Friday, 20 November 2020

The MacDonnell Baronetcy

This noble family is descended from ALEXANDER MacDONALD or MacDOMHNAILL (c1480-1538), chief of one of the most numerous and powerful clans in the highlands of Scotland.

From him descended

SORLEY BOY MacDONNELL (1505-90), who was seated at Dunluce, County Antrim; and who, in 1573, was made a free denizen of Ireland; but afterwards opposing the government, was subdued; and, in 1586, was again received into The Queen's favour.

His eldest surviving son,

SIR JAMES MacDONNELL, elder brother of RANDAL, 1st EARL OF ANTRIM, married Mary, daughter of Hugh MacPhelim O'Neill, of the Claneboye family, and had numerous issue, of which the ninth son,

SIR ALEXANDER MacDONNELL, of Maye, County Antrim, was created a baronet in 1627, designated of Maye, County Antrim.

He married Evelyn, daughter of Sir Arthur Magennis, 1st Viscount Iveagh, and dying in 1634, left a son and successor,

SIR JAMES MacDONNELL, 2nd Baronet, of Maye, who wedded Mary, daughter of Sir Donough O'Brien Bt, of Dough, County Clare, and had issue,
RANDAL, his successor;
Sarah; Honora; Anne; another daughter.
Sir James died ca 1680, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER, who, in 1644, commanded the forces sent by Lord Antrim to assist Lord Montrose in Scotland, and upon his return, was appointed lieutenant-general of the province of Munster.

This gallant soldier lost his life in 1647 at the battle of Knocknanuss, against Lord Inchiquin. 

He married the Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Henry, Earl of Arundel, and had a son, Randal, who died young.

Alexander MacDonnell died in 1647, and was succeeded by his next brother,

RANDAL, 3rd Baronet, who married, in 1686, Hannah, sister of David Roche, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
John Richard;
Mary; Henrietta.
Sir Randal, when captain of a warship in the service of CHARLES II, achieved the memorable action of Marmora against the Moors.

Subsequently, however, joining JAMES II's army, he accompanied his ill-fated master to France.

Consequently, Sir Randal was attainted, in 1691, and the baronetcy forfeited.

In 1696, Mr MacDonnell's estate was granted to Charles Campbell, in trust for his wife and children.

His eldest son,

JAMES, who, but for the attainder, would have been the fourth baronet, died unmarried, 1728, and was buried in St James's churchyard, Dublin.

His brother,

RANDAL, of Cross, County Antrim, Colonel in the French service, succeeded his brother, but died unmarried in 1740.

First published in May, 2011.

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