Friday, 25 September 2020

1st Earl of Enniskillen

By a deed of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, it appears that the COLES were of the rank of barons, and were residents in Hampshire during that monarch's reign.

The first of the family who settled in Ulster, however, was

SIR WILLIAM COLE, Knight, who fixed his abode, early in the reign of JAMES I, in County Fermanagh.

This gentleman became an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, and had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands, in the county wherein he resided; to which, in 1612, were added 320 acres in the same county; eighty whereof were assigned for the town of Enniskillen; and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William being the first provost.

Sir William, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, raised a regiment, which he commanded against the rebels, in 1643, with important success.

He wedded twice: Firstly, to Susannah, daughter and heiress of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters; and secondly, to Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, County Offaly, second baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653,
MICHAEL, his successor;
John, of Newland; MP for Fermanagh; cr a baronet, 1660;
Mary; Margaret.
The elder son,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight (1644-c1710), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1670 and 1686, MP for Enniskillen, 1692-1710, wedded Alice, daughter of Chidley Coote; and secondly, in 1672, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt, and had issue,

JOHN COLE (1680-1726), of Florence Court, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1724, MP for Enniskillen, 1703-26, who wedded Florence, daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey Bt, of Trebitch, Cornwall, and had issue,
Henry (Rev);
JOHN, of whom hereafter;
Letitia; Florence.
The younger son,

JOHN COLE (1709-67), of Florence Court, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1733, MP for Enniskillen, 1730-60, was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, in the dignity of Baron Mountflorence, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh.

1st Baron Mountflorence (Image: The National Trust)

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Willoughby Montgomery, of Carrow, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Arthur, m Letitia Hamilton;
Flora Caroline; Catherine.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Baron (1748-1803), who was created, in 1776, Viscount Enniskillen; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1789, as EARL OF ENNISKILLEN.

1st Earl of Enniskillen (Image: The National Trust)

His lordship married, in 1763, Anne, daughter of Galbraith Lowry-Corry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and sister of Armar, 1st Earl of Belmore, and had issue,
JOHN WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Galbraith Lowry (Sir), GCB, General in the army;
William Montgomery (Very Rev), Dean of Waterford;
Arthur Henry, MP for Enniskillen;
Henrietta Frances; Sarah; Elizabeth Anne; Florence.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Earl (1768-1840), KP, who married, in 1805, the Lady Charlotte Paget, daughter of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge, and had issue,
WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Henry Arthur;
John Lowry;
Lowry Balfour;
Jane Anne Louisa Florence.
2nd Earl of Enniskillen KP (Image: The National Trust)

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 3rd Earl (1807-86), Honorary Colonel, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Fellow of the Geological Society, who wedded firstly, in 1844, Jane, daughter of James Casamaijor, and had issue,
John Willoughby Michael, Viscount Cole (1844-50);
LOWRY EGERTON, of whom hereafter;
Arthur Edward Casamaijor;
Florence Mary; Alice Elizabeth; Charlotte June; Jane Evelyn.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

LOWRY EGERTON, 4th Earl (1845-1924), KP JP DL, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1870, Honorary Colonel, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who espoused, in 1869, Charlotte Narion, daughter of Douglas Baird, and had issue,
William Willoughby, died in infancy;
JOHN HENRY MICHAEL, his successor;
Galbraith Lowry Egerton, father of 6th Earl;
Reginald Berkeley;
Charlotte Jane Christian; Kathleen Mary; Marion; Florence Anne; Muriel Augusta Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN HENRY MICHAEL, 5th Earl (1876-1963), CMG, Lieutenant-Colonel, North Irish Horse, who married firstly, in 1907, Irene Frances, daughter of Alfred Miller Mundy, and had issue,
Michael Galbraith Lowry, Viscount Cole (1921-56);
Ann Florence Vernay; Frances Jane; Kathleen Irene.
His lordship died without surviving male issue, when the titles passed to his nephew,

DAVID LOWRY, 6th Earl (1918-89), MBE JP, Captain, Irish Guards, Captain, Ulster Defence Regiment, who wedded firstly, Sonia Mary, daughter of Major Thomas Syers, and had issue,
Linda Mar.
He espoused secondly, in 1955, Nancy Henderson, daughter of Dr John Alexander MacLennan.

His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

ANDREW JOHN GALBRAITH (1942-), 7th and present Earl, who married, in 1964, Sarah Frances Caroline, daughter of Major-General Keith Edwards, and has issue,
Amanda Mary;
Emma Frances;
Lucy Caroline.
7th Earl of Enniskillen

The heir presumptive is the present Earl's first cousin, Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949), eldest son of the Hon Arthur Gerald Cole (1920–2005), younger brother of the 6th Earl. 

The ancestral seat was Florence Court, near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh (now a property of The National Trust), though several generations of the family have had roots in Kenya, where the 7th Earl and his family live.

First published February, 2010.   Enniskillen arms courtesy of European Heraldry.


Anonymous said...

I note Lord Enniskillen is currently selling his Mundui Estate in Kenya for some £3m.

Anonymous said...

There are still descendants of John Cole in Ulster and some reasonably close, geographically, to Florencecourt.

Cody James Cole said...

A good portion of their family branched out to Australia, were I and many other descendants reside.