Theobald Dillon, 1st Viscount Dillon

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Theobald Dillon, 1st Viscount Dillon (died 15 March 1624), was an Irish military commander and adventurer, reputedly descended from the Anglo-Norman Henry le Dillon. He held extensive lands in Connacht and Westmeath.[1] He was a loyal supporter of Elizabeth I of England in her Irish wars. In 1559 he was knighted on the field of battle.

In 1582, Dillon was made Collector-General of the composition money in Connacht and Thomond. During this period of the reconquest in Connacht, Dillon was involved in some sharp practices with the local landholders. In particular he persuaded the various Costello freeholders of east Mayo, to save expense and ensure the smooth legal transfer, to allow him to surrender their lands for them in one land-title in the Surrender and regrant process and had it regranted in his name, becoming the legal landowner in the process. He never returned this title to the lands to the native owners, which would lead to rapparee actions by Dubhaltach Caoch Mac Coisdealbhaigh (Dudley Costello) against the Dillons in the seventeenth century. In 1621, James I created him Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen, cementing his legal title. According to some sources, he subsequently had the title Lord President of Connaught; but this was held by Charles Wilmot from 1616, ennobled in the same year.[2]

He died "at so advanced an age, that at one time he had the satisfaction of seeing above an hundred of his descendants in his house of Killenfaghny."[3] (Kilfaughny, Athlone)

Family[edit]

  • Wife Eleanor, daughter of William Tuite, of Tuitestown, County Westmeath.

They had 19 children:[1]

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
First Creation
Viscount Dillon
1622–1624
Succeeded by
Lucas Dillon

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, article Dillon, James.
  2. ^  "Wilmot, Charles". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ "A Compendium of Irish Biography". 2 January 2007.