Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh

Sir Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh PC (Ire) (before 1589 – 1643) was joint Lord President of Connaught with Charles Wilmot, 1st Viscount Wilmot. He commanded the government forces in Connaught during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and the beginning of the Irish Confederate Wars defending Athlone against James Dillon until February 1643.

Sir Roger Jones
Viscount Ranelagh
SuccessorArthur, 2nd Viscount Ranelagh
Bornbefore 1589
Spouse(s)Frances Moore, Catherine Longueville
Arthur, & others
FatherThomas Jones
MotherMargaret Purdon

Birth and originEdit

Roger was born before 1589 in Ireland, the only son of Thomas Jones and his wife Margaret Purdon. His father was an Anglican minister and had been consecrated Bishop of Meath in 1584,[1] which was probably already the position he held at the time of Roger's birth. From Bishop he would be further advanced in 1605 to Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.[2] His father's family was from Lancashire in England.[3] His mother was a daughter of Adam Purdon of Lurgan Race, County Louth.[4] His mother was the sister-in-law of Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin.[5]

Family tree
Roger Jones with his two wives, his parents, and selected relatives.

c. 1550 – 1619

d. 1620
1st Viscount
d. 1643

d. 1627

d. 1669

1st Earl

XXXViscounts & Earls
of Ranelagh

Early lifeEdit

In October 1605 his father was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland and in November he became Archbishop of Dublin.[2] On 26 March 1607 Jones was knighted at Drogheda[10] and was henceforth known as Sir Roger Jones.

In 1608 his father became involved in a bitter feud with Christopher St Lawrence, 10th Baron Howth (also numbered as the 9th baron), in which Sir Roger Jones also became embroiled.[11] His reference to Howth as a brave man among cowards was enough to provoke his opponent, a notoriously quarrelsome man, to violence. On 24 November 1609, Jones, Howth and their followers engaged in a violent fracas at a tennis court in Thomas Street, Dublin, in which a Mr. Barnewall was killed.[12] The Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Arthur Chichester, an enemy of Howth, had him arrested immediately, because he thought it murder, but it was found manslaughter.[13]

First marriage and childrenEdit

In 1609 Sir Roger Jones married Frances Moore, the daughter of Sir Garret Moore, 1st Viscount Moore of Drogheda[14] by his wife Mary Colley, daughter of Sir Henry Colley.[15]

Roger and Frances had four children, two boys and two girls:

  1. Arthur, his successor, married Lady Catherine Boyle, who was the daughter of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, and also the older sister of the pioneering chemist Robert Boyle and of the writer Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick[16]
  2. Margaret, married John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene[17]
  3. Mary, 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. They also had a daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir John Cole, 1st Baronet. After Chichester's death Mary remarried Colonel Christopher Copley of Wadworth, and had further issue[18]
  4. Thomas, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Harris[19] and whose descendants would reclaim the Ranelagh viscountcy in 1759 after it had lain dormant since the death of Richard Jones, 1st Earl of Ranelagh in 1712[20]


Sir Roger Jones was a member of the Parliament of Ireland for the borough of Trim in County Meath from 1613 to 1615.[21] On 10 April 1619 his father, the archbishop died.[22][23] On 20 August 1619, he signed for the first time as a member of the Privy Council of Ireland under Lord Deputy Oliver St John and Lord Chancellor Adam Loftus.[24] On 23 November 1620 his first wife died.[25] On 25 August 1628, Sir Roger was created 1st Viscount Ranelagh and Baron Jones of Navan by King Charles I.[26]

Second marriage and daughterEdit

Ranelagh, as he was now, married as his second wife Catherine Longueville, daughter of Sir Henry Longueville, of Wolverton, co. Buckingham by his wife Katherine Cary, sister of Henry Cary, 1st Viscount Falkland, Lord Deputy of Ireland from 1622 to 1629.[27]

Roger and Catherine had one daughter:

His second wife died in 1627.[29]

President of Connaught, death, and timelineEdit

On 11 September 1630 Ranelagh was appointed joint President of Connaught alongside Charles Wilmot, 1st Viscount Wilmot of Ahlone,[30][31] who had occupied this post alone since 3 June 1616.[32] Ranelagh went to Athlone and took over the command of the troops and fortresses of the province, whereas Wilmot tried to play a role in Dublin, but kept the title and outlived Ranelagh, dying shortly after him, late in 1643 or early in 1644.

