Sunday, 29 March 2020

1st Baron Lurgan


SIR WILLIAM BROWNLOW (1591-1660), of Brownlow's-derry, County Armagh, the first of the family who settled in Ulster, was born at Epworth, Derbyshire.

The said gentleman received the honour of knighthood in 1622, from Henry, Viscount Falkland, Lord Deputy of Ireland.

In 1629, he received a patent and grant of lands in County Armagh.

Sir William left his property to his grandson (the son of his daughter, Letitia Chamberlain),

ARTHUR CHAMBERLAIN (1645-1711), High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1668-9, MP for Armagh County, 1689-1711, who, assuming the surname and arms of BROWNLOW, wedded, about 1677, Jane, daughter of Sir Standish Hartstonge Bt, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Anne, m Matthew Forde;
Lettice, m Robert Cope.
Mr Brownlow was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM BROWNLOW (1683-1739), MP for Armagh County, 1711-39, who married, in 1712, the Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of James, 6th Earl of Abercorn, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Jane, died unmarried;
Elizabeth, m to John, Lord Knapton;
Anne; Mary; Isabella.
Mr Brownlow was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON WILLIAM BROWNLOW (1726-94), of Lurgan, MP for Armagh County, 1753-94, who married firstly, in 1754, Judith Letitia, eldest daughter of the Very Rev Charles Meredyth, Dean of Ardfert, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
CHARLES, heir to his brother.
He wedded secondly, in 1765, Catherine, daughter of Roger Hall, of Mount Hall, County Down, and had further issue,
James (1772-1832);
Francis (Rev), b 1779; m Catherine, 6th daughter of 8th Earl of Meath;
Catherine, m, in 1783, M Forde, of Seaforde;
Isabella, m, in 1796, Richard, 4th Viscount Powerscourt;
Elizabeth, m, in 1791, John, 4th Earl of Darnley;
Mary Anne, died unmarried 1791;
Frances Letitia, m, in 1800, John, 2nd Viscount de Vesci;
Selina; Louisa.
Mr Brownlow was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM BROWNLOW, who dsp 1815, and was succeeded by his brother,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL CHARLES BROWNLOW (1757-1822), of Lurgan, who wedded, in 1785, Caroline, daughter and co-heir of Benjamin Ashe, of Bath, and had issue,
William, a military officer, killed in Spain, 1813;
CHARLES, of whom we treat;
John (Rev), b 1798;
Frederick, b 1800; army major;
George, b 1805; East India Company;
Henry, b 1807; East India Company;
Isabella, m, in 1818, R Macneill, of Barra;
Anna, m, in 1821, Col Maxwell Close, of Drumbanagher;
Mary, m, in 1822, Rev John F Close.
Colonel Brownlow was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON CHARLES BROWNLOW (1795-1847), of Lurgan, MP for County Armagh, 1818-32, who married firstly, in 1822, the Lady Mary Bligh, second daughter of John, 4th Earl of Darnley, by whom he had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth.

He wedded secondly, in 1828, Jane, fourth daughter of Roderick Macneill, of Barra, Inverness-shire, and had further issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
Clara Anne Jane.
Mr Brownlow was elevated to the peerage, in 1839, in the dignity of of BARON LURGAN, of Lurgan, County Armagh.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES, 2nd Baron (1831-82), KP, of Lurgan, Knight of St Patrick, who espoused, in 1853, Emily Anne, fourth daughter of John, 3rd Baron Kilmaine, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
John Roderick;
Francis Cecil, father of 5th Baron;
Mary Emily Jane; Clara Agnes; Louisa Helene; Isabella Anna;
Clementina Georgiana; Emmeline Harriet Annette.
His lordship, Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, 1864-82, was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 3rd Baron (1858-1937), KCVO, of Lurgan, State Steward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1895-1905, who married, in 1893, the Lady Emily Julia Cadogan, eldest daughter of George, 5th Earl Cadogan, and had issue, an only child, 

WILLIAM GEORGE EDWARD, 4th Baron (1902-84), who wedded, in 1979, (Florence) May Cooper, widow of Eric Cooper, of Johnannesburg, South Africa, and daughter of Louis Francis Squire Webster, of Johannesburg.

