Earl of Belvedere (alternative spelling: Belvidere) was a title in the Peerage of Ireland created in 1756 for Robert Rochfort, 1st Viscount Belfied. The title and its subsidiaries became extinct in 1814.
The Peerage of Ireland consists of those titles of nobility created by the English monarchs in their capacity as lord or king of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron. As of 2016, there were 135 titles in the Peerage of Ireland extant: two dukedoms, ten marquessates, 43 earldoms, 28 viscountcies, and 52 baronies. The Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland continues to exercise jurisdiction over the Peerage of Ireland, including those peers whose titles derive from places located in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Article 40.2 of the Irish Constitution forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and a citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Government. As stated above, this issue does not arise in respect of the Peerage of Ireland, as no creations of titles in it have been made since the Constitution came into force.
Robert Rochfort, 1st Earl of Belvedere PC was an Anglo-Irish politician and peer. He became notorious for his abusive treatment of his second wife, Mary Molesworth.
The title was created for Robert Rochfort, an Anglo-Irish politician who had represented Westmeath in the Irish House of Commons. He was the son of Rt. Hon. George Rochfort, a politician and a descendant of the English settler Rochfort family. Robert Rochfort had already been created Baron Belfield in 1738 and Viscount Belfield in 1751, both also titles in the Peerage of Ireland. The first earl was succeeded his by eldest son from his second marriage, George Rochfort, who was also a politician. The titles became extinct upon his death in 1814.
The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the House of Lords. The membership of the House of Commons was directly elected, but on a highly restrictive franchise, similar to the Unreformed House of Commons in contemporary England and Great Britain. In counties, forty-shilling freeholders were enfranchised whilst in most boroughs it was either only the members of self-electing corporations or a highly-restricted body of freemen that were able to vote for the borough's representatives. Most notably, Catholics were disqualified from sitting in the Irish parliament from 1691, even though they comprised the vast majority of the Irish population. From 1728 until 1793 they were also disfranchised. Most of the population of all religions had no vote. The vast majority of parliamentary boroughs were pocket boroughs, the private property of an aristocratic patron. When these boroughs were disfranchised under the Act of Union, the patron was awarded £15,000 compensation for each.
The Rochfort family came to Ireland in the thirteenth century and acquired substantial lands in counties Kildare, Meath and Westmeath. Several members of the family were prominent as lawyers and politicians. They gained the title Earl of Belvedere, and gave their name to the village of Rochfortbridge. The main Rochfort line ended with the death of the 2nd Earl of Belvedere in 1814.
George Augustus Rochfort, 2nd Earl of Belvedere was an Anglo-Irish peer and politician.
During his life the first Earl commissioned Belvedere House, thought to be designed by Richard Castles but James Gibbs is most likely to have been the architect. It is still an admired piece of Georgian architecture and is now run by the Westmeath County Council. Robert's achievement with Belvedere House could be considered marred by his spitefulness however, as he had a 180 ft tall 'folly' built, purely to obscure the view to the house for his brother George.
Belvedere House and Gardens is a country house located approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Mullingar, County Westmeath in Ireland on the north-east shore of Lough Ennell. It was built in 1740 as a hunting lodge for Robert Rochfort, 1st Earl of Belvedere by architect Richard Cassels, one of Ireland's foremost Palladian architects. Belvedere House, although not very large, is architecturally significant because of its Diocletian windows and dramatic nineteenth-century terracing. When Robert Rochfort decided to use Belvedere as his principal residence, he employed Barthelemij Cramillion who was a French Stuccadore, to execute the Rococo plasterwork ceilings which are among the most exquisite in the country. The landscaped demesne boasts the largest and most spectacular folly in the country, The Jealous Wall, built to block off the view of his estranged brother's house nearby. There is also Victorian walled garden and many hectares of forest. The house has been fully restored and the grounds are well maintained, attracting some 160,000 visitors annually.
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1714 and 1830. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I, George II, George III, and George IV—who reigned in continuous succession from August 1714 to June 1830. The style was revived in the late 19th century in the United States as Colonial Revival architecture and in the early 20th century in Great Britain as Neo-Georgian architecture; in both it is also called Georgian Revival architecture. In the United States the term "Georgian" is generally used to describe all buildings from the period, regardless of style; in Britain it is generally restricted to buildings that are "architectural in intention", and have stylistic characteristics that are typical of the period, though that covers a wide range.
After the Earl's death his wife remarried and bore a son whom she christened George Augustus Rochfort Boyd. He chose to live on the estate in Westmeath. A descendant of the family, George Arthur Boyd-Rochfort, was awarded the Victoria Cross for service in France during the First World War. The village of Rochfortbridge in Westmeath was named after the grandfather of the 1st Earl of Belvedere – also Robert Rochfort – (1651–1727).
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
Rochfortbridge is a village in County Westmeath, Ireland.
Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, in the County of Aberdeen, in the County of Meath and in the County of Argyll, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 4 January 1916 for John Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen.
Earl of Longford is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of Ireland.
Duke of Buckingham, referring to Buckingham, is a title that has been created several times in the peerages of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. There have also been Earls of Buckingham and Marquesses of Buckingham.
Earl of Carlisle is a title that has been created three times in the Peerage of England.
Marquess of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 17 July 1821 for Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury.
Earl of Westmeath is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1621 for Richard Nugent, Baron Delvin. During the Tudor era the loyalty of the Nugent family was often in question, and Richard's father, the sixth Baron, died in prison while awaiting trial for treason. Richard himself when young was suspected of plotting rebellion and imprisoned, but in later life was a staunch supporter of the Crown, which rewarded him richly for his loyalty. The fifth Earl was a Major-General in the British Army. The sixth Earl was sworn of the Irish Privy Council in 1758. His son by his first wife, Richard Nugent, Lord Delvin, was killed in a duel at an early age. Lord Westmeath was succeeded by his second son by his second wife, the seventh Earl. He sat in the House of Lords as one of the original 28 Irish Representative Peers; he was also involved in a much-publicised divorce and action for criminal conversation. He was succeeded by his son, the eighth Earl. He was created Marquess of Westmeath in the Peerage of Ireland in 1822. He had no surviving male issue and the marquessate became extinct on his death in 1871. He was succeeded in the barony and earldom by his kinsman, Anthony Francis Nugent, the ninth Earl. The eleventh Earl was an Irish Representative Peer from 1901 to 1933.
Earl of Kingston is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1768 for Edward King, 1st Viscount Kingston. The Earl holds the subsidiary titles Baron Kingston, of Rockingham in the County of Roscommon, Viscount Kingston, of Kingsborough in the County of Sligo, Baron Erris, of Boyle in the County of Roscommon, and Viscount Lorton, of Boyle in the County of Roscommon, also in the Peerage of Ireland. He is also a baronet in the Baronetage of Ireland. Between 1821 and 1869 the earls also held the title Baron Kingston, of Mitchelstown in the County of Cork, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
Earl Howe is a title that has been created twice in British history, for members of the Howe and Curzon-Howe family respectively. The first creation, in the Peerage of Great Britain, was in 1788 for Richard Howe, but became extinct on his death in 1799. The second creation, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom was in 1821 for Richard Curzon, and remains current.
Baron Carrington is a title that has been created three times, once in the Peerage of England, once in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of Great Britain. The first creation came in the Peerage of England in 1643 in favour of Sir Charles Smyth. Only a few days later he was created Viscount Carrington in the Peerage of Ireland. For more information, see this title.
Viscount Windsor is a title that has been created twice.
Viscount Clifden, of Gowran in the County of Kilkenny, Ireland, was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created on 12 January 1781 for James Agar, 1st Baron Clifden. He had already been created Baron Clifden, of Gowran in the County of Kilkenny, in 1776, also in the Peerage of Ireland. The Viscounts also held the titles of Baron Mendip in the Peerage of Great Britain from 1802 to 1974 and Baron Dover from 1836 to 1899, when this title became extinct, and Baron Robartes from 1899 to 1974, when this title became extinct, the two latter titles which were in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The interrelated histories of the peerages follows below.
Baron Nugent is a title that has been created three times, twice in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. All three creations are extinct. The first creation came in the Peerage of Ireland in 1767 in favour of Robert Craggs-Nugent, who was made Viscount Clare at the same time. In 1776 he was further honoured when he was made Earl Nugent. For further history of this creation, see Earl Nugent and Viscount Cobham. The second creation came in the Peerage of Ireland in 1800 when Mary, Marchioness of Buckingham, was made Baroness Nugent, of Carlanstown in the county of Westmeath, with remainder to her second son Lord George Nugent-Grenville. She was the daughter of the first Earl Nugent and the wife of George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. She was succeeded according to the special remainder by her younger son, Lord George, the second Baron. The title became extinct on his death in 1850. The third creation came in the Peerage of the United Kingdom on 22 August 1960 when Terence Nugent was made Baron Nugent, of West Harling in the county of Norfolk. This creation became extinct on his death in 1973.
Earl of Roscommon was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created on 5 August 1622 for James Dillon, 1st Baron Dillon. He had already been created Baron Dillon on 24 January 1619, also in the Peerage of Ireland. The fourth Earl was a courtier, poet and critic. The fifth Earl was a professional soldier, politician and courtier: he was friendly with Samuel Pepys, who refers to him several times as "Colonel Dillon" in his famous Diary. After the death of the tenth Earl, there were two prolonged investigations by the Irish House of Lords during the 1790s to ascertain the legitimacy of his son Patrick, against the rival claim by Robert Dillon, a descendant of the seventh son of the first Earl and the next male heir in line. These eventually found in Patrick's favour. The titles became dormant on the death of the eleventh Earl in 1816. However, in 1828 the United Kingdom House of Lords decided that the rightful heir to the peerages was Michael Dillon, a descendant of the seventh son of the first Earl, who became the twelfth Earl. The House of Lords Lords decided against Francis Stephen Dillon, an inmate of a debtors' prison who dubiously claimed descent from the third son of the first Earl. The titles became extinct on the death of the twelfth Earl on 15 May 1850.
This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Westmeath.
William Handcock was an Irish politician.