Annesley Family

Biography/History

The Annesley Family of Castlewellan, Co. Down claim lineage from Arthur Annesley (1614-1686), 1st Earl of Anglesey and son of Sir Francis Annesley (1585-1660), 1st Viscount Valentia, Clerk to the Signet in Ireland, 1648 and Secretary of State at Dublin under Henry Cromwell. \n\nArthur was created Earl of Anglesey in 1661 in recognition of his services in bringing about the Restoration of Charles II and was successively Treasurer of the Navy (1667) and Lord Privy Seal (1672). The next member of the Annesley family of note was Francis Annesley, M.P., of Thorganby, Yorkshire, and Castlewellan, Co. Down (d. 1750). He was a nephew of Lord Anglesey and a member of both the English and Irish Parliaments. He is best known as one of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the Forfeited Estates in Ireland (1699) and as a Trustee for the Sale of the Forfeited Estates (1700-1703). It is probably under him that the family first settled in Castlewellan when lands passed into their possession in 1742 upon purchase from the Magennis Family. When he died in 1750, his sixth son, William Annesley of Castlewellan, was created Baron Glerawly. He died in 1770 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis Charles (d. 1802), who was later created 1st Earl Annesley in 1789 from which date the family title proper commences. \n\nNotable successors included his younger brother, Richard as 2nd Earl Annesley (d. 1824), who served as a Commissioner of the Revenue, 1785-1806, and Chief Commissioner of the Board of Excise, 1806-1810; William Richard Annesley (1772-1838), 3rd Earl Annesley; William Richard Annesley (1830-1874), 4th Earl Annesley; Hugh Annesley (1831-1908), 5th Earl Annesley, a Colonel of the Scots Fusilier Guards from 1860 and who had served in the Kaffir War in South Africa, 1851-1853, and in the Crimean War. Patrick Annesley, the current (10th) Earl Annesley, was born in 1924 and succeeded to the Family title in 1979. \n\nThe Family Seat at Castlewellan Castle was sold by his father in 1962 with the estate demesne passing to the Forest Service in 1967. It was subsequently opened to the public as a major Forest Park in 1969.