His lordship died without issue, when the title reverted to his cousin,


The title expired following the death of the 5th Baron in 1991.


UNDER the Plantation of Ulster, John Brownlow, of Nottingham, offered himself as an undertaker of land at Oneilland, County Armagh.
Brownlow stated Nottingham as his place of origin, his family's native city and where his father had served as Mayor; but he himself had actually been living in Epworth, Lincolnshire, and had only returned to Nottingham on his father's death to claim his inheritance.
He was granted the 'middle proportion' of Doughcoron in the barony of Oneilland by patent from JAMES I in 1610.

Doughcoron contained 1,500 acres and included many townlands.

In 1610, John Brownlow's son William was granted 1,000 acres by James I, the proportion of Ballynemony.

This land also lay on the southern shore of Lough Neagh, adjacent to his father's land, and stretched from the upper Bann eastward to Doughcoron.

With the death of John Brownlow, his son, William inherited his father's property; and in 1622 William was knighted by Lord Falkland, the lord deputy of Ireland.

The existing Brownlow estate was not only consolidating and prospering but also being extended, for on the death of Sir William Brownlow in 1660, he was succeeded by his grandson, Arthur Chamberlain, eldest son of Lettice Brownlow. 

Arthur Chamberlain assumed the surname of Brownlow as directed in the will of his grandfather Sir William Brownlow and resided in Brownlow's-derry.

Arthur Brownlow, alias Chamberlain, was a prudent manager and accumulated a considerable amount of money which he invested in other lands, chiefly in County Armagh were he acquired the manor of Richmount and thus became one of the largest property owners in the county.

Meanwhile throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the County Armagh Brownlow estate in the manors of Brownlowsderry and Richmound continued to prosper and with it the Brownlows, while Lurgan continued to grow as a town.

However, the changing political situation in Ireland, especially in regard to the land question, and the introduction of the Land Acts, meant the end of the great estate.

This, coupled with family financial crisis, forced the Brownlow family to sell off most of their remaining estate, including Brownlow House, in 1893. 

They moved to London, although maintaining their contact and links with the town and people of Lurgan.

The barony of Lurgan was created in 1839 for Charles Brownlow, MP for County Armagh.

His son, the 2nd Baron, joined the Liberal Party and became a government whip in the Upper House; and he was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP) in 1864.

The 2nd Lord Lurgan owned the celebrated greyhound, Master McGrath; and his brother-in-law was Mr Maxwell Close whose home, incidentally, was Drumbanagher House, built to the design of William Playfair who also designed Brownlow House.

The barony expired in 1991, following the death of the 5th Baron.

Stained Glass Window at Brownlow House

BROWNLOW HOUSE, near Lurgan, County Armagh, is a large Elizabethan-Revival mansion, built by William Playfair about 1836.

This large mansion is built of a honey-coloured stone, with numerous gables and lofty finials; abundant tall chimney-pots; oriels crowned with strap-work; and a tower with a dome and lantern.

The walls of three main reception rooms are decorated with panels painted to look like verd-antique; the ceilings grained to resemble various woods.

The windows overlooking the great staircase boast heraldic stained glass.

Brownlow House was sold by the Lurgan family to the Orange Order in 1903.

The surrounding parkland is the largest public park in Northern Ireland

The Brownlow Papers are held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

By 1883, the Brownlow estate was valued at £20,589 a year (£1.8 million today).

This consisted of the manors of Brownlowsderry and Richmount.

The memory of the Lurgan family lives on, in the form of a charitable trust.

First published in November, 2009.


Anonymous said...

I believe you are confusing 'demesne' acreage with the 'greater estate' in this post. C'est vrai?

Unknown said...

My great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother worked on this estate in the mid-late 1800s. He was gamekeeper and she cook. Their name was McNaughten. Is there any way to obtain record of them?