A short history of the Baronetage

The order of the Baronetage was founded in May 1611 by King James I of England for the purpose of raising money to be spent "on the civilization and settlement of Ireland." Due to the attainder of its previous owners, the whole province of Ulster had become vested in the Crown and James I conferred grants of land upon all who would undertake to maintain thirty soldiers there for three years and pay 1095 pounds into the English treasury. In return, the title of baronet was conferred, with an undertaking that no hereditary dignity would ever be created to intervene between baronets and the peerage.             

There are various classes of baronets - those of England, Nova Scotia (Scotland), Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. The Tuites belonged to the one in Ireland which was created between 1619 (the first beingSarsfield of Carrickleamlery, Cork) and 1799 (the last being Smith of Tuam, King's Co.).

When first created, the order was limited to 200,but this limit has long been ignored.

For the first 216 years of the existence of this dignity,  the eldest son of a baronet was entitled, on reaching adulthood, to the privilege of claiming the honour of knighthood. A clause to this effect was inserted in every patent of creation until 19 December 1827,when King George IV revoked this right for all future creations. Since that time, this clause has been omitted from all patents, although, since the revocation was not retrospective, this right theoretically still exists in those baronetcies created before 1827. To the best of my knowledge however, this right has been granted on only 3 occasions since 1827 with the last time being in 1874,when a knighthood was granted to Ludlow Cotter, son of Sir James Cotter, Bart of Rockforest, Cork.       

With one exception only, all baronetage creations have been men. The sole exception was a baronetcy conferred upon Mary Bolles of Osberton, Notts in 1635. However, on a small number of occasions the baronetcy has been inherited by a female and can also descend through a female.               

The descent of a baronetcy is governed by the same rules as in the case of peerages i.e. to heirs male of the body (unless there is a special remainder outlined in the patent, or, in the case of most patents granted by CharlesI,where the patents were to heirs male whatsoever).

Baronets of Scotland are referred to as being baronets of Nova Scotia. This is due to the fact that, when this order was instituted, its purpose was to encourage the establishment of the province of Nova Scotia in what is nowCanada. The patents granted certain portions of land in the province and were accompanied by a baronetcy. The newly created baronet was required to pay 2000 marks or to support 6 settlers for two years.

Precedence amongst baronetcies is decided by the date of creation alone.

The Official Roll of the Baronetage is administered by the Standing Council of the Baronetage, first formed in 1898 and re-constituted in 1903. Two of the objects of that Council are to publish an Official Roll and to advise heirs apparent to baronetcies on how to prove their claim and, as a result, to be entered onto the Official Roll. As part of a Royal Warrant of Edward VII dated 8 February 1910,it was stated that "no person whose name is not entered on the Official Roll of Baronets shall be received as a Baronet,or shall be addressed or mentioned by that title in any civil or military commission, Letters Patent or other official document." At the time of writing, around 170 baronetcies are listed by the Standing Council as having unproved successions and are not therefore currently included on the Official Roll.

Copyright © 2003 Leigh Rayment

BARONETAGE: TUITE of Sonnagh, Westmeath

Succeeded to the title






16 Jun 1622


Oliver Tuite

c 1588











Oliver Tuite

c 1633

Aug 1661








Aug 1661


James Tuite


Feb 1664








Feb 1664


Henry Tuite


May 1679








May 1679


Joseph Tuite












Henry Tuite

c 1708

9 Apr 1765








9 Apr 1765


George Tuite

20 Feb 1729

12 Feb 1782








12 Feb 1782


Henry Tuite


Aug 1805








Aug 1805


George Tuite

8 Jun 1778

15 Jun 1841








15 Jun 1841


Mark Anthony Henry Tuite

24 Mar 1808

Mar 1898








Mar 1898


Morgan Harry Paulet Tuite

27 Oct 1861

16 Nov 1946








16 Nov 1946


Brian Hugh Morgan Tuite

1 May 1897

26 Aug 1970








26 Aug 1970


Dennis George Harmsworth Tuite

26 Jan 1904

9 Jul 1981








9 Jul 1981


Christopher Hugh Tuite

3 Nov 1949




Sir Oliver Tuite, the 1st Baronet of Sonagh died in 1642. He was succeeded by his eldest grandson, (oldest son of Thomas who died in 1624) also named Oliver.

Mary Tuite (daughter of Sir Oliver Tuite, 1st Baronet of Sonagh) married Colonel Patrick Plunkett of Louth.

