Chapter V. - Armar LOWRY CORRY 1769-1779
The Gentleman’s Recreations :- His receipt for George Canning;s Poems –
His Election to Parliament – The division on Pensions – His first Marriage – Lady Margaret Corry – His sister Mary’s death – His mother’s death by which he united the family estates.
ARMAR LOWRY was, as has been before stated, the youngest but only surviving son of Galbraith Lowry and Sarah his wife. He was born at Ahenis on the 7th April 1740. From a large folio book at Castlecoole, called the Gentleman’s Recreations, which bears the name of the donor, his tutor, it appears that that gentleman’s name was Roger Dod. This is by-the-bye a curious book. The first part contains short treatises on several branches of science. The second part is devoted to out –door recreations and occupations, and is copiously illustrated with curious prints. It was published about the beginning of the century. Armar Lowry does not appear to have graduated at any university.
There has been preserved the title page of a bok of poems by George Canning esq.
The following correspondence concerning it appeared in the Times last August :-
THE FATHER OF GEORGE CANNING
To the Editor of the Times
“Sir, - In your biographical account of the late Lord Stratford de Redcliffe you mention the eldest son of Stratford Canning, of Garvagh, ‘ George, of the Middle Temple,’ who ‘was father of George Canning, afterwards Premier,’ and who was uncle of the late Lord Stratford de Redcliffe.
“ I have before me an old slip of paper resembling the title page of a book. One side is printed as follows :- ‘To be printed by subscription, Poems by George Canning, esq., student in the Middle Temple. London April 1762. On the other side is as follows :- The work which is now ready for the press, shall be delivered to the subscribers next September. Their names shall be prefixed. Then on the lower part of the page, is a printed form of receipt, with a blank for the subscriber’s name ; - Received from Armar Lowry, esq. (afterwards first Earl Belmore) one guinea, being the full satisfaction for the above-mentioned poems.- G. Canning. The signature G Canning is in a fine round copy – book sort of hand. The subscriber’s name is evidently filled in by a different hand and with a paler ink.
“Was George Canning of the Middle Temple probably the same person as the author of the poems, and is anything now known of the work?
To the Editor of the Times
Sir, - George Canning, who is mentioned by Lord Belmore in his letter in the Times of to-day, was admitted a member of the Middle Temple on the 23rd June 1752, and was called to the Bar on the 23rd November 1764.
He is described in the books of the society as the son of Stratford Canning, of Garvagh, in the county of Londonderry.
George Canning who was the father of the Right Hon. George Canning published a4to volume of poems in 1767, and also a translation of the Anti-Lucretins
Middle Temple, August 20 (1880).
A copy of this book was lent to me last autumn. The translation of the Anti-Lucretius occupied the greater part of it. The poems are as far as I can judge of no great merit, and only occupy about ninety (by no means closely printed) pages.
Mr A. Lowry Corry’s father last sat in the Parliament which last sat for the dispatch of business on the 27th May, 1768. The new Parliament met on the 17th October 1769. The following entry appears on the journals under the next day’s (18th) proceedings:-
Armar Lowry Corry, esq., beign chosen a Knight of the Shire for the county of Tyrone, and also a burgess for the borough of Enniskillen in the county of Fermanagh makes his election to serve for the said county Tyrone.
Ordered that Mr Speaker do issue his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new writ for electing a burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the said borough of Enniskillen in the room of the said Mr Corry.
He was returned as the senior Member for both constituencies. In Tyrone his colleague was James Stewart esq.; in Enniskillen, Richard Gorges the younger esq. He was succeeded in Enniskillen by Bernard Smith Ward esq.
The only incident in his Parliamentary career in the House of Commons that I know of, was that he voted in the minority in a division, I believe on the 9th October 1771.
A division list (now destroyed) which he sent to his uncle Mr Armar, had in addition to the offices held by various members of the majority, such remarks as ‘ a placeman,’ &c, &c, appended to names of other members unpopular with the minority, whilst the list of the minority was headed “The men who were honest even in Townsend’s days,” Party spirit appears to have run high, and the Government evidently carried on business very much by the help of their patronage.
On this 9th October the entry in the Journals relative to pensions was read. Then a motion was made, that it be resolved that it appears from the Journals that the civil and military pensions for the two years ending Lady Day, 1769, amounted to £174,666 11s 10.
A motion was made that the consideration of the said question be postponed until Committee of Accounts shall sit.
An amendment was proposed to the last motion by adding thereto the following words:-
“Although the fact contained in the said motion appears on the Journals.” And the question being put “That the words proposed stand part of the question.”
* Viscount Townshend was the Lord Lieutenant.
The House divided.
Tellers for the Ayes who went out Mr Henry Flood, Mr Wood 67.
Tellers for the Noes who staid within Mr Mason, Mr Solicitor-General 119
+ It passed in the negative
An address to the King was the proposed. This was ordered to be taken paragraph by paragraph. Divisions were taken on each of the first four (out of five) paragraphs.
On the second paragraph, which thanked His Majesty for continuing Lord Viscount Townshend as Lord Lieutenant, the numbers were – Ayes for Government, 116; Tellers, Mr Mason and Mr Hellen; Noes, 66; Tellers, Mr Henry Flood and Mr Hussey.
The House had met, or should have met, at 10 a.m. At 1.30a.m. next day it was still sitting, and special leave was given for a motion to be put.
