William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy

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William Stewart
Viscount Mountjoy
Spouse(s) Mary Coote
Father Alexander Stewart, 2nd Baronet, of Ramelton
Born 1650[1] or 1653
Died 3 August 1692
Battle of Steenkerque

William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy (1650 or 1653 – 3 August 1692[2]), was an Anglo-Irish peer and soldier.


Stewart was born in 1653 or around 1650,[1] the son of Sir Alexander Stewart, 2nd Baronet, of Ramelton. He married the Honourable Mary Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Baron Coote. They had six sons and two daughters.

He was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance and colonel of a regiment of foot and in 1682 was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Mountjoy and Baron Stewart for services during the Irish Rebellion. In 1686 he served in Hungary at the siege of Buda, where he was twice dangerously wounded, and on his return to Ireland was made a brigadier-general. Macaulay styled him "a brave soldier, an accomplished scholar." In Dublin he was the centre of a small circle of learned and ingenious men, who had, under his presidency, formed themselves into a Royal Society.[3]

In 1688 he commanded a portion of the royal Irish Army of the Catholic King James II stationed at Derry. But as he was a Protestant, the Duke of Tyrconnell, Lieutenant Governor of the Irish Army, feared he might be influenced in favour of the Protestant William III of Orange and sent him at the outbreak of Irish hostilities on a diplomatic mission to France, secretly intimating that his detention would be desirable. He was accordingly thrown into the Bastille, and kept confined there until 1692. During his period of confinement, the Parliament of Ireland passed a bill of attainder requiring Stewart and two to three thousand others to report to Dublin for sentencing; Stewart in particular was directed to break out of the Bastille in order to report, under pain of being drawn and quartered.[4]

On his release, he did indeed switch loyalties and joined William's army in Flanders as a General, losing his life at the battle of Steenkerque on 3 August 1692.

On his death in 1692 his title passed to his eldest son Sir William Stewart, 2nd Viscount Mountjoy. His fifth son, Charles became an officer in the Royal Navy and a Member of Parliament.


  1. ^ a b Edwards, David (2015). The Scots in Early Stuart Ireland: Union and Separation in Two Kingdoms. Oxford University Press. p. 87. ISBN 9780719097218. 
  2. ^ Newmann, Kate. "William Stewart (1650 - 1692): 1st Viscount Mountjoy". The Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Ulster History Circle. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Lord Macaulay, "XII", The History of England from the Accession of James II 
  4. ^ Macaulay, History of England from the Accession of James the Second (London, 1855), 216-220


  • Burke, Sir Bernard: Peerage and Baronetage.
  • Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840–'7.
  • Macaulay, Lord: History of England, from the Accession of James II. [to 1702]. 5 vols. London, 1849–'61.

Further reading[edit]

Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Mountjoy
Succeeded by
William Stewart
Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by
Alexander Stewart
(of Ramelton)
Succeeded by
William Stewart