Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Macartney Baronets


GEORGE MACARTNEY, of Belfast, 1630, 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,
The younger son,

ISAAC MACARTNEY, possessed a large estate in Ulster, and served as High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1690.

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

Mr Macartney 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 MP, of Dromore, County Down, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
The younger son,

WILLIAM MACARTNEY (1714-93), MP for Belfast for forty years, espoused Catherine, daughter of Thomas Bankes, of the family of Bankes, of Corfe Castle, Dorset, and had issue,
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The second son,

JOHN MACARTNEY (1747-1812), of Lish, County Armagh, MP,  having received the honour of knighthood in 1796 for his exertions in promoting the inland navigation of Ireland, was created a baronet in 1799.

He married firstly, Miss Anne Scriven, descended from the Barclays of Urie, in Scotland, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Elizabeth; Maria; Anna.
He wedded secondly, Catherine, daughter of the Rt Hon Walter Hussey Burgh, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left a son and daughter,
Hussey Burgh;
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THE REV SIR WILLIAM ISAAC MACARTNEY MA (1780-1867), 2nd Baronet, 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 son,

SIR JOHN MACARTNEY, 3rd Baronet (1832–1911), who lived at Jolimont, Mackay, Queensland, Australia.

Sir John Barrington Macartney, 6th Baronet, was a dairy farmer.

Sir John Ralph Macartney (b 1945), is 7th and present baronet,
former Petty Officer, Royal Australian Navy; Malaya and Vietnam 1968–69; In 1979, a teacher at Bruce College Technology and Further; in 2003 lived at Mount Pleasant, Queensland, Australia.
The family has lived in Australia since the migration of the 3rd Baronet in the 19th century.


ISAAC MACARTNEY (ca 1670-1738), merchant and shipowner of Belfast, was the son of another merchant and shipowner, "Black" George Macartney.

This Isaac was High Sheriff of County Antrim in 1690; 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.

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 eventually ruined him.

Sir John Ralph Macartney (b 1945), 7th and present baronet, and lives in Australia.

I have discovered a fascinating article by the Rt Hon Sir William Grey Ellison-Macartney KCMG (1852-1924), a statesman who also served as Governor of several Australian states.

This is an extract:-
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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