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Baron Rossmore (Westenra) of Co. Monaghan

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Baron Rossmore (Westenra) of Co. Monaghan

Turtle Bunbury (View posts)
Posted: 1109677212000
Classification: Query
The following history is based on the pedigree listed in Burke's Peerage 1957 ... any updates ort corrections welcome.
Kind regards,
Turtle Bunbury

Barons Rossmore of Camla Vale, Rossmore Park, Co. Monaghan

The Barons Rossmore descend from the ancient Scottish ilk of Cairnes. In 1363 David II gave a renewal charter of the two Baronies of East & West Whitburn in Co. Linlithgow to William de Carnys, and Duncan, his son and heir. Duncan’s only child was a daughter who married Stephen de Crichton, ancestor of the families of Crichton of Cairns and Crichton of Ruthven. Duncan’s brother John was one of the three Custumars of Linlithgow from 1369 – 1401. A third brother William was Constable of Linlithgow Castle from 1369 – 79 and then of Edinburgh Castle from 1379 to 1410 (so what was going on in these areas?). The youngest brother Alexander was a distinguished ecclesiast who rose to become Provost of Lincluden College and received from Earl Douglas a large grant of lands in Galloway (including Cults, Carsluth and Strathans … this land any use?). Alexander died in 1422 and left his estate to his nephew John.

John Cairnis, son of Constable William Carnys, ultimately succeeded to the estates of both his uncles Duncan and Alexander. Like his uncle John he was also Custumar of Linlithgow Castle (1406 – 22) and was Scutifer to Earl Douglas. He died in 1456 leaving three sons. The eldest son, John, lived at Cults and Orchardton and was Custumar of Linlithgow from 1449 – 1456. He served in the wars under James II and died in about 1493.

John was succeeded bus his son, or grandson, William Cairnis of Orchardton. In 1527 William was summoned as a minor Baron. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Patrick Agnew of Lochnaw. He died in 1555 having had, with other issue, four sons. The eldest son William of Orchardton married Janet Kennedy and had three daughters. However he was outlawed in 1527 and after his death in 1558, his daughters sold Orchardton. William’s younger brother John was an Esquire to Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1555 John married Margaret, daughter of Alexander McCulloch of Killaster. John died in 1568 (when was Mary executed) and, for reasons unclear, his son sold most of the family estates. In 1609 John’s grandson Alexander of Blairboys sold what remained of the Cairnes estate in Linlithgow and settled in Ulster as a general agent for the Scottish Undertakers in Donegal. (So background of these guys…).

When Alexander’s death in 1635, he was succeeded by his son John who lived at Parsonstown or Cecil in Co. Tyrone. Four years later, John was elected MP for Augher, which he retained until 1640. He married Jane Miller, daughter of James Miller, MD, of Monaghan, and they had issue with two daughters, three sons – Sir Alexander, William and Sir Henry.

The Rossmore’s first promotion to the aristocracy came on 6th May 1707 when John and Jane’s eldest son Alexander was created a Baronet (with remainder failing male to his brother Henry). On 17th February 1697 he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Gould, HEICS (East India Civil Service?) of Hackney, Middlesex, and sister of Sir Nathaniel Gould. They had a son William who died unmarried and a daughter Mary who ultimately succeeded. In July 1711, Sir Alexander’s brother (and heir) Henry Cairnes married Elizabeth Gould’s sister Frances (d. 8 March 1749). Sir Alexander was MP for Co. Monaghan from 1707 to 1727 and for the borough of Monaghan from 1727 until his death on 30th October 1732. In 1712 he was Keeper of the Phoenix Park. Elizabeth predeceased him on 4th June 1731. In the absence of any sons, Sir Alexander’s brother Henry succeeded as 2nd Baronet and as MP for Monaghan which seat he retained until his death in June 1743 when the Baronetcy became extinct.

