Earl of Caledon
Earl of Caledon, of Caledon in the County of Tyrone, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1800 for James Alexander, 1st Viscount Caledon. He was a merchant who had made an enormous fortune in India. He also represented the constituency of Londonderry City in the Irish House of Commons. Alexander had already been created Baron Caledon in 1790 and Viscount Caledon, of Caledon in the County of Tyrone, in 1797, also in the Peerage of Ireland.
He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He was the first Governor of the Cape Colony and sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1804 to 1839. His son, the third Earl, briefly represented County Tyrone in the House of Commons as a Tory and was an Irish Representative Peer between 1841 and 1855. His eldest son, the fourth Earl, sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1877 to 1898. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifth Earl. He never married and was succeeded by his nephew, the 6th Earl. He was the son of the Hon. Herbrand Charles Alexander, second son of the fourth Earl. Today the titles are held by his only son, the seventh Earl, who succeeded in 1980. Lord Caledon was made Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh in 1989.
Another member of the Alexander family was Field Marshal Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, who was the third son of the 4th Earl of Caledon. Also, William Alexander, cousin of the 1st Earl, was created a baronet, of Belcamp, County Dublin, in 1809.
The family's lineage can be traced to Captain Andrew Alexander, of Errigal, County Donegal who was granted lands at Ballyclose near Limavady, County Londonderry in 1663 and was later attainted by the parliament called by James II in Dublin in 1689. He had a son, Jacob Alexander, who was the ancestor of the Alexanders of Ahilly (Donegal), by his first wife, a Miss Phillips, who was a relative of the Alexanders, and by his second wife, Miss Hillhouse, he had a son, John Alexander, who married Anne White, daughter of John White, of Cadyhill, County Londonderry, and had four children. His second son Nathaniel Alexander was born in 1689 and became an Alderman of the city of Derry in 1755 and died on September 22, 1761, having had with other children a third son, James Alexander, who became the 1st Earl of Caledon.
Robert Alexander, son of Alderman Nathaniel Alexander and elder brother of the 1st Earl of Caledon, had several sons, including Nathaniel Alexander, Bishop of Meath; Henry Alexander, MP for the Londonderry City and for Old Sarum; Lieutenant-General William Alexander, Mayor of Derry; James Alexander, MP for Old Sarum; and Joseph Josias Du Pré Alexander, MP for Old Sarum. Bishop Nathaniel Alexander was grandfather of Nathaniel Alexander, MP for Antrim. Lieutenant-General William Alexander was grandfather of William Alexander, Archbishop of Armagh.
The style Viscount Alexander is used as a courtesy title for the Earl's eldest son and heir apparent.
Earls of Caledon (1800)
- James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon (1730–1802)
- Du Pre Alexander, 2nd Earl of Caledon (1777–1839)
- James Du Pre Alexander, 3rd Earl of Caledon (1812–1855)
- James Alexander, 4th Earl of Caledon (1846–1898)
- Eric James Desmond Alexander, 5th Earl of Caledon (1885–1968)
- Denis James Alexander, 6th Earl of Caledon (1920–1980)
- Nicholas James Alexander, 7th Earl of Caledon (b. 1955)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Frederick James Alexander, Viscount Alexander (b. 1990).