Thomas Candler, esq. (c1663-1716 or c1641-1715), inherited the title and Callan Castle estate of his father William (who had come to Ireland during Cromwell's Irish campaign and won, "by meritorious conduct in the  field", a promotion to Lt. Colonel and was granted the Barony of Callan by a grateful Cromwell and Parliament in 1653). In  1685/86, Thomas married, first, Elizabeth Burrell, daughter of Capt. William Burrell and Elizabeth Phipps. Capt. Burrell had served with  William  Candler under Sir Hardress Waller during  the  Irish  Rebellion  and  had received land in Burnechurch in County Kilkenny, not far from Callan. Elizabeth Burrell Candler died before 1694  withoutleaving any surviving children. In 1697, Thomas Candler married again, to Jane Tuite (b.1677/79), daughter of Sir Henry Tuite, Baronet of Sonnagh, County Westmeath and Diana Mabot (or Mabbot) who was a niece of the late Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon.

Sir Henry Tuite was a  direct  descendant  of  Sir Richard de Tuite, knight, who had accompanied  Strongbow to Ireland in 1172. Though the Tuites were Norman-Irish Catholics and technically classified as Anglo-Irish, after  more than  400 years on the Emerald Isle they were  Irish  to  the  core.  Their family lands in Westmeath and Longford were confiscated  by  Cromwell in 1654 and the  Tuite  family  was  banished  to  Connaught Province. They regained most of their lands after the Restoration  (1660) only to be threatened with loss again after the defeat of the Irish Jacobites by William of Orange in 1789.

The circumstances  surrounding  the marriage of Jane Tuite, a baronet's eldest daughter and a Roman Catholic, to Thomas Candler, who was a Protestant and whose family's social rank was that of an esquire, two notches  on the gentry ladder below Baronet is interesting. Given the times, it is possible that Jane Tuites marriage to Thomas Candler may have been an alliance of considerable value and political security to the Tuite family. However, there are other possible angles to the Candler/Tuite marriage.

Diana Mabot Tuite, Jane's mother, was also a first cousin of the Duchess of York who was mother of Queen Mary (William & Mary) and future Queen Anne. Diana's parents were Kympton Mabot and  Susan Hyde, Edward Hyde's sister. (Edward Hyde's  daughter, Anne, was one of the wives of James II. Anne's oldest daughter, Mary, was on the English throne when Thomas Candler married Jane Tuite).

Thomas and Jane Tuite Candler had four sons: Henry, William, Thomas and Daniel. (The Burke and other references on the Peerage, etc. do not include Daniel among the list of children reportedly the result of his "disownment" by his family for marrying an Irish woman (who may have been a servant in the Candler household). Daniel's  assignment  to Thomas rather than brother John is based on the  fact  that  John reportedly died several years before Daniel was reportedly born.) Of their four sons, Henry and Daniel made the  biggest  mark. Rev. William Candler (c1699-1753), Thomas and Jane's second  son, earned a doctor of divinity  degree and served the church of Ireland initially in Dublin and later as rector of St. Mary's Church in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. The fourth and youngest son, Daniel Candler was born at Callan Castle in County  Kilkenny,  probably  about  1706.

Eleanora Tuite, daughter of Sir Edward Tuite, died, April 8th 1638. She was married to Theobald, 1st Viscount Dillon (who died 15 March 1624).

Father James Tuite was deported to the Caribbean on the slave ships with other Irish by Cromwell’s English forces in 1650/51 for his part in the Irish rebellion. Richard and Thomas Tuite both defended Bective Abbey in Meath in a 1650/51 against Cromwellian forces.

The Tuites fought with the confederates in 1641 and on the side of James Stuart in 1690.

There is a famous early seventeenth century political song , titled “As I rode down by Granard Motte”, mentioning the Tuites in a book by the well-known Irish poet Benedict Kelly.


The Edgeworth Family – Early History

The first Edgeworths to come to Ireland in 1585 were Edward and Francis, natives of Edgeworth or Edgware a town in Middlesex near London.

Edward the elder became bishop of Down and Connor while his brother Francis entered the law in Dublin and was appointed to the office of  Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper. In 1619 he was granted some 600 acres of land near Mostrim by King James I. His third wife was Jane Tuite daughter of Sir John Tuite of Sonnagh in Westmeath. Their son John was brought up in England and returned with his wife to live at the castle of Crannelagh (Cranley). He was absent when the rebellion broke out in 1641, when his wife and three year old son also John were saved from death and smuggled to Dublin, by a ruse by Edmond MacBrian Ferrall a servant of the household. He also saved the castle from destruction by fire.

This son settled later in Lissard. He was somewhat of a gambler and spendthrift but in 1670 bought the lands of Mostrim now Edgeworthstown, though it was many years later that it became the home of the head of the family, when his son Francis came to live there at the end of the century of the death of his father Sir John, who although knighted in 1671 by the Duke of York later took the Williamite side at the revolution. In the meantime he had leftLissard to live at Kilshrewley, but much of his life was spent in the Army and in England. One of his sons Henry later came back to live in the old house at Lissard.

