Friday, 5 February 2016

The Stewart Baronets

THE STEWART BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 27,905 ACRES

CAPTAIN ANDREW STEWART, a native of Scotland, settled in Ulster about the year 1627, and marrying Sarah, eldest daughter of Andrew, 3rd Baron Castle Stewart, and sister to Mary, Countess of Suffolk, had three sons.
Captain Stewart obtained from his father-in-law the greater part of the manor of Castle Stewart; but he afterwards built, and resided on, another seat called Gortigal, near Stewartstown, County Tyrone, immediately adjoining the residence of the Castle Stewart family.
He served with Colonel Robert Stewart, of Fry, in defence of the forts of Dungannon and Mountjoy, in 1641; and at the rising of the rebels at Artree, County Tyrone, for the purpose of destroying the Protestant families of that county, his house was attacked; but with a few Scots' followers he defended it for two days, when assistance was sent to him from Mountjoy Fort.
Captain Stewart, having long been an object devoted to vengeance for the zeal and loyalty he evinced in the royal cause, was, at length, put to death by rebels about the year 1650. 
His second son,

HUGH STEWART, married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Morris, of Mountjoy Castle, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV HUGH STEWART, rector of Termon, County Tyrone, who wedded Sarah, daughter of the Rev Andrew Hamilton, by his wife, the only daughter and heir of Sir William Conyngham Bt, and had issue,

JOHN, his successor;
Andrew, an officer in the East India Company;
Henry (Rev), Rector of Loughgilly, Co Armagh;
Ann; Sarah; Amelia.
The Rev Hugh Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN STEWART (c1758-1825), of Ballygawley, who having attained eminence at the Bar, was appointed attorney-general for Ireland in 1799, and sworn of the privy council of that kingdom.

He subsequently represented counties Down and Tyrone in parliament, and was created a baronet in 1803.


Sir John espoused Mary, daughter of Mervyn Archdale, of Castle Archdale, and by her had issue,

HUGH, his successor;
Mervyn;
Mary.
Sir John was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HUGH (1792-1854), 2nd Baronet, who represented Tyrone in parliament from 1830-34.
  • Sir Hugh, 2nd Baronet (1792–1854);
    Sir John Marcus, 3rd Baronet (1830–1905);
    Sir Hugh Houghton, 4th Baronet (1858–1942);
    Sir George Powell, 5th Baronet (1861–1945);
    Sir Hugh Charlie Godfray, 6th Baronet (1897–1994);
    Sir David John Christopher, 7th Baronet (b 1935). 
Sir Hugh, 6th Baronet, of Loughmacrory Lodge, County Tyrone, was a major in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; High Sheriff, 1955, and DL for County Tyrone in 1971.

The 7th and present Baronet, Sir David, lives in Somerset.

Nick Stewart, whose half-brother is the present baronet, has kindly sent me two old photographs of Ballygawley House taken by Sir Hugh in the winter of 1914.

At that time the demesne was known as Greenhill.

Photo credit: Kenneth Allen

BALLYGAWLEY HOUSE, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone, was set in its own parkland, was a Classical mansion of two storeys, with a two-storey portico supported by two giant Doric columns and a shallow dome.


It was built for the 2nd Baronet between 1825 and 1833, to the design of John Hargrave.


Seemingly, the mansion suffered an accidental fire during the 1920s and the Stewart family never returned to it. 

First published in December, 2010.

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