William Creagh, Sir Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James

Is your surname Creagh?

Research the Creagh family

William Creagh, Sir Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

William Creagh, Sir Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James

Birthdate:
Death: December 27, 1702 (47-56)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Michael Creagh
Husband of Mary Margaret Creagh
Father of Francis Creagh; Margaret Isaacson; Sarah Creagh and Mary Creagh

Managed by: Susan Mary Rayner (Green) ( Ryan)
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About William Creagh, Sir Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James

England, Extracted Parish and Court Records about William Creagh Mrs Mary Rogers Text: 29 Jun 1681 William Creagh, of St Martin's in the Fields, Midd., Esq., Bachr, abt 35, & Mrs Mary Rogers, of the same, Spr, abt 26, with consent of her mother; at St Martin's aforesd. Book: 1681. Collection: England: Canterbury - Marriage Licences Issued By The Archbishop of Canterbury, 1679-1694

=======

Occupation

   1687 abt Age: 37 
   Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England
   Politics - Mayor; Sir William was the Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James II 
=====================

Occupation

   1688 aft Age: 38 
   Collier - partnered with Sir Francis Radclyffe (also a RC) in coal mining; see the Proceedings by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 1885:123 
====
Short title: Creagh v Milbanke. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh kt, of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland ...

...Creagh v Milbanke. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh kt, of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland , Sir Henry Liddell baronet, of Ravensworth Castle, Durham , Thomas Liddell esq, of Newton, Durham , Lionel Vane esq, of Long Newton, Durham ...

   Collection: Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
   Date range: 01 January 1699 - 31 December 1700
   Reference:C 6/394/28
   Subjects:Litigation, Coal, Mining and quarrying
=============

Short title: Creagh v Wilkinson. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh kt. Defendants: Francis Wilkinson esq. Subject: ...

...Creagh v Wilkinson. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh kt. Defendants: Francis Wilkinson esq. Subject: Suit concerning leases and conveyances of coal mines and collieries: mentions Ralph Clavering , Sir Mark Milbanke baronet, of Halnaby, Yorkshire , deceased and William ...

   Collection: Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
   Date range: 01 January 1700 - 31 December 1700
   Reference:C 6/394/32
   Subjects:Litigation, Coal, Mining and quarrying
   Browse by hierarchy | Browse by reference

Short title: Wall v Creagh. Plaintiffs: Henry Wall. Defendants: Sir William Creagh kt and others. ...

Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings before 1714, Bridges. Short title: Wall v Creagh. Plaintiffs: Henry Wall. Defendants: Sir William Creagh kt and others. Subject: property in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland. Document type: bill only.

   Collection: Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
   Date range: 01 January 1687 - 31 December 1687
   Reference:C 5/95/98
   Subjects:Litigation
   Browse by hierarchy | Browse by reference

Short title: Creagh v Milbanke. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh . Defendants: Sir Mark Milbanke by ...

...Creagh v Milbanke. Plaintiffs: Sir William Creagh . Defendants: Sir Mark Milbanke by Francis Wilkinson , John Milbanke and Henry Lambton . Subject: personal estate of the deceased Sir Mark Milbanke , of Yorkshire . Document type: answer only. ...

   Collection: Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
   Date range: 01 January 1700 - 31 December 1700
   Reference:C 6/318/58
   Subjects:Litigation
===================

MAYOR OF NEWCASTLE BY MANDAMUS.

BOWARDS the close of Charles the Second's reign, a goodly number of the people of Newcastle, seeing the course which the king was pursuing, entertained doubts re- specting the advantages of the Restoration. Even the authorities, or, at least, some of them, were not so courtly and complaisant in 1684 as they had been in 1661. In- deed, fed by the continual infusion of Puritan blood from beyond the Border, the town was becoming refractory. Charles and his advisers found it necessary to strengthen the power of the Crown in some direction or other, and

they hit upon the expedient of remodelling the Royal Charters. Thereupon the surrender of the charter of Newcastle was demanded and given, and just before the king died a new charter was prepared, in which accept- able aldermen were appointed, and power was reserved to the Crown to displace the Mayor, Sheriff, Recorder, Town Clerk, and even the Common Council at its plea- sure. Upon the accession of James II. (Feb. 6th, 1684-5) the amended charter was formally sent down to the town. The new monarch was not slow to avail himself of its provisions. Within a year of his coronation he had removed the whole of the Common Council, and made a beginning with other alarming interferences with the liberties of the townspeople. The medium through which he sent his mandates was Sir William Creagh, an ardent loyalist, and a devoted member of the Church of Rome.

