William Stewart, 1st Viscount Montjoy

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William Stewart

Also Known As: "1st Viscount Mountjoy", "Viscount Mountjoy"
Birthdate: (38)
Birthplace: Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland
Death: August 3, 1692 (38)
Steenkerque, Baillage d'Enghien, Comté de Hainaut, Spanish Netherlands (Present Belgium) (Killed in the Battle of Steenkerque, fighting against the French.)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Alexander Stewart, 2nd Baronet Stewart of Ramalton and Catherine Forbes (Newcomen), Countess of Granard
Husband of Hon. Mary Stewart (Coote)
Father of William Stewart; Hon. Mary Forbes, Countess of Granard and Alexander Stewart
Half brother of Arthur Forbes, 2nd Earl of Granard; Catherine Chichester; Jane Forbes; George Forbes; Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Forbes and 3 others

Occupation: 1st Viscount Montjoy of County Tyrone, 3rd Baronet and 1st Baron Stewart of Ramalton in County Donegal
Managed by: Donna iLine Howse
Last Updated:

About William Stewart, 1st Viscount Montjoy

From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on William Stewart, 1st Viscount Montjoy:


William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy [1]

  • M, #27913
  • Last Edited=19 Jan 2009

William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy married Hon. Mary Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Lord Coote, Baron of Coloony and Mary St. George.[1]

He was the son of Sir Alexander Stewart, 2nd Bt. and Catherine Newcomen.[2]

  • He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet Stewart, of Ramalton, co. Donegal [I., 1623] on 3 September 1650.[1]
  • He was created 1st Viscount Mountjoy, of co. Tyrone [Ireland] on 19 March 1682/83.[3]
  • He was created 1st Baron Stewart of Ramalton, co. Donegal [Ireland] on 19 March 1682/83.[3]

Children of William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy

  • 1. William Stewart, 2nd Viscount Mountjoy+[4] d. 10 Jan 1727/28
  • 2. Hon. Alexander Stewart+[5]

Children of William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy and Hon. Mary Coote

  • 1. Hon. Catherine Stewart+
  • 2. Hon. Mary Stewart+[6] b. c 1677, d. 4 Oct 1765


  • 1. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 893. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • 2. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume IX, page 349. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 3. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume IX, page 350.
  • 4. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume IX, page 351.
  • 5. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume II, page 192.
  • 6. [S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1628.

From the English Wikipedia page on the Battle of Steenkerque, where he died:



The French had achieved their immediate object by capturing of Namur. The French, not wishing to fight, took up a strong defensive position in accordance with the strategical methods of the time. The French army lay facing North-West with its right on the Zenne at Steenkerque and its left towards Enghien. Their supposition was that the enemy would not dare to attack it.

(King William III of England and William II of Scotland) had replaced Waldeck as supreme allied commander. The allied army was encamped about Halle. The Allies, who would otherwise probably have done as the French marshal desired, were by the fortune of war afforded the opportunity of surprising a part of the enemy's forces.

Accordingly William set his army in motion before dawn on August 3 and surprised the French right about Steenkerque. He completely misled the enemy by forcing a detected spy to give (French Commander, the Duc de) Luxemburg false news. In the 17th century when the objects of a war were, as far as possible, secured without the loss of valuable lives and general decisive battles were in every way considered undesirable, a brilliant victory over a part, not the whole, of the enemy's forces was the tactical idea of the best generals.

The battle

The allied advanced guard of infantry and pioneers, under the Duke of Wurttemberg, deployed silently around 5:00 a.m. close to the French camps. The main body of the French army was farther back and forming up after the passage of some woods. Belatedly, Luxemburg became aware of the impending blow. When the fight opened, Luxemburg was completely surprised and he could do no more than hurry the nearest foot and dragoons into action as each regiment came on the scene.

Unfortunately for the allies, the march of their main body had been mismanaged. Valuable time was lost. At 9 a.m. Wurttemberg started methodically cannonading the enemy while waiting for support and for the order to advance. The French worked with feverish energy to form a strong and well-covered line of battle at the threatened point. The allied main body had marched in the usual order with one wing of cavalry leading, the infantry following, and the other wing of cavalry at the tail of the column. On arrival at the field they were hastily sorted out into infantry and cavalry, for the ground was only suitable for the former.