During the 5th session of the Parliament 1640–1649 the Catholic MPs tried to impeach Ranelagh, but the impeachment failed due to the opposition of the Protestant MPs.[33]

After the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion in 1641 Ranelagh defended Athlone during 1642 against confederate troops led by James Dillon.[34] in January 1643 the Lord Justices (Sir Henry Tichborne and John Borlase) sent Sir Richard Grenville to Athlone to bring him provisions, but Ranelagh decided to abandon Athlone and he and the garrison accompanied Grenville back to Dublin. On the way back they met a confederate force that Grenville defeated in the Battle of Rathconnell on 7 February 1643.[35] At Dublin Ranelagh was accused to have failed in his duties as president of Connaught. A document of 74 articles was written and sent to the King. Ranelagh was first forbidden to leave Ireland, but the King then allowed him to come to Oxford and explain himself.

In 1643 Ranelagh died in Oxford while attending King Charles I.[36][a] He was succeeded by his son Arthur as the 2nd Viscount Ranelagh.

Notes, citations, and sourcesEdit


  1. ^ Burke states that Ranelagh died in 1628.[37] This is unlikely as he was appointed joint president of Connaught on 11 September 1630.[30][31]


  1. ^ Walshe 2004, p. 637, left column: "He was promoted [Bishop of Meath] by letters patent dated 10 May 1584 and consecrated on 12 May."
  2. ^ a b c Walshe 2004, p. 638, left column, line 2: "On the death of Loftus, Jones, with the support of Lord Deputy Chichester, was appointed archbishop of Dublin on 8 November 1605—the king also having issued, on 14 October, letters decreeing his appointment as lord chancellor of Ireland."
  3. ^ Ball 1926, p. 315: "... [the archbishop] was younger son of Henry Jones of Middleton in Lancashire ..."
  4. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 50: "His grace [the archbishop] m. Margaret, dau. of Adam Purdon, Esq. of Lurgan Race, co. Louth, and relict of John Douglas, Esq. ..."
  5. ^ O'Flanagan 1870, p. 296: "This was a judicious choice for Mrs. Jones was sister to the wife of Archbishop Loftus ..."
  6. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 54: "Margaret, m. to Gilbert Domvile, Esq., clerk of the Hanaper."
  7. ^ Cokayne 1904, p. 227: "Sir William Domvile, sometime, 1660–86, Attorney General [I.] (bur. 14 July 1689, at St. Bride's, Dublin) ..."
  8. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 55: "Jane, m. to Henry Piers, Esq. of Tristernagh, co. Westmeath."
  9. ^ Ball 1926, p. 317, line 8: "... was then much distressed by the recusancy of one of his son-in-laws, Sir Henry Piers of Tristernagh;"
  10. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 10: "... was knighted at Drogheda 26 March 1607;"
  11. ^ Webb 1878, p. 269: "Both he and his son Roger, created Viscount Ranelagh, were engaged in bitter disputes with Lord Howth."
  12. ^ Lennon 2004, p. 648, left column: "Jones had dismissed him as a valiant man among cowards and in revenge in 1609 Howth assembled about a dozen followers with cudgels and led them to a court in Thomas Street, Dublin, where Jones and some friends were playing tennis. In the ensuing affray ..."
  13. ^ Russell & Prendergast 1874, p. 328: "... thought it the safest and fittest course to commit the Lord of Howth to the Castle. Enlarged him again upon bands, when they saw that things were somewhat settled, and that the coroner's inquest had found it but manslaughter."
  14. ^ a b Ball 1926, p. 317: "Sir Garret Moore, afterwards first Viscount Drogheda, whose daughter his son [the archbishop's] had married 1609;"
  15. ^ Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 13: "He m. [married] 1stly Frances, da. [daughter] of Gerald (Moore), 1st Viscount Drogheda [I. [Ireland] ], by Mary, da. of Sir Henry Colley."
  16. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 63: "Arthur, his successor."
