Tuesday, 18 May 2021

The Hume Baronetcy

GEORGE HUME, elder son of Sir John Hume, of North Berwick, and grandson of Patrick Hume, of Polwarth, in Scotland, had a grant of lands in County Fermanagh.

Mr Hume was created a baronet in 1671, designated of Castle Hume, County Fermanagh.

He left three sons and one daughter, viz.
JOHN, his heir;
George (Rev), father of the 4th Baronet;
CHARLES, succeeded his brother;
The eldest son,

SIR JOHN HUME, 2nd Baronet, of Tully Castle (Castle Hume), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1662, Governor of County Fermanagh and an active partisan of WILLIAM III, 1689, wedded Sidney, daughter and co-heir of James Hamilton, of Manor Hamilton, County Leitrim, and had surviving issue,
GUSTAVUS, his heir;
Hester, m Captain James Creighton;
Catherine, m Sir James Caldwell Bt;
Elizabeth, m Patrick, Lord Polwarth;
Anne, m Col Hugh Caldwell;
Mary, m Robert Johnston.
Sir John died in 1695, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR GUSTAVUS HUME, 3rd Baronet (c1670-1731), of Castle Hume, MP for County Fermanagh, 1713-31, Privy Counsellor, who wedded the Lady Alice Moore, daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Drogheda, and had issue,
Moore (1704-32);
Gustavus, died young;
MARY, m in 1736 N Loftus (assumed name of HUME;  cr EARL OF ELY);
ALICE, m George Rochfort, of Rochfort.
Sir Gustavus was succeeded by his cousin, 

SIR CHARLES HUME, 4th Baronet, only surviving son of the Rev George Hume, of Tully, County Fermanagh (which George was second son of the 1st Baronet); at whose decease without issue, ca 1747, the title became extinct.     

According to the Rev George Hill, in The Plantation in Ulster 1608-20 (Belfast, 1877), the founder of the Hume family in County Fermanagh, Sir John Hume (of North Berwick, who belonged to the Hume family of Polwarth later created Earls of Marchmont), was granted the proportion of Ardgart, alias Carrinroe, in 1610, and bought the neighbouring proportion of Moyglasse from its original patentee in 1615.

On the former he built  'a fair strong castle', Tully; and the latter he neglected. Later, in 1626, he bought from his brother, Alexander, the smaller but contiguous proportion of Drumcose.

This made him the largest landowner in County Fermanagh at the time. He died in 1639.

In spite of its fairness and strength, and a garrison consisting of 'all the English and Scottish settlers in the immediate vicinity', Tully was compelled to surrender in 1641.

All within it were massacred, contrary to the signed and sworn articles of surrender, except for Lady Hume (wife of Sir John's son and successor, Sir George, who was absent at the time), her immediate family and the constable of the castle.

Alistair Rowan writes evocatively in The Buildings of Ireland: North-West Ulster:-

...That sense of isolation which the early 17th-century planters in Ulster must have known, is immediately excited by the sight of the roofless, ivy-covered mass of Tully Castle, rising from its knoll above the lough. Its isolation was its downfall, for the castle ... surrendered to Captain Rory Maguire in 1641 and was burnt with its inhabitants. It has since remained a ruin. ...'

Of Castle Hume, Alistair Rowan writes:-

"it holds an important place in the history of Irish classicism, for it was here that Richard Castle, who was to become one of the principal protagonists of Irish Palladian architecture, made his début. ... By 1725 Castle had come to London, where in 1728 he met Sir Gustavus Hume, ... who brought him to Ireland that year..."

Castle Hume was his first work, built for Sir Gustavus from 1728 and burnt (accidentally) the next year, but completed again.

An estate map of 1768 shows it to have been a small classical house of three storeys with a pedimented centre and with pineapples and other sculpture along its stone balustrade (the 1768 map does not bear out this description at all: it gives an artist's impression of a decidedly old-fashioned house, peppered with chimney pots).

Castle Hume is supposed to have been in ruins by 1793; but this seems improbable, because it was let, from at least 1781 to his death in 1797, to Hugh Montgomery of Derrygonnelly, a substantial Fermanagh country gentleman.