Sir Alexander’s daughter Mary was married twice. Her first husband, the 7th Lord Blayney, whom she married in 1724, died on 19th March 1732, just five months before her father passed away. In 1734 the Dowager Baroness Blayney was married again to Col. John Murray, MP for Monaghan (with her uncle, Sir Henry?). They had four daughters before his death in the summer of 1743. The daughters fared exceptionally well in the marriage stakes. The eldest, Frances, was married in 1752 to the 1st earl of Clermont and died in 1820. The second Elizabeth was married in 1754 to General Robert Cunnigham, 1st Baron Rossmore. The third, Anne, was married in 1761 to the Rt. Hon. Theophilus Jones and died in 1827. The fourth daughter Harriet was married in 1764 to Henry Westenra, MP for Monaghan, by whom she had a son Warner William, 2nd Baron Rossmore. The Dowager Baroness Blayney died on 28th August 1790 and was succeeded by her son-in-law, Robert, 1st Baron Rossmore.

Robert Cuningham was the son of Colonel David Cuningham of Seabegs, Fort Major of Stirling Castle in Scotland. On 29th May 1754 the then MP for Tulske had married Elizabeth Cairnes, second daughter of the Dowager Baroness Blayney by her marriage to Colonel Murray. Robert stood in the Irish Parliament for nearly half a century – as MP for Tulske (1751 – 60), Armagh (1761 – 68), Monaghan (1769 – 96) and, in the English Parliament, as MP for East Grinstead (1788 – 9). He was a military man, a General in the Army, Colonel of the 5th Dragoons and sometime Commander-in-Chief. He was a Privy Councillor and one of the original Representative Peers for Ireland (after Act of Union?) being created Baron Rossmore of Monaghan on 19th October 1796 with special remainder, failing male issue, to his wife’s nephews. When he died on 6th August 1801 his titles thus devolved upon his nephew Warner Westenra.

The Westenras were a Dutch family who settled in Ireland during the reign of Charles II when three brothers – Warner, Derrick and Peter Westenra – became free denizens of that kingdom by an Act of Parliament in 1662. In November 1667, Warner Westenra and his wife Elizabeth (nee Wybrantz) purchased the lands of Clonleagh, Breekennagh and Lynagh in the King’s County from a Colonel Grace. Their daughter Elizabeth subsequently married Simon Digby, DD, Lord Bishop of Elphin. Upon his death in 1676, Westenra was succeeded by his only son, Henry, who also inherited the estates of his cousin Peter Westenra, MP for Athboy. In 1700, Henry married Eleanor, 2nd daughter of Sir Joshua Allen and sister of the 1st Viscount Allen, by whom he had a son, Warner, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane.

Henry and Eleanor’s elder daughter Elizabeth married William Weldon, High Sheriff of the King’s County in 1761. In November 1734, the Westenra’s second daughter Jane became the second wife of John Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway. Earlier that same year, Galway had been appointed a Commissioner for His Majesty’s Revenue in Ireland. In October 1748, Galway was appointed Surveyor-General of all the King’s honours, woods, forests and such like in England and Wales. Jane’s stepsons included the 2nd Viscount Galway and Lieutenant General Robert Monckton (d. 1782). The latter was General Wolfe’s second-in-command at the taking of Quebec and later Commander-in-Chief of New York. Jane’s own children included General Henry Monckton (killed in the American War of Independence) and Mary who, in 1786, became the wife of Edmund Boyle, 7th Earl of Cork.

Henry’s only son Warner succeeded to the family estates and was MP for Maryborough in 1728. Shortly before Christmas in 1738 he married Lady Hester Lambart, second daughter of the 4th Earl of Cavan. Lady Hester’s mother Margaret was a daughter of Governor Trant of Barbados and a niece of the celebrated Sir Richard Steele, Kt. They had a son, Henry, born 1742, and a daughter, Castilliana, who was the wife of Sir Edward William Crosbie, 5th Bart, who died in 1798 and I think was probably executed for United Irishmen involvement. The son Henry duly succeeded and was sometime MP for Monaghan and Seneschal for the King’s Manors in Ireland. On 1st December 1764 he married Harriet Murray, youngest daughter of Colonel John Murray by his marriage to the above named Mary Cairnes, Dowagers Baroness Blayney). They had two sons, Warner and Henry, and two daughters, Mary and Harriet.

The younger brother Henry was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 8th Hussars and, in 1829, married Anna, daughter of Isaac Corry of Abbey Yard, Newry, Co. Down, but she died just a few months after the marriage. The eldest daughter Mary was married in February 1788 to Sir John Craven Carden of Templemore, Co. Tipperary. Sir John had only been created a baronet less than six months earlier. Their son Sir Henry Craven Carden was a military officer and served under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsula War and at Waterloo. On 17th April 1797, the younger daughter Harriet married Colonel Edward Wingfield (1772 – 1859) of Cork Abbey, Co. Dublin, third son of the 3rd Viscount Powerscourt and twin brother of Lt. Col. John Wingfield-Stratford.

