Capt. John Alexander of Caw and Enagh

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Capt. John Alexander of Caw and Enagh

Birthdate: (82)
Death: between September 23, 1690 and February 21, 1691 (78-87)
Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of John Alexander, of Eridy and Jean Alexander
Husband of Elizabeth Alexander and Susannah Alexander
Father of Alexander Alexander, of Girlaw (County Tyrone)
Brother of Robert Alexander of Dunvanaddy; Archibald Alexander, of Ballybiglimore; William Alexander and Andrew Alexander, D.D.

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About Capt. John Alexander of Caw and Enagh

Curator's Note: I think there were two distinct John Alexanders conflated into this profile, so I have separated them. One--click for this John Alexander-- married Tabitha Smart and died in Virginia in October 1677, and one (this profile) remained in Ireland and died in Dublin in late 1690. The one in Dublin had a will and a wife named Susannah, as described in Charles Rogers' 1877 book, and was the father of Alexander Alexander of Girlaw in County Tyrone.

Pam Wilson, December 2013


excerpted from Memorials of the Earl of Sterling and the House of Alexander by Charles Rogers, LL.D., (Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1877), Vol. II, Ch. XV pp. 58-66 available online at 59ff.

John Alexander of Eredy appears to have had several sons. In the Hearth Tax Roll of Clonmany parish for 1665, is named, as a householder, "John Alexander, jun." In Taghboyne parish Archibald Alexander is, in the Subsidy Roll for 1662, assessed for 13, 15s.; he is, in 1663, in the Hearth Tax Roll of Taghboyne parish, entered as "Archibald Alexander of Ballybiglimore."

In the parish of Clonleigh, in 1663, John Alexander is associated with a "William Alexander," and in the roll of that parish for 1665 he is named along with William Alexander of the parish of Raphoe. In the Hearth Tax Roll of the parish of Errigal, county Londonderry, in 1663, is named Robert Alexander at Dunvanaddy and Mevoy.

The district of Laggan, in which John Alexander of Eredy and his sons occupied lands, became a scene of contention. In this neighbourhood, in 1641, Sir Phelin O'Neill raised the standard of revolt. For its suppression the English Government granted commissions to the Viscount Montgomery (husband of Lady Jean Alexander), Sir James Montgomery, Sir William Stewart of Aughentane, and his brother Sir Robert. These were authorised to raise four regiments of infantry and as many troops of horse (Reid's Irish Presb. Church, vol. i., p. 344). The small army was entrusted to the command of Sir Robert Stewart and Sir Alexander, son of Sir William Stewart of Aughentane. Garrisons were provided to


the forts of Omagh and Newton Stewart, while Sir Robert Stewart at once relieved the garrisons of Lymavaddy and Ballycastle. Sir Robert afterwards attacked O'Neill at Glenmakwin, near Raphoe, and destroying five hundred of his followers, inflicted on him a heavy discomfiture. Sir Alexander Stewart, along with Sir Thomas Staples and Colonel, after- wards Sir Audley Mervyn, vigorously followed up these successes. The rebels were worsted every- where, till, at a decisive engagement at Clones, county Monaghan, on the 13th June 1643, Sir Robert Stewart subjected O'Neill to an overwhelming defeat.

The rebellion was renewed in 1649. On the 21st March of that year the Laggan troops recovered from the rebels the forts of Newton Cuninghame and the Corrigans, and proceeded to lay siege to Londonderry. But in the following August a party of Irish dragoons burned the fort of Corrigans and Manor Cuning- hame and the town of St Johnstone, compelling the Stewarts to abandon the siege of Londonderry and return to the Laggan. In former, as well as present operations against the rebels, John Alexander of Eredy and his son John, had rendered important service, and so recommended themselves to the favour of Sir Alexander Stewart, younger of Aughentane, one of the commanders of the Laggan army. Pro- bably on his recommendation, John Alexander the younger received compensation for the destruction of his property by the rebels in 1649. He is named


tenth in a long list of persons so compensated, in a document issued on the 2d January 1668, by Sir Edward Smyth, Lord Chief-Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Sir Edward Bering, Bart., Sir Allan Brodrick, and others, commissioners for the settlement of Ireland. The entry respecting him is in these words : " To John Allexander, forty-seaven pounds two shillings and ten pence" (Parchment Roll, Act of Settlement).

John Alexander, younger of Eredy, joined the army of the Laggan, in which he obtained the rank of captain. He resided some time at Londonderry, and latterly at Dublin. He died at Dublin in the year 1690. His will, dated 23d September 1690, was proved in the Prerogative Court on the 21st of the following February. The testator styles himself " Captain John Alexander," and appoints his wife, Susanna Alexander, his executrix and sole legatee. In the Register of the Prerogative Court, the testator is styled " Captain John Alexander nuper de London- derry," while the seal attached to his will displays a dexter arm embowed, the hand holding a dagger, the crest of his Scottish ancestors, the MacAlexanders of Tarbert.

Captain John Alexander was, according to tradi- tion, twice married. By his first marriage he had a son, Alexander, so named in honour of his patron and military commander, Sir Alexander Stewart of Aughentane. His son, who obtained, on the Aughen-


tane estate, the lands of Girlaw, in the barony of Clogher and county of Tyrone, married Jean Stewart of Killymoon, a near relative of Sir William Stewart of Aughentane, afterwards Viscount Mountjoy. This marriage, it is alleged, was distasteful to Lord Mountjoy, who desired for his relative a more aristo- cratic alliance. To his father, Alexander Alexander also became obnoxious, probably on account of his adherence to the Presbyterian Church, which his father had deserted. Before his death, his father is said to have forgiven him, but the will of Captain Alexander would not warrant the conclusion.

Alexander, John (?1587-1662), of Eridy (Donegal).  Born in Scotland and relocated to Donegal c.1613. He married and had issue:

  • Alexander, Capt. John (d. c.1690), of Caw and Enagh.  Eldest son of John Alexander (?1587-1662).  He married 1st, [name unknown] and 2nd, Susanna [surname unknown], and had issue:
    • (1.1) Alexander Alexander, of Girlaw, Aughentaine, near Clogher (Tyrone); married Jean Stewart of Killymoon (Tyrone) and had issue four sons and two daughters;
    • (2.1) William Alexander (d. c.1740) (q.v.).

He purchased the lands of Caw and Enagh in 1686.

He died about 1690.

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Capt. John Alexander of Caw and Enagh's Timeline

Age 42
Donegal, Ireland
September 23, 1690
Age 82
Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland