Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore

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Sir Robert Stewart, of Culmore, N. Ireland

Birthplace: Wigtonshire
Death: 1664 (76)
Culmore, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Archibald C. Stewart of Barclye and Helen Stewart
Husband of Catherine Stuart
Father of Sir George Stewart and Agnes Houston
Brother of Sir William Stewart, 1st Baronet Stewart of Ramalton

Managed by: Private User
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About Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore

Archibald Stewart of Culgruff & Barclye had 3 sons :

"Sir William Stewart of Newton-Stewart & Ramalton, N. Ireland

Alexander Stewart

Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore, Ireland (Stewart Clan Magazine p.141)"

Also a SOURCE:; Cokayne, George E. (George Edward); 1900; Vol. I; page 252 This takes you to page 252, so turn it back one page to find the reference to Sir Robert of Culmore on page 251 in the paragraph on his brother, Sir William Stewart of Ramalton (Ireland). Of Culmore was the actual name for the son of Archibald Stewart which was Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore, Ireland bc1546 d1595 . If the link fails to work, go to Ezekiel Stewart on Geni who died 1734 and look in the overview.

Source for relationships of Robert's family follows: George's Family: wife of George Stewart bc1621-25) Elizabeth Blair, d. Yes The following quote should qualify as a definitive source coming from primary sources, a marriage record from the year of the marriage: Geni does accept secondary sources in cases of "-- studies and histories which use the primary documents." from a Geni curator.

"◦Elizabeth, daughter of James Blair of Dunskey Castle married George Stewart of Tonderghie and of Barcly, Wigtownshire, (son of Sir Robert Stewart Governor of Culmore, Londonderry)."  This was on a wedding document for the marriage of Elizabeth Blair's brother, John on Oct. 19,1667. The record stated: "A witness was George Stewart of Tonderghie and of Barcly, Wigtownshire, (son of Sir Robert Stewart Governor of Culmore, Londonderry, and a descendant of the Castle Stewart of Penninghame family), who had married Elizabeth, daughter of James Blair of Dunskey Castle. George Stewart's sister, Agnes Stewart married William Houston of Cutreoch, Whithorn, Wigtownshire. Three other witnesses were James & Hew Blair, brothers of above John Blair, and Patrick Kennedy, Provost of Stranraer".  [] Anyone who goes to this website will find a splendid history of Dunskey Castle in Scotland. About 10 or 11 screens below the top, you can find the quote given here. It should be noted that the quote states that George Stewart of Tonderghie and Barclye was "a descendant of the Castle Stewart of Penninghame family." On Geni World Tree the Stewarts of Castle Stewart were in N. Ireland and do not appear until they were somewhat contemporary with Robert and George recorded here. The key to the phrase, "of Penninghame" is that bearing in mind Penninghame was in Wigtownshire, Scotland, Robert and George's family came from Archibald Stewart of Culgruff, Wigtownshire, Scotland bc1546-50 and Archibald's family came from that middle part of Wigtownshire containing Penninghame and Culgruff.

The details of Robert's life are quite exciting. From about age 19 he served King James I and Charles I mainly overseas in the rest of Europe for 30 years. "On 15 May 1637 Charles granted him a warrant to take up in Ireland and transport four hundred volunteers for the service of the crown of Sweden (Lodge, Peerage). On 11 April 1638 Stewart was appointed governor of Culmore Castle on Lough Foyle, commanding the approach by sea to Londonderry, of which city he was on 25 Feb. returned a member to the Irish parliament which met in 1639. After the outbreak of the rebellion of 1641 he received a commission, dated 16 Nov., from Charles I to raise and command a thousand foot and a troop of horse for his majesty's service. But before the commission arrived he and Sir William Stewart [his brother] had got together a thousand men, with which they managed to relieve Captain Audley Mervyn at Augher. Their efforts were entirely successful in securing the barony of Raphoe, ‘in which the safety of the city of Londonderry was highly concerned’ (Mervyn, Relation). Not, however, receiving any support either from England or the government at Dublin, Stewart was forced to exhaust his own resources, and in the following spring his men were reduced to great extremities. Nevertheless he and Sir William Stewart on 16 June inflicted a severe defeat, ‘after the sharpest action that had been fought in the north,’ on Sir Phelim O'Neill at Glenmaquin. Early in the following year, 1643, Stewart was, on the death of Sir John Vaughan, appointed governor of Londonderry, in addition to his charge at Culmore. After capturing the castle of Denge and ravaging the country round about Dungannon, Charlemont, and Kinard, he returned to his headquarters. His position, always one of great difficulty, became extremely uncomfortable after the arrival of orders for the Scots Army under Robert Monro (d. 1680?) [q. v.]—called the New Scots, in order to distinguish them from the army of the Scottish planters—to take the covenant( pledge to Scottish Presbyterianism). A number of kirk ministers from Scotland arrived with instructions to enforce the taking of the covenant. Stewart continued obdurately opposed to it. But after the appointment of Monro with a commission from the parliament of England on 27 April to the chief command of all the English as well as Scottish forces in Ulster, he gave way, and at a meeting of ministers at Coleraine publicly took the covenant, saying, ‘Now I will be as arrant a covenanter as any of you’ (Adair, True Narrative, pp. 113–17). (completion of this quote and the sources are given at the end of the next paragraph)

