This very ancient family, of Norman descent, is supposed to have been founded in England by a marshal in the army of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
It was amongst the first Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland, and it always enjoyed distinction and opulence.
Of this name, so greatly celebrated in the military annals of the middle ages, have been reckoned eighteen knights-banneret in succession; and the rolls of parliament, in both Ireland and England, produced several peers of the same distinguished lineage, whose honours, either through failure of issue, or attainder in the civil wars, have, in common with other redoubtable houses, become extinct.
A branch of the family accompanied Richard, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (commonly called Strongbow) into Ireland; and we find one of the name wedded to the daughter of Hugh De Lacy, the younger.
The Most Noble Order of the Garter being extended to Ireland, Richard Bellew was, in 1439, elected to that honour; and, in 1686, the Irish peerage of the family was revived by the title of Baron Bellew of Duleek.
SIR JOHN BELLEW, Knight, of Willistown, MP for County Louth, 1639, married Mary, daughter of Robert Dillon, of Clonbrock, County Galway, and had issue,
PATRICK, his successor;
CHRISTOPHER, of Mount Bellew;
PATRICK BELLEW, of Barmeath, or Bellew Mount, High Sheriff of County Louth, 1687, wedded Miss Barnewall, sister of Sir Patrick Barnewall Bt, of Crickstown Castle, and had five sons and six daughters.
He was created a baronet in 1688.
Sir Patrick died in 1716, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
SIR JOHN BELLEW (c1660-1734), 2nd Baronet, of Barmeath, County Louth, and Castle Bellew, County Galway, who espoused firstly, in 1685, Mary, daughter of Edward Taylor, and eventually heiress of her brother, Nicholas Taylor, by whom he had three sons and an only daughter.
He married secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Curling, storekeeper of Londonderry during the memorable siege of that city, by whom he seven sons and three daughters.
Sir John was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son,
SIR EDWARD BELLEW (c1695-1741), 3rd Baronet, who wedded Eleanor, eldest daughter and co-heir of Michael Moore, of Drogheda, and had issue,
Michael;Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
JOHN, his successor;
PATRICK, succeeded his brother.
SIR JOHN BELLEW (1728-50), 4th Baronet, at whose decease (of smallpox) unmarried, the title devolved upon his brother,
SIR PATRICK BELLEW (c1735-95), 5th Baronet, who espoused Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Matthew Hore, of Shandon, County Waterford, and had, with two daughters, nine sons, of whom,
SIR EDWARD BELLEW (c1760-1827), 6th Baronet, married, in 1786, Mary Anne, daughter and sole heir of Richard Strange, of Rockwell Castle, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
THE RT HON SIR PATRICK BELLEW (1798-1866), 7th Baronet, High Sheriff of Louth, 1831, MP for Louth, 1831-37, Lord-Lieutenant of Louth,1831-66, Privy Counsellor,1838, wedded, in 1829, Anna Fermina, daughter of Admiral Don José Maria de-Mendoza-y-Rios, of Seville, Spain, and had issue,
EDWARD JOSEPH, his successor;
Frances Mary; Annabella Mary;
Ismay Louisa Ursula; Fermina Maria Magdalena.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,
EDWARD JOSEPH, 2nd Baron (1830-95), High Sheriff of Louth, 1854, Major, the Louth Militia, who wedded, in 1853, Augusta Mary, only daughter and heiress of Colonel George Bryan MP, of Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
Patrick George, 1853-74;
CHARLES BERTRAM, 3rd Baron;
GEORGE LEOPOLD BRYAN, 4th Baron;
Richard Eustace, father of 5th and 6th Barons.
CHARLES BERTRAM, 3rd Baron (1855-1911), High Sheriff of County Louth, 1875, Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1898-1911, who espoused, in 1883, Mildred Mary Josephine, eldest daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford Bt, of Trafford Park, Lancashire.
His lordship died without issue, when the family honours devolved upon his next brother,
GEORGE LEOPOLD BRYAN, 4th Baron (1857-1935), High Sheriff of Louth, 1902, who married, in 1927, Elaine Carlisle, daughter of John Benjamin Leach, of Queenstown, South Africa, but died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew,
EDWARD HENRY, 5th Baron (1889-1975), MBE, who wedded, in 1912, Barbara Helen Mary, only daughter of Sir Henry Farnham Burke, KCVO, CB, Garter Principal King of Arms, but died without issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,
BRYAN BERTRAM, 6th Baron (1890-1981), MC, who wedded, in 1918, Jeannie Ellen Agnes, only daughter of James Orsby Jameson, of Dolland, Clonsilla, County Dublin, and had issue,
JAMES BRYAN, 7th Baron (1920-2010), Captain, Irish Guards, who espoused firstly, in 1942, Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rev Edward Eustace Hill, of Chestnuts, West Malling, Kent, and had issue,
BRYAN EDWARD, his successor;His lordship married secondly, in 1978, Gwendoline, daughter of Charles Redmond Clayton-Daubeny, of Bridgwater, Somerset, and Bihar, India.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
BRYAN EDWARD, 8th and present Baron (b 1943), Major (retired), Irish Guards, who wedded, in 1968, Rosemary Sarah, eldest daughter of Major Reginald Kilner Brasier Hitchcock, of Meers Court, Mayfield, Sussex, and had issue,
Patrick Edward, 1969-97;
ANTHONY RICHARD BROOKE, b 1972.
BARMEATH CASTLE, near Dunleer, is one of County Louth's most outstanding country houses.
The Bellew family have lived here since the 12th century.
The Castle has manifested the changing fortunes of the family: The exuberantly crenellated façade of the 1830s and the designs of Thomas Smith contribute to its appeal and the survival of some of the earlier fabric contributes to its archaeological and historical merit.
Originally the site of a medieval castle of the Pale, it was enlarged in the mid-18th century into a Georgian residence.
At this stage it was a plain three storey, seven bay, double gable-ended house.
In 1839 it was enlarged and castellated to the designs of either John B Keane or Thomas Smith.
What was formerly the entrance front, gained two corner round towers and became the garden front.
To one end of the side elevation, a new entrance was created with a Romanesque arch and a square entrance tower, which acted as a porte-cochère.
On the other side, a long wing with turrets and castellation was added to create a courtyard.
The original Georgian façade is still very obvious, especially on the garden front (above).
The interior is intact Georgian with fine plasterwork and a staircase.
One of the upstairs rooms features Masonic emblems and was built for the purpose of lodge meetings.
The ornamental river, designed by Thomas Wright, along with the outbuildings and paired gate lodges, add to the overall original site context.
First published in October, 2012.