Of the Hastings Family (Earls of Huntingdon)
Copied from a MS. at Kilmacrenan Glebe, County Donegal, belonging to the Revd. Anthony Hastings, by E.H. Otway in 1862.
"The ancient family of Hastings, so long renowned in English history, derived its name from the seaport of that name in Sussex, and its pedigree from Robert de Hastings, Portgrave of Hastings, Lord of Willoughby in Warwickshire and Steward to William the Conqueror.
His descendants were very powerful Nobles, in the Cabinet and Field. One of them became an aspirant to the throne of Scotland in right of his Grandmother "Ada" Niece of Kings Malcolm IV and William.
George, Baron Hastings, was created Earl of Huntingdon in 1529, by King Henry VIII. Married Anne daughter of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. His son Francis 2nd Earl, married Katherine, Heiress of Lord Montague (Henry Pole) and (Gt?) Grand-daughter of Prince George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, and brother of Edward IV, whose wife was Lady Isabel Neville, Daughter of Earl of Warwick (The King-maker) and sister of the unhappy Lady Anne, widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, and afterwards of Richard III.
The Earl of Huntingdon's children were therefore considered to be of the blood Royal, the last of the Plantagenets.
One of the Daughters, Lady Mary Hastings, was a celebrated Beauty in Queen Elizabeth's time.
The Grandson of "Earl Francis" was Sir Henry Hastings, Sheriff of Leicester in 1617, married Mabel, Daughter of Anthony Faunt Esq., of Fauston, and left 4 sons.
The fourth son was Bishop of Carlisle in James II's time and he, like some other Prelates, refused to take the Oath to King William III, and in consequence had to retire to Ireland, and give up his See. He got the fine living of Kilmore in County Monaghan.
Henry, son of the 5th Earl of Huntingdon, was a steady adherent of Charles I, and the 6th and 7th Earls were faithful to the unfortunate Stuarts.
One of the most renowned of the family at an early date was Sir William de Hastings, created Baron Hastings and Boitreany in 1461 by King Edward IV. His ancestors were Barons of Hungerford, "Moline" and "Moels", in 1368 and 1440, by Maternal line. (The two latter titles still to descend in the female line according to the old Patent.)
Henry, Baron Hastings, of Ashby de la Zouche, time of the "Roses", enclosed 3,000 acres of land and wood, and built a great Castle there for the residence of his family, which it continued to be for 200 years. This Baron Hastings was Lord Chamberlain to Edward IV and one of the most powerful Barons in England. He fell a victim to Protector Gloucester and was beheaded by him.
The elder branch of the Hastings family dates from the Norman Conquest in 1066, and terminated in "Lawrence" the last Baron in 1396.
Revived by Edward IV in a junior branch as before stated, viz., Sir William de Hastings, Knight of the Garter, who was great-great-grandson of Sir Walter de Hastings, Steward to Henry I, in 1100.
"Margaret Plantagenet", Countess of Warwick and Salisbury, called the last of the Plantagenets, married Sir Richard Pole, K.G. Her eldest son became Lord Montague and her youngest Cardinal Pole. Her Grand-daughter married Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon. The Countess was Grand-daughter (maternally) of Earl of Warwick the "Kingmaker", whose title she inherited. She was beheaded by Henry VIII most cruelly in her old age in 1541, and all her titles and estates were attainted.
"Lady Elizabeth Hastings", Daughter of Theophilus, 7th Earl of Huntingdon, was very beautiful and celebrated by Congreve in the Tatler Paper in 1700, as "Aspasia", the most charming and accomplished woman of her time. Her beauty was so great that Sir Godfrey Kneller confessed himself baffled to attempt to paint "the mingled sweetness and dignity of her most charming countenance". She died in 1739 unmarried.
Her brother George, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, carried the Sceptre at the coronation of Queen Anne.
"Selina", the celebrated Countess, was wife of Theophilus the 9th Earl, who carried the Sword of State at the Coronation of George II in 1727.
This Lady Huntingdon was Co-Heiress of Earl Ferrers, was much attached to the Methodists, and protested strongly against the fashionable vices of the times. She built several Chapels where many of the Nobility attended regularly. Her eldest son was Francis, the 10th Earl, who carried the Sword of State at the Coronation of George III, 22nd September, 1761.
Dying unmarried, the ancient 7 old Baronies, of Hastings, Boitreang (1368), Montague, Moulins, Moels (1789), Hungerford (1426), Newmarch, devolved on his sister "Elizabeth", Countess of Moira, and carried by her into the Rawdon family, now the Marquises of Hastings. She died in 1808.
"The Earldom of Huntingdon" became suspended and so continued until claimed by "Hans Francis Hastings" then Barrack Master at Enniskillen, R.N., who was descended from the 2nd Earl and succeeded in establishing his claim. Became 11th Earl in January 1819. His son Francis is the present Earl (i.e. 1868).
"Hans Francis", born in 1779, married Miss Frances Cobb, daughter of R.C. Cobb. He was in the Navy and died in 1828.
Their eldest son "Francis Theophilus Henry", 12th Earl, born in 1808, married Elizabeth Anne, daughter of R. Power Esq., of Cashmore, County Waterford.
They had a son, Francis Power, "Lord Hastings", born 4th December 1841. Married in August 1867, Miss Westernra, only child of Colonel Westernra and Niece of Lord Rossmore.
The Hastings family property in England had unfortunately passed into the Rawdon Family with Elizabeth, Countess of Moira, Sister and Heir to the 10th Earl of Huntingdon in 1789. Her son Francis, 2nd Earl of Moira, Baron Rawdon, etc., took the name of Hastings after that of Rawdon. He was a popular Statesman and Governor General of India. Inherited the ancient Baronies of Hastings, Hungerford, Botreaux and Molines in right of his Mother. Was created Marquis of Hastings in 1816, married Flora, in her own right Countess of Loudown.
The present Marquis of Hastings (in 1868) is his Grandson, born in 1832. Paulyn Reginald Serlo, 3rd Marquis, died unmarried in 18-- , having lost and encumbered his Scotch and English estates by losses on the Turf.
Was succeeded by his only brother, "Henry Plantagenet", 4th Marquis, born in 1841, died in 1867. Married Lady Florence Paget. No issue.
The Marquisate of Hastings and all the old English Baronies are now extinct, also the Earldom of Moira.
The Earldom of Loudown and Baronies of Campbell and Marchline (Scotch) alone descending to his sister, Lady Edity.
The first Hastings that settled in Ireland was the Bishop of Carlisle, Great-grandson of Francis 2nd Earl of Huntingdon and Great-great-grandson of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, Brother of King Edward IV, and Ancestor of the present Earls of Huntingdon.
The Bishop's Grandson, Henry Hastings, married a Daughter of Colonel Madden, of Hilltown, County Monaghan, and left 3 sons, viz.:-
1. Henry, Archdean of Dublin.
2. Patrick, an eminent Physician.
3. James, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.
Henry and James left no issue. Patrick married a Miss White, and left two sons, viz.:-
1. James, Dean of Achonry.
2. John, an M.D. in Dublin.
They married sisters (Misses Tisdall) whose Mother was a Miss Benson.
Dr Hastings had no family.
Dean Hastings left issue, viz.:-
1. Revd. Anthony Hastings, Rector of Kilmcrenan, County Donegal, who married Lady Anne McNeil, Widow of General McNeil of Colonsay and Daughter of the 6th Earl of Granard. No issue.
2. John, in Army. Died unmarried.
3. Frances, who married in 1803 the Revd. Caesar Otway (Ref 26), eldest son of Loftus Otway Esq., the son of Caesar Otway Esq. of Knockaltan in County Tipperary.
This branch of the Hastings family is now extinct in the male line.
The Revd. Anthony Hastings died at Kilmacrenan on the 29th October, 1864, aged 85. He was Rector of the Parish 53 years. His wife died 4th May 1855, aged 84.
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