Issue Date: 15/2/2004

1. Hamilton Email

2. The (Tyrcallen) papers

3. The (Killymoon) papers


1. Hamilton Email

(from Wendy Reid, 27/1/2003)


My Hamilton descent is from the the 1st Duke of Hamilton. The Hamilton seat of Brownhall in Co. Donegal was founded by John Hamilton, a grandson of the 1st Duke. He came from the Scottish family whose seat at the time was Broomhill, Lanarkshire.

Land in north western Ireland was granted to him and he took possession of lands at Murvagh - just out of Donegal town and near to the coast.

The original Brownhall house was built there around 1550 and in 1690 his descendant, James Hamilton, moved the family seat to nearby Ballintra where the present Brownhall house still stands today - and still occupied by the present John Hamilton.

The family maintained the old tradition of naming the eldest son after the grandfather, so since then the line has gone John - James - John - James etc, down to John today.

His eldest son is James.

Fortunately, the family has maintained an unbroken line of ownership of the estate down through the centuries. The estate is not as extensive as it had been back in the 1800's due to debts left by my 4th Great Grandfather, John H, but it stands as one of the few estates still remaining in the original family's hands.

The debts were not down to bad management. That particular John H inherited Brownhall just before the Famine and spent a good deal of the family finances on his tenants. He built several churches, instigated Sunday schools, built a workhouse and mills to create employment at the time. As a result his tenants did not suffer the same fate suffered by so many others.

A book was recently published about this man and Ive sent you a link on it.

His daughter, Mary, married Frederick Courbarron, a farmer from Jersey in the Channel Islands. Her son, Augustus James, eventually settled in Australia in 1888 and I descend from him - my GG Grandfather.

This Hamilton family married with several Stewart families, namely the Killymoon Stewarts. Isabella Stewart, daughter of Col. William Stewart (b.1710) of Killymoon, married John Hamilton and their eldest son, James, married Helen Pakenham. The John Hamilton of the book is the eldest child of the Hamilton/Pakenham marriage.

You have covered this Stewart line quite well in your site.

I had a look at the line of Eleanor King - wife of William Stewart - of Rockingham. Her father, Sir Henry King, was one of those not very well liked by the Irish.

They lived in the town of Boyle, Roscommon, and last year I paid a visit to the house still there. It was destroyed by fire some time ago but has been completely restored and is now a museum to the history of the family and the Earls of Kingston.

I would like to get back there again and tour the place properly as back then I was 8 months and 2 weeks pregnant and found the two hour tour quite a haul !. Very informative though - I just remember constantly looking for somewhere to sit down:)).

At the moment one of my missions is to trace back further on the line of the Killymoon Stewarts, one thing I know is that they are connected to the Athenree Stewarts. In 1999 there was an exhibition at the Ulster Museum featuring William Stewart's son, James and his "Grand Tour" of Europe.

Another family that married with the Brownhall Hamiltons is the Crightons (Creightons) who were the Earls of Erne. The James Hamilton, who built the present Brownhall house at Ballintra in 1690, married Jane Crighton, daughter of Col. Abraham Crighton. This family were the owners of Crom Castle in Co. Fermanagh and his grandson was the 1st Earl of Erne.

If you like, I can send you the section of my family tree relating to the Hamiltons ?. I have the entire tree on disc - its huge going back to the 1200's - but havent run it on the computor since I arrived here from Australia in Feb last year.

I hope it has travelled well, I've over 1100 individuals entered and have only had to do the entire thing once when my pc crashed and I lost the data. Ive learned to do back ups since then :)).


