Tuesday, 4 February 2020

1st Earl of Mount Alexander

ADAM MONTGOMERY (c1517-c1576), fourth Laird of Braidstaine (great-grandson of Robert Montgomery, brother of Alexander, 2nd Lord Montgomerie, father of Hugh, 1st Earl of Eglinton) wedded the eldest daughter of Colquhoun of Luss, and was father of
ADAM, his heir;
Robert, ancestor of MONTGOMERY OF GREY ABBEY.
The elder son,

ADAM MONTGOMERY (1540-1602), fifth Laird, espoused the daughter of John Montgomery, of Hessilhead, and had four sons,
HUGH, of whom hereafter;
George (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Meath;
Patrick, colonel in the army;
The eldest son,

SIR HUGH MONTGOMERY, sixth Laird (1560-1636), settled in Ulster, and was elevated to peerage, in 1622, in the dignity of Viscount Montgomery, of the Great Ards, County Down.

He married firstly, in 1587, Elizabeth, second daughter of John Shaw, Laird of Greenock; and secondly, Sarah, daughter of William, Lord Herries, and widow of John, 1st Earl of Wigtown.

By the latter he had no issue, but by the former he had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
James (Sir), ancestor of Montgomery of Rosemount;
George, ancestor of Montgomery of Ballylesson;
Mary; Jean.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 2nd Viscount (1616-42), colonel in the royalist army during the rebellion of 1641, who wedded, in 1623, the Lady Jean Alexander, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Stirling, Secretary of State for Scotland.

His lordship died at Newtownards, County Down, and was succeeded by his son,

HUGH, 3rd Viscount (c1625-63), a gallant royalist during the civil war, and consequently a severe sufferer in those times of confiscation and oppression.

His lordship survived, however, to witness the Restoration, and was created, in 1661, EARL OF MOUNT ALEXANDER.

He espoused firstly, in 1648, Mary, eldest sister of Henry, 1st Earl of Drogheda, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
HENRY, succeeded his brother as 3rd Earl;
Jean, died unmarried, 1673.
His lordship wedded secondly, in 1660, Catherine, daughter of Arthur, 2nd Viscount Ranelagh.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 2nd Earl (1651-1717), Master of the Ordnance, Brigadier-General in the army, who wedded firstly, in 1662, the Lady Catharine Dillon, eldest daughter of Carey, 5th Earl of Roscommon; and secondly, Eleanor, daughter of Maurice, 3rd Viscount Fitzhardinge; but died without surviving issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

HENRY, 3rd Earl (c1652-1731), who espoused Mary, eldest daughter of William, 12th Baron Howth, and had issue,

HUGH, 4th Earl (c1680-1745), of Howth, County Dublin, who married, in 1703, Elinor, daughter of Sir Patrick Barnewall, 3rd Baronet; but dying without issue, he was succeeded by his brother,

THOMAS, 5th Earl (c1675-1757), High Sheriff of County Down, 1726, who wedded, in 1725, Marie Angélique Madeleine de la Cherois, daughter of Daniel de la Cherois, of Lisbon, Portugal (by his wife Anne Crommelin, daughter of Louis Crommelin); but died without issue, when the honours became extinct.

Lady Mount Alexander survived her husband, and when she died the remnants of the great estate went to her cousins, Samuel de la Cherois, of Donaghadee, and Nicholas Crommelin, of Carrowdore Castle.

Grey Abbey House

THE MONTGOMERYS have been of great antiquity and historical importance in Ulster and the Ards Peninsula.

Sir Hugh Montgomery (1560-1636), 1st Viscount, founded Newtownards.

The name, Grey Abbey, which is also that of the adjacent village, derives from the late 12th century Cistercian Abbey at the site.

The ruins of the abbey can be seen from Grey Abbey House. 

The manorial demesne, long known as Rosemount, was established in the early 17th century and the present house was built during the early 1760s.

Originally the property of the Clandeboye O’Neills, Grey Abbey was granted in 1607 to Sir Hugh Montgomery.

William Montgomery, who lives with his family at Grey Abbey demesne today, is descended from the younger brother (Sir James) of the 1st Earl of Mount Alexander, who was given the Grey Abbey estates which remain, in part, with the family today. 

The present family is, therefore, of the same family though not directly descended from him. 

In mid-Victorian times, the Montgomerys owned land in the Ards Peninsula extending to some 5,000 acres.

They also owned the Tyrella Estate in County Down - it having come into the family through the marriage of William Montgomery to Suzanne Jelly in 1749.

Mount Alexander arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in November, 2010.


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

My family used to own the Tyrella estate from 1880's to 1940's and my sister is called Tyrella. Even today in the study there is a stain glass window with our family crest on it.

Andrew said...

I spent childhood holidays on Tyrella beach. My uncle Haydn Warman was headmaster at Ballykinler primary school, and we used the beach in between army firing practice.