Local historians have not favoured us with much per- sonal detail about this royal emissary. It is assumed that he was sent down to Newcastle for the special pur- pose of carrying out the king's behests, and that he was a stranger. John Bell, in a paper contributed to the " Archaeologia jEliana" in 1826, labours to prove that he came hither for the express purpose of securing the erec- tion of a statue of James II. upon the Sandhill, " and was followed by sign manual letters to introduce him still further into the company of the leading families, the more closely to watch over the political interests of his Majesty." But Sir William Creagh was not such a stranger to Tyneside as Mr. Bell imagined. He was in the neighbourhood for three or four years before Charles II. died, and must have been already acquainted with some at least of the " leading families," for in a MS. re- lating to the estate of the Riddells of Gateshead, under date March 24th, 1681-82, is a copy of an indenture by which the mansion house of the family and the colliery belonging to them were let to Sir William Creagh, who covenanted that for seven years he would work the col- liery, sell the coals, and after deducting the expense of management, interest for his money, and 2s. 6d. per tenn for his trouble, hand over the balance to the trustees of the Riddell property.

The first Royal message to Newcastle with which Sir William Creagh's name is associated bears date March, 1685-86. It was addressed to the Merchants' and the Hostmen's Companies, and commanded both these wor- shipf nl fraternities to admit Sir William into their ranks as a free brother. A similar mandate to the Corporation, dated May 31, 1687, ordered his admission to the freedom of the town. All three of these imperious orders were dutifully obeyed, in the letter if not in the spirit. With the mere letter of his freedom, however, Sir William Creagh was not satisfied. From the books of the Mer- chants' Company we find that on the 19th July, 1687 :

Sir Win. Creagh, Knt., presented a letter from the king, directed and signed and undersigned nearly as the former dated 31 May, 1687, reciting the letter of the

March -1

NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND.

115

17th March, 1685-86, and, also, that he had been admitted, but not in so ample manner as hi8 Majesty intended ; therefore, requiring his freedoms to be recorded by order of the Common Council, and the Company of Hostmen and Merchants, so as he and his posterity may be enabled to take apprentices, and enjoy all other franchises which any Freeman of the Corporation enjoys, either by descent or servitude.

While these mandates were flying about, the king sud- denly proclaimed liberty of conscience to all his subjects, suspended and dispensed with the penal laws and tests, and even with the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. The biographer of Ambrose Barnes makes it appear that this change in the king's tactics was largely due to the influence of Mr. Barnes. Howsoever that may have been, the Corporation of Newcastle were sadly perplexed by the king's rapid change of front. They were an intensely loyal body, devotedly attached to the Established Church, and sympathised as little with the views of Ambrose Barnes as they did with those of Sir William Creagh. At Michaelmas, 1687, they elected men of their own party to be Mayor and Sheriff, Deputy-Recorder, and Alder- men. With this arrangement the king and Ambrose Barnes were not satisfied. At Christmas there came down from London another Royal mandate, displacing the Mayor, Sheriff, Deputy-Recorder, six Aldermen, and fifteen of the Common Council, and commanding the electors to appoint in their places Sir William Creatrh (Catholic), Mayor; Samuel Gill (Dissenter), Sheriff Edward Widdrington and John Errington (Catholics), Ambrose Barnes, William Johnson, William Hutchinson, and Thomas Partis (Dissenters) Aldermen, and Joseph Barnes (son of Ambrose), Recorder, leaving four Alder- men and nine of the Common Council to represent the Church party. The electors refused to obey this imperi- ous demand ; they declined, loyal as they were, to sur- render their rights and privileges; they stood aside, and allowed the Royal nominees to take possession of place and power upon the strength of the Royal order.

