Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh
Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh PC (Ire) (before 1589 – 1643) was a member of the Peerage of Ireland and lord president of Connaught. He was Chief Leader of the Army and Forces of Connaught during the early years of the Irish Confederate Wars. In addition to Viscount Ranelagh, he held the title Baron Jones of Navan.
Jones was the only son of the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Thomas Jones, and his wife Margaret Purdon. He was knighted at Drogheda on 24 March 1607. In 1609, he married Frances Moore, the daughter of Sir Garret Moore, 1st Viscount Moore of Drogheda and Mary Colley. Jones was a member of the Parliament of Ireland for the borough of Trim in County Meath from 1613 to 1615. In 1620, he was named to the privy council of Ireland. He was the Chief Leader of the Army and Forces of Connaught and was Vice President of Connaught from 1626.
In 1608 his father became involved in a bitter feud with Christopher St Lawrence, 10th Baron Howth, in which Roger also became embroiled. His reference to Howth as a brave man among cowards was enough to provoke his opponent, a notoriously quarrelsome man, to violence. In the spring of 1609, Jones, Howth and their followers engaged in a violent fracas at a tennis court in Thomas Street, Dublin, and a Mr. Barnewall was killed. The Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Arthur Chichester, an enemy of Howth, had him arrested immediately, though he was never brought to trial.
On 25 August 1628, Jones was created Baron Jones of Navan and 1st Viscount Ranelagh by King Charles I. He was made Lord President of Connaught on 11 September 1630 to serve alongside Charles Wilmot, 1st Viscount Wilmot.
The 1st Viscount Ranelagh was married twice.
Several children of the 1st Viscount Ranelagh maintained the family's prominence:
- Arthur Jones, 2nd Viscount Ranelagh, married Lady Catherine Boyle, who was the daughter of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, and also the older sister of pioneering chemist Robert Boyle, and the writer Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick.
- Lady Margaret Jones, married John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene.
- Mary Jones, married firstly Lieutenant Colonel John Chichester, son of Edward Chichester, 1st Viscount Chichester. Their son Arthur Chichester, 2nd Earl of Donegall inherited the earldom from his uncle. After his death she remarried Colonel Christopher Copley of Wadworth, and had further issue.
- Thomas Jones, whose descendants reclaimed the Ranelagh Viscountcy after a period of dormancy following the death of Richard Jones, 1st Earl of Ranelagh.
- Sir James Dillon, who fought Ranelagh at Athlone.
- Sir Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh at thePeerage.com by Darryl Lundy.
- Ball, F Elrington (1926). "Volume I, Book III". The Judges in Ireland, 1221-1921. p. 317. ISBN 1-58477-428-2.
- Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. .
- "Ranelagh, Viscount (I, 1628 - 1885)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
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