It cannot have been abandoned in the early 19th century either, because "Capability" Brown's well-known disciple, John Sutherland, re-made the grounds ca 1813 and his work was intact twenty years later.

All that remains today is a long avenue of about thirty beech trees leading up to where the house stood, and a courtyard of stable offices:-
... [They] are typical of Castle's robust manner ... . The present court contains two main blocks linked by a range of seven arcaded coach houses. The large block, L-shaped, contained the stables, with an exceedingly fine elliptically vaulted ceiling in cut bricks supported on an arcade of Tuscan columns ...'.

In 1713, Sir Gustavus Hume's estate had been credited with the same rental as that of Sir Nicholas Loftus of Fethard – £1,500 a year.

In 1729 the former had a rental of £3,000; and in 1736 the latter had a rental of the same amount.

A schedule to the settlement made on the second marriage of Henry, Earl of Ely in 1775 gives the following figures for the Hume acreage and rental:-

The manor of Hamilton, Co. Leitrim (later known as the Glenfarne estate), containing 17,384 (Irish) acres at a rental of £2,115; the manors of Tully and Ardgart, Co. Fermanagh, containing 17,810 acres at a rental of £3,331; and the manors of Castle Hume and Moyglass, Co. Fermanagh, containing 4,122 acres at a rental of £2,153. 

This makes a grand total of 38,317 acres at a rental of £7,498, subject to 'fees' (which presumably include head rents) of £345.

Glenfarne had come into the family through the marriage of Sir John Hume, 2nd Baronet (d 1695) and Sidney (d 1686), daughter and co-heiress of James Hamilton of Manor Hamilton.

Glenfarne was later, probably ca 1806, settled on Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham, second son of the 1st Marquess of Ely, Bishop of Killaloe, 1804-20, of Ferns, 1820-22, and of Clogher, 1822-50.

About the house and demesne of Castle Hume: When the Rev Richard Twiss was rowed along Lough Erne in 1775, it was still the most 'conspicuous' seat adorning the lough:-
'... "What a spot to build on and form a retreat from the business and anxiety of the world". 

Such were the thoughts of Arthur Young [quoted by Alistair Rowan], as he was also rowed past Lord Ely's wooded estate in Sir James Caldwell's barge in 1776.

He envied the proprietor, who then used the estate simply to derive a periodical profit, felling the trees with "sacrilegious axe" and "ignoring its picturesque potential. ..."

Obviously, Young whose Tour was of the whistle-stop variety, had not bothered to obtain basic information from Sir James Caldwell, who owned the neighbouring estate of Castle Caldwell, near Belleek, and would have been able to tell him all about Loftus v Hume.

Castle Hume, as has been seen, was neglected until ca 1813, and it would seem that the Elys had no proper Fermanagh seat until the 1830s.

This was not just because of the cost of the lawsuit; it was also because of the cost of their lavish building enterprises in the Dublin area.

Following the Flight of the Earls in 1607, the Crown seized Irish land in Ulster and granted it out in large parcels to English and Scottish planters on condition that they build settlements and provide strongholds loyal to the king. 


Sir John Hume, of Polwarth in Berwickshire, was granted 2,000 acres at Tully, known as ‘Carrynroe’, in 1610, and had built a castle on Tully Point by 1613.

The life of the castle was brief. 

Sir John died in 1639 and was succeeded by his son, Sir George. 

In 1641, Rory Maguire set out to recapture his family’s lands. He arrived with a large following on Christmas Eve, and found the castle full of women and children, but most of the men were away. 

Lady (Mary) Hume surrendered, believing that she had assured a safe conduct for all in her care, but on Christmas Day the Maguires killed 60 women and children and 15 men, sparing only the Humes.

The castle was burnt and the Humes never returned. 

Castle Hume, a classical house, was built by Sir Gustavus Hume, 3rd Baronet, in 1728-9, on a different site and this, in turn, was replaced by Ely Lodge.

