Wednesday, 8 September 2021

1st Earl of Antrim

JOHN MacDONALD, also called John Mor, styled in 1472 "heir apparent to his father", was in treaty with EDWARD IV.

He married Sabina, daughter of Phelim O'Neill, surnamed Bacach, or the Lame, by whom he had a son,

SIR JOHN MacDONALD, surnamed Cathanach, from being fostered by the O'Cathans in Ulster.

In 1493 he was at the head of the clan Iain Mhòr, when the Lordship of the Isles was finally forfeited.

He married Cecelia, daughter of Robert Savage, Lord of the Ardes, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
John Mor, executed 1499;
John Og, executed 1499;
Donald Balloch, executed 1499;
Angus Ileach, fled to Ireland;
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER (c1480-1536), fled to Ireland with his surviving brother, Angus Ileach, after the execution of their father and brothers.
In 1517 he supported Sir Donald MacDonald, of Lochalsh, who was in rebellion against the government, and in 1529 he was again in rebellion, and ravaged the lands of the Campbells with fire and sword, but obtained a pardon for himself and his followers in 1531, and a grant of lands in the South Isles and Kintyre. 
The next year he was sent with 8,000 men to assist the Scots of Ulster, then at war with England.
He married Catherine, daughter of John MacDonald, of Ardnamurchan, and had, with three daughters (Alice married Sir Moyses Hill),
Donald, born blind;
SORLEY BOY, of whom hereafter;
Brian Carrach;
Maeve; Mary; Alice.
The fifth son,

SORLEY BOY MacDONNELL (c1505-90), was appointed by his eldest brother Lord of the Route, County Antrim, in 1558.

On his brother's death, Sorley Boy seized on the Ulster estates of his family, and after various conflicts with the native Irish and the English forces, he became a faithful subject of ELIZABETH I, and being of Scottish birth was made a free denizen of Ireland in 1573.

He wedded Mary, daughter of Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and had, with other issue,
Alaster, dsp;
RANDAL MacSORLEY, his heir;
James MacSorley (Sir), dsp;
Sorley Boy died at Dunaneeny Castle, near Ballycastle, County Antrim, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR RANDAL MacSORLEY MacDONNELL KBof Dunluce, County Antrim, having zealously promoted the English interest in Ireland in the reigns of ELIZABETH I and JAMES I, was created by the latter, in 1618, Viscount Dunluce.

His lordship was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1620, as EARL OF ANTRIM.

He was also sworn of the Privy Council and appointed to the command of a regiment.

The 1st Earl married Alice, daughter of Hugh O'Neill, and sister of Hugh, the last Earl of Tyrone, and had issue,
RANDAL, his successor;
ALEXANDER, 3rd Earl;
Anne; Mary Rose; Catherine.
His lordship died in 1636, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RANDAL, 2nd Earl (1609-82); who, for the many essential services he had rendered to the Crown, was advanced, in 1644, to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF ANTRIM.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1635, the Lady Katherine Manners, heir of Francis, 6th Earl of Rutland, and widow of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

He espoused secondly, Rose, daughter of Sir Henry O'Neill, Knight, of Shane's Castle, County Antrim, but had no issue.

When his lordship died in 1683 the marquessate expired, but the other honours devolved upon his brother,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Earl (1615-99), who, actively espousing JAMES II in Ireland, in the war of the Revolution, was attainted of high treason; but, being subsequently included in the treaty of Limerick, his lands and honours were restored.

His lordship espoused firstly, the Lady Elizabeth Annesley (d 1669), second daughter of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, by whom he had no issue.

He married secondly, Helena, third daughter of Sir John Burke, Knight, of Derrymaclachtney, County Galway, and had issue,
RANDAL, his successor;
The 3rd Earl was succeeded by his only son,

RANDAL, 4th Earl (1680-1721), who wedded Rachael, eldest daughter of Clotworthy, Viscount Massereene, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his successor;
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

ALEXANDER, 5th Earl (1713-55), who, being in minority at his father's decease, was left under the guardianship of the Dowager Lady Massereene and Lord Massereene, who brought him up in the reformed religion (his predecessors had previously adhered to the church of Rome).

His lordship espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Pennefather, Comptroller and Accountant-general of Ireland, but by her had no surviving issue.

