This family was of great antiquity in County Cork.
Robert Meagh was Mayor of Cork, 1537 and 1548; John Meagh, 1570; James Meagh, 1595; and William Meade, 1600-01.The lineal descendant of these gentlemen,
SIR JOHN MEADE, knight (1642-1707), of Ballintuber, County Cork, attorney-general to JAMES, Duke of York (grandson of Sir John Meade, knight, and Catherine, his wife, daughter of Sir Dominick Sarsfield Bt, 1st Viscount Sarsfield of Kilmallock), was created a baronet in 1703.
Sir John married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Pierce, 2nd Viscount Ikerrin, by whom he had two surviving sons and four daughters.
He died in 1707, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
SIR PIERCE MEADE, 2nd Baronet (1693-1711) who, dying a minor and unmarried, was succeeded by his only brother,
SIR RICHARD MEADE, 3rd Baronet (1697-1744), who married, in 1736, Catherine, 2nd daughter of Henry Prittie, grandfather of Henry, 1st Lord Dunalley, and left issue an only son,
SIR JOHN MEADE, 4th Baronet, born a few days before his father's death, in 1744, who wedded, in 1765, Theodosia, only daughter and heir of Robert Hawkins Magill, of Gill Hall, County Down, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;Sir John was elevated to the peerage, in 1766, in the dignities of Viscount Clanwilliam and Baron Gilford.
Robert, a general in the army;
John, a lieutenant-general in the army;
Pierce, in holy orders; Archdeacon of Dromore;
Edward, killed in Egypt;
Anne; Catherine; Theodosia Sarah Frances;
Melicina Adelaide; Rose Maria Arabella Sarah.
In 1776, his lordship was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF CLANWILLIAM.
The 1st Earl's grandson, Richard Charles Francis Christian [Meade], 3rd Earl and 6th Baronet, was a prominent diplomat.
Admiral of the Fleet Richard James [Meade], 4th Earl, GCB KCMG and 7th Baronet, was known as Lord Gillford from birth until 1879.
Arthur Vesey [Meade], 5th Earl, MC and 8th Baronet, was an army officer and politician.
John Charles Edward [Meade], 6th Earl and 9th Baronet (1914-89), was educated at Eton; fought in the Second World War, in the Middle East and France, and was mentioned in dispatches.
He retired from the Army in 1948 with the rank of major, late of the Coldstream Guards; DL of County Down, 1957-62; Companion, Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, 1975; HM Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, 1962-79.
I remember the 6th Earl, a tall, distinguished figure whose seat was Montalto, County Down.
Montalto estate had been acquired by the 5th Earl in 1910.
It was sold by the 6th Earl when he retired in 1979 and became part of a business partnership who replanted the demesne in 1986-89.
The house has been in private hands again since 1995.
John Herbert Meade became 7th Earl of Clanwilliam and 10th Baronet (1919-2009), grandson of the 4th Earl, succeeded to the earldom and baronetcy in 1989; and lived, in 2003, at Blundells House, The Square, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Patrick James [Meade], 8th Earl and 11th Baronet (b 1960) was educated at Eton and Sandhurst; was a 2nd Lieutenant, 1979-83, in the Coldstream Guards; an executive with Hanson plc, 1983-90; special advisor to the Home Secretary, 1986-88.
He was styled as Lord Gillford in 1989. He was with Ian Greer & Associates, 1990-93; managing director of the Westminster Policy Partnership, 1993-96.
John Maximilian Meade, Lord Gillford (b 1998) is heir to the earldom.
Clanwilliam arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in February, 2011.