2. The (Tyrcallen) papers

The Palmerston estate

His most important clients were the 2nd and 3rd Viscounts Palmerston, who owned Irish estates mainly in Cos. Dublin and Sligo. Henry Stewart was not appointed to this prestigious agency until 1784, so the majority of the papers were actually inherited by him from his predecessor, John Hatch. They include: case papers, 1757-1792, about the debt due to the 1st Viscount Palmerston, grandfather of the 2nd, by Robert Roberts of Dublin, who had been the 2nd Viscount's deputy as Chief Remembrancer of the Court of Exchequer in Ireland (an office held by the 1st Viscount from 1727 until his death in 1757, closely followed by that of Roberts). When the 1st Viscount's executors came to settle accounts with his successor as Chief Remembrancer, it was found that there were outstanding balances to the amount of well over 20,000. A long legal battle then followed, and in the end - in 1785 - all Roberts's estates were conveyed to the 2nd Viscount Palmerston. The title deeds to these estates go back to 1693, and the estates consisted of property in Hanbury Lane (Earl of Meath's Liberty) and Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin, and in Drumcondra, Dublin City, and at Garrynew, Co. Wexford. Included among the title deeds are a copy Prerogative probate (1756) of the will (1755) of Joseph Maddock, Captain in Colonel Stewart's Regiment of Foot, together with a grant of administration (1758) to the will (1757) of Robert Roberts himself.

Other Palmerston estate papers include: a rental, with observations, of the ancestral Palmerston estate in the county and city of Dublin (the residue of Palmerston itself, Chapelizod, Oxmantown Green and Hill and various houses), c.1805; a rental and account, with observations, for the entire county and city of Dublin property, 1821; accounts, 1813-1815, between James Walker, the local receiver of the Co. Sligo rents, and Stewart & Swan (Henry Stewart and his partner, Graves Chamney Swan) for receipts and disbursements on the 3rd Viscount's account; and letters and papers, 1820, 1826, and 1841-1845, all relating to the Sligo estate of the 3rd Viscount.

Other clients' papers

Papers relating to the estates of other clients include: rentals and accounts, 1822-1851, between Stewart & Swan and their successors, on the one hand, and successive Earls of Longford and Viscounts de Vesci, on the other, relating to the Longford/de Vesci joint estate in Dunleary, Co. Dublin, and in Cos. Cork (Ballyhindon, Glandore and Monkstown) and Limerick; set of detailed accounts, 1797-1800, between the 'Hon. Colonel King [Robert King, later 1st Viscount Lorton] as sole executor to his father, Robert Earl of Kingston, and residuary legatee ... with Henry Stewart Esq., from 24 November 1797 to 30 June 1800'; title deeds, leases and other papers, 1688-1812, about the Co. Limerick property (Ballymorelly, Ballyroan, etc) of Serjeant Richard Benson Warren of Dublin; receipts, rentals, accounts, surveys, correspondence and a notice (1818) about tree-planting, 1800-1824, all relating to the Fartagh estate of James Butler Stopford in the barony of Galmoy, Co. Kilkenny, with a rental of #1,356 per annum in 1823; title deeds, leases, rentals, accounts, surveys and correspondence, 1764-1882, about the estates of Mrs Gertrude FitzGerald, nee Lyon, at Watercastle, Queen's County, and Mount Blakeney, barony of Coshma, Co. Limerick, including a copy of the will (1802) of her father, Thomas Lyon of Watercastle; leases, deeds, rent ledgers, receipts, accounts, correspondence, etc, 1765-1850, all relating to the estates of the Nugent family of Castlerickard, Co. Meath, in Cos. Meath and Westmeath; and papers and voluminous correspondence, 1814, 1827, and 1844-1846, about the estate and financial affairs of the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Howth, and the development of the Howth Castle estate, Co. Dublin, particularly in the mid-1840s.

Business records of Stewart and Swan

Papers relating to the running of Stewart & Swan's land agency business include: voluminous, usually biannual (and also with some duplication) balance sheets of the firm, 1804 and 1807-1824, recording the identity of the clients and the huge sums which passed through the books of the firm (presumably the then equivalent of turnover) and which could amount to 90,000 or even 175,000 during the half-year; a printed advertisement for the 'New Brighton' development on the Longford/de Vesci estate between Seapoint and Dunleary, Co. Dublin, c.1820; and copy testimonials to Stewart's efficiency as a land agent from satisfied clients, including the 3rd Viscount Palmerston, 1834.

