The town of Manorhamilton, which was founded by Sir Frederick Hamilton, has now been in existence for almost 400 years.
These panels show some of the notable people who were born in the town itself or in its immediate environs during that time. Some of these were military men; others were politicians or business people; one was an artist; another a priest; and there was also a diplomat and a community activist.
Many of them were subsequently obliged to emigrate due to economic necessity or from a lack of educational or job opportunities at home. As a result, it was in countries like England, France, Austria, the USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and India that the careers of these people flourished and that they achieved success and distinction.
But we should never forget that it was in this town that they were born and reared. And it should be a source of immense pride to us that Manorhamilton has produced so many notable people over the years.
Gustavus, the youngest son of Sir Frederick Hamilton, was born in Manorhamilton Castle in May 1643. At the age of eighteen he entered Trinity College Dublin, but left there without graduating and joined the army in Ireland. While stationed in Oxford in the late 1670s he was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree from that university.
Gustavus was appointed by James II to the Privy Council, but he resigned his position because of James’ Catholicising policies. When William of Orange was received as king of England in November 1688, Gustavus changed his allegiance from James II to William. He was appointed Governor of Coleraine and later colonel of the 20th Foot Regiment.
Owen’s father, Owen Wynne I, came to Ireland from Wales in 1658 after acquiring extensive lands around Lurganboy during the Cromwellian land settlement. He married Catherine Hamilton who had been firstly married to Captain James Hamilton, son and heir of Sir Frederick Hamilton. Owen and Catherine had four sons and three daughters. Their third son, Owen II, was born in Lurganboy Lodge.
He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and studied for the Bar. He subsequently enlisted in the army and in 1689 was a captain in the earl of Roscommon’s regiment of foot. The following year he fought with the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne. Owen entered politics and held the position of MP for Carrick-on-Shannon from 1692 to 1695.