Viscount Netterville

Viscount Netterville was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1622 for Nicholas Netterville, 1st Viscount Netterville (1581–1654), eldest son of John Netterville of Dowth, County Meath and Eleanor Gernon, daughter of Sir James Gernon of Castleton, County Louth. The Netterville family are recorded in Ireland from before 1280, and became substantial landowners: they intermarried with leading Anglo-Irish families like the FitzGeralds of Kildare and the Flemings of Slane.

He was a favourite of King James I of England who in 1622 conferred the title on him "in consideration of his many good qualities".[1] He suffered considerable financial hardship during the English Civil War when the English Parliament, after the failure of the Royalist cause, sequestered his estates, along with those of his eldest son, John, the 2nd Viscount. During the Irish Rebellion of 1641 John, who was adhered to Roman Catholicism, was accused of favouring the rebels, and it does not seem that either side of the conflict fully trusted him.[2] Possibly for this reason his son Nicholas, the 3rd Viscount, had some difficulty after the Restoration of Charles II in recovering the family estates. Eventually, the Court of Claims restored 6000 acres to him.[3] Because of Nicholas's loyalty to James II the estates were again forfeited after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but were later restored to his son John, the 4th Viscount.[4]

Nicholas, the 5th Viscount, who succeeded to the title in 1727, gained notoriety in 1743 when he was charged with the murder of his valet Michael Walsh: he was tried by his peers and acquitted. Little is known of the details of the alleged murder, partly because both the Crown's key witnesses had died before the trial started.[5]

His son John, the 6th Viscount, is best remembered for building an impressive mansion, Dowth Hall, which still exists. He died at a considerable age in 1826, without issue. A distant cousin, James Netterville, made a successful claim to be recognised as 7th Viscount; and after his death, leaving no son, another distant cousin Arthur James Netterville made out his claim to be recognised as 8th Viscount. The 8th Viscount had no son and on his death in 1882 the title became extinct.[6]

Viscount Netterville (1622)Edit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cokayne, G. E. Complete Peerage Reprinted Gloucester 2000 Vol. VIII, p. 605.
  2. ^ Lodge, John & Archdall, Mervyn Peerage of Ireland. Dublin 1789, James Moore, vol. 4, pp. 212–213.
  3. ^ Lodge and Archdall, p. 215.
  4. ^ Lodge and Archdall, p. 216.
  5. ^ O'Flanagan, J. Roderick The Irish Bar. London, 1879; p. 14.
  6. ^ Burke's Extinct Peerages Reprinted Baltimore 1978 p. 392.