Arthur Rawdon

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Sir Arthur Rawdon
Nationality Northern Irish
Occupation Landlord
Member of Parliament
General
Known for Building Moira, County Down
Home town Moira, County Down
Successor Sir John Rawdon
Parent(s) George Rawdon (Father)
Dorothy Rawdon (Mother)

Sir Arthur Rawdon, 2nd Baronet (17 October 1662 – 17 October 1695[1]) was an Irish landowner. He built a large part of Moira, County Down in the seventeenth century. Known as "Father of Irish Gardening" and "The Cock of the North", he was a keen botanist, and brought over 400 different species of plant to Moira from Jamaica.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

His father was Sir George Rawdon, 1st Baronet.[3] Rawdon was a Member of Parliament for Down, and a general in the army of King William of Orange. Besieged at Derry, he fell ill, but managed to escape, though his military career was at an end.

Rawdon inherited the lands at Moira after his father died. He rebuilt a mansion, surrounded by trees, sheep and huge gardens. On this estate Arthur built the first hot-house in Europe.

Rawdon was a botanist and imported 400 plant species from Jamaica, earning the name "Father of Irish Gardening". His garden had a labyrinth, ponds, and canals. The trees included the "Locust of Virginia" which was 30 ft high and a trunk of at least a foot and a half in diameter. For two generations the garden was maintained.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Today in Moira many places are named after Sir Arthur Rawdon, including Rawdon Court, off Main Street, Moira. Off the Meeting Street there is Rawdon Place which is housing street. Parts of the remains of his mansion are still visible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Peerage
  2. ^ a b Rudd, C. R. J. "The Castle and The Rawdon Family". Moira: A Historical Handbook. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  3. ^ a b Armstrong, R. M. "Rawdon, Sir George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23177.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)