Bellingham family genealogy

Of Castle Bellingham, County Louth

Arms: Argent, three bugle horns sa. stringed and garnished or. Crest: A buck’s head couped or. Motto: Amicus amico.

This family derives its name from the town of Bellingham, county Northumberland, England, where it appears to have been seated immediately after the Conquest; for, we read of perpetual feuds in the reigns of William the Conqueror and William Rufus, between Alan de Bellingham and the Charltons of Hasleyside; the descendants of the latter still own a mansion near the town, while the Bellinghams, once so powerful, have altogether disappeared from the county, though certain “quit rents” were paid to a representative of that family for land in North Tynedale, down to as late a period as 1774.

Among the many distinguished members of this family may be mentioned William Bellingham of Wolneston, whose daughter, Maud, married circa 1316 William Bellasis of Bellasis.

Henry Bellingham of Bellingham (whose daughter married Sir James Leyborne of Cunswick) was made a Knight Banneret by King Henry VI., after the battle of Wakefield; his son, Sir Roger, was made a Knight Banneret after the battle of Stoke, in 1487, and left an only son Sir Robert (also knighted on the field), who died without issue.

Sir Edward Bellingham, called by Leland in his History of Ireland, “a brave and experienced commander,” was of the Privy Council of King Edward VI., who sent him over to be Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1548-9. The most important branch of the family settled at Levens, county Westmoreland, which was purchased by Richard de Bellingham, whose daughter Mary married Sir John de Harrington, and died in 1348. His grandson, Sir Robert, who was knighted by Henry V. in 1413, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Tunstall of Thurland, and by her had eight sons, who founded branches of the family in different parts of the country. From Richard, his second son, descended the Bellinghams of Lincolnshire, and of Colonial Massachusetts. From Thomas, the fourth son, the Bellinghams of Sussex and Surrey are descended; and from Alan, the eighth son, the Bellinghams of Helsington and Levins. This Alan was the famous Treasurer of Berwick, and Deputy Warden of the Marches; who received from Henry VIII. a grant of the barony of Kendal called the “Lumley Fee.” Of him was made the rhyme still to be seen on one of the windows of Levins Hall: “Amicus Amico Alanus, Bellinger Belligero Bellinghamus.”

From his grandson, Alan Bellingham of Helsington and Levins, the descent is as follows:

  1. Sir Alan Bellingham of Helsington and Levins, a bencher of the Middle Temple, was one of the King’s Council at York, and Knight of the Shire for Northumberland in 1570. He married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Sandford of Askham, and had issue:
    1. James, of whom presently.
    2. Grace (b. 1558; d. 1594), m. first Edward Cleburne of Cleburne (from whom descended the Cleburne of Killerby, co. York, and of St. John’s, county Wexford, Ireland); and second, Gerard (son of Sir Richard Lowther), b. 21st Dec., 1561 d. 1624, s.p.; and was buried in Christ Church, Dublin, 19th October, 1624. Sir Gerard m. secondly Ann, dau. of Sir Ralph Bulmer, Knt., but left no issue.
  2. Sir James: son and heir of Alan Bellingham; was knighted by King James I., in 1603, and died in 1641. He married Agnes, dau. of Sir Henry Curwen of Workington Hall, and had issue:
    1. Sir Henry Bellingham, created a Baronet in 1620, who raised forces in the north for the Royal cause, and was M.P. for Westmoreland in all the Parliaments called by King Charles I. He m. Dorothy Boynton of Barmston, and had a dau. Agnes, who married (in 1639) Thomas, son of Sir Thomas Wentworth of Elmsall; and one son, Sir James Bellingham, who, dying without issue, the title became extinct in 1650.
    2. Thomas.
    3. Alan, of whom presently.
    4. Alice, m. William Mallory of Studley, in 1602.
    5. Frances, m. William Chaytor of Croft, co. York, in 1612.
    6. Ann, m. Sir William Ingleby.
  3. Alan Bellingham,[1] of Levens, M.P. for Westmoreland; b. 1606; m. Susan, daughter of Marmaduke Constable, of Wassand, in Yorkshire, and had issue. Having spent most of his fortune in support of King James I., Alan died at St. Germaine in 1693.
  4. Henry: second son of Alan. Came to Ireland during the Civil War, and received a grant of the Gernonstown Estate (now called “Castle Bellingham”), in the co. Louth, which was, under the Act of Settlement, confirmed to him by Charles II. This Henry was M.P. for county Louth—which county the family represented in Parliament almost continually from 1660 to 1775. He m. Miss Sibthorpe and had an only son:
  5. Thomas, of Castle Bellingham, who was a colonel in the army of William III., and acted as His Majesty’s guide during the march of the army from Dundalk to the Boyne; for which cause King James’s Army burnt Castle Bellingham. This Thomas, who d. 15th Sept., 1721, m., in 1678, Abigail Handcock, and had an only son:
  6. Henry, M.P. for Dundalk, who m. Mary, dau. and co-heiress of Thomas Moore, Esq., and had:
    1. Henry, M.P. for the county Louth, who m. Margaret, dau. of Hugh Henry, Esq., of Straffan, in the county Kildare, and d. in 1775, leaving no surviving issue.
    2. Alan, of Kilsaran, of whom presently.
    3. A daughter who m. the Hon. John Fortescue, uncle to the last Earl of Claremont.
  7. Alan Bellingham, of Castle Bellingham: second son of Henry; b. in 1709; m. in 1738, Alice (d. 1783), dau. and co-heir of the Rev. Hans. Montgomery of Grey Abbey, co. Down, and had five sons and four daughters:
    1. Henry, who m. Elizabeth, dau. of Richard Tenison, of Thomastown, co. Louth. His male descendants ceased with his grandson William-Henry Bellingham, in 1822.
    2. Alan[2] Bellingham, of Kilsaran, of whom presently, b. 1740.
    3. O’Bryan Bellingham (d. 6th June, 1798), third brother of Sir Wm. Bellingham, Private Secretary to Pitt, m. Anne, dau. of Edward Tandy, and had issue:
      1. Alan-O’Brien Bellingham, first m. Miss Pratt of Cabra Castle, co. Meath; second, Elizabeth, or Christiana Nicholson; third, Sophia Heyland. He died s.p. in 1859.
      2. Elizabeth, m. Major James Swiney, 62nd Regiment, d.s.p.
      3. Anne, d. unmarried.
    4. Thomas, who d. unm.
    5. Sir William (d. 26th October, 1826) was sometime Secretary to the Right Hon. William Pitt; m. in 1783, Hester-Frances (d. 10th Jan., 1844), youngest dau. of the Hon. and Rev. Robert Cholmondeley (and granddaughter of George, third Earl of Cholmondeley), but had no issue. On the 19th April, 1726, he was created a Baronet, with special remainder to the heirs male of his deceased father. He was succeeded by Alan, the eldest son of his brother Alan of Kilsaran.
    6. Of the five daughters of Alan, of Castle Bellingham, Elizabeth m. Major William Cairns, and d. in 1779: and Mary-Anne m. the Rev. William Woolsey, of Prior Land, in the co. Louth.
  8. Alan Bellingham, of Kilsaran (b. 1740; d. 1800): second son of Alan of Castle Bellingham. Was twice m.: first, on the 14th Aug., 1774, to Anne (d. 1789), dau. of John Cairnes, Esq., of Killyfaddy, co. Tyrone, and had:
    1. Sir Alan, of whom presently; b. 2nd Feb., 1776.
    2. Henry (b. 1778; d. 1821); who m. Miss Cruden, by whom he had three daughters and co-heiresses:
      1. Henrietta, who m. Henry Shebbeare, M.D.
      2. Mary.
      3. Jane, who m. her cousin William Stewart Bellingham, Esq.
    3. John Bellingham (b. 1781; d. 1826), who was twice m.: first, to Eliza, dau. of William Stewart, Esq., of Wilmont, co. Down, by whom he had (with four daus. and a younger son, Alan, who d. unm., in 1835) an elder son, William-Stewart (b. in 1806; d. 1869), who m. Jane, dau. and co-heir of his uncle Harry Bellingham, Esq., and had:
