Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Macartney Baronets

GEORGE MACARTNEY (c1630-1702), son of George Macartney, the last of the Macartneys of Blacket, parish of Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire, settled in Belfast in the 1650s.

He married Grace Davies, said to be of the family of Sir John Davies, Knight, Attorney-General for Ireland during the reign of JAMES I, and had two sons,
George,  Lieutenant-General in the army;
ISAAC, of whom we treat.
Mr Macartney, sometimes known as 'Black George' to distinguish him from his kinsman, George Macartney (1626-91), prospered in the town of Belfast, where he was a merchant and ship-owner; Burgess, 1665, and served four terms as Sovereign or Mayor.

Mr Macartney's younger son,

ISAAC MACARTNEY (c1670-1738), possessed a large estate in Ulster, and served as High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1690.

Mr Macartney spent £40,000 in constructing the docks and quays at the port of Belfast.

He wedded Anne, sister and co-heiress (with her sister, the wife of John MacDowall, of Freugh, and grandmother of Patrick, Earl of Dumfries) of John Haltridge, of Dromore, County Down, MP for Killyleagh, 1703-25, and had issue,
GEORGE, High Sheriff of Co Antrim, 1743, Sovereign of Belfast, 1749/50/51/56/59/63;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Grace, m Sir Robert Blackwood Bt.
The younger son,

WILLIAM MACARTNEY (1714-93), MP for Belfast, 1747-60, espoused Catherine, daughter of Thomas Banks, of the family of Banks of Corfe Castle, Dorset, and had issue,
ARTHUR CHICHESTER (1744-1827), KC, of Murlough, County Down;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
five daughters.
William Macartney MP, his wife Catherine, and their daughter

The second son,

JOHN MACARTNEY (1747-1812), of Lish, County Armagh, MP for Fore (Co Westmeath), 1792-7, Naas, 1798-1800, received the honour of knighthood, 1796, for his exertions in promoting the inland navigation of Ireland.

Sir John was created a baronet in 1799, designated of Lish, County Armagh.
The territorial designation "Lish" is somewhat curious, given that there is no townland or civil parish by that name to my knowledge. 
It might refer to the townland of TULLYLISH, which sits on the River Bann between Banbridge, County Down, and Portadown, County Armagh.
He married firstly, Miss Anne Scriven, descended from the Barclays of Urie, in Scotland, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Elizabeth; Maria; Anna.
Sir John wedded secondly, Catherine, daughter of the Rt Hon Walter Hussey Burgh, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and had a son and daughter,
Hussey Burgh;
He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THE REV SIR WILLIAM ISAAC MACARTNEY, 2nd Baronet (1780-1867), of Lish, Rector of Desertegny, County Donegal, who married Ellen, daughter of Sir James Barrington Bt, and had issue,
Sophia; Anna; Georgina; Fanny; Maria.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN MACARTNEY, 3rd Baronet (1832–1911), who migrated to Jolimont, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, and wedded, in 1865, Catherine, daughter of Alexander Miller, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM ISAAC, his successor;ALEXANDER MILLER, 5th Baronet;
John Barrington, father of the 6th Baronet;
Herbert Charles;
Robert Graham;
David Edwin;
Harold Eric Joseph;
Victor Alan.
The eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM ISAAC MACARTNEY, 4th Baronet (1867-1942), died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR ALEXANDER MILLER MACARTNEY, 5th Baronet (1869-1960), who died unmarried, when the baronetcy reverted to his first cousin,

SIR JOHN BARRINGTON MACARTNEY, 6th Baronet (1917-99), a dairy farmer, who espoused, in 1944, Amy Isobel Reinke, and had issue, an only child,

SIR JOHN RALPH MACARTNEY, 7th and present Baronet (1945-), of Mount Pleasant, Queensland, Australia, who married, in 1966, Suzanne Marie Fowler, and has issue, four daughters,
Donna Marie;
Karina Lee;
Katharine Ann;
Anita Louise.
Sir John is a former Petty Officer, Royal Australian Navy; Malaya and Vietnam 1968–69; in 1979, a teacher at Bruce College Technology.


ISAAC MACARTNEY (c1670-1738), merchant and shipowner of Belfast, was the son of another merchant and shipowner, "Black" George Macartney.

This Isaac was High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1690, and a Burgess of Belfast, 1701-07.

He built George and Hanover Quays in Belfast at his own expense; though was ruined by his brother-in-law's debts, his own "inattention to business", and the inefficiency of trustees appointed to manage his estates.

Mr Macartney was a Presbyterian and a leading elder of First Belfast Presbyterian Church between 1709-16.

He had an annual income of £400 from leasehold properties in Belfast and inherited his wife's estates in Counties Down and Armagh. His wife was Anne Haltridge (d 1748), daughter of William Haltridge, a wealthy Dromore merchant.

Macartney was gradually drawn into the financial affairs of his brother-in-law, which caused his financial ruination.

I have discovered a fascinating article by the Rt Hon Sir William Grey Ellison-Macartney KCMG (1852-1924), a statesman who served as Governor of several Australian states:-
In dealing with the two branches of the Macartney family, which settled in Belfast in the second quarter of the 17th century, the author of Benn's History of Belfast and the editor of The Town Book of Belfast have fallen into several inaccuracies.

Though both these publications were issued during my father's lifetime, neither of these writers made any enquiries of him for the purpose of identifying the respective personalities of the two George Macartneys who came from Scotland, and who occupied very prominent positions in Belfast, during the second half of the 17th century.

One was George Macartney, of Auchinleck, whose son George acquired in 1742 an estate in the north of Antrim, and whose descendants are known as the Macartneys of Lissanoure; the other was George Macartney of Blacket, from whom are descended, with others,
  • Col John Merton Macartney, late of Dorset Regiment, the male representative of this branch; 
  • Edward Henry Macartney MP, of Glenallan, Brisbane, Queensland;
  • The Rt Hon Sir William Ellison-Macartney;
  • Sir John Macartney Bt, of Queensland;
  • The Very Rev Hussey Burgh Macartney, Dean of Melbourne.
First published in December, 2010.

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