Sir Richard Nugent, Earl of Westmeath

Nugent, Sir Richard, 15th Baron Delvin, Earl of Westmeath, was born in 1583. He was descended from Sir Gilbert de Nugent, who came to Ireland with Hugh de Lacy. At the age of twenty he was knighted in Christ Church, on occasion of the creation of Rury O'Donnell, Earl of Tirconnell. Suspected of being implicated in a conspiracy for the subversion of the English power in Ireland, in May 1607 (the discovery of which real or pretended plot led to the flight of the Earls of Tyrone and Tirconnell), he was arrested, and committed to the Castle. Thence he escaped a fortnight afterwards, descending into the foss by cords which a servant managed to convey to him. Next year he submitted to the Crown, and was received into favour. He attended the Parliaments of 1613 and 1615, and in 1621 was advanced to the dignity of Earl of Westmeath.

Refusing to join in the outbreak of October 1641, the Lords-Justices sent a party of horse to escort him to Dublin. The escort was defeated by the Irish near Athboy, and the Earl captured. Though liberated soon afterwards, he ultimately fell a victim to the Irish. Lodge tells us: "His lordship, in coming away towards Trim in his coach, was forcibly drawn and hauled out of it, and shot with pistol shots into the thigh, and then, in pulling and drawing him up and down, they drew both his shoulders out of joint; of which that noble Earl (being above sixty years old, blind of his eyes, and often struck with a dead palsy) died " [1641].


54. Burke, Sir Bernard: Peerage and Baronetage.

216. Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, Revised and Enlarged by Mervyn Archdall. 7 vols. Dublin, 1789.