Tuesday, 23 November 2021

The Craig Baronets


The first Baronet, later to become the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was elevated to the peerage in 1927, in the dignity of VISCOUNT CRAIGAVON, of Stormont, County Down, when the baronetcy merged with the viscountcy.

I have written an article about the family HERE.

Born at Sydenham, a suburban district of Belfast, Craig was the youngest of six sons of James Craig JP, of Craigavon House, Circular Road, Belfast, and Tyrella, County Down, a prosperous whisky distiller and businessman in Belfast.

Educated at a private school in Holywood, County Down and afterwards at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, the younger Craig became a stockbroker.

1st Viscount Craigavon, by N Burn
(Image: Northern Ireland Assembly)

However, with the start of the Boer War in 1899 he ceased formally to be a member of the Belfast Stock Exchange and took a commission in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.
Serving with distinction as a lieutenant with the Imperial Yeomanry, he was captured by the Boers but survived the barren conditions of a concentration camp and returned home with a firm and lasting conviction of the British way of life.
The 1st Viscount was still prime minister when he died peacefully at his home, Glencraig, County Down, in 1940.

He was buried at the Stormont Estate.

JAMES (1906-74), 2nd Baronet and 2nd Viscount, was educated at Eton.

He was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and fought in the Second World War.

JANRIC FRASER (b 1944), 3rd Baronet and 3rd Viscount, was educated at Eton, and graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts.

Lord Craigavon was invested as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and was an Elected Member of the House of Lords in 1999. He lives in London.

There is no heir to the viscountcy.

First published in July, 2010.

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