Papers about the private affairs of Henry Stewart and G.C. Swan

Papers relating to the private estate and financial affairs of Henry Stewart include: accounts, 1786-1801, between Henry Stewart and George Whitelocke, Wokingham, Berkshire, all relating to their joint purchase of the Tyrcallen estate, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal, from the Rev. Oliver McCausland in 1789 and the subsequent receipts from and disbursements on that property; subsequent Tyrcallen estate papers, 1808, 1819 and 1836-1850, including correspondence about the sale of the estate in the second half of the 1840s; receipts, receipted accounts, vouchers, etc, 1823 and 1828-1840, to Henry Stewart and other members of his family for all sorts of things, among them work on Tyrcallen House (1828), a carriage (1829), work and other expenses relating to Stewart's business office at 6 Leinster Street, Dublin, at various times, his funeral expenses (1840), etc.; and an original bundle of 'Vouchers of the Hon. Mrs [Elizabeth] Stewart's accounts from 1 February 1843 to 31 January 1848 ...'.


Papers about the private estate and financial affairs of Henry Stewart's partner, Graves Chamney Swan, include: deeds, bonds, judgements, accounts and correspondence, 1739 and 1774-1844, about Swan's estates in Drogheda, at Kildavin and Ballypierce, Co. Carlow, and at Bolecreen and Balinclea, Co. Wexford, and those of the Graves, Chamney and Graham families in Drogheda, Cos. Louth and Meath, Cos. Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow, and Dublin City and County, 1668-1799, including 'A rent roll of the real and personal estates of John Graham of Plattin ...', Co. Meath, 1763.


3. The (Killymoon) papers

As might be expected, James Stewart's papers are at their best in documenting Co. Tyrone elections and politics during the period 1768- 1812, his role in the local Volunteer movement from the late 1770s to the bitter end in 1793, his position as spokesman for the Presbyterians (particularly letters to him from the Rev. William Campbell of Armagh and the Rev. William Crawford of Strabane, Co. Tyrone, urging him to oppose a bill of 1785 to prevent clandestine marriages, which the Presbyterians felt was particularly aimed at marriages celebrated by their ministers), etc, etc.

Mrs Stewart's letters and papers, 1798-1831, which include a copy of her will (1821), principally consist of a run of 337 letters to her, spread over this whole period, from Rebecca Leslie, wife of Colonel, later General, David Leslie, the third son of the 6th Earl of Leven. The Leslies had come to Ireland in 1796 with the Tay Fencibles, a Scottish regiment of which David Leslie was colonel and which had been stationed at Cookstown, where the Leslies met and befriended the Stewarts. The letters begin towards the end of 1797 and become frequent and regular when the Leslies moved with the Tay Fencibles to Carrickfergus in 1798. They mostly contain news of family and social events, but the '98 and '99 letters make many references to the rebellion and its aftermath. A letter of 27 January 1807, for example, comments amusingly on the Marquess and Marchioness of Donegall, '... who have come to Scotland to retrench and to starve, as her Ladyship says, upon 17,000 per annum, "which is all their cruel creditors will allow them", ... are so dashing they quite astonish our sober Scottishies, but our gentlemen have found out that the poor Marquess is very weak and does not understand literary conversation, which is what they feed themselves upon; so they hold him rather cheap and look a little glum at the gold bragg parties which Ly D. has introduced....' During the next thirty years the Leslies served or lived in various places in Ireland and Scotland, and the correspondence between Mrs Leslie and Mrs Stewart continues throughout these years.

The Stewart papers peter out uninspiringly with Stewart's descendants huddling in Boulogne to escape their creditors. The Stewart finances, always parlous, finally collapsed in the 1840s, so that there was nothing left for Stewart's daughter, Louisa, who had married Henry John Clements of Ashfield in 1811, to inherit when her brother, Colonel William Stewart, died childless in 1850. Some 150 letter to Colonel Stewart's Dublin agents, Messrs Stewart & Kincaid, 1841-1848, documenting the financial difficulties of these last years, will be found at D/2966/92/B.

The above description is mainly based on the content of the archive. However, it also draws on W.A. Maguire (ed.), "Up in Arms: the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland: a Bicentenary [Ulster Museum] Exhibition" (Belfast, 1998), which in turn draws on Professor E.M. Johnston-Liik's 'History of the Irish Parliament, 1690-1800' database.

A.P.W. Malcomson

This material is subject to Crown copyright and, except for personal study, any unauthorised use, copying or mirroring, is prohibited. Permission to publish may be obtained by writing to; Head of Reader Services, PRONI, 66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY, Northern Ireland.


5/8/2003: new issue

15/2/2004: edited