Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley

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Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley DL (26 January 1831 – 15 December 1908) was a British military officer and Member of Parliament for County Cavan from 1857 to 1874.


Priscilla Cecilia (née Moore), Countess Annesley, second wife of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley
Castlewellan Castle

He was the second son of William Richard Annesley, 3rd Earl Annesley, he was educated at Eton College.[1]

He became a professional soldier and served in the Kaffir Wars in South Africa, 1851-1853, he was wounded in this war, and in the Crimean War his jaw was shattered at the Battle of the Alma in 1854.[2] He became Colonel of the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1860. In 1874 his brother William Richard Annesley, 4th Earl Annesley, died unmarried, and Hugh succeeded as 5th Earl Annesley and to the family seat of Castlewellan Castle. In 1877, he was elected as a Representative Peer, serving until his death.

He was a pioneering amateur photographer. Thirty-five albums of his photographs are in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, they include pictures taken during the wars in South Africa and the Crimea, and during a visit to Japan, as well as photographs of his home at Castlewellan and the surrounding area.

He married, first, Mabel Wilhelmina Frances Markham on 4 July 1877, he was 46 and she was 19. They had a daughter, Lady Mabel Annesley (1881–1959), who became well known as a water colour painter and wood engraver, and a son, Francis (born 25 February 1884). Francis became 6th Earl Annesley, but was killed in November 1914 in the First World War. Countess Mabel Annesley died at Castlewellan on 17 April 1891[3] (within three weeks of the death of Hugh's mother, The Dowager Countess Annesley, wife of the Third Earl, on 29 March 1891[4]).

He married, secondly, his first cousin, Priscilla Cecilia Armytage Moore (1870–1941) on 2 July 1892, he was 61 and she was 22. They had two daughters, Clare,[5] born 30 June 1893, who became a pacifist and socialist, and Constance Mary, born 24 October 1895 who became Constance Malleson. Priscilla Cecilia, Countess Annesley, died at St James Square, Bath, on 9 October 1941,[6] she was the second Countess Annesley of that name, her Aunt, the wife of the Third Earl, also having been Priscilla Cecilia.

He established an arboretum at Castlewellan, which has been described thus:

"In terms of size, age and condition of the trees, this collection ranks among the top three arboreta in the British Isles and the finest in Ireland." (Web site of the Forest Service of Northern Ireland).

An obituary appeared in The Times;[7] the earldom and Castlewellan estate passed to his son Francis.


  1. ^ Appendix to the Eton School Lists: Comprising the Years 1853-6-9. E.P. Williams. 1864. pp. 218–.
  2. ^ see Annesley, Hugh. Letter to his mother giving an account of his injuries, published in The Ipswich Journal, 21 October 1854
  3. ^ The Times, 21 April 1891, page 1
  4. ^ The Belfast News-Letter, 30 March 1891
  5. ^ "Lady Clare Annesley". National Portrait Gallery, London.
  6. ^ The Times, Friday 10 October 1941, pages 1 and 7
  7. ^ The Times, Wednesday 16 December 1908, page15, and with further letter and funeral report on Saturday 19 December 1908, page 13.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Pierce Maxwell
Robert Burrowes
Member of Parliament for County Cavan
With: James Pierce Maxwell 1857–1865
Edward James Saunderson 1865–1874
Succeeded by
Charles Joseph Fay
Joseph Gillis Biggar
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Bandon
Representative peer for Ireland
Succeeded by
The Viscount de Vesci
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Annesley
Earl Annesley
Succeeded by
Francis Annesley