Monday, 30 June 2014

Brownlow House, Lurgan - Heraldry

The stained glass window at Brownlow depicts four coats of arms and corresponding family crests and mottos. Four heraldic shields of the McDonald, Kilmaine (Browne), Brownlow and Dawson families, who were related by marriage, adorn the ceiling of the entrance hallway and these same armorial bearings together with the crests, are executed as eight stained glass windows on the grand staircase. Some sources claim the families to be McNeill, Kilmaine, Brownlow and Darnley (Bligh).


On the 15th December, 1622, William Brownlow was knighted by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Henry Cary and the following year was he High Sheriff of the county. By 1636, the Lurgan estate was worth £750 a year in rents. William married Eleanor, the daughter of Sir John 'Dougherty of Innishowen. In 1639 he was M.P. for Armagh in the Irish Parliament. The estate of Brownlow suffered a set-back during the war of 1641. His castle and bawn were destroyed and he was taken prisoner to Dungannon where he was found a year later by Lord Conway's forces. This must have left his estate ruined and in debt. William died on the 20th Jan. 1660, leaving three daughters, Lettice, Rose and Eleanor. The eldest, Lettice, married firstly, Patrick Chamberlain, a member of an old Anglo-Norman family of Nizelrath (now Rathneestan), near Ardee, Co. Louth. He came to County Louth about 1312 and from this marriage there were three of a family, Arthur, Philemon, and Eleanor

Arthur Chamberlain/Brownlow (from PRONI website)

With the restoration of peace, the existing Brownlow estate was not only consolidating and prospering but also being extended, for on the death of Sir William Brownlow in 1660, he was succeeded by his grandson, Arthur Chamberlain, eldest son of Lettice Brownlow and Patrick Chamberlain. This marriage and the subsequent succession of her son brought the Chamberlain estate in the parish of Philiptown, barony of Ardee, Co. Louth into the possession of the Brownlows.

Arthur Chamberlain assumed the surname of Brownlow as directed in the will of his grandfather Sir William Brownlow and resided in Brownlowsderry. A succession of in-laws, related to his through some of his mother's four marriages, lived on the Co. Louth lands. For further details, see the County Louth Archaeological Journal, Vol. XI, pp 175-85: 'Notes on the Allied Families of Clinton, Aston, O'Doherty and Brownlow' by T.G.F. Patterson. The Co. Louth estate eventually passed out of Brownlow possession in c.1753 when William Brownlow, grandson of Arthur Brownlow, alias Chamberlain, sold it to Alderman Richard Dawson. The property contained 923 Irish acres with tenements in Ardee and Louth towns; no information is given for the purchase price though from a Brownlow rental/account book we know the half-yearly rent in 1753 was £260:12:4¼. For further information about the sale and the estate, see PRONI, D3053/9/3/1-12.7

This accounts for the following quartered arms that contain the arms of Brownlow, O’Dogherty and Chamberlain.

Arms of Brownlow: Per pale or and argent, an escutcheon within an or martlets argent.
Crest: On a chapeau azure turned up ermine, a greyhound statant gules.
Motto: Esse Quam Videri
Arms of Chamberlain: Gules a chevron between three escallops or.
Arms of O'Doherty: Argent a stag springing, a chief vert, three mullets argent.

Charles Brownlow, 1st Baron Lurgan was born on 17 April 1795. He married, firstly, Lady Mary Bligh, daughter of John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley and Elizabeth Brownlow, on 1 June 1822. He married, secondly, Jane Macneill, daughter of Roderick Macneill of Barra on 15 July 1828. He died on 2 September 1877 aged 82.
He was created 1st Baron Lurgan, of Lurgon, co. Armagh [U.K.] on 14 May 1839.

His daughter, Hon. Clara Anne Jane, married Colonel William MacDonald.
His daughter Hon. Mary Elizabeth, married Colonel Robert Peel Dawson, son of Rt. Hon. George Robert Dawson and Mary Peel, on 8 May 1848. She died on 30 July 1888.

His son, Charles Brownlow, 2nd Baron Lurgan was born on 10 April 1831. He married Hon. Emily Anne Browne, daughter of John Cavendish Browne, 3rd Baron Kilmaine and Elizabeth Lyon, on 20 June 1853. He died on 15 January 1882 at aged 50. He was invested as a Knight, Order of St. Patrick (K.P.).

The arms of the spouses [MacDonald, Dawson and Kilmaine (Browne)] of the three children of the first Lord Lurgan are depicted on stained glass at Brownlow.

Arms of Browne, Lord Kilmaine: Sable three lions passant in between two double cottises argent.
Crest: An eagle displayed vert.
Motto: Suivez Raison.

Arms of Dawson: Vert, on a bend engrailed or three choughs proper [at Brownlow].
Crest: An estoile or
[The accompanying motto is; Finem Respice, appears not to be the Dawson motto but rather that of Bligh.]


Arms of McDonald: Quarterly: 1st, Ar a lion rampant gules; 2nd, Ar a dexter hand holding a cross crosslet fichy gules; 3rd, Or a lymphiad sails furled and oars in saltire ar; 4th, or a salmon naiant in fess proper. [at Brownlow]
Crest: A dexter arms holding a dagger.
Motto: Per Mare Per Terra.

Full achievement of arms of Lord Lurgan at the Church of Ireland at Lurgan.


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