The eldest son Warner William Westenra was born on 14th October 1765. In October 1796 his uncle Robert Cuningham was elevated to the peerage as Baron Rossmore and Warner himself was named as heir apparent in the event that Robert had no sons. Warner served as Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum for Co. Monaghan. In October 1791 he married Mary Anne Walsh, daughter of Charles Walsh of Walsh Park, Co. Tipperary. They had three sons before her death in August 1807. The eldest son Henry succeeded as 3rd Baron Rossmore. The second son Richard Westenra (1796 – 1838) was married in June 1822 to Henrietta Scott, daughter of Henry Owen Scott of Scotstown, Co. Monaghan and had three daughters. The youngest son John (1798 – 1874) was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Scots Fusiliers and MP for the King’s County.

With the death of his uncle Robert in August 1801, 36-year-old William succeeded as 2nd Baron Rossmore. In June 1819 he married secondly Augusta, fourth daughter of Francis, Lord Elcho (1749 – 1808) and sister of the 8th Earl of Wemyss. The Wemyss family were still in disgrace at this time on account of Augusta’s great uncle David, Lord Elcho, who had supported Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. After the battle of Culloden, Lord Elcho fled to France where he died in exile in 1787. His brother Francis – Augusta’s grandfather - had succeeded as de jure 7th Earl of Wemyss but the title was not officially restored until 1826 when Augusta’s brother Francis became the 8th Earl. Augusta’s sisters Henrietta, Susan and Katherine were married respectively to the 6th Earl of Stamford, Lt Gen Sir Henry Clinton, GCB, and the Hon. Edward Stewart, son of the 7th Earl of Galloway. On 7th July 1838, the septuagenarian Baron Rossmore was summoned before Queen Victoria and raised as Baron Rossmore of the United Kingdom. His wife, Lady Augusta, died in the summer of 1840 and he died just over two years later.

Henry Robert Westenra, 3rd Baron Rossmore, was born on 24th August 1792. From 1820 until her death in August 1844 he was married to Anne Douglas Hamilton; the couple had no surviving children. He succeeded his father as 3rd Baron in August 1842 and, on 19th May 1846, he married his cousin Josephine Julia Helen Lloyd, second daughter of Henry Lloyd of Farrinrory, Co. Tipperary. Josephine’s mother Harriet was a daughter of Sir John Craven Carden and sister of Sir Henry, the Waterloo hero. They had four sons and three daughters before the 3rd Baron’s death on 1st December 1860.

The eldest son Henry Cairns,a lieutenant in the 1st Life Guards, was born in 1851 and succeeded father at the age of nine. However, the 23-year-old 4th Baron was tragically killed when he fell from his horse during a military steeplechase at Windsor on 28th March 1874. The title and estates duly passed to the second brother Derrick, of whom we treat. The third son Lieutenant Richard Hamilton Westenra of the 9th Lancers died aged 26 at Bombay on 22nd December 1880. The youngest son Captain Peter Westenra (1855 – 1932) was DL for Co. Monaghan and honorary Major of the 5th Battalion of Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers. At the age of 40, he married Innys Maud Eaglesfield, second daughter of Lansdowne Daubeny, JP, of Norton Malreward, Somerset. The eldest daughter Frances Kathleen was married in August 1870 to Major Henry Augustus Candy, 9th Lancers, of Somerby Grove, Oakham, and died on 7th August 1925’ leaving issue. The younger daughter Norah Josephine Harcourt was married in December 1873 to Major Gilbert Stirling of the Royal Horse Guards and 9th Lancers, of Lerbert, Co. Strirling, and Sysonby Lodge, Melton Mowbray, and died in September 1934 leaving issue.

