Theobald Dillon, 1st Viscount Dillon
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. 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.
- Wife Eleanor, daughter of William Tuite, Tuitestown County Westmeath.
They had 19 children:
- Lucas Dillon, his heir.
- Cicely Dillon, first Abbess of the Poor Clares in Ireland.
- Sir James Dillon, who was the youngest son.
- Anne Dillon; mother of Theobald Taaffe, 1st Earl of Carlingford.
- Jane Dillon; married Hugh O'Conor of Castlereagh
|Peerage of Ireland|