Sir Johns grandson Richard was left a penniless orphan at the age of' eight and was brought up by his half sister in Packenham Hall in Westmeath. At the age of 18 in 1719 on the death of his half sisters husband, Edward Packenham, he had take over the estate and paid off the debts of his father and grandfather and recovered losses incurred by the malpractices of his uncles Robert and Ambrose. He it was who built the house in the 1720's we know today. It was built around an earlier house presumably that occupied, about 1697 by his father Francis. He was the author of the Black Book of Edgeworthstown an estate record that tells us so much about the locality at that time.

By John Mc Gerr

Another description is as follows:




New York
All rights reserved 

Francis Edgeworth married the daughter of a Sir Edmond Tuite, owner of a place calledSonna, in the county of Westmeath. She is described by her descendant as "beautiful, and of an ancient family," and he further relates that having been obliged on some occasion to give place at church to a neighbour, upon her return home she indignantly pressed her husband to take out a baronet's patent, thereby insuring against such ignominies in the future. This he declined to do, declaring, with commendable [Page 20] prudence, such patents to be "more onerous than honourable." She thereupon announced her intention of going no more to church, and he, in a tone which brings the connubial conversations of Castle Rackrentstrongly before our mind, retorted that "she might stay, or go wherever she pleased." The permission so given she accepted, more literally apparently than it was meant, and quitting, not alone her husband, but Ireland, she betook herself to the English court, where she became attached in some capacity to the Queen, Henrietta Maria, whom she afterwards accompanied to France. After the queen's death, she returned, we are informed, to Ireland, having in the meantime become a Roman Catholic, and disregarding the claims of her family, she there "laid out a very large fortune in founding a religious house in Dublin."

Jane Tuite: Contributed by Annette Smith

When Jane Tuite was born in 1570 in Dublin, Ireland, her father, Sir, was 25. She married Francis Edgeworth in 1591. They had six children during their marriage. She died in 1635 in England, at the age of 65.

Making Ireland British: 1580-1650 by Nicholas Canny

The Irish Insurrection of 1641

Except pages 517-518

Religion was never treated as a discrete matter and allegations relating to the humiliation of the queen and the proposed assault upon Catholicism quickly gave way to reports of challenges to the royal prerogative by the English parliament which mingled what had happened with what might ensue. It was alleged by some Catholics that the parliament had used the king so ‘harshly’ that he had ‘departed into Scotland and from thence he would come into Ireland and destroy all the English there’. It was only a short step from there to suggest that the king had been dethroned by the parliament ‘and would not return into England for the English had a king, thePalsgrave, and had banished the queen to France’. Others had contended that the queen had found refuge in Ireland and ‘that this kingdom of Ireland would the queen’s jointure’, and that she would take up residence there ‘and clear England of all Papists’. Some went further to claim that the king also was on their side and ‘that the English were proclaimed traitors, and that the king was in Scotland and would be in Ireland within nine days and would banish all the English’. Most dramatic was the assertion of one Welsh, an innkeeper of Kilcullen, County Kildare, ‘that the king was in the north of Ireland and ridd disguised and had glasen eyes because he would not be known and that the king was as much against the Protestants as he himself and the rebels were, for that the Puritans in the parliament of England threw libels in disparagement of the king’s majesty making a question of whether a king or no king’.

All of these rumours, allegations, half-truths, and suggestions show that those in Leinster who became involved in and insurrection, which they sincerely believed was designed to frustrate and anticipated blow against Catholicism in Ireland, experienced little difficulty in convincing themselves that their actions were also intended to support the king and queen. This lent credibility to the frequently made claim that the insurrection had been previously approved by the king, and all these rumours and claims were widely believed by Catholics because they contained sufficient elements of truth to make them plausible. What the relative roles of priests and laity were in devising these justifications for revolt, and in guiding the insurrection, is unclear, but everything suggests that the Catholic clergy in Leinster exerted more influence over the course of events than in the other provinces. Indeed some believed the priests were so influential there that they had, as in Connacht, undermined the authority of the Catholic landowners by stirring up the populace over religious issues. Those Protestant deponents who made this assertion alluded to meetings convened by the Catholic clergy previous to the insurrection, especially that supposedly held at Multyfarnham, County Westmeath, on 3 and 4 October 1641. The clear implication was that plans were there laid for the revolt without any reference to the Catholic laity, and Randall Adams, a minister at Rathcouragh, in the same county, reported on a conversation he had overheard on 1 November 1641 between some of the ‘chief gentlemen’ of the county and a group of friars. The gentlemen, mostly members of the Tuite family, laid a charge against the friars ‘that they and their fellows were the cause of this great and mischievous rebellion’. They further asserted that the friars had had no cause of grievance that would justify such extreme measures because of ‘the great freedom they had in religion without control, and that they generally had the best horses, clothes, meats, drinks and all other sort of provision delightful of useful … and they had these and many other privileges beyond any of their own function either regular or secular through the Christian world, and therefore most bitterly them to their teeth said that they hoped God would bring that vengeance home to them that they by their cursed plots laboured so wickedly to bring upon others’.