  17. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 302: "Daughter Margaret, married to Sir John Clotworthy, Viscount Massareene."
  18. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 303: "Mary, married first to John Chichester, Esq., of the family of Donegall; and secondly, to Colonel Christopher Copley."
  19. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 64: "Thomas, m. Elizabeth, dau. of John Harris Esq. of Winchester ..."
  20. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, right column, line 3: "... the viscountcy and barony remained dormant for nearly half a century, until claimed by, and allowed to the deceased lord's cousin, Charles Jones, Esq., in 1759 ..."
  21. ^ House of Commons 1878, p. 628: "1613 29 April Sir Roger Jones, knt. Durhamston Trim Borough"
  22. ^ a b Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 56: "The archbishop d. in 1619 ..."
  23. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 11: "... suc. his father 10 April 1619 ..."
  24. ^ Russell & Prendergast 1880, p. 257: "Dublin Castle, 20 August 1619. Signed: Ol. St. Johns, A. T. Loftus Canc. ... Roger Jones ..."
  25. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 14: "She [Frances Moore] d. [died] 23 Nov. 1620 and was bur. at St. Patricks, Dublin."
  26. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 12: "... he was cr. [created] 25 Aug. 1628 Baron Jones of Navan, co. Meath and Viscount Ranelagh, co. Dublin [I. [Ireland]]"
  27. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 15: "He m. [married] secondly Katherine da. of Sir Henry Longueville of Wolverton, Bucks., by Katherine da. of Sir Eward Carye of Aldenham, Herts."
  28. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 74: "... had one dau. [daughter], Elizabeth, m. [married] to Col. Robert Sandys."
  29. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 17: "She [Catherine Longueville] d. [died] abroad, Admon. (as Lady Jones) 16 Nov. 1627."
  30. ^ a b c Pollard 1900, p. 60, right column, line 17: "On 11 Sept. 1630 Sir Roger Jones, 1st Viscount Ranelagh, was associated with him in the presidency of Connaught ..."
  31. ^ a b McGurk 2004, p. 455, left column: "From 1630 Athlone and Roger Jones, first Viscount Ranelagh, were joint lord presidents of Connaught."
  32. ^ Pollard 1900, p. 60, left column, line 47: "On 3 June 1616 he [Charles Wilmot] was appointed President of Connaught, his seat being Athlone ..."
  33. ^ Perceval-Maxwell 1994, p. 175: "Impeachment could only be exercised through parliament ... and the limits to its value had been demonstrated when the Protestant majority united to prevent the impeachment of Loftus and Ranelagh."
  34. ^ Murtagh 2004, p. 210, right column: "Throughout 1642 he [James Dillon] invested Athlone, the key midland fortress on the Shannon. His forces twice broke into the east town but failed to dislodge the Connaught president, Viscount Ranelagh, from his stronghold in the castle, west of the river.
  35. ^ a b Carte 1851, p. 388: "Sir R. Grenville having rested two or three days at Athlone, set out with his army about February 5 and having passed Mullingar was met on the 7th of that month by a body of the enemy at Rathconnel ..."
  36. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 324, line 18: "He [Roger Jones] d. [died] while attending the king at Oxford, his burial being recorded 1 July 1643 ..."
  37. ^ Burke 1869, p. 931, left column, line 75: "His lordship [Roger Jones] d. [died] in 1628, and was s. [succeeded] by his eldest son."
  38. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 1: "James I ... acc. 24 Mar. 1603 ..."
  39. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 16: "Charles I. ... acc. 27 Mar. 1625 ..."
  40. ^ Burke 1866, p. 577, left column, line 3: "He [Strafford] suffered death with characteristic firmness on Tower Hill, 12 May 1641."


Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Ranelagh
Succeeded by