Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ludovic Stewart of the Laggan

 Ludovic Stewart was the 2 Duke of Lennox and was one of the primary Planters in east Donegal.  His lands had belonged to Iníon Dubh, the wife of Aodh Mac Manus Ó Dónaill.  Of interest, he was a cousin to Iníon Dubh.  In 1591 he was appointed Lord High Admiral of Scotland and his connections to James VI were responsible for him becoming one of the largest land holders in the New Order in Ulster. 

In the Plantation he was granted the lands at Portlough Precinct in the Barony of Raphoe in County Donegal.  His son, illegitimate, John Stewart, was given Mongavlin castle, which was Iníon Dubh’s residence, and the surrounding lands. 

At the time of the Plantation in 1609, the Stewart lands in Portlough Precinct already had a sizable number of Scottish Highlanders living there .  These Highlanders were called ‘Redshanks.’  They had settled in Portlough in the mid to late 1500s and most of them had Clann Chaimbeul connections.  The settlers that Ludovic brought over from Scotland were from his lands in Lennox, which were on the edge of the Scottish Highlands.  These settlers along with the existing Scottish Highlanders gave the district a decidedly strong Scottish Gaelic element which shows up in the surnames in the early records.  Stewart was born in September of 1574 and died in February of 1624.  His brother, Esme Stewart, became the new Duke of Lennox and took over headship of the Stewart lands in east Donegal.   

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