+ Irish Commons Journals, Vol VIII.. 18th October 1769
Mr A.L. Corry voted according to the printed list with the Opposition.
The list if I remember rightly was that of the division on the pensions.
On the 8th October 1771, Mr Lowry Corry married Lady Margaret Butler, eldest daughter of Somerset Hamilton Earl of Carrick. This appears to have been a very happy marriage, and her early death, caused it is said by cold after recovering from measles, caught bt taking off one of her own garments to give to a poor woman, was an irreparable loss. Besides her personal qualifications, Lady Margaret, although she had only fortune of £5,000, had the advantage of being able to trace a Royal descent, both from an English, Irish and Scotch source. She was through her mother, Lady Juliana Boyle, tenth descent from King Henry the VII., through the Princess Mary Plantagenet (widow of Louis XII., King of France), who remarried Charles Brandon, K.G., Duke of Suffolk. Her grandfather, Henry Boyle, first Earl of Shannon, was lineally descended from Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, and her great-grandmother, Lady Mary O’Brien, was descended from King Bryan Boroihme, who was killed in battle with the Danes at Clontarf. Her pedigree is identical with that of Lord Farnham, in Sir Bernard Burke’s Book of Royal Descents.
There are two portraits of Lady Margaret at Castlecoole. One is of a very young and slender girl dressed as a shepherdess; in the other she is attired as a huntress, with a spear and sort of grey-hound. It is a pendant to that of her husband in a green riding-coat with a hunting-cap.
It is presumed that Mr Lowry Corry made a settlement of his estates on his marriage; but the documents are missing. It would no doubt have been made in accordance with the terms of his father’s will. Lady Margaret’s own settlement is recited in a deed of assignment dated 15th March 1790(long after her death), between her husband then Viscount Belmore, her brother the Earl of Carrick, and John La Touche, esq. This deed recites a settlement between Somerset Hamilton Lord Viscount Ikerrin of the first part, Henry Boyle one of the Lord Justices of the second part, Richard Earl Of Cork and Burlington, and Charles Earl of Arran, of the third part, the Hon. Hayes St Leger of Doneraile and the Hon. M. Ward, Justice of the King’s Bench, of the fourth part, Abraham Creighton (afterwards Earl Of Erne) and John Bourke of Palmerstown of the fith part, in consideration of a marriage between Lord Ikerrin and Juliana Boyle eldest daughter of Henry Boyle, and which made provision for the younger children. It also recites a settlement dated 1st October 1678, on the marriage of Lady Harriet Butler, daughter of the foregoing, with Edmund Butler afterwards Viscount Mountgarret, when Lord Carrick (formerly Ikerrin) appointed £5,000 for her fortune. It further recites the marriage settlement dated 7th October 1771 of Armar Lowry Corry with Lady Margaret Butler, when £5,000 was appointed as her fortune, to bear interest at the rate of 5 per cent. The fortune was still, in 1790 unpaid, and the arrears of intrest amounted to £1,124 13s. 5d. Mr La Touche was to advance £3,869 4s. upon the credit of the said charge. Lord Belmore assigned the said portion and interest (with Lord Carrick’s confirmation) to Alexander Gordon * in trust with the consent and at the desire of John La Touche. Lord Carrick was to pay and satisfy Gordon by the sale or mortgage of the lands within named, excepting certain lands in Tipperary.
Lady Margaret had three children, viz.- (1) Galbrai6th, born 1773, who died in infancy, (2) Somerset, second Earl of Belmore, born 11th July 1774, and (3) Juliana, who died an infant. Old peerages put Lady Margaret’s death in 1777, but it would appear from the dates of some of her shop bills, settled after her death by (mother-in-law) Mrs Lowry Corry, that she was dead before the 9th April 1776.
* Colonel Gordon – his Fermanagh Agent – was a nephew of Mr Armar
On the other hand she appears to have been alive on the 24th February, as that date appears in one of the accounts.
She may therefore have died in March.
A box containing (as is supposed) her heart is in the Caledon Vault. Probably she was buried in Dublin.
During her lifetime she and her husband seem, from the entries in an old account book, to have spent the winter at a place called Newtown, in the county Meath.
Mr Lowry Corry kept some hounds. I once found a memorandum in an old pocket-book, of a match made in his younger days, to run a horse of his against one belonging to another person on the Maze course; but there is nothing to show that he was regularly on the turf.
Mary Lowry Corry, his youngest sister, died in 1774, and her fortune, £4,000, appears to have been divided – her mother getting one-third. Sarah Lowry Crry succeeded her sister Mary Armar at Castlecoole later in the same year, and after enjoying it until 1779 died in that year, when her son succeedede her. He thus united all the estates of his father and of his mother’s family in Tyrone, Fermanagh, Monaghan, Longford and Armagh, and his mother’s Dublin house in Sackville Street, and must have been one of the largest landed proprietors in Ireland. He appointed two agents for his Tyrone estate prior to his mother’s death, viz.- Messrs James & Samuel Galbraith. The former managed the property which had been his uncle Robert’s, and which at the date of the oldest rental (1777), which is still in existence, was worth about £1,700a year (App. Q). The latter managed the remainder of the property worth about £2,200 a year. In a few years, however, the latter was more than doubled, probably by the dropping of leases. The former also rose in value considerably. After some years S. Galbraith managed both estates. The moiety of the property jointly held by his father and Mr Gledstanes had most likely been sold in accordance with the terms of his father’s will.