed, by JAMES I (in consequence of the good and faithful services he had rendered to ELIZABETH I), provost-marshal of the province of Connaught for life. 
In 1620, he was constituted vice-president of the same province; and created, in 1621, a baronet. Sir Charles distinguished himself, subsequently, by many gallant exploits; but the most celebrated was the relief of Birr, in 1642. 
Being dispatched, with Sir Thomas Lucas and six troops of horse, to relieve that garrison, and some other fortresses, it was necessary, in order to effect the objective, to pass the causeway broken by the rebels, who had thrown up a ditch at the end of it. 
Sir Charles, leading thirty dismounted dragoons, beat the enemy, with the loss of their captain and twenty men; relieved the castles of Birr, Borris, and Knocknamase; and having continued almost forty hours on horseback, returned to the camp with the loss of only one man. 
This is the surprising passage through Mountrath woods which justly caused the title of MOUNTRATH to be entailed upon his son.
Sir Charles married Dorothea, youngest daughter and co-heir of Hugh Cuffe, of Cuffe's Wood, County Cork, and had issue,
Charles, his heir;
Chidley, of Killester, Co Dublin;
RICHARD, ancestor of the EARL OF BELLAMONT;
Thomas, of Coote Hill;
Letitia.
Sir Charles's younger son,

RICHARD (1620-83), for his hearty concurrence with his brother, SIR CHARLES, 2nd Baronet, in promoting the restoration of CHARLES II, was rewarded with the dignity of a peer of the realm.

Being the same day that his brother was created Earl of Mountrath, Richard Coote was created Baron Coote, of Coloony, in 1660.
In 1660, Lord Coote was appointed Major to the Duke of Albemarle's regiment of horse; and the same year he was appointed one of the commissioners for executing His Majesty's declaration for the settlement of Ireland.
His lordship was, in 1675, appointed one of the commissioners entrusted for the 49 Officers. In 1676, this nobleman resided at Moore Park, County Meath; and at Piercetown, County Westmeath.
He married Mary, second daughter of George, Lord St George.

Following Lord Coote's decease, in 1683, he was interred at Christ Church Cathedral, in Dublin.

His second son,

RICHARD, 2nd Baron (1636-1701), was, in 1688, one on the first to join the Prince of Orange; was Governor of County Leitrim, 1689; Treasurer to the Queen,1689-93; MP for Droitwich, 1689-95.

In 1689, he was attainted in his absence by the Irish Parliament of King JAMES II.

His lordship was created EARL OF BELLAMONT in 1689, along with a grant of 77,000 acres of forfeited lands.


He was Governor of Massachusetts, 1695; and Governor of New York, 1697-1701.

The King had sent Lord Bellamont to New York to put down the "freebooting". Unfortunately he was responsible for outfitting the veteran mariner William Kidd, who turned into 'Captain Kidd', who terrorised the merchants until his capture in 1698.
According to Cokayne "he was a man of eminently fair character, upright, courageous and endependent. Though a decided Whig he had disinguished himself by bringing before the Parliament at Westminster some tyrannical acts done by Whigs at Dublin."
His lordship wedded, in 1680, Catharine, daughter and heir of Bridges Nanfan, of Worcestershire, and had issue,
NANFAN, his successor;
RICHARD, succeeded his brother.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

NANFAN, 2nd Earl (1681-1708), who married Lucia Anna van Nassau (1684-1744), daughter of Henry de Nassau, Lord Overkirk, in 1705/6 at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London.

He died at Bath, Somerset, from palsy, without male issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

RICHARD, 3rd Earl (1682-1766), who, in 1729, sold the family estate of Coloony, County Sligo, for nearly £17,000.

In 1737, he succeeded his mother to the estates of Birtsmorton, Worcestershire.

Macaulay described him as "of eminently fair character, upright, courageous and independent."

On his death, the earldom expired. 

The last Earl was succeeded in the barony of Coote by his first cousin once removed,

THE RT HON CHARLES, 5th Baron, KB, PC (1738-1800).
The 5th Baron was the son of Charles Coote, MP for County Cavan, son of the Hon Thomas Coote, a Justice of the Court of the King's Bench of Ireland, younger son of the 1st Baron.
In 1767, the earldom of Bellamont was created for the third time when Charles, Lord Coote, was created EARL OF BELLAMONT (3rd creation).

1st Earl of Bellamont

In 1774, Lord Bellamont was created a baronet, of Donnybrooke in the County of Dublin, with remainder to his illegitimate son, Charles.

Following his death in 1800, the titles became extinct as he left no surviving legitimate male issue, though he was succeeded in the baronetcy according to the special remainder by his illegitimate son Charles, 2nd Baronet.


BELLAMONT FOREST, near Cootehill, County Cavan, now sits amid approximately one thousand acres of parkland and lakes.

It is one of Ireland's finest 18th-century Palladian villas.

The house is four bays square, built over two storeys, with a basement, built of red brick with ashlar facings, and has a Doric limestone portico, with pediments over the windows.

The main house has been re-roofed and the chimneys rebuilt; the current owner has also rewired the house.

A new heating system has been installed on the ground floor with concealed radiators and the entire house re-plumbed.

There are both excellent formal reception rooms and beautiful entertaining rooms, coupled with a comfortable family atmosphere.

It provides extensive bedroom accommodation for both family, guests and staff, and in addition boasts the former linen hall.

The gardens have also been developed and greatly enhanced and act as further entertaining space.

A particular feature is the walled garden.

First published in August, 2013.   Bellamont arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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