Arthur Rawdon (1662 - 1695)

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About Arthur Rawdon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Arthur_Rawdon,_2nd_Baronet

Sir Arthur Rawdon (17 October 1662 - 17 October 1695) built a large part of Moira, County Down in the seventeenth century. He was known as 'Father of Irish Gardening' and 'The Cock of the North'. He was a contemporary of Sir Hans Sloane (also from County Down) and was a big fan of botany. He brought over 400 different species of plant to Moira from Jamaica which withered away once Arthur died.

Biography

Sir Arthur Rawdon was a Member of Parliament for Down. His father had also been a MP, and, like his father, Sir Arthur was a general in the army of King William of Orange. He got besieged at Derry, from which he got ill, but managed to escape. This event ended Arthur's military career in King William of Orange's army. Sir Arthur inherited the lands at Moira after his father died. He rebuilt a mansion on the lands of Moira that was surrounded by trees, had sheep and huge gardens. In this estate Arthur built the first hot-house in Europe.

Sir Arthur was a very keen botanist and imported 400 plant species over from Jamaica. This is how he got to be known as 'Father of Irish Gardening'. His garden was said to have be stunning. It had a labyrinth, ponds, canals and trees. These trees included the Locust of Virginia which was 30 ft high and a trunk of at least a foot and a half in diameter. For two generations Arthur's garden was looked after until his descendants allowed it to die away.

Legacy

Today in Moira many places are named after Sir Arthur Rawdon such as Rawdon Court which is a place off Main Street, Moira which has cafes and shops in its residence. There is a street off the Meeting Street in Moira called Rawdon Place which is housing street. Parts of the remains of Sir Arthur's Manison are still visiable in Moira Demesne, even after all these years.

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Sir Arthur Rawdon, 2nd Baronet's Timeline