Modern Nobility in Westmeath

IN Westmeath the following families were located, together with those already enumerated:—

1. The Dillons were originally of Irish descent, and of the race of Heremon. Their ancestor (see the "Dillon" pedigree) was descended from a branch of the southern Hy-Niall, in Meath; went to France, in the seventh century; and, being a famous warrior, became Duke of Aquitaine. One of his descendants came to Ireland with King John, and got large grants of land in Westmeath and Annaly; his descendants were lords of Drumrany, in the barony of Kilkenny West; and having founded many great families in Meath and Connaught, became earls of Roscommon, viscounts Dillon in Mayo, barons of Clonbrock, and barons of Kilkenny West; and several of them were counts and generals in the French and Austrian Service.

2. Dalton, and Delamere obtained large possessions in Westmeath and Annaly. The chief seat of the Daltons was at Mount Dalton, in the barony of Rathconrath, of which they were lords; and some of them were distinguished in the service of foreign states.

["3." is not listed in original text]

4. Dease, in Meath, and Westmeath.

In more modern times the following families had titles in Westmeath:

5. Rochford, earls of Belvidere.

6. De Ginkell, earls of Athlone.

In Meath, up to very recently, the following baronets were located:—Sir William Somerville, Sir Henry Meredith, Sir Francis Hopkins, Sir Charles Dillon; and in Westmeath the following: Sir Percy Nugent, and Count Nugent, Sir Richard Nagle, Sir John Bennet Piers, Sir Richard Levinge, and Sir John O'Rielly or O'Reilly.

Ancient Meath constituted the chief part of the English Pale,[1] and was divided into the counties of East Meath and Westmeath, in the reign of Henry the Eighth; but its extent was diminished, as East Meath in early times contained parts of Dublin and Kildare, and Westmeath contained parts of Longford and King's County.


[1] English Pale: The "English Pale" meant that part of Ireland occupied by the English settlers. In A.D. 1603, the distinction between the "Pale" and the "Irish Country" terminated, by the submission of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.