Curiously, Sir George Hume, 1st Baronet, who lived principally at Tully Castle, is said to have been created a baronet, but no record of such a creation has been discovered.
A "disposition" is referred to, granted to him in 1641 by his brother, Patrick Hume of Hutton Bell, wherein he is called "Knight Baronet"; but in his Service as heir to his father, in the following year, 1642, he is only called "Miles," Knight.
He died before March 1675, leaving, it was claimed, two sons, Sir John Hume and the Rev George Hume.

There is no conclusive evidence that Sir George had not other sons.

He married Mary Maynard (d 1702).

Sir John Hume, 2nd Baronet,  married before March 1675, Sidney, daughter of James Hamilton, and by her had four sons, who were all living in 1685; videlicet, James Hume, John Hume, Gustavus Hume, and Claud Hume, and died in 1695. 

He left also several daughters, of whom Elizabeth married in October 1697 Patrick Hume, called Lord Polwarth, eldest son of Patrick, 1st Earl of Marchmont.

This lady was the "daughter Bettie," whose death his lordship so deeply laments in his Letters to Sir Gustavus Hume in 1711.

It had been endeavoured to establish that Sir John Hume had only one son, Gustavus Hume. He now shows that he had four sons, of whom Gustavus was the third. 

John married Sidney Hamilton before March, 1674/75 (Sidney Hamilton was born in 1648 and died on 20 Jan 1684/85 in Dublin, Ireland).

Of the four sons of Sir John Hume, three, viz. James Hume and John Hume, died young; and Claud Hume died unmarried, before December 1713. 

Sir Gustavus Hume, the third son, succeeded his father in 1695, and assumed the title of Baronet. 

He is said to have died without male issue, and no notice is taken of any son; but he appears to have had four sons, videlicet, Moore Hume, born on the 1st of August 1722. (a) 2. John Hume. 3. Gustavus Hume, who died at Whitechurch, in England; and, 4. George Lewis Hume, who was born in September 1715, and died young; but they all died before 1729 (Minutes of Evidence, 1838, p. 15), when their father made his Will in favour of his two daughters and co-heirs. Sir Gustavus Hume died without male Issue in October 1731. Gustavus married Lady Alice Moore. (Lady Alice Moore died about 1750.)

The short-lived 2nd Earl of Ely succeeded to the title and estates in 1766 and died, unmarried, in 1769. 

He bore the name Hume in addition to that of Loftus, and his father had assumed the additional name of Hume, because of his father's marriage into, and succession to, the estates of the Hume family in County Fermanagh and elsewhere. 

In 1736, the 1st Earl, then simply Nicholas Loftus, had married Mary (d 1740), elder daughter and heiress of the Rt Hon Sir Gustavus Hume, 3rd Baronet, of Castle Hume, County Fermanagh, who had died in 1731.
Under a Hume family settlement of 1729 and the terms of Sir Gustavus's will, Mary, the elder daughter, inherited the entire landed estates of the family, with a rental of £3,000 a year, and Alice, the younger daughter, £5,000 and Sir Gustavus's personal estate.
Nicholas Loftus, now Hume Loftus, thus came into immediate enjoyment of the Hume estates, which passed to the only son of the marriage, Nicholas Hume Loftus, 2nd Earl, in 1766, along with the paternal estates in County Wexford. 

TULLY CASTLE lies on a hill overlooking the west shore of Lower Lough Erne, north of the village of Derrygonnelly, in County Fermanagh.

The Castle was built between 1612 and 1615 for Sir John Hume of North Berwick.

It is a Plantation castle with a typically Scottish T-shaped plan with a square wing projecting from the centre of the south side containing the entrance and a former scale-and-platt timber stair.

The hall and parlour lay on the first floor, while the attics above contained the bedrooms, approached by a spiral stair  in a Scottish-style quarter-round turret projection.

The ground floor consists of a large barrel-vaulted chamber, used as the kitchen and storeroom, which has a huge fireplace and cooking recesses, but there are no windows, so light must have been provided by the fire and hanging lanterns.

The castle had a thatched roof and was surrounded by a bawn with 4 rectangular flankers.

It became an overgrown ruin until 1974 when it was acquired by the the NI Department of the Environment.

Subsequently the castle was excavated, revealing traces of the 17th century garden, and consolidation works were carried out. 

First published in August, 2011.

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