Monday, 17 November 2014

House of Rawdon

The illustrious family of Rawdon deduced its pedigree from Paulinus de Rawdon, to whom William the Conqueror granted considerable estates.

This Paulyn, or Paulinus, commanded a band of archers in the Norman invading army, and derived his surname of Rawdon, from the lands of that denomination, near Leeds, which constituted a portion of the royal grant.

From this successful soldier lineally sprang, 19th in descent, through a line of eminent ancestors,

GEORGE RAWDON, who settled in Ireland, and took an active part as a military commander during the rebellion of 1641, in that kingdom; and subsequently, until his decease, in 1684, in the general affairs of Ireland.
This gentleman married the Hon Dorothy Conway, daughter of 2nd Viscount Conway, in 1654 and they lived at Moira, County Down.

He was the only son and heir of Francis Rawdon, of Rawdon Hill, near Leeds in Yorkshire. Rawdon went to Court about the end of the reign of JAMES I and became private secretary to Lord Conway, Secretary of State.

After Lord Conway's death, Rawdon was attached to his son, 2nd Viscount Conway, who had large estates in County Down. 

George Rawdon became his secretary (or agent) and frequently visited the Lisburn area. He commanded a company of soldiers, and sat in the Irish Parliament of 1639 as MP for Belfast.

When the Irish Rebellion broke out on 23rd October, 1641, Rawdon was in London; but he lost no time in coming to the post of duty. He travelled at once to Scotland, and crossed to Bangor, reaching Lisburn on the 27th November. 

The account of his visit to Lisburn at this critical time is fully recorded in a most interesting and vivid contemporary note in the old Vestry Book of Lisburn Cathedral.

The towns of Moira and Ballynahinch were founded by Rawdon.

He was married in 1639 to Ursula, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, and widow of Francis Hill, Esq., of Hillhall, by whom he had no surviving issue.

After her death he married, in 1654, Dorothy, eldest daughter of Edward, Viscount Conway. She died in 1676.

There was an only son of this marriage, Sir Arthur Rawdon, who was buried beside his father in the vault.

Rawdon was created a baronet in 1655, being denominated, of Moira, in the County of Down.

He died in 1684 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,  

SIR ARTHUR RAWDON, (1662-95), 2nd Baronet, MP for County Down. He was a distinguished soldier, like his father, and a leader of the "Loyalists of Ulster" and fought against the army of JAMES II.

Sir Arthur was in Londonderry during the siege, but as he was dangerously ill he had to leave the town by the advice of his doctor. His only son, 

SIR JOHN RAWDON (1720-93), 3rd Baronet, was also MP for County Down.

He married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Richard Levinge Bt, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons (she, after his death, married the Most Rev Charles Cobbe, Lord Archbishop of Dublin).

Sir John was elevated to the peerage in 1750, as Baron Rawdon, of Moira, County Down; and further ennobled as EARL OF MOIRA in 1762. 

He was married thrice: 1st to Lady Helena, daughter of the Earl of Egmont; secondly to the Hon Anna, daughter of Viscount Hillsborough; and thirdly, to Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon. His eldest son,  

THE MOST HON FRANCIS EDWARD [RAWDON-HASTINGS] (1754-1826), 4th Baronet, was further advanced, to a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF HASTINGS KG PC

Lord Hastings was styled the Hon Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762; and as Lord Rawdon between 1762-83; and 2nd Earl of Moira between 1793-1816.

The 1st Marquess was a distinguished soldier and scholar; and Governor-General of India; a Fellow of the Royal Society; fought in the American war; and was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

All of these subsidiary titles, including the baronetcy, became extinct following the death of the 4th Marquess and 8th Baronet, in 1868.
     First published in January, 2012.  Hastings arms courtesy of European Heraldry.


    Sandy said...

    One of the nicest coats-of-arms I've seen!

    Anonymous said...

    I was wondering, Tim, if you could advise me on how I could pinpoint the site of Rawdon's garrison at Soldierstown, Aghalee and any other related remains in the area.

    Timothy Belmont said...

    Anon, you have an interesting project there.

    Your topic would require further research!

    Sidney Rawdon said...

    Very interesting read. I wonder if my ancestors actually helped Richard the first oust the Saxons!