"Monro precipitated a battle with Owen O'Neill in Ireland, and Stewart arrived too late on the scene of action to take part in the battle of Benburb on 5 June 1646. He had reached Augher when he heard of O'Neill's advance after the victory, and, immediately decamping in the night, made good his retreat to Derry, leaving ‘Mac Art but an old drum and two or three muskets.’ When Sir Charles Coote (afterwards Earl of Mountrath) [q. v.] in 1648 succeeded to the government of Londonderry, Robert Stewart, who loyally adhered to Charles, refused to obey him, and from his position at Culmore seriously obstructed the approaches to the city. Coote and Monck were instructed to take measures to secure him and certain others ‘who, we are informed, will certainly serve the king's interest.’ Coote laid his plan well, and immediately on receiving his instructions inveigled Sir Robert to Londonderry, arrested him, and sent him prisoner to London. He was committed on parole to the custody of Mr. Morgan at the ‘Wheatsheaf,’ and on 8 Jan. 1649 it was resolved to try him by a council of war; but a week or two later he managed to escape. On 14 May he received a royal commission appointing him, in the event of Viscount Montgomery of the Ardes declining the charge, to the command of the five regiments in the north of Ireland, and twelve days later he joined the besieging army before Londonderry. In obedience to his instructions Sligo Castle surrendered on 7 July. After the collapse of the royalist cause in Ireland Stewart seems to have retired to Scotland. At the Restoration he was on 6 Feb. 1660 given a company of foot, and six days later reappointed governor of Londonderry, city and county, ‘in consideration of his many services performed to King Charles I, and the good affection expressed by him in the late troubles in Ireland, in his arming and maintaining a regiment of foot and a troop of horse at his own charge in the service of the said king.’ He resigned or was superseded on 17 Sept. 1661 by Colonel John Gorges. On 22 May 1662 he was appointed a trustee for the '49 officers, and seems to have retained his position as governor of the fort of Culmore till his death." (See Wikipedia "Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore" for the rest of this story of Robert's life. Sources are given in the article in part: Cal. State Papers, Ireland, James I, iii. 272, 292, 296; Carte's Life of Ormonde, i. 188, 309–10, 350, 366–7, 433–4, 487, 491, 493, 530, 535, ii. 59–60; Gilbert's Contemporary Hist. of Affairs, i. 111, 471, 565, 672, 686, 763–4, ii. 230, iii. 157, 199, 342; Hill's Montgomery MSS. pp. 157, 182; Cal. Clarendon State Papers, ii. 11; Gilbert's Hist. of the Confederation, iv. 353, vii. 120, 224; Manuscripts of Marquis of Ormonde, i. 89, 92–5; Hempton's Siege and Hist. of Londonderry, p. 342; Larcom's Survey of the County of Londonderry, pp. 44, 45, 79, 81, 240.

Of special note was how Sir Robert escaped the plight of his own close kinsman(nephew), Alexander Stewart, unofficially Baron of Ramelton, Donegal, Ireland succeeding his father Sir William. In 1650 the Scottish Covenanters tried to make an agreement with Charles II in exile that if Scotland helped him come back to the throne in London, the Westminster Confession and the Covenanters Pledge would rule over all Great Britain. That was not going to happen when Charles II was restored but Scotland made him their king anyway in 1651. Just before that while still in 1650, Scotland called out for all their military leaders if available to meet at Edinburgh Castle to defend their country against the new ruler of England, Cromwell who was advancing across the Scottish border with a powerful military force. Alexander of Ramelton, Robert's nephew, was inside the castle. The Scots took a defensive position in the castle and held out for months. Finally Cromwell and his army retreated to Dunbar, their port of supply. The Covenanters' army left the castle and pursued them hoping to have the advantage. But Cromwell devised a plan to move a great part of his army to his left flank overnight and attack early the next day. When they broke through the Scottish right flank, the Scots lost heart and fled for Edinburgh again thus weakoning the resolve of Scotland. Alexander Stewart, son of the late Sir William, brother of Sir Robert, lost his life in that battle at Dunbar, Scotland at the age of 22. His younger brother, Thomas then succeeded to their father's estates and Thomas' son William began the new branch of the Stewart Clan called the Stewarts of Ft. Stewart, County Donegal, Ireland. Meanwhile the George Stewart branch of Tonderghie (formerly Culmore) back in Wigtownshire, Scotland was destined later to advance a Covenanter Mission to the new Province of Pennsylvania in America.

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Sir Robert Stewart of Culmore's Timeline

Age 33
Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland
Age 35
Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland
Age 76
Culmore, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom