Earl of Howth

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Howth Castle, the seat of the St Lawrence family. Howth Castle.jpg
Howth Castle, the seat of the St Lawrence family.

Earl of Howth ( /ˈhθ/ HOHTH) was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1767 for Thomas St Lawrence, 15th Baron Howth, who was elevated to Viscount St Lawrence at the same time, also in the Peerage of Ireland. The St Lawrence family descended from Christopher St Lawrence who was elevated to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Howth in about 1425. The third and fourth Barons both served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The family's origins are thought to go back to Almeric Tristram, a liegeman of the Anglo-Irish knight John de Courcy, who conquered Howth in 1177. The St Lawrence family claimed significant prerogative rights as Lords of Howth over the whole peninsula, and were prepared to maintain their rights even against the English Crown.

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The fourth baron was Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and a distinguished soldier who fought at the Battle of Knockdoe; his grandson, the seventh baron, was also a notable soldier. The eighth baron, commonly known as "the blind lord", was one of the leading Irish statesmen of his time, and led the opposition to the Government's taxation policy in the 1570s. His son, the ninth baron, was an open Roman Catholic, and led the opposition to the Penal Laws in the early 17th century. The tenth baron was a notable military commander who served in the Nine Years War with the Earl of Essex and Lord Mountjoy. The fourteenth Baron represented Ratoath in the Irish House of Commons, and was a friend of Jonathan Swift. The third Earl served as Lord-Lieutenant of Dublin. [1]

The fourth Earl sat as Member of Parliament for Galway Borough, and in 1881 he was created Baron Howth, of Howth in the County of Dublin, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. All these titles became extinct upon his death in 1909 as he left no male heir. [2] The family seat, Howth Castle, remained in the hands of their descendants in the female line, the Gaisford-St Lawrence family, until the twenty-first century. [3]

Lords of Howth [4]

Barons Howth (c. 1425)

Earls of Howth (1767)

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References

  1. "Lieutenants and Lords-Lieutenants (Ireland) 1831-". Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Web archive; university of London institute of historical research
  2. "William Ulick Tristram St. Lawrence 4th Earl of Howth". geni.com.
  3. Ball 1917, p. 130.
  4. Ball 1917, p. 6.

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