Thursday, 27 July 2017

First Bellew Reunion at Bellewstown 2006

First Bellew Reunion Wednesday July 5th 2006, Bellewstown, Duleek, Co Meath

The McKeen family kindly hosted this gathering at Bellewstown the original place in Ireland where the family appear to have settled in the thirteenth century. It was the first time that ninth cousins Henry & Bryan met.

After people acquainted themselves, Seamus gave a brief history of the family and people filled out some extra detail. Selina showed us around the House built in the 1700’s and then the old wall reputed to be part of the original Castle before Cromwell did his damage. We also saw the coats of arms on the Lodge, the old chapel and the yard. Thanks to Selina for generously hosting the occasion.

Early History (Summary)

Gilbert de Gand came to England from Brittany around 1066. It seems that the Bellew family name evolved through his son, Drogo de Bella Aqua. The accepted traditional ancestor of the Irish Bellews is Roger Bellew who came to Ireland with Hugh De Lacy from Yorkshire. They settled first in Bellewstown and had a presence here from about 1200 until 1852. 

The lands at Roche and Castletown (near Dundalk) came into Bellew ownership around 1402 when Sir John Bellew obtained a grant for these lands. In 1472 Richard Bellew obtained a grant of £10 to build a new tower at Castletown. Large windows and fireplaces were inserted in the late 1500s or early 1600s. The Bellewstown, Castletown and Roche properties were all reunited under single ownership under John Bellew (died in 1600) who married his cousin’s widow, Catherine Fleming. It appears that the Bellews no longer lived at Bellewstown after the Cromwellian era.

The Williamite forces carried out much destruction in 1689. John Bellew (Lord Duleek) suffered a great loss upon his property, his castle, not far from the town (Dundalk), having been made a garrison-post by the invaders; about 2000 of his sheep having been killed by them; and his orchid trees cut down as wood for their camp. In the autumn of 1690, for his continued services to James II he had all his estates sequestered by William III. He was shot at the Battle of Aughrim (1691) and is buried in Duleek. The title became extinct in 1770.

First Bellew Reunion at Bellewstown 2006, was n't the weather good that year?

The Bellewstown Accord!

The Bellew and Plunkett Arms on Bellewstown Lodge, these were for John Bellew (1522-1600) and his first wife Margaret Plunkett.

The Bellew and Nugent Arms on the East-facing side at Duleek Abbey, these are for John Bellew and his second wife Ismay Nugent.

Here are the links to all the Bellew Reunions

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