William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy

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William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy (1653 – 24 August 1692), was an Anglo-Irish peer and soldier.

Stewart was born in 1653, the son of Sir Alexander Stewart, 2nd Baronet, of Ramelton. He married the Honourable Mary Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Baron Coote. They had six sons and two daughters.

He was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance and colonel of a regiment of foot and in 1682 was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Mountjoy and Baron Stewart for services during the Irish Rebellion. In 1686 he served in Hungary at the siege of Buda, where he was twice dangerously wounded, and on his return to Ireland was made a brigadier-general. Macaulay styled him "a brave soldier, an accomplished scholar." In Dublin he was the centre of a small circle of learned and ingenious men, who had, under his presidency, formed themselves into a Royal Society.[1]

In 1688 he commanded a portion of the royal Irish Army of the Catholic King James II stationed at Londonderry. But as he was a Protestant, the Duke of Tyrconnell, Lieutenant Governor of the Irish Army, feared he might be influenced in favour of the Protestant William III of Orange and sent him at the outbreak of Irish hostilities on a diplomatic mission to France, secretly intimating that his detention would be desirable. He was accordingly thrown into the Bastille, and kept confined there until 1692. During his period of confinement, the Parliament of Ireland passed a bill of attainder requiring Stewart and two to three thousand others to report to Dublin for sentencing; Stewart in particular was directed to break out of the Bastille in order to report, under pain of being drawn and quartered.[2]

On his release, he did indeed switch loyalties and joined William's army in Flanders as a General, losing his life at the battle of Steenkerque on 24 August 1692, aged about 39.

On his death in 1692 his title passed to his eldest son Sir William Stewart, 2nd Viscount Mountjoy. His fifth son, Charles became an officer in the Royal Navy and a Member of Parliament.

Endnotes

  1. Lord Macaulay, "XII", The History of England from the Accession of James II<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession of James the Second (London, 1855), 216-220

References

  • Burke, Sir Bernard: Peerage and Baronetage.
  • Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840–'7.
  • Macaulay, Lord: History of England, from the Accession of James II. [to 1702]. 5 vols. London, 1849–'61.

Further reading

Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Mountjoy
1682–1692
Succeeded by
William Stewart
Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by
Alexander Stewart
Baronet
(of Ramelton)
1653–1692
Succeeded by
William Stewart