Sunday, 10 January 2016

House of Crichton

This name originally assumed from the barony of Crichton, Edinburgh.

WILLIAM DE CRICHTON, living about 1240, was ancestor of the Crichtons, Viscounts Frendraught, which title ceased with Lewis, 5th Viscount, about 1699; and of

JOHN CREIGHTON, of Crum [sic] Castle, County Fermanagh, settled in County Fermanagh during the 17th century.

This John married Mary, daughter of Sir Gerald Irvine, of Castle Irvine, and was succeeded by his son,

ABRAHAM CREIGHTON, MP for County Fermanagh, who commanded a regiment of foot in WILLIAM III's service in the battle of Aughrim, 1692.

He represented County Fermanagh in parliament.

Colonel Creighton married Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev James Spottiswood, Lord Bishop of Clogher.

He died in 1705, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

celebrated for his gallant defence, in 1689, of the family seat of Crom Castle, against a large body of the royal army (King James's). 
Having repulsed the assailants, young Creighton made a sally, at the instant that a corps of Enniskilleners was approaching to the relief of the castle, which movement placed the besiegers between two fires, and caused dreadful slaughter.
The enemy attempting to accomplish his retreat across an arm of Lough Erne, near Crom Castle, that spot became the scene of such carnage, that it bore the name of the "Bloody Pass". 
This gentleman represented Enniskillen in parliament, and attaining the rank of major-general in the army, was appointed governor of the royal hospital of Kilmainham.
He wedded, in 1700, Catherine, second daughter of Richard Southwell, of Castle Mattress, County Limerick, and sister of 1st Lord Southwell.

General Creighton died in 1728, and was succeeded by his only son,

ABRAHAM CREIGHTON, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1768, by the title of Baron Erne, of Crom Castle.

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, eldest daughter of  John Rogerson, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench in Ireland, by whom he had issue,
David, died young;
JOHN, his successor;
Meliora; Charlotte; Mary.
He married secondly, in 1762, Jane, only daughter of John King, of Charlestown, County Roscommon, and widow of Arthur Acheson, by whom he had no issue.

At his decease, in 1772, he was succeeded by his elder surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron, who was elevated to the dignity of Viscount Erne, in 1781; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF ERNE, in 1789.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1761, Catherine, 2nd daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Howard, Lord Bishop of Elphin, and sister of the Viscount Wicklow, by whom he had issue,
ABRAHAM, his successor;
Elizabeth; Catherine.
This nobleman espoused secondly, in 1776, Lady Mary Hervey, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon and Rt Rev Frederick Augustus [Hervey], Earl of Bristol and Lord Bishop of Derry, and had an only daughter, Elizabeth Caroline Mary, who wedded James Archibald, Lord Wharncliffe.

John Henry Michael Ninian [Crichton] succeeds his father as 7th Earl.


Crom Castle in County Fermanagh, remains the ancestral seat of the Earls of Erne.

Crom Estate, however, has been a property of the National Trust since 1988.

The name Crom is traditionally pronounced "Crum", as in bread-crumb.

The 6th Earl, who died on the 23rd December, 2015, is survived by wife Anna, Countess of Erne, and his son and four daughters: John, 7th Earl; Lady Cleone; Lady Davina; Lady Katherine; and Lady Tara.

The 6th Earl retired as HM Lord-Lieutenant for County Fermanagh on the 9th July, 2012, having served 25 years in office.

One of his final official engagements was to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to the county during Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee tour, on the 26th June, 2012.

First published in January, 2012.  Erne arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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