Somerset Lowry-Corry, 2nd Earl Belmore

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Somerset Lowry-Corry, 2nd Earl Belmore (11 July 1774 – 18 April 1841), styled The Honourable from 1781 to 1797 and then known as Viscount Corry to 1802, was an Irish nobleman and politician.

Politics and inheritance[edit]

Lowry-Corry was the only surviving son of Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore, and his first wife Lady Margaret Butler. In 1798, he was elected to the Irish House of Commons for Tyrone and represented the constituency until the Act of Union in 1801. Thereafter he was returned to the British House of Commons for County Tyrone, a seat he held until 1802, when he succeeded his father as earl.

In 1819 Lord Belmore was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Tyrone [1] and elected as a Representative Peer for Ireland. He served as Governor of Jamaica from 1828 to 1832 and was also a colonel in the Tyrone Militia.

He inherited from his father the magnificent house at Castle Coole in County Fermanagh, along with considerable debts. Nonetheless he furnished the house and its classical interiors designed by James Wyatt in an exuberant Regency fashion between 1802 and 1825. Elaborate curtains and pelmets, pier glasses, "Grecian" couches and a magnificent state bed designed to accommodate King George IV on his state visit to Ireland in 1821 (although the king did not make it as far as Castle Coole, much to the disappointment of the earl) were all supplied by the Dublin upholsterer John Preston at a total cost of around £35,000. Lord Belmore also commissioned Sir Richard Morrison to build a new stable block in 1817.

Lord Belmore's yacht[edit]

Lord Belmore bought the captured James Madison and had her converted from schooner to brig rig.[2] He also renamed her Osprey, of Killybegs in Donegal, armed her with fourteen 9-pounder carronades, and arranged for her to have a letter of marque.[3]

Around 1817, Lord Belmore used Osprey for a family cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean. Her captain was Lord Belmore's brother, Captain Armar Lowry-Corry, RN. The party included Belmore's wife, the Countess Juliana, their two sons, their lapdog Rosa, the family doctor, Dr. Robert Richardson, M.D. (Edinburgh), and the vicar, Mr. Holt.[4] They visited Malta, Sicily, Italy, the Ionian Islands, Greece, Rome, and Alexandria. They also sailed up the Nile as far as Luxor in three local boats.[4]

Lord Belmore apparently had two hobbies in Egypt. One was collecting antiquities. To that end he sponsored some of Giovanni Battista Belzoni's excavations in Egypt with the result that tomb KV30, in the Valley of the Kings, is known as Lord Belmore's tomb. These excavations were the source of some of Lord Belmore's collection of Egyptian antiquities, such as the sarcophagus that is now in the British Museum.

Lord Belmore's other hobby was carving his name on Egyptian antiquities. In his desire to commemorate his travels, Belmore carved his name into a stone at the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Ramesseum (the mortuary temple of Ramses II), and on the side of the Temple of Dendur, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Corry also carved his name on a pillar of the temple of Medinet Habu at Luxor.[5] After Egypt, the family traveled to Palestine and visited Jerusalem.

In 1819 when the family was done with their cruise, Belmore sold Osprey to the King of Naples and the family returned home.[6]


On 20 October 1800 Somerset married his cousin Lady Juliana Butler (20 September 1783 –22 July 1861), second daughter of Henry Butler, 2nd Earl of Carrick by his wife Sarah Taylor, second daughter and co-heiress of Edward Taylor, of Askeaton, County Limerick, and had issue:

Lord Belmore died at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire on 18 April 1841 aged sixty-six and was succeeded by his eldest son.


  1. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine. p. 567. 
  2. ^ Wells (1998)
  3. ^ Letter of marque,[1] - accessed 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Mayes (2006), pp.188-9.
  5. ^ McDonnell, Philippa ( 2 August 2009) "Why my great-great-great grandfather defaced ancient Egyptian monuments". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Lowry-Corry (1881), p.282.


Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Sir Michael Cromie, 1st Bt
Thomas Dickson
Member of Parliament for Ballyshannon
With: David Babington
Succeeded by
David Babington
Sir William Richardson, 1st Bt
Preceded by
Hon. Thomas Knox
James Stewart
Member of Parliament for Tyrone
With: James Stewart
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for County Tyrone
With: James Stewart
Succeeded by
James Stewart
John Stewart
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Keane (acting)
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
George Cuthbert (acting)
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Armar Lowry-Corry
Earl Belmore
Succeeded by
Armar Lowry-Corry