Only a few allied battalions had come up to support the advanced guard when the real attack opened at 12.30. Although the advanced guard had already been under arms for nine hours and the march had been over bad ground, its attack swept the first French line before it. The English and Danes stubbornly advanced and the second and third lines of the French infantry gave ground before them. However, Luxemburg was rapidly massing his whole force to crush them. During this time the confusion in the allied main body had reached its height.

Count Solms ordered the cavalry he commanded forward, but the mounted men, scarcely able to move over the bad roads and heavy ground, only blocked the way for the infantry. Some of the English foot, with curses upon Solms and the Dutch generals, broke out to the front, and Solms, angry and excited, thereupon refused to listen to all appeals for aid from the front. No attempt was made to engage and hold the centre and left of the French army, which hurried, regiment after regiment, to take part in the fighting at Steenkerque. William's counter-order that the infantry was to go forward, the cavalry to halt, only made matters worse, and by now the advanced guard had at last been brought to a standstill.

At the crisis Luxemburg had not hesitated to throw the whole of the French and Swiss guards into the fight, led by the princes of the royal house. More and more French troops under command of Boufflers appeared from side of Enghien. During and after this supreme effort the Allies were driven back, contesting every step against the weight of numbers.

The foot and dragoons of the main body which succeeded in reaching the front, served only to cover and to steady the retreat of Wurttemberg's force. The coup having manifestly failed, William ordered a general retreat. The Allies retired as they had come, their rear-guard under the Dutch Marshal Ouwerkerk showing too stubborn a front for the French to attack. The French army, very disordered and suffering heavy casualties, was in no state to pursue.


Over 8,000 men (including William Stewart) out of only about 15,000 engaged on the side of the Allies were killed and wounded. The losses of the French out of a much larger force were at least equal. Contemporary soldiers affirmed that Steenkirk was the hardest battle ever fought by the infantry in that war. Five English regiments were completely destroyed. Their commander, general Hugh Mackay, was also killed. John Cutts, was one of the few survivors. The English, as they would again 50 years later at Battle of Fontenoy, blamed their great losses on the attitude of the Dutch.


William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy (1653 – 24 August 1692), was an Anglo-Irish peer and soldier.

Stewart was born in 1653, the son of Sir Alexander Stewart, 2nd Baronet, of Ramelton. He married the Honourable Mary Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Baron Coote of Coloony. They had six sons and two daughters.

He was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance and colonel of a regiment of foot and in 1682 was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Mountjoy and Baron Stewart for services during the Irish Rebellion. In 1686 he served in Hungary at the siege of Buda, where he was twice dangerously wounded, and on his return to Ireland was made a brigadier-general. Macaulay styled him "a brave soldier, an accomplished scholar." In Dublin he was the centre of a small circle of learned and ingenious men, who had, under his presidency, formed themselves into a Royal Society.

In 1688 he commanded a portion of the royal army of the Catholic King James II stationed at Londonderry. But as he was a Protestant, the Duke of Tyrconnell, Lieutenant Governor of the Irish Army, feared he might be influenced in favour of the Protestant William III of Orange and sent him at the outbreak of Irish hostilities on a diplomatic mission to France, secretly intimating that his detention would be desirable. He was accordingly thrown into the Bastille, and kept confined there until 1692. During his period of confinement, the Parliament of Ireland passed a bill of attainder requiring Stewart and two to three thousand others to report to Dublin for sentencing; Stewart in particular was directed to break out of the Bastille in order to report, under pain of being drawn and quartered.

On his release, he did indeed switch loyalties and joined William's army in Flanders as a General, losing his life at the battle of Steenkerque on 24 August 1692, aged about 39.

On his death in 1692 his title passed to his eldest son Sir William Stewart, 2nd Viscount Mountjoy. His fifth son, Charles became an officer in the Royal Navy and a Member of Parliament.


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William Stewart, 1st Viscount Montjoy's Timeline

December 23, 1653
Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland
Age 21
Age 23
Mountjoy, County Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland
August 3, 1692
Age 38
Steenkerque, Baillage d'Enghien, Comté de Hainaut, Spanish Netherlands (Present Belgium)