Creighton Family, Earls of Erne

Biography/History

In 1613 James and/or Thomas Creighton bought the proportion of Aghalane, near Crom, where he built a castle in 1615. Through marriage and other means of acquisition of land, the freehold of Crom was granted to Abraham Creighton in 1665. The Creightons were created Earls Erne in 1789, from 1842 calling themselves Earls of Erne. They held high public office, were members of Parliament and military men, served and died in the 20th century World Wars. Lieutenant Col. John, 3rd Earl of Erne, 1802-1885, was a keen agriculturist and set up an agricultural museum in Lisnaskea in 1839. By the end of 1850 his model farm complex at Crom was the best equipped in the country, with baths for the pigs. In 1884 it had the first silo in Ireland. He was interested in railways but most of all in yachts and yachting. The yacht club at Crom was the heart of all sailing activities for which Lough Erne was world famous. The large bulk of the Erne estates were sold by the 4th Earl between 1904 and 1909 under the Land Act of 1903. Part of the demesne was sold to the Department of the Environment in 1980; in 1987 the National Trust acquired the rest of the demesne in part as a gift, the castle being retained by Henry George, 6th Earl of Erne, Lord Lieutenant, JP, who resides there at the start of the 21st century.