This discourse, if it can be taken at face value, alludes to a tension that had been developing between the Catholic gentry and continentally trained priests in Ireland ever since the 1620s, and that was to become even more acute after 1642 when the clergy began to play an active role in Irish politics. Previous to then, as far as the Catholic landed interest was concerned, it was they, through their parliamentary representatives and delegations to court, who had negotiated toleration for Catholicism, and they obviously wanted religious freedom to be on the terms they sought after. This involved Catholicism and the Catholic clergy functioning under the protection of their patrons but within a state system that was officially Protestant. The Catholic clergy, for their part, were becoming impatient with this argument, first because it facilitated Catholic lay interference in church affairs, and second because it denied them the right, or indeed the opportunity, to practise Catholicism openly as was the norm in the continental societies of which they had experience. It would seem therefore that the clergy, led by some of their seminary-trained bishops, welcomed the opportunity to make a bid for the full public recognition of Catholicism which would have involved a recovery of cathedrals and churches that had been lost to the state religion, as well as the lands, tithes, and other duties that had traditionally belonged to the Catholic Church. It has long been accepted, and has recently been detailed by Tadhg O hAnnrachain who has worked for Catholic ecclesiastical sources, that these ambitions were in the minds of some senior Catholic clergy before 1641 and were expressed openly by them from the moment the Confederacy was established, and most especially from the time that it received official recognition from the papacy. Therefore it is not at all unlikely that the Catholic clergy, who were more firmly established in Leinster than in any other province in Ireland, took advantage of the collapse of government authority in most parts of Leinster, beyond Dublin and a few fortified outposts, to articulate deeply held ambitions which their lay patrons had always refused to countenance and which they now believed would provide a moral underpinning to the insurrection that was already underway.  Thus what Donatus Connor had to report from County Wexford seems entirely credible: he had, he said, ‘frequently heard the rebels say they would never give up (even if pardoned) unless that all the church land of Ireland were restored to the churchmen of the Romish religion and that they might enjoy that religion freely and the Protestant religion might be quite rooted out of this kingdom and that the church of Rome might be restored to its ancient jurisdiction, power and privilege within he said kingdom of Ireland’.

Those landowners, like the Tuites of County Westmeath, who were secure in their property would have had no time for such an agenda, first because they were themselves likely to have been owners of former church lands which they would have acquired after the dissolution of the monasteries, but also because they would have recognized that the agenda could only have been achieved through revolutionary action which would have placed their lands and positions in jeopardy. This would explain why the Catholic clergy in Leinster had to speak over the heads of such conservative landowners, and in doing so unleashed a peasant fury which they were able to control only somewhat more effectively than their counterparts in Ulster and Connacht.

The inability of the Catholic clergy to keep the uprising on a strictly religious course even in the areas dominated by the Old English is explained by a variety of factors. First, as in the case of County Wicklow, some landowners were acutely dissatisfied with the government, and those who fostered a sense of grievance over what they had lost in the various plantations believed they had an opportunity to recover their losses, at one feel swoop. Besides the Byrnes, O’Tools, and Kavanaghs of Wicklow, there were some landowners in Counties Wexford and Longford as well as King’s and Queens’s counties who were ready to take advantage of the breakdown in authority to meet these purely material ends. These were willing to echo the religious message of the clergy or to express concerns over the plight of the queen and royal prerogative but their ultimate concern was that their lands had been assigned to English and Scots who now ‘liveth bravely and richly’ while ‘they and the rest of the Irish were poor gents’. Their objective therefore was to cancel all the plantations that had been established in Ireland after the principle, articulated, also in the other provinces, that as ‘the English held their own lands in England, and so did the Scots in Scotland and so should the Irish in Ireland’. The fulfilment of this principal require that since ‘both the English and Scottish which were in Ireland were all beggars when they came into Ireland so should they be turned thence’. But besides clearing the settlers from their former possessions these landowners were, as we saw, interested also in spreading the insurrection outwards from their own counties. They were concerned to do so because they recognized that their gamble could succeed only if they could gain political control everywhere in Ireland, and create a situation whereby ‘they would never have any more chief governors, judges, justices, or officers of the English or Scots but would name and appoint such themselves’.

Map of Ireland 1650