Armagh Plantations, Teemore Manor, 1622

(5) The Manor of Teemore (1,000 acres).

Granted to the Rev. Richard Rolleston (1) March 25, 1610. As an undertaker he seems to have been ambitious but somewhat unlucky. In 1611 Carew found that he was living upon his lands and had some timber buildings after the English fashion. Three men of good sort had settled with seven poor English-men, their wives, children and servants, but the stock consisted of four English cows and eight horses for ploughing “amongst them all.” Despite that report the grantee had by then acquired the 2,000 acre manor of Bellevooran from William Powell. This, however, involved him in financial troubles and compelled him to part with Bellevoran to Richard Cope who some years after sold half of that proportion to Michael Obins.(2)

In 1619 Pynnar records a bawn of sods (3) with a pallizado, moated about and a little house within it in occupation. Near the bawn were 9 houses, inhabited with English tenants – total 10 families able to make 24 men with arms.

In 1622 Sir Francis Annesley we are told was owner having purchased the estate from Rolleston. This was far from an accurate summary of the then situation. There is ample evidence that the vendor was in monetary difficulties and had consequently been obliged to mortgage Teemore to Annesley. The latter, however, by sharp practice had by then acquired almost the whole of the estate. The story is, however, too involved for insertion here.

Richard Rolleston died in 1636. In 1641 his widow was living in Marlacoo, a townland within the manor, to which she presumably moved following her husband’s death, who had been predeceased by their eldest son Henry. At the time of the Civil War Mrs. Rolleston was resident with a family of six sons and one daughter, of whom four sons, Edward, Richard, Ralph and Thomas perished at the beginning of the troubles of that unhappy period.

Sir Francis Annesley was appointed Constable of the Fort of Mountnorris in 1612 and eventually acquired it, with its attached lands and many neighbouring townlands. On October 12, 1611, he secured the Moyry Fort and its three townlands following the death of Captain Henry Atherton who had died earlier in that year, and had been in possession from 1606. In the following year, in April, he obtained a patent for a market and fairs at Mountnorris, later acquiring the fort and its three townlands. He represented the County in the Irish Parliament in 1613 and a few years later received a further grant of lands in Orior.

Additional property coming into his possession at that period included the nunneries of Templenafertagh and Templebreed in Armagh city. Upon the institution of the order of baronetage by James I he was created a baronet August 7, 1620, and in the following year was given a revisionary patent dated March II, 1621, of the Irish Viscounty of Valentia, an honour not however available until the death of the then Viscount. Shortly afterwards on February 8, 1628, he was put in the more immediate possession of a peerage as Baron Mountnorris of Mountnorris Castle, Co. Armagh. He died in November 1660 and was the ancestor of the Earls of Annesley, Earls or Mountnorris, Earls of Anglesey, Viscounts Valentia and Barons Altham.

The Earldom of Mountnorris became extinct in 1844 but the Barony of Mountnorris survives and continues with the present Viscount Valentia.

The Annesleys no longer own any lands in County Armagh. The Mounttnorris estate was purchased by the Copes in the early 18th century and shortly after the major portion of the Manor of Teemore was added to Castle-dillon estate by the Molyneux family.

(1) His brother Arthur came to Ireland with him and was the founder of the Rollestons of Ffranckfort Castle, Roscrea, for whom see BURKE’S Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1958.
(2) See under (3) Manor of Ballevoran.
(3) Erected in townland of Teemore. Site of bawn still known locally.

from from “County Armagh In 1622 A Plantation Survey”
Edited byT. G. F. PATERSON, M.A., M.R.I.A. published in Seanchás Ardmhaca