John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene
John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene (died September 1665) was an Anglo-Irish politician.
He was a son of Sir Hugh Clotworthy, sheriff of county Antrim.
He was elected to the Irish House of Commons as member for County Antrim in 1634, and was a member both of the Short and of the Long Parliament in England, in 1640, representing Bossiney in Cornwall. Clotworthy was a vehement opponent of the earl of Strafford, in whose impeachment he took an active share. He also took part in the prosecution of Archbishop Laud.
During the Irish Confederate Wars he unsuccessfully negotiated with Royalist commander Ormond for the surrender of Dublin to the Parliamentary forces in 1646. He was accused in the following year of having betrayed the Parliamentarian cause, and also of embezzlement; in consequence of these charges he fled to the Continent, but returned to parliament in June 1648. On December 12 in that year he was arrested, and remained in prison (including at Wallingford Castle) for nearly three years. Having taken an active part in forwarding the Restoration, he was employed in Ireland in arranging the affairs of the soldiers and other adventurers who had settled in Ireland.
Clotworthy in no way abated his old animosity against "papists" and high Anglicans, and he championed the cause of the Irish Presbyterians; but being personally agreeable to Charles II, his ecclesiastical views were overlooked, and on November 21, 1660 he was created Baron Lough Neagh and Viscount Massereene in the Irish peerage, with remainder in default of male heirs to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington.
Massereene died without male issue, and the title devolved on Skeffington, whose great-grandson, the fifth viscount, was created earl of Massereene in 1756. The earldom became extinct on the death of the fourth earl without male issue in 1816, the viscounty and barony of Lough Neagh descending to his daughter Harriet, whose husband, Thomas Foster, took the name of Skeffington, and inherited from his mother in 1824 the titles of Viscount Ferrard and Baron Oriel of Collon in the Irish peerage, and from his father in 1828 that of Baron Oriel of Ferrard in the peerage of the United Kingdom.
Many Clotworthys since then have emigrated to other countries around the world, many to America. There are very few known to still live in Northern Ireland.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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