He married secondly, in 1739, Anne, eldest daughter and heir of Charles Patrick Plunket MP, of Dillonstown, County Louth, and had issue,
RANDAL WILLIAM, his successor;
Rachel; Elizabeth Helena.
He wedded thirdly, Catherine, youngest daughter of Thomas Meredyth, of Newtown, County Meath, without issue.

His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

RANDAL WILLIAM, 6th Earl (1749-91), who espoused firstly, in 1774, Letitia, eldest daughter of Harvey, 1st Viscount Mountmorres, and widow of the Hon Arthur Trevor, only son of Arthur, Viscount Dungannon, by whom he had issue,
ANNE CATHERINE, his successor;
Letitia Mary;
CHARLOTTE, Countess of Antrim.
His lordship having no male issue, obtained a new patent in 1785, creating him Viscount Dunluce and EARL OF ANTRIM, with remainder to his daughters primogeniturely.

The 6th Earl was advanced to a marquessate, in 1789, as MARQUESS OF ANTRIM (of the second creation), but without any special reversionary grant.

When he died, all the honours ceased, except the patent of 1785, which devolved, according to the special limitation, upon his elder daughter,

THE LADY ANNE CATHERINE MacDONNELL,  as COUNTESS OF ANTRIM in her own right (1775-1834), who married firstly, in 1799, Sir Henry Vane-Tempest Bt, of Wynyard, County Durham, by whom her ladyship had an only daughter, THE LADY FRANCES ANNE EMILY VANE, who inherited her father's great estates, and wedded Charles William, Marquess of Londonderry.

Her ladyship wedded secondly, in 1817, Edmund Phelps, who assumed the surname of MacDonnell.

She was succeeded by her sister,

THE LADY CHARLOTTE MacDONNELL (1779-1835), as Countess of Antrim; who espoused, in 1799, Vice-Admiral Lord Mark Robert Kerr, third son of William, 5th Marquess of Lothian, and had surviving issue,
HUGH SEYMOUR, her successor;
MARK, 10th Earl;
Arthur Schomberg;
Georgiana Emily Jane; Caroline Mary; Charlotte Elizabeth; Fanny.
Her ladyship was succeeded by her eldest son,

HUGH SEYMOUR, 9th Earl (1812-55), who espoused, in 1836, the Lady Laura Cecilia Parker, eldest daughter of Thomas, 5th Earl of Macclesfield, and had an only child, Helen Laura.

His lordship died without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

MARK, 10th Earl (1814-69), who married, in 1849, Jane Emma Hannah, daughter of Major Turner Macan, of County Armagh, and had issue,
WILLIAM RANDAL, his successor;
Mark Henry Horace;
Hugh Seymour;
Schomberg Kerr;
Caroline Elizabeth; Mabel Harriet; Evelyn; Jane Grey; Helena.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM RANDAL, 11th Earl (1851-1918), DL, who wedded, in 1875, the Lady Louisa Jane Grey, daughter of Lieutenant-General the Hon Charles Grey, and had issue,
RANDAL MARK KER, his successor;
Sybil Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

RANDAL MARK KER, 12th Earl (1878-1932), DL, who espoused, in 1904, Margaret Isabel, daughter of the Rt Hon John Gilbert Talbot, and had issue,
RANDAL JOHN SOMERLED, his successor;
James Angus Grey;
Rose Gwendolen Louisa; Jean Meriel.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RANDAL JOHN SOMERLED, 13th Earl (1911-77),  JP DL, who married, in 1934, Angela Christina, daughter of Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes Bt, and had issue,
Hector John;
Christina Alice.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER MARK RANDAL, 14th Earl (1935-2021), who marred firstly, in 1963, Sara Elizabeth Anne, daughter of St John Bernard Vyvyan Harmsworth, and had issue,
Flora Mary; Alice Angela Jane.
The 14th Earl wedded secondly, in 1977, Elizabeth Hannah, daughter of Michael Moses Sacher, and had further issue,
Rachel Frances.
His lordship died in 2021, and was succeeded by his son,

RANDAL ALEXANDER ST JOHN, 15th Earl (1967-), DL, who married, in 2004, Aurora, daughter of David Gunn, and has issue,
ALEXANDER DAVID SOMERLED (b 2006), styled Viscount Dunluce;
Helena Maeve Aurora, b 2008.
Seat ~ Glenarm Castle, County Antrim.

Antrim arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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