      1. William (b. 1844), who m. Grace, dau. of James Folliott, Esq., of Kear’s Cross, in Chestershire, England, and d.s.p., in 1875.
      2. Henry (b. 1846), who m. Frances, sister to R. H. Smyth, Esq., of Lauragh, and had: 1. John, b. 1849. II. Thomas, b. 1851. III. Arthur-Ditrey, b. 1855. I. Hester-Frances-Mary, b. 1853. II. Henrietta-Anne, b. 1866. III. Jane, b. 1858.
      3. John Bellingham (b. 1781) m. secondly, Katherine Clarke, and had Percy-John, who died young.
    4. William Cairns, Capt. 64th Regiment: the fourth son of Alan Bellingham, of Kilsaran; d. unm. in 1835.
    5. The said Alan Bellingham of Kilsaran m., secondly, Mary, dau. of Ralph Smith, Esq., of Drogheda, and d. 5th Nov., 1800.
  9. Sir Alan (b. 2nd Feb., 1776; d. 26th Aug., 1827): eldest son of Alan of Kilsaran. Married, 5th Nov., 1799, Elizabeth (d. 22nd Jan. 1822), second dau. of Rev. Edward Walls, of Boothby Hall, in Lincolnshire, England. Succeeded his uncle, Sir William Bellingham, to the Baronetcy, in October, 1826. Had five sons and three daughters; the sons were:
    1. Sir Alan Edward, Bart., living in 1883, of whom presently.
    2. Henry-Richard, of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister-at-Law; b. 12th June, 1804; d. unm. 23rd Nov., 1836.
    3. O’Bryan, M.D.; bom Dec., 1805; m. Matilda, dau. of B. Molloy, Esq., of Millicent House, co. Kildare, and d. 11th Oct., 1857.
    4. Sidney-Robert, of Montreal, b. 2nd Aug., 1808; m. Arabella, dau. of William Holmes, Esq.; of Quebec.
    5. William Johnston, late Capt. 50th Regiment; b. 20th Mar., 1818; m., 15th April, 1852, Felicia, only dau. of the late Rev. John Short Hewett, D.D., Rector of Rotherhithe, and had:
      1. Sidney-Edwin, Lieut. 57th Foot,
      2. Alan-Hale.
      3. Patrick-William.
      4. The three daughters of Sir Alan Bellingham were:
      5. Mary-Anne-Jane, m. to the Rev. John Cheales, Vicar of Skendleby, in Lincolnshire, deceased.
      6. Frances-Elizabeth, married to George-Wilson Maddison, of Partney, in Lincolnshire, Esq.
      7. Charlotte-Sophia, m. to the Rev. John Alington, Rector of Alington, in Swinhope, Lincolnshire.
  10. Sir Alan-Edward, of Castle Bellingham, the third Baronet; eldest son of Sir Alan; b. 8th Oct., 1800; m. 12th Jan.; 1841, Elizabeth, only child of Henry Clarke, Esq., of West Skirkbeck House, Lincolnshire, and had:
    1. Alan-Henry, of whom presently.
    2. William Claypon, M.A., in Holy Orders; Incumbent of Urglin, Carlow; b. 11th Nov., 1847; m. 22nd Aug., 1878, Susan-Caroline, dau. of the Ven. Ambrose Power, Archdeacon of Lismore, and has a dau. Vera-Susan, b. 4th Aug., 1880.
    3. Hester-Frances, m. 8th Sept., 1864, to Sir T. P. Butler, Bart., of Ballintemple, co. Carlow.
    4. Alice-Sophia, m. 28th July, 1864, to Sir Victor A. Brooke, Bart., of Colebrook Park, in the co. Fermanagh.
    5. Charlotte-Mary, m. 8th Feb., 1872, to Frederick Wrenchy, Esq., of Lurgan Brae, in the co. Fermanagh, and has issue:
      1. Fred.-Arthur Cavendish; b. 22nd June, 1877.
      2. Mary; b. 26th Jan., 1874.
      3. Winifred; b. 10th Aug., 1880.
    6. Frances-Anne-Jane, m. 29th July, 1869, to Richard Altamont Smyth, Esq., of Lauragh, in the Queen’s County,
    7. Agnes-Matilda, m. 3rd Nor., 1875, to Montague-Yeats Brown, Esq., H. B. M.’s Consul at Genoa.
  11. Alan-Henry Bellingham, late M.P. for Louth, living in 1887: eldest son of Sir Alan-Edward; b. 23rd August, 1846; Private Chamberlain to His Holiness Pope Leo XIII., and His Holiness the late Pio Nono; Captain Louth Rifle Militia; called to the Bar in 1875; m. 13th Jan., 1874, Lady Constance-Julia Eleanor-Georgiana Noel, dau. of the second Earl of Gainsborough, and has:
    1. Edward-Henry-Charles-Patrick; b. 26th Jan., 1879.
    2. Ida-Mary-Elizabeth-Agnes; b. 26th Jan., 1876.
    3. Augusta-Mary-Monica; b. 19th Aug., 1880.
  12. Edward-Henry-Charles-Patrick Bellingham: son of Alan-Henry, of Castle Bellingham.


[1] Alan Bellingham’s daughter, Dorothy (by his second wife), married Henry Marwood, in 1660. Sir Roger Bellingham married Mary, dau. of Sir Robert Aske, and of Elizabeth dau. of John Lord Clifford. Anne, daughter of Sir Roger Bellingham, married Richard Kirkby of Kirkby, county York. Sir Daniel Bellingham was Lord Mayor of Dublin, in 1665. Catherine, wife of Alan Bellingham of Westmoreland, and daughter of Ambrose Ducket Armiger, died 1554, and was buried at St. Dunstan’s, near Temple Bar, London.—See Hutton MS.

[2] Alan: This Alan, brother of Sir William Bellingham (d. 26th Oct., 1826), had a daughter Elizabeth (or “Bess”) who m. Major James Swiney (or Sweeney), of the 62nd Foot. (Of the Major’s three sisters: Ellen m. John Reilly, Esq., of Kinsale; another sister m. a Mr. Willis: and Eliza m. Colonel Singleton, of the Indian Army.) According to our Notes this Elizabeth’s brother Alan-O’Brien Bellingham also m. Christina or Elizabeth Nicholson (d.s.p.), and afterwards a Miss Alexander (? Heyland).