Somerset Lowry-Corry, 4th Earl Belmore
|The Right Honourable
The Earl Belmore
GCMG PC (Ire)
|Governor of New South Wales|
8 January 1868 – 21 February 1872
|Preceded by||Sir John Young, Bt|
|Succeeded by||Hercules Robinson|
|Born||9 April 1835
|Died||April 6, 1913
Castle Coole, Enniskillen
|Spouse(s)||Anne Elizabeth Honoria Gladstone|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Background and education
Born at Bruton Street in London, he was the eldest son of Armar Lowry-Corry, 3rd Earl Belmore and his wife Emily Louise Shepherd, youngest daughter of William Shepherd. Belmore succeeded his father in the earldom on 24 December 1845, at the age of only 10. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he graduated with a Master of Arts in 1856.
Belmore was elected as a Representative Peer for Ireland and sat in the House of Lords from January 1857 until his death. He served under the Earl of Derby as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from July 1866 to August 1867, and was then appointed Governor of New South Wales, on 22 August. He was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland on 17 September.
Governor of New South Wales
Belmore became Governor and Commander-in-Chief of New South Wales on 8 January 1868 at a time when the position was not yet just a figurehead for the colonial government and he was still an imperial officer responsible to the British government. On 12 March 1868 he was attending a picnic with the visiting Prince Alfred at the Sydney beachside suburb of Clontarf when Henry James O'Farrell shot Alfred in the back and claimed to have intended to shoot Belmore as well. Although Belmore did not see the incident, he arranged for Alfred's transfer to hospital for treatment and passed on to the colonial government the Prince's request for clemency for O'Farrell, which was ignored. He worked effectively to calm the sectarian passions unleashed by the incident.
Belmore succeeded in having the Audit Act 1870 passed, which established the principle that government expenditure had to be authorised by appropriation through both houses of parliament, which had not been the practice until that time. He found the Sydney summers oppressive and therefore rented Throsby Park, near Moss Vale, as his country house. He resigned to protect his wife's health and to resume his parliamentary career, and left Sydney on 21 February 1872.
Belmore was a Justice of the Peace in County Fermanagh, County Tyrone and Kent. He served as a Lord Justice for Ireland on many occasions between 1885 and 1893 and was made Lord Lieutenant of County Tyrone in 1892, having been previously a Deputy Lieutenant. He was also a captain in the Fermanagh Militia and a major in the London Irish Royal Volunteers.
Marriage and children
Lord Belmore married Anne Elizabeth Honoria Gladstone, daughter of Captain John Neilson Gladstone, MP, the son of Sir John Gladstone, 1st Baronet, and Elizabeth Honoria Bateson, the daughter of Sir Robert Bateson, 1st Bt. and sister of Sir Thomas Bateson, 1st Baron Deramore, on 22 August 1861 in St George's, Hanover Square, London. All told, the couple had 13 children: 3 sons and 10 daughters. While all 13 children survived into adulthood, unusually, only two of the 13 (Florence and Kathleen) ever married or had children.
The children were, in order of birth:
- Lady Theresa Lowry-Corry (24 October 1862 – 18 March 1938), who was unmarried
- Lady Florence Lowry-Corry (31 March 1864 – 10 May 1943), who was married on 12 October 1893 to Lieutenant Colonel John Henry Eden (who d. 1931), formerly one of HM Inspectors of Schools and a former major in the Yorkshire Regiment, and had issue
- Lady Madeline Lowry-Corry (6 November 1865 – 30 March 1898), who was unmarried
- Lady Mary Lowry-Corry (5 August 1867 – 5 October 1928), who was unmarried
- Armar Lowry-Corry, 5th Earl Belmore, (5 May 1870 – 12 February 1948) who was unmarried
- Cecil Lowry-Corry, 6th Earl Belmore, (20 March 1873 – 2 March 1949) who was unmarried
- The Hon. Ernest Lowry-Corry (23 November 1874 – 11 March 1912), who was educated at Wellington College and was unmarried
- Lady Winifred Lowry-Corry (18 August 1876 – 1959), who was unmarried
- Lady Edith Lowry-Corry (26 August 1878 – 25 October 1918), who was drowned in Lough Yoan at Castle Coole, and was unmarried. According to a local legend, she then turned into a greylag goose.
- Lady Violet Lowry-Corry (15 June 1881 - 1969), who was unmarried
- Lady Margaret Lowry-Corry (15 July 1883 - 1975), who was unmarried
- Lady Dorothy Lowry-Corry (6 June 1885 - 1967), who was unmarried
- Lady Kathleen Lowry-Corry (28 July 1887 – 13 October 1972), who was married on 7 May 1919 as his second wife to Brigadier General Thomas Ward CMG, of Brynhir, Criccieth, co. Carmarthen (who d. 16 January 1949), and had issue
Belmore was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) on 22 March 1872, later being promoted to Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in the New Year's Honours list 1 January 1890. Belmore Park near Sydney's Central railway station, Belmore Park, Goulburn, Belmore Falls in the NSW Morton National Park, and the Sydney suburb of Belmore are named after him. A bridge in Maitland, New South Wales is named after him, and there is a road over it, and a hotel nearby, with the same name. There are streets and places named after Earl Belmore around Sydney and NSW ; the name spreads through NSW even after 1872,these would probably be due to copying of the name from one place/construction called Belmore to another.
- Dod, Robert P. (1860). The Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Whitaker and Co. p. 114.
- "THE NEW GOVERNOR OF NEW SOUTH WALES.". Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875). Sydney, NSW: National Library of Australia. 9 August 1867. p. 4. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Corry [Lowry Corry], Somerset Richard, Earl Belmore (CRY853SR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Rutledge, Bede. "Belmore, fourth Earl of (1835 - 1913)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 27 May 2007.
- Marson, Peter (2007). Belmore: the Lowry Corrys of Castle Coole, 1646-1913. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 255.
- Mark Bence-Jones, Twilight of the Ascendancy (Constable, London, 1987)
- The London Gazette issue 26008 1 January 1890[dead link]
|Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Sir James Fergusson, Bt
The Earl of Bandon
|Representative Peer for Ireland
The Earl of Lanesborough
Sir John Young, Bt
|Governor of New South Wales
The Earl of Charlemont
|Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone
|Peerage of Ireland|