Wednesday, 12 February 2020

House of Cole

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

The first of this family who settled in Ulster was

SIR WILLIAM COLE, Knight (c1575-1653), who fixed his abode in County Fermanagh early in the reign of JAMES I.
He was the son of Emanuel Cole (c1545-c1625), third son of Thomas Cole, of London; whose father, John, was son of William Cole, who was a younger son of John Cole, who was second son of Sir John Cole, of Nethway, Devon, by Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Nicholas Bodrugan, Knight, son of John Cole, of Hittisleigh, Devon, during the reign of EDWARD III, great-grandson of William Cole, of Hittisleigh, living in 1243.
Sir William was appointed captain of the longboats and barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Erne, by patent, in 1607.

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 acres 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 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.

This gentleman's second wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653, two sons,
MICHAEL, his successor;
John, MP for Fermanagh; cr baronet, 1660.
The elder son,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, MP for Enniskillen, wedded Alice, daughter of Chidley Coote, of Killester, County Dublin, and was succeeded by his only surviving child,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, who wedded, in 1671, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt; and dying in 1710, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN COLE, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh, MP for Enniskillen, who espoused Florence, only daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Baronet, of Trebitch, in Cornwall, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN COLE (1709-67), of Florence Court, MP for Enniskillen, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Mountflorence, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh.

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Willoughby Montgomery, of Carrow, County Fermanagh, and had, with several daughters, two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Arthur, m Letitia Hamilton.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son, 

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Baron (1736-1803), who was created, in 1776, Viscount Enniskillen; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1789, as EARL OF ENNISKILLEN.

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;
Henry, died young;
Sarah; Elizabeth Anne; Anne; Florence; Henrietta Frances.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Earl (1768-1840), KP, who married, in 1805, the Lady Charlotte Paget, fourth daughter of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge, and had issue,
WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Henry Arthur;
John Lowry;
Lowry Balfour;
Jane Anne Louisa Florence.
His lordship was appointed a Knight of St Patrick, 1810.

He was created, in 1815, Baron Grinstead, of Grinstead, Wiltshire, in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

His Lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 3rd Earl (1807-86), Honorary Colonel, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The heir presumptive is the present holder's first cousin Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949). He is the eldest son of the Hon Arthur Gerald Cole (1920–2005), younger brother of the 6th Earl.
First Published in January, 2012.

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