The first of the family who settled in Ulster, however, was
SIR WILLIAM COLE, Knight (c1575-1653), who fixed his abode early in the reign of JAMES I, in County Fermanagh.
He was the son of a member of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in London.
This William was made captain of the longboats and barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Erne, by patent, in 1607.
This gentleman became an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, and had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands, in the county wherein he resided; to which, in 1612, were added 320 acres in the same county.
Eighty acres whereof were assigned for the town of Enniskillen; and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William being the first provost. Sir William raised a regiment, which he commanded against the rebels, in 1643, with important success.Sir William wedded twice: Firstly, to Susannah, daughter and heiress of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters.
This gentleman's second wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653, two sons,
MICHAEL, his successor;The elder son,
John, of Newland, Co Dublin; MP for Fermanagh; cr baronet, 1660.
SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, MP for Enniskillen, wedded Alice, daughter of Chidley Coote, of Killester, County Dublin, and was succeeded by his only surviving child,
SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, who wedded, in 1671, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt; and dying in 1710, was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN COLE, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh, MP for Enniskillen, who espoused Florence, only daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Baronet, of Trebitch, in Cornwall, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN COLE (1709-67), of Florence Court, MP for Enniskillen, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Mountflorence.
His lordship espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Willoughby Montgomery, of Carrow, County Fermanagh, and had, with several daughters, two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,
Arthur, m Letitia Hamilton.
WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Baron (1736-1803), who was created Viscount Enniskillen in 1776; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF ENNISKILLEN, in 1789.
His lordship married, in 1763, Anne, daughter of Galbraith Lowry-Corry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and sister of Armar, 1st Earl of Belmore, by whom he had issue,
JOHN WILLOUGHBY, his successor;His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,
Galbraith Lowry (Sir), GCB, general in the army;
William Montgomery (Very Rev), Dean of Waterford;
Arthur Henry, MP;
Henry, died young;
Sarah; Elizabeth Anne; Anne; Florence; Henrietta Frances.
JOHN WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Earl (1768-1840), KP, who married, in 1805, Charlotte, fourth daughter of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge.
His lordship was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick in 1810.
In 1815, he was created Baron Grinstead, of Grinstead, Wiltshire, in the peerage of the United Kingdom.
First Published in January, 2012.
The heir presumptive is the present holder's first cousin Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949). He is the eldest son of the Hon Arthur Gerald Cole (1920–2005), younger brother of the 6th Earl.
- John Willoughby Cole, 2nd Earl (1768–1840);
- William Willoughby Cole, 3rd Earl (1807-86);
- Lowry Egerton Cole, 4th Earl (1845–1924);
- John Henry Michael Cole, 5th Earl (1876–1963);
- Michael Galbraith Lowry Cole, Viscount Cole (1921-56);
- David Lowry Cole, 6th Earl, MBE (1918-89);
- Andrew John Galbraith Cole, 7th Earl (b 1942).