Derrick Warner William Westenra, 5th Baron Rossmore, was born on 7th February 1853. Shortly after his 21st birthday, the accidental death of his elder brother Henry landed him with the title and estates of the Rossmore dynasty. He served as a lieutenant with the 9th Lancers, in which regiment his younger brother Richard and brother-in-laws Major Candy and Major Stirling also served. He also served in the 1st Life Guards and fetched up an honorary colonel of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. On 14th June 1882 he married Mittie Naylor, daughter of Richard Christopher Naylor of Hooton Hall in Chester. In 1920 Mittie was awarded the OBE. The 5th Baron died on 31st January 1921 aged 68. His widow survived him until 8th February 1953 - exactly one day after the centenary of her late husband’s birth!

The 5th Baron and Lady Mittie had two sons and a daughter. The elder son William succeeded as 6th Baron. The second son Richard (1893 – 1944) served as a lieutenant with the Irish Guards and Royal Flying Corps. On 24th November 1919 he married Alice Florence, only daughter of Maxwell Vandeleur Blacker-Douglas of Bellevue Park, Killiney, Co. Dublin. They were divorced in 1936 and Richard married Margaret Hope that same year. In 1947, Richard and Alice’s daughter Cynthia married Eric Miles, son of Alfred Shakespear Miles of Bartome Mitre 430, Buenos Aries, Argentina, by whom she had a son and two daughters. The 5th Baron’s daughter Mary was born on 1st December 1890 and, in August 1911, had the good fortune to marry Sir Abe Bailey, 1st Bart, KCMG, the De Beers diamond magnate. (See Sinott). They had issue before his death on 10th August 1940. Mary was a sometime Section Officer with the WAAF and became a Dame of the British Empire in 1930.

William, 6th Baron Rossmore, was born on 12th July 1892 and educated at Wellington College. He was ADC to the Personal Staff in 1917 and with the Air Ministry in the Directorate of Air Service Rescue. In World War Two, he served as a lieutenant with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves. On 8th November 1927 he married Dolores Cecil Lee, former wife of Col. Maurice George Lee, RFC, and daughter of Lt Col. James Alban Wilson, DSO, Indian Army, of West Burton, Yorkshire. After the 6th Baron’s death on 17th October 1958, Lady Rossmore settled at Camla Vale in Rossmore Park, Co. Monaghan. They had two children – William, the 7th Baron Rossmore, and Brigid Mary. The latter was born on 28th September 1928 and married in August 1956 to 23 year old Lieutenant Jonathan Alan Howard, Coldstream Guards. Jonathan was the youngest son of the 3rd Baron Strathcona & Mount Royal who was Parliamentray Under-Secretary for War and Vice President of the Army Council from January 1934 to January 1939. (Who is the present Earl?).

William Warner Westenra was born on 14th February 1931 and educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge. On 17th October 1958, shortly after he graduated from Cambridge with a BA, the 27-year-old succeeded as 7th Baron Rossmore of both the Irish and UK Peerage. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Somerset Light Infantry.


The second son William Cairnes became a prosperous merchant in Dublin and was MP for Belfast from 1703 until shortly before his death in August 1707.

After Richard’s death in June 1838, Henrietta married secondly (April 1841) Lieutenant Colonel Arthur G Lewis (d. 22 Sept 1869). She died in 1860.

Lieutenant Colonel John Craven Westenra, MP, lived at Sharavogue in the King’s County and married twice. His first wife, Eleanor was a daughter of William Joliffe and widow of Sir Gilbert East, 2nd Bart. His second wife Anne was a daughter of Louis Charles Daubuz and gave him a daughter Mary who, in August 1867, married the 13th Earl of Huntingdon.

Francis succeeded as de jure 8th Earl of Wemyss on the death of their grandfather in 1808. He also inherited the Earldom of March on the death of the 4th Duke of Queensberry two years later. His grandson, the 10th Earl, was ADC to the Regents from 1881 – to 1914.
Josephine, Lady Rossmore, married secondly in June 1863 to Lt Col George William Stacpoole of the 18th Regt. He died on 19th November 1894 and she on 12th September 1912.

Peter and Innys’s eldest daughter Petronella was born in 1897 and married on 2nd December 1920 to Cmdr. Edward TW Church, RN, son of Major CTW Church, Royal Sussex Regiment, of Gortlee, Dawlish, South Devon, and has issue. The younger daughter Norah Muriel Patricia was born in 1901 and also lived in Dawlish.

Margaret Cecilia Sullivan was a daughter of the Rev GS Edgcome and former wife of Captain Arthur Trevor Hope.

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