William St Lawrence, 14th Baron Howth (1688-1748) was an Irish peer and politician, who enjoyed the friendship of Jonathan Swift.
He was the eldest of the five sons of Thomas St Lawrence, 13th Baron Howth and his wife Mary Barnewall, daughter of Henry, 2nd Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland and his second wife Lady Mary Nugent.He lived for part of each year in Howth Castle, but also spent much of his time at Kilfane House near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, where he could indulge his passion for sport.
He sat in the Irish House of Commons as MP for Ratoath between 1716 and 1727. He was regarded as a man of shrewd political judgement, and became a member of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1739.
Shortly after succeeding to the title, he married Lucy Gorges, fourth daughter of General Richard Gorges of Kilbrew, County Meath, and his first wife Nichola Sophia Hamilton. Nichola was the daughter of Hugh Hamilton, 1st Viscount of Glenawly and his second wife Susanna Balfour, and widow of Sir Tristram Beresford, 3rd Baronet.
Lucy was more than twenty years her husband's junior, having been born shortly before her mother's death in 1713.They had two sons, Thomas St Lawrence, 1st Earl of Howth, and a younger son William (died 1749), who became a professional soldier; and one daughter Mary (1729-1787), who married Sir Richard Gethin, 4th Baronet, and was the mother of Sir Percy Gethin, 5th Baronet of the Gethin Baronets of Gethinsgrott, County Cork.
His marriage to Lucy led to a friendship between Lord Howth and Jonathan Swift, who greatly admired Lucy, and called her "my blue-eyed nymph".Her stepmother Dorothy (Dolly) Stopford had also been Swift's friend. Swift became a regular visitor to Howth Castle, exchanged numerous letters with Lord Howth, and at Howth's request had his portrait painted by Francis Bindon. Swift's regard for Lady Howth led him to importune his friend Eaton Stannard, the Recorder of Dublin, to use whatever influence he had on behalf of her brother Mr Hamilton Gorges, who was standing for Parliament in 1734. Swift ruefully remarked that "I know of no other lady whose commands I would not have disobeyed on such an occasion", the more so since her brother was a complete stranger to him.
Scandal and tragedy visited the St Lawrence family in 1736. While the Howths were in residence at Kilfane, a cousin, Miss Barford and her friend Miss Hawley who were staying with them, were killed in a carriage accident.When news of the tragedy reached Dublin, it led in a rather obscure fashion to a violent quarrel between Lord Howth's brother, Henry St Lawrence, and Lady Howth's brother, Hamilton Gorges (for whom Jonathan Swift had canvassed for a seat in Parliament two years earlier). St Lawrence challenged Gorges to a duel in which Gorges killed him. Gorges was tried for murder but acquitted. The jury, as generally happened in such cases, accepted his plea that he had acted in self-defence.
Elrington Ball describes William as a man of considerable gifts, keen insight and a humorous disposition, but far too fond of his own pleasure. He was a keen sportsman and a heavy drinker. At the same time he took a strong interest in improving agriculture, and as his last will shows, was notably charitable to the poor.
He died on 4 April 1748 and was succeeded in the title by his elder son, Thomas, who was created 1st Earl of Howth in 1767.His widow remarried Nicholas Weldon of Gravelmount House, Navan, County Meath in 1751. Since Weldon was a Roman Catholic it was necessary under the Penal Lawsfor Lucy to obtain a royal pardon for the marriage in order to prevent forfeiture of her property rights, and this was duly granted in December 1751.
Sir Thomas Allen, 1st Baronet was the eldest son of John Alen of St. Wolstan's, near Celbridge, County Kildare and Anne, daughter of Thomas Dillon of Riverstown, County Meath. He was the grandnephew of John Alan, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who acquired St Wolstan's on the dissolution of the monasteries.
The Gethin Baronetcy, of Gethinsgrott in Cork, is a title in the Baronetage of Ireland. It was created on 1 August 1665 for Richard Gethin, who represented Clonmel and Newtown Limavady in the Irish House of Commons. The eighth Baronet was a Colonel in the British Army. Later generations added the name St. Lawrence, to indicate their connection to the Earl of Howth.
Sir Tristram Beresford, 3rd Baronet was an Irish politician and baronet.
Arthur Blennerhassett KC was an Anglo-Irish lawyer, politician and judge. He is remembered mainly for killing John St. Leger in a duel.
Nicholas St Lawrence, 4th Baron Howth was a leading Irish soldier and statesman of the early Tudor period, who held the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
The High Sheriff of Meath was the British Crown's judicial representative in County Meath, Ireland, from the conquest until 1922, when the office was abolished in the new Free State and replaced by the office of Meath County Sheriff.
Sir Patrick Barnewall or Barnwall, was the eldest son of Sir Christopher Barnewall of Turvey, Grace Dieu Abbey, and Fieldston. Christopher in turn was the son of the elder Sir Patrick Barnewall, who in 1534 was made Serjeant-at-law (Ireland) and Solicitor-General for Ireland, and in 1550 became Master of the Rolls in Ireland. Patrick's mother was Marion Sherle, daughter of Richard Sherle of Shallon, County Meath: after his father's death, she remarried the prominent judge Sir Lucas Dillon. She died in 1607.
Sir Christopher Barnewall (1522–1575) was a leading Anglo-Irish statesman of the Pale in the 1560s and 1570s. He was the effective Leader of the Opposition in the Irish House of Commons in the Parliament of 1568–71. He is remembered for building Turvey House, where he sheltered the future Catholic martyr Edmund Campion, for his impressive tomb in Lusk Church, and for the eulogy to him in Holinshed's Chronicles, which was written by his son-in-law Richard Stanyhurst.
Christopher St Lawrence, 8th Baron Howth was an Irish politician and peer. He was a member of the Privy Council of Ireland, and played a leading part in the Government of Ireland in the 1560s; but he later went into opposition and was imprisoned as a result. He was nicknamed the Blind Lord.
Nicholas St. Lawrence, 9th Baron Howth (c.1550–1607) was a leading member of the Anglo-Irish nobility in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Despite openly professing his Roman Catholic faith, he enjoyed the trust of Elizabeth I and of successive Lord Deputies of Ireland, and was even forgiven by the English Crown for signing a petition protesting against the enforcement of the Penal Laws.
Christopher St Lawrence, 10th Baron Howth was an Anglo-Irish statesman and soldier of the Elizabethan and Jacobean era. His personal charm made him a favourite of two successive English monarchs, and he was also a soldier of great courage and some ability, who fought under the Earl of Essex and Lord Mountjoy during the Nine Years' War. However his bitter quarrels with the Lord Deputy of Ireland, his feuds with other leading families of the Anglo-Irish Pale, and his suspected involvement in the conspiracy which led to the Flight of the Earls, damaged his reputation. He is best remembered for the legend that he was kidnapped by the "Pirate Queen" Granuaile when he was a small boy.
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Thomas St Lawrence, 13th Baron Howth (1659–1727) was an Irish nobleman of the later Stuart and early Georgian era.
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Christopher St Lawrence, 2nd Baron Howth was an Anglo-Irish nobleman. He was a key figure in fifteenth-century Irish politics, and one of the strongest supporters in Ireland of the House of York, who seized the English Crown in 1461. His tomb can still be seen in the family chapel in St. Mary's Church, Howth.
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Thomas St Lawrence, 1st Earl of Howth was Anglo-Irish peer and lawyer.
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