A deed of the period shows us the autographs of four of the principal men in this mixed assembly Sir William Creagh (the Mayor), Ambrose Barnes, William Hutchin- son (Barnes's brother-in-law), and Samuel Gill (the Sheriff) :

<s^ y-4*c % -t </

But widely separated as were the members of this heterogeneous Corporation in thought and feeling, they appear to have hung together fairly well, Sir William Creagh and Ambrose Barnes, the two leaders, managed to sink their religious differences while engaged in munici- pal work. Ambrose Barnes attended his own place of worship in freedom, while Sir William Creagh went to mass without hindrance, and on the day of thanksgiving for the Queen's conception, January 29, he listened to a sermon "at the Catholick Chappel, by Phil. Metcalfe, P. of the Society of Jesus," which was afterwards published. Thus these two men, each working for his own hand, managed to carry on the government of the town. On the 10th of February a quo warranto against their charter was served upon the Corporation ; in return a similar process was taken out against the electors for refusing to appoint Creagh and his colleagues. Ard while both mat- ters were being considered (the charter was sent up to London on the 8th March) the equestrian statue of the king, to which reference is made in a preceding paragraph a noble effigy of brass bestriding a rearing charger of the same metal, as may be seen in vol. ii. of the Monthly Chronicle, pace 162 was set upon its marble pedestal in front of the Town's Chamber on the Sandhill.

The charter, altered for the second time in less than tive years, was ready for delivery a few days after the statue had been erected. Sir William Creagh went to London to receive it, and his return was celebrated, ac- cording to the London Gazette of the 13th August, with much ceremony.

Sir William Creagh and his friends began now to pre- pare for the ensuing Michaelmas mayor choosing. It was their intention to elect two men of their own party for Mayor and Sheriff, but Ambrose Barnes and his friends were on the alert, and when the day arrived (Monday, the 1st of October), they rose early in the morning, and elected two dissenters William Hutchinson, Mayor, and Matthias Partis, Sheriff. Within a fortnight it was dis- covered that Royal interference with borough charters was a mistake. On the day (October 17) when it became known that William Prince of Oranee was preparing to invade England, a Royal Proclamation was issued order- ing corporations whose deeds of surrender had not been recorded or enrolled, to be restored " into the same state and condition they were in our late dear brother's reign." Newcastle was one of the towns in which the surrender had not been enrolled; all, therefore, that Sir William Creagh had done was illegal ; the election of the 1st October was void. On the 5th of November the Prince of Orange landed in England; on that day William Hutchinson and Matthias Partis were put out of office ; Nicholas Ridley was elected Mayor and Matthew White Sheriff ; and all the displaced aldermen resumed their gowns. A month after the coronation of William and Mary, on Saturday, May 11, 1689, the statue of James II. was torn down and thrown into the river Tyne.

116

MONTHLY CHRONICLE.

/March \ 1890.

With the Revolution Sir William Creagh's municipal career came to an end. His freedom of the Corporation was declared void, and, excepting entries of the baptism of two daughters at St. John's in 1689 and 1690, no fur- ther mention of him occurs for some time in Newcastle history. We know, from a letter contributed by Mr. Horatio A. Adamson to the " Proceedings of the New- castle Society of Antiquaries," that he received, from the first Earl of Derwentwater, a share in "Old Brigle- burne " mine, and we learn from the MS. previously quoted that he continued to be a lessee of Gateshead Colliery down to the year 1700. The Register of Burials at St. Nicholas' Church supplies the rest :

1696-7, January 30. Lady Margaret Creagh. 1702, December 27. Sir William Creagh, Knight, bur. at All Saints.

==============

To the Right Honourable and Honourable the Lords Commissioners of His Majesties treasury [microform] / Sir William Creagh Bib ID 816768 Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook Author Creagh, William, Sir Description [S.l. : s.n., 1684] 22 p. Series

Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 23:25. Summary

Collection of documents sent by Creagh, along with his cover letter dated 1687, to the Lords of the Treasury. They deal with the diversion of the foreign trade in coal from Newcastle to Scotland owing to higher export duty in England. Notes

Caption title.

Date of publication from Wing.

Folded leaf inserted between p. 8 and 9 titled: The French certificate.

Folded leaf inserted between p. 20 and 21 titled: The Scotch certificate.

Reproduction of original in Columbia University Library. Cited In

Wing C6866 Reproduction Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms, 1961. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 23:25) Subjects Coal trade - Great Britain. Available From UMI University Microfilms International, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106

view all

William Creagh, Sir Roman Catholic Mayor of Newcastle during the reign of James's Timeline

1650
1650
1680
1680
1682
1682
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
1684
July 24, 1684
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
1689
November 5, 1689
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
1702
December 27, 1702
Age 52
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, United Kingdom