Monday, 27 July 2020

House of Stewart

According to a document in the Historic Buildings Branch of the Northern Ireland Department for Communities,
"Alexander Stewart was the great-grandson of John McGregor, a Scots Highlander who had migrated to Co. Donegal in the early 1600s, and who appears to have changed his name to 'Stewart' in an attempt to disassociate himself from the then attainted McGregor clan. Alexander became a successful linen merchant, working in both Belfast and London, who served in the Irish House of Commons as MP for Londonderry city for a short period."
WILLIAM STEWART, of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal (great-grandson of John Stewart, who had a grant from CHARLES I of Stewart's Court Manor, where he erected Ballylawn Castle), took an active part in Ulster affairs in order to prevent the subversion of the constitution, which JAMES II and his chief governor, the Earl of Tyrconnell, were attempting to effect.

He raised a troop of horse at his own expense when the city of Londonderry was occupied, and actively promoted the Protestant interest there by protecting those who were favourably disposed to WILLIAM III.

Mr Stewart was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the regiment commanded by Sir William Stewart, Viscount Mountjoy.

He married the daughter of William Stewart, of Fort Stewart, County Donegal (grandson of the Rt Hon Sir William Stewart Bt, whose descendant was created Baron Stewart of Ramelton and Viscount Mountjoy), and died leaving issue, a daughter,

MARTHA, who wedded John Kennedy, of Cultra, County Down; and two sons, of whom

THOMAS KENNEDY, the eldest, succeeded at Ballylawn Castle, and served as a captain in Lord Mountjoy's regiment.

He espoused Mary, second daughter of Bernard Ward (ancestor of the Viscounts Bangor), by Mary, sister of the Rt Rev Michael Ward, Lord Bishop of Derry; and dying without issue, 1740, was succeeded by his only brother,

ALEXANDER STEWART (1699-1781), of Ballylawn Castle and Stewart Court, County Donegal, linen merchant of Belfast and London, who purchased the lands of Templecrone on the shore of Strangford Lough, County Down, later named MOUNT STEWART, from the Colville family.

Alexander Stewart (Image: the National Trust)

He married, in 1737, his cousin Mary, only daughter and heiress of Alderman JOHN COWAN, of Londonderry (by Anne Stewart, second daughter of Alexander Stewart, of Ballylawn Castle, and sister and sole heir of Sir Robert Cowan, Governor of Bombay), and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, died in infancy;
John, 1744-62;
Anne; Frances; Mary.
The eldest son,

ROBERT STEWART (1739-1821), of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal, and Mount Stewart, County Down, who, having represented the latter county in parliament, and having been sworn a member of the Privy Council, was elected to the Irish peerage, in 1789, in the dignity of Baron Londonderry.

He was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1795, as Viscount Castlereagh and, in 1796, Earl of Londonderry.

(Image: the National Trust)

His lordship was further advanced, in 1816, to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY.

He wedded firstly, in 1766, the Lady Sarah Frances Seymour-Conway, second daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue,
Alexander Francis, 1767-9;
ROBERT, his successor.
He wedded secondly, in 1775, the Lady Frances Pratt, eldest daughter of Charles, 1st Earl Camden, and had further issue,
CHARLES WILLIAM, 3rd Marquess;
Alexander John, 1783-1800;
Thomas Henry, 1790-1810;
Frances Anne; Elizabeth Mary; Caroline; Georgiana;
Selina Sarah Juliana; Matilda Charlotte; Emily Jane; Catharine Octavia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Marquess (1769-1822), KG, GCH, PC.
The heir presumptive is his brother Lord Reginald Alexander Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b. 1977).
The heir presumptive's heir is his son Robin Gabriel Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b 2004).
Former seats ~ Mount Stewart, County Down; Wynyard Park, County Durham; Seaham Hall, near Stockton-on-Tees.

Former London residence ~ Londonderry House, Park Lane.

First published in March, 2012.


mem said...

Hello Tim, I have a feeling that an an ester of mine would thoroughly approve of your preoccupations . He was the Reverend Mark Cassidy who was responsible for come towing to the Londonderry family and also for the construction of St Marks in Newtownards . He seems to have been very conservative in his views and certainly was horrified when one of his sons Frederick , married the maid ( my great great grandparents) . I am wondering if you have any idea of where I might look for any images of Mark or his wife Henrietta who were certainly quite intimate with the Londonderry family and visited Mount Steward regularly . They had a family seat at Magherafelt .

Timothy Belmont said...

Hi Mem,

We reactionaries must stick together, you know. ;-)

Seriously, though, I'm afraid your query has drawn a blank.

Can you recall the name of the family seat at Magherafelt?