Monday, 9 March 2020

1st Viscount Bangor


The family of WARD is of Norman origin, and was seated at Capesthorne, in Cheshire, which Daniel King, in his book Vale Royal, calls "a great lordship and demesne, giving name to the ancient seat of the Wards."

WE FIND in the roll of Battle Abbey, that the family of WARD attended WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR into England, where, after some centuries, it appeared in three respectable branches; of which the Wards of Capesthorne, Cheshire.

For several centuries, having possessed many extensive lordships, descended the family of WARD, of Bangor, in the person of

BERNARD WARDwho married a daughter of the ancient family of Leigh, of High Leigh, Cheshire, and settled in Ulster about 1570.

Mr Ward acquired the lands known as Carrickshannagh from the Earl of Kildare, and renamed it CASTLE WARD.

His son and heir,

NICHOLAS WARD, born ca 1580, High Sheriff of County Down, 1620 and 1624, married Joan, daughter of Ralph Leycester, of Toft Hall, Cheshire, and had issue (with several daughters, one of whom, Eleanor, wedded Thomas Russell, of Lecale),
BERNARD, his heir;
Robert (Sir), created a Baronet, designated of Killough;
Thomas, colonel in the army, died at the battle of Worcester, 1651;
The eldest son,

BERNARD WARD, born in 1606, High Sheriff of County Down, 1656, who married Anne, daughter of Richard West, and had issue,

NICHOLAS WARD, born in 1630, High Sheriff of County Down, 1662, MP for Downpatrick, 1661-66, who married Sarah, daughter of the Rt Rev Theophilius Buckworth, and had issue,
Charles (Rev);
BERNARD, of whom hereafter.
The younger son,

BERNARD WARD (1654-90), wedded Mary, sister of Michael Ward, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and afterwards Lord Bishop of Derry, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.

Mr Ward was killed in a duel, 1690, whilst Sheriff of Down, by Jocelyn Hamilton, of the Clanbrassil family (who was mortally wounded at the same time), and was succeeded by his second, but eldest surviving son,

MICHAEL WARD (1683-1759), MP for County Down, 1713-27, who espoused, in 1709, Anne Catherine, daughter and co-heir of James Hamilton, of Bangor, County Down, and had issue,
BERNARD, his heir;
Anne; Sophia.
Judge Ward, Photo Credit: The National Trust

Judge Ward was succeeded by his only son,

BERNARD WARD (1719-81), MP for County Down, 1745-70, who married, in 1747, Anne, daughter of John, 1st Earl of Darnley, and relict of Robert Hawkins Magill, of Gill Hall, County Down, and had issue,
NICHOLAS, his successor;
John, died young;
Edward, father of EDWARD SOUTHWELL WARD;
Robert (Rt Hon);
Anne Catharine; Sophia; Amelia; Harriet.
Colonel Ward was elevated to the peerage, in 1770, in the dignity of Baron Bangor, of Castle Ward, County Down.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1781, as VISCOUNT BANGOR, of Castle Ward, County Down.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS, 2nd Viscount (1750-1827), who died unmarried, in 1827, when the family honours reverted to his nephew,

EDWARD SOUTHWELL, 3rd Viscount (1790-1837), who wedded, in 1826, Harriet Margaret, daughter of Henry, 6th Baron Farnham, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Henry William Crosbie;
William John;
Bernard Matthew, Lieutenant-General;
Crosbie Richard Maxwell.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 4th Viscount (1827-81), who died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

HENRY WILLIAM, 5th Viscount (1828-1911), JP DL, who espoused firstly, in 1854, Mary, daughter of the Rev Henry King, and had issue,
Henry Somerset Andrew (1857-60);
Edward William Henry (1863-87);
MAXWELL RICHARD CROSBIE, of whom hereafter;
Harriette Mary; Kathleen Annette Norah; Bertha Jane; Henrietta; Emily Georgiana.
Following his first wife's untimely death in 1869, his lordship married secondly, in 1874, Elizabeth, only daughter of Major Hugh Eccles, of Cronroe, County Wicklow.

He was succeeded by his youngest and only surviving son,

MAXWELL RICHARD CROSBIE, 6th Viscount (1868-1950), OBE PC, who married, in 1905, Agnes Elizabeth, daughter of Dacre Mervyn Archdale Hamilton, and had issue,
EDWARD HENRY HAROLD, his successor;
Mary Helen Kathleen; Helen Elizabeth; Margaret Bertha.
The heir presumptive is the present holder's half-brother, the Hon Edward Nicholas Ward.
The 8th and present Viscount lives in London with his wife, the celebrated royal biographer Sarah Bradford, the Viscountess Bangor.

Lord Bangor is thought to be an antiquarian book-seller.

His family's ancestral seat is Castle Ward, near Downpatrick, County Down.

When the 6th Viscount died in 1950, Castle Ward was accepted by the Northern Ireland Government in part payment of death duties, and presented by the Government with an endowment to the National Trust.

There is an apartment at Castle Ward House for the use of Lord and Lady Bangor which, it is thought, is used by them mostly during the summer.
About twenty years ago, when we stayed on the Estate, we were in the local butcher's shop in Strangford for some fillet steak. Young Duffy grimaced and told us that he was sold out; not surprising since the previous customers who had been right in front of us and had literally just left the shop, the then Hon William and Mrs Ward, who had collected a whole fillet of beef!

A former estate worker who is now, sadly, deceased, Ernest Swail, once told us that he was the last boatman to Lord Bangor. 
First published October, 2009.   Bangor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.


Unknown said...

I have just now finished reading the biography of Lucrezia Borgia that was written by the Viscount's wife, Sarah Bradford. I have a small question that I wish to present to her but do not know where I should send it. If I might know the address to which I might send a letter, it would be most appreciated. Perhaps, if her Ladyship please, I might have at last resolved a minor mystery that her book has exposed.

My e-mail address is

Thank you.

Graydon Wilson

Nicholas Whyte said...

Don't forget that the current Viscount's sister played a Doctor Who companion, married Tom Baker and is now married to Richard Dawkins!

Gareth Evans said...

I recently found out that I am related to the ward family and I am now looking up everything I can about them