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The Chittick Family History
as written by Erminda (Chittick) Rentoul
1890 The Lodge, Cliftonville, Belfast. Ireland

Chapter Two | The Blennerhassetts

The Blennerhassetts
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Thomas Blennerhassett married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Sandys, of Dublin. Their eldest son, Sir Leonard Blennerhassett, married Deborah, daughter of Admiral Sir Henry Mervyn, of Petersfield, M.P. for Wotton Bassett, 1614, Admiral of the Narrow Seas, 1646, by his wife, Christian Audley, fourth daughter of the first Earl of Castlehaven, and his wife, Lucy Mervyn, daughter of Sir John Mervyn, of Fonthill, Wilts. Sir Leonard Blennerhassett signed his will in Castlehassett, County Fermanagh, on the 17th day of May, 1639.

Sir Leonard was succeeded by his son Henry, who was M.P. for County Fermanagh in 1664. He served as High Sheriff for the county, 1658, 1661. He married Phoebe, daughter of Sir George Hume, of Castle Hume. He signed his will in Crevenish Castle, County Fermanagh, on the 26th day of March, 1677.

Issue:-Two daughters, co-heiresses, Deborah and Mary. Deborah married, first, Christopher, eldest son of Sir Gerard Irvine, by whom she had no issue. She married, secondly, Captain James Colquhoun, second son of Sir James Colquhoun (who was 19th of Colquhoun and 21st of Luss), by his wife Pentuel, daughter of William Cunningham, of Balleighan, in Ireland, and granddaughter of Sir James Cunningham, the 18th of Glengarnock (from Sir Edward Cunningham, of Kilmaurs, and Mary, daughter of the Lord High Steward of Scotland, living at the close of the 13th century), by his wife, Lady Catherine, daughter of James, 7th Earl of Glencairne. Captain James Colquhoun died in Flanders in 1699. In compliance with an order from His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Flanders, Letters of Administration were granted to his widow, Deborah Colquhoun, of Crevenish Castle, County Fermanagh, on the 6th August, 1700.

His remains were embalmed in Flanders, and conveyed with great state to Crevenish Castle, and laid in the Blennerhassett vault in the private chapel grounds, the entrance to which vault is covered by a stone with very elaborate arms cut on it.

Mary Blennerhassett, the younger daughter of Henry Blennerhassett and Phoebe Hume, married Charles Bingham, of Foxford, County Mayo, was by him the mother of the Right Hon. Henry Bingham, of Newbrooke, at one time one of the Lords justices of Ireland, and is now represented by Lord Clanmorris.

Captain James Colquhoun had issue two daughters, co-heiresses. Lillias, the elder, married Alderman Alexander Squire, (Descended from the Squires, of Essex; Arms, three swan’s heads, couped at the neck, or; crest, an elephant’s head, ve. Ad arg. Ducally gorged. The Essex Squires spelled their name variously – Le Squire, Squier, and Squire.) son of Alderman William Squire, of Londonderry, who served as High Sheriff of Londonderry in 1677, and died Mayor of Londonderry, 1692, and was the brother of Captain Gervaise Squire, who served as High Sheriff of Londonderry, appointed by Charter of King Charles II, and also by the King appointed Chief Burgess for life. He served as Mayor in 1690, and died 27th of January, 1701.

Sir Bernard Burke says this family is of English origin, and has either received its surname from, or conferred it upon, Blennerhassett, County Cumberland, where it appears to have been stationary for several centuries. The Blennerhassetts settled in Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth, and have since that period maintained the highest rank among the gentry of the County Kerry, where the first settlers, Thomas Blennerhassett and his son, Robert, obtained a part of the Earl of Desmond’s large possessions.

At the plantation of Ulster, Thomas, Sir Edward, and Francis Blennerhassett (the two first-named being sons of William Blennerhassett, of Hassett House, Horseford, Norfolk) were each approved of as applicants for a large proportion (2,000 acres). The proportions of Thomas and Sir Edward Blennerhassett lay together.

Hill says these lands lay principally in the central division of the Barony of Lurg, and stretched along the shore of Lough Erne. Bannaghmore, Sir Edward's proportion, stretched from Thomas's proportion to the northern extremity of the barony, along the shores of the only cultivated land was measured - all bog, wood, or uncultivated land passing without measurement. The of Belmore in his " Parliamentary Memoirs " says: -"The Blenner hassets all derive originally from the family who were located in Norfolk. The head of the Kerry family was Robert, M.P. for Tralee."

John Blennerhassett, of Castle Conway (known as Black Jack), in his manuscript, dated 1733, states that "Robert Blennerhassett (above mentioned) and Sir Leonard, of Castle Hassett, Co. Fermanagh, were cousins german." beautiful lake, and they are represented on the map as much wooded, and free from bog, excepting a very small patch on the borders of Tyrone. In the sub-division called Tawlaghy there is a church marked on the extreme northern border of the barony.

Thomas Blennerhassett, the planter, bad two sons, Samuel and Leonard. Samuel was Sheriff of Fermanagh in 1622, and died unmarried soon after his father's death in 1624-5. Leonard, afterwards Sir Leonard, succeeded to the estate on his brother's death, took out a fresh patent on 27th October, 1630, of the Manor of Castlehassett.

Sir Leonard died on 2oth May, 1639, and was succeeded by his son Henry, whose will is dated 1677. He had issue, two daughters, co-heiresses, Phoebe and Mary.

Kerry Records, by Mary Agnes Hickson, 1872.
“Henry Blennerhassett of Crevenish Castle's funeral certificate is among the British Museum manuscripts."

"Robert Blennerhassett, second son of Arthur, by Mary Fitzgerald of Ballynard, in County Limerick. Mary, first daughter of Robert Blennerhassett (Prime Sergeant in the reign of Queen Anne), by his wife, Alice Osborne, daughter of Sir Thomas Osborne, of Ticmor, in the County of Waterford, and widow of Warters, of Cullen, left issue one son and four daughters. The son is Arthur, and the daughters are May, Annabella, Alice, and Elizabeth. Arthur Blennerhassett, an able lawyer, King's Counsel, and Member of Parliament chosen for the Borough of Tralee, married Mary Pope, heiress of Derryknockone, in County Limerick. Mary, first daughter of Robert and Alice, married Dr. Thomas Squire, of Coleraine, County Londonderry, and has issue by him one son and three daughters."

Page 108 of said Records.
Show me the country place or spot of ground,
Where Hassetts or their allies are not found.”- J.B.

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