Viscount Gormanston

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Jenico Preston,
14th Viscount Gormanston

Viscount Gormanston is a title in the Peerage of Ireland held by the head of the Preston family. It was created in 1478. The holder is the senior Viscount of Ireland, as well as the bearer of the oldest vicomital title in either Britain or Ireland. The Preston family descends from Sir Robert Preston, who served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Sometime between 1365 and 1370 he was created Baron Gormanston in the Peerage of Ireland by writ. His son, the second Baron, played a prominent part in public affairs and was arrested for treason in 1418. His great-grandson, the fourth Baron, served as Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1478 he was created Viscount Gormanston in the Peerage of Ireland. His great-great-great-great-grandson, the seventh Viscount, was a supporter of King James II and was outlawed after the Glorious Revolution.

Jenico Preston helped to suppress the Irish Rebellion of 1798.[1] In 1800 he had the outlawry reversed and was summoned to the Irish House of Lords as the twelfth Viscount Gormanston. He was the great-grandson of Anthony Preston, the de jure ninth Viscount Gormanston, the nephew of the seventh Viscount. The twelfth Viscount was succeeded by his son, the thirteenth Viscount. In 1868 he was created Baron Gormanston, in the County of Meath, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which gave the Viscounts an automatic seat in the House of Lords. His son, the fourteenth Viscount, notably served as Governor of British Guiana and as Governor of Tasmania. As of 2014 the titles are held by the latter's great-grandson, the seventeenth Viscount who succeeded to the titles in 1940 at the age of seven months after his father was killed during the Battle of France in the Second World War.

Another member of the Preston family was Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara. He was the second son of the fourth Viscount Gormanston. Also, John Preston, 1st Baron Tara, was a descendant of a younger brother of the first Viscount Tara.

The unusual first name Jenico derives from the Gascony-born soldier Sir Jenico d'Artois, a prominent military commander who became a substantial landowner in Ireland. His daughter Jane married the 3rd Baron Gormanston, and was mother to the 1st Viscount.

The family seat was Gormanston Castle, near Drogheda, County Meath.

Barons Gormanston (1365/1370)[edit]

Viscounts Gormanston (1478)[edit]

The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son Hon. Jenico Francis Tara Preston (born 1974)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Observer; Dublin Castle, July 16, 1798, 22 July 1798

External links[edit]