The settlement of this noble family in Ireland took place in the reign of ELIZABETH I, when
THE RT HON SIR TOBY CAULFEILD (1565-1627), a distinguished and gallant soldier, was employed in that part of Her Majesty's dominions against the formidable Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
This gentleman was the son of one Alexander Caulfeild, Recorder of Oxford, who was descended from ancestors of great antiquity and worth, settled in that county, and at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.In 1615, Sir Toby was appointed one of the council for the province of Munster.
The next year, 1616, he joined in commission with the Lord Deputy of Ireland (Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison), and others, for parcelling out the escheated lands in Ulster to such British undertakers as were named in the several tables of assignation.
In these employments, The King (JAMES I) found him so faithful, diligent, and prudent, that His Majesty deemed him highly deserving the peerage, and accordingly created him, in 1620, Lord Caulfeild, Baron Charlemont, with limitation of the honour to his nephew, Sir William Caulfeild, knight.
His lordship died a bachelor, in 1627, and was succeeded by the said
SIR WILLIAM CAULFEILD, 2nd Baron (1587-1640).
This nobleman took his seat in parliament, in 1634, after the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had moved to know the pleasure of the House, whether he should be admitted to this place, having brought neither writ of summons nor patent; whereupon it was resolved that his lordship should be admitted, inasmuch as they were all satisfied that he was a Lord of Parliament.His lordship wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John King, knight (ancestor of the Earls of Kingston), by whom he had seven sons and three daughters.
Lord Charlemont was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,
TOBY, 3rd Baron (1621-42), who also succeeded his late father as Governor of Charlemont Fort, and there resided, with his company of the 97th Regiment of Foot, in garrison.
This fort was a place of considerable strength and importance during the rebellion of 1641; but his lordship suffered himself to be surprised, in that year; and being made prisoner, with his whole family, was subsequently murdered, by the orders, it is said, of Sir Phelim O'Neill.This unfortunate nobleman dying unmarried was succeeded by his brother,
ROBERT, 4th Baron (1622-42), who died a few months afterwards from an overdose of a prescription of opium, and was succeeded by his next brother,
WILLIAM, 5th Baron (1624-71), who apprehended Sir Phelim O'Neill and had him executed for the murder of his brother, the 3rd Baron.
His lordship having filled, after the Restoration, several high and confidential situations, was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Charlemont in 1655.
He wedded Sarah, second daughter of Charles, Viscount Drogheda, by whom he had four sons and three daughters, of whom,
WILLIAM, 2nd but eldest surviving son;His lordship was succeeded by his second but eldest surviving son,
WILLIAM, 2nd Viscount; who opposed with zeal the cause of WILLIAM III against King JAMES II.
This nobleman espoused Anne, daughter of the Most Rev James Margetson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, by whom he had, with five daughters, five sons to survive infancy, namely,
JAMES, his heir;He died after enjoying the peerage more than half a century, in 1726, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
Thomas, Governor of Annapolis;
Charles (Rev), Rector of Donaghcary;
JAMES, 3rd Viscount (1682-1734), who married Elizabeth, only daughter of the Rt Hon Francis Bernard, of Castle Mahon, County Cork, one of the judges of the court of Common Pleas in Ireland, by whom he had two sons;
the younger, Francis, who wedded Mary, only daughter of John, Lord Eyre, was lost, with his lady, infant child, and servant, in a hurricane, during his passage to Ireland from London, in 1775, to fulfil his parliamentary duties as MP for Charlemont.He left issue, Colonel James Eyre Caulfeild, born in 1765, and Eleanor, who married William, 3rd Earl of Wicklow.
This nobleman was succeeded by his only surviving son,
JAMES, 4th Viscount, KP (1728-99), who was created EARL OF CHARLEMONT in 1763.
His lordship wedded, in 1768, Mary, daughter of Thomas Hickman, of Brickhill, County Clare, descended from the noble family of Windsor, Viscounts Windsor, which title became extinct in 1728, and had issue,
FRANCIS WILLIAM, his successor;
Henry, MP, of Hockley Lodge, Co Armagh;
He was a Founder Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,
FRANCIS WILLIAM, 2nd Earl, KP (1775-1863), was succeeded by his nephew,
JAMES MOLYNEUX, 3rd Earl, KP (son of the Hon Henry, 2nd son of 1st Earl), born in 1820, Lord-Lieutenant of Tyrone, MP for Armagh, 1847-67.
The 3rd Earl died in 1892, when the earldom and the barony became extinct, and the remaining peerages devolved upon his cousin,
JAMES ALFRED, CB, JP, DL, 7th Viscount (1830-1913), of Loy House, Cookstown, and Drumcairne, County Tyrone,
Captain, Coldstream Guards; fought in the Crimean War; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, 1868; High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1868; Comptroller of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1868-95; Honorary Colonel, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Usher of the Black Rod of the Order of St Patrick, 1879-1913.
James Alfred Caulfeild, 7th Viscount (1830–1913);The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Shane Andrew Caulfeild (b 1996).
James Edward Caulfeild, 8th Viscount; (1880–1949);
Charles Edward St George Caulfeild, 9th Viscount (1887–1962);
Robert Toby St George Caulfeild, 10th Viscount (1881–1967);
Charles St George Caulfeild, 11th Viscount (1884–1971);
Richard St George Caulfeild, 12th Viscount (1887–1979);
Charles Wilberforce Caulfeild, 13th Viscount (1899–1985);
John Day Caulfeild, 14th Viscount Charlemont (1934–2001)
John Dodd Caulfeild, 15th Viscount (b 1966).
|Castle Caulfeild, County Tyrone|
He also owned almost 6,000 acres in County Tyrone.
During more recent times, the 8th Viscount, PC (NI), DL (1880-1949) was elected to the House of Lords as a Representative Peer; and to the Northern Ireland Parliament as a senator.
He sat in the NI Senate from 1925-37 and was Minister for Education for all but the first of his years.
Lord Charlemont's main country seat, near the village of Moy, County Tyrone, was Roxborough Castle.
The exquisite gates are all that remain.
The Castle and the nearby Charlemont Fort, on the County Armagh side of the river, were both burnt by the IRA in 1922.
It is thought that he eventually moved to the sea-side resort of Newcastle in County Down.
He inherited the titles from his uncle in 1913.
Having no children, the titles passed, on his death, to a cousin.
The 14th Viscount lived in Ontario, Canada and the viscountcy is still extant with the present 15th Viscount Charlemont.
Earl of Charlemont's arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in December, 2009.