Administrative History ↴
The petition which the 1st Earl Castle Stewart, then Andrew Thomas Stuart, addressed to the Irish House of Lords in 1768, in substantiation of his claim to the barony of Castle Stewart (D1618/14/2), gives a useful summary of family history from 1619 to 1768.
'James I, by his letter [of 1619] to the [Lord] Deputy and Chancellor of Ireland, authorised them to create Andrew Stewart, Lord Stewart, Baron of Castlestewart in the county of Tyrone, to hold the said honour to him and the heirs male of his body. Andrew, the 1st Lord, left issue Andrew, John, and Robert.
No Parliament having sat from the year 1615 to the year 1634, Andrew, the 1st Lord, never voted in Parliament, but constantly enjoyed the title. He was succeeded by Sir Andrew, his eldest son and heir, and many entries in the Journals of the Lords in the year 1634 prove his enjoyment of the dignity, in consequence of letters patent issued agreeable to the letter of King James ... .
This Lord died in or about the year 1639, leaving issue Andrew, Robert and Josias, and was succeeded by Andrew, his eldest son and heir. This Lord married one of the daughters of Sir Arthur Blundell, by whom he had issue one child only, a daughter named Mary, who married Henry Howard, afterwards [5th] Earl of Suffolk, and this lady carried away almost the whole family estate. Andrew, the 3rd Lord, died without issue male [in c.1650], and Robert his brother being dead without issue, he was succeeded in the honour by Josias, his youngest brother. ... Josias died in or about the year 1662, without issue, and was succeeded in the honour by John, his uncle. ...
John, the 5th Lord Castlestewart, died without issue [in 1685], and after his death, the descendants of Lt-Colonel Robert Stewart were the ... [rightful] successors to the barony of Castlestewart, [which remained dormant and unclaimed until 1774]. ... Lt-Colonel [the Hon.] Robert was the brother of John, the 5th Lord, ... and consequently a son of the 1st Lord. Robert Stewart of Irry [d.1686], son and heir to Colonel Robert, married Ann Moore, daughter of William Moore of Garvey in the county of Tyrone. To him succeeded Andrew Stewart [1672-1715], his eldest son and heir, then an infant, and to him Robert Stewart [1700-1742], whose son and heir the petitioner is.'
Andrew Thomas Stuart (1725-1809), the petitioner, established his claim to the barony of Castle Stewart in 1774.
The other major event of his long reign as head of the family was his acquisition, in 1782, of a third manor in Co. Tyrone, the manor of Orritor, alias Orator, alias Auraghter, alias Manor Annesley, which was then valued as being worth, when out of lease, £1,133 a year (D1618/2/48). Orritor was near Stewartstown, and was thus geographically well-situated to round off the existing manors of Castle Stewart and Forward. However, the fourth manor in the Tyrone estate came in by inheritance, not deliberate purchase, and was remote from the other three. This was the manor of Hastings, alias Castlegore, near Castlederg, formerly the property of the Edwards family of Castlegore. Robert Stuart of Stuart Hall had married Margaret Edwards of Castlegore back in 1722; and as a result of failure of heirs male in the Edwards family, Castlegore passed to the Stuarts, but not until the 3rd Earl Castle Stewart's day, in 1820, almost a hundred years after the marriage.
-Extracted from a full account of the Castle Stewart Papers in the PRONI catalogue: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni