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The name Bellew, which is derived from the French "belle eau" meaning "beautiful water" (probably a place description) appears on the roll of Battle abbey among the followers of William the Conqueror and in the reign of Edward I. One of the early settlers in Ireland was Sir Adam de Bella Aqua, Bella Aqua being the Latin version of the name. John De Bellew acquired the Lordship of Carleton by marriage with the heiress of Bruce where in 1375 James Bellew held Bellewstown Co. Meath. Bellews Castle at Bellewstown was built in 1472-79 by Richard Bellew. He was the ancestor of John Bellew created Baron of Duleek 1686. He was also ancestor of the families at Barmeath Co. Louth and Mount Bellew Co. Galway. The members of the family to appear first in Ireland was Roger De Bellew. The intermediate Lords of Bellewstown and Duleek intermarried with Darcys, Fitzgeralds (Earls of Kildare ), St. Lawerences, Flemings, Gernons and Prestons. Philip Bellew was bailiff of Dublin in 1445 and ancestor of James Bellew who was Mayor of Dublin in 1598.

Bellew Though numerous enough in the seventeenth century to be listed in Petty's "census" of 1659 among the principal Irish names in the two baronies of Dundalk and Ardee, Co. Louth, the name Bellew is now comparatively rare. It is still extant in Co. Louth, with which county it has been associated since the thirteenth century. In that area it has been sometimes changed to Bailey. The earliest references to it in Ireland render the name Beleawe, which is close to the original French Bel Eau. The family went to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror, and settled in Co. Louth and the adjoining part of Co. Meath soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion. Up to the middle of the sixteenth century they were less in evidence than the majority of the great Hiberno-Norman families, but from then on we find them, particularly the family of Bellewstown, taking a prominent part in the affairs of the country as sheriffs, members of parliament and so forth. They were among the leading men on the Irish side in both the major wars of the next century: Sir John Bellew, who was on the Supreme Council of the Confederate Catholics, was specially exempted from pardon in 1652; three Bellew landowners were transplanted to Co. Galway under the Cromwellian regime; and four of the name served as officers in James II's army, but for various reasons they managed to save a portion of their estates from the wholesale Williamite confiscations. Though they did not conform, as so many of their kind did under the stress of the eighteenth century penal laws, they were in possession, when de Burgh published his Landowners of Ireland in 1878, of over 5,000 acres in Co. Louth while the Mountbellew (Co. Galway) family had some 23,000 acres. Capt Thomas Henry Grattan-Bellew, of Mountbellew, who is a Knight of Malta, is uncle and heir presumptive of the late baronet, Sir Christopher Grattan-Bellew. Dr. Dominic Bellew was Bishop of Killala from 1791 to 1812, and Rev. Paul Bellew V.G. administered the diocese of Waterford, the bishop, Richard Piers, who held the see from 1701 to 1735, being an absentee.

In 1445 Philip Bellew, Esq., was Bailiff of the City of Dublin. From him descended James Bellew, who in 1598 was Mayor of Dublin; and from him descended Sir John Bellew, Baronet, P.C. to King James II, and Colonel in his Army; he was the first Peer in the Bellew family. Baron Bellew married a daughter of Lord Athenry, and had two sons: 1. Matthew, who died childless and 2. Richard, who succeeded his father, and had a son John, who was a minor in 1724. This Captain the Honorable Richard Bellew commenced his military service as Lieutenant in Dongan's Horse, and served through the war of the Revolution. After the Battle of Aughrim, he was appointed to the command of Tyrconnell's Horse vacant by the death in that fight of his relative Colonel Walter Nugent. On the termination of the war in Ireland, in 1691, Col. Bellew brought his regiment to France, where it was called "The King of England's Dismounted Dragoons". During his service in France, being as he considered, unjustly deprived of his command (Bellew was deprived of his command in favour of Thos. Maxwell, a Scot.), Col. Bellew returned to Ireland, where, on the death of his elder brother in 1694, he became third Lord Bellew. Next year he married the widow of the second Earl of Newburgh, with whom he got a fortune of £17,000; conformed to the Protestant religion; took his seat in the House of Peers; and died in 1714, leaving a son John, who became the fourth Lord Bellew, and who died in 1770 without male issue, when the title in this immediate line became extinct.

Lord Bellew of Duleek, County Louth

This peerage was created in 1686, and became extinct in 1770. Captain the Honble. Walter Bellew (d. 1694), who, like his father, died of a wound he had received at the Battle of Aughrim, was the second son of John Lord Bellew of Duleek, who was a Colonel of Tyrconnell's Horse. He served through the war to the Capitulation of Limerick, and was wounded at Aughrim. On the death of his father in 1692, Walter succeeded as second Lord Bellew of Duleek. He was married to Lady Frances Wentworth (sister of Lord Strafford, Viceroy of Ireland, temp. King Charles I., but who was executed in the reign of that Monarch), and by her had two daughters, but no male issue. The line was continued by his brother the Honble. Richard Bellew, of Dongan's Horse.

Bellew of Castlebar

1. Patrick Bellew, of Castlebar, co. Mayo, who died circa 1829, and was buried in Ballinrobe, in same county, married Esther, daughter of Robert Kelly, of Ballinrobe. This Patrick Bellew was cousin or nephew to the Right Rev. Philip Bellew, formerly Catholic Bishop of Killala; and Patrick's father, who was a native of Ballinrobe, had to leave Ireland on account of the political troubles of his time in Ireland.

Patrick had had:

I. Henry (d. 1842), who m. and had: 1. Patrick, who had several children; 2. Robert (living in 1883), who also has a family; 3. Mary.

II. Robert, of whom presently.

2. Robert, second son of Patrick; b. 1805. d. 1869; m. Frances-Ann (d. 1838), dau. of Rev. Fitzwilliam Miller, and had:

3. Henry-Fitzwilliam (born 1831, and living in 1883), who has had one son and three daughters:

I. Henry, of whom presently.

I. Mary, b. 1858, d. 1865.

II. Eleanor, living in 1883.

III. Agnes, living in 1883.

4. Henry Bellew: son of Henry-Fitzwilliam; born 1862, and living in 1883.


Bellew (Ireland, an Anglo Norman family) Arms: Sable fretty or. Crest: An arm embowed in armour holding a sword all proper. Motto: Tout d'en haut.

Bellew (Lord Bellew of Duleek, Bellewstown, Co. Louth, created Baron 1686, extinct 1770). Arms: Sable fretty or. Crest: An arm embowed in armour holding a sword all proper. Motto: Tout d'en haut.

Bellew (Baron Bellew of Barmeath, Co. Louth) Arms: Sable fretty or. Crest: An arm embowed in armour holding a sword all proper. Motto: Tout d'en haut.

Bellew (Grattan-Bellew exemplified to Thomas Arthur Bellew of Mount Bellew, Co. Galway on his assuming by Royal Licence in 1859 the prefix surname of Grattan and now borne by his son Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew, Bart, of Mount Bellew). Arm: Quarterly, 1st. and 4th. Sable fretty or a crescent argent for difference (Bellew), 2nd. And 3rd. per saltire sable and ermine a lion rampant or (Grattan). Crests: 1st. An arm embowed in armour proper charged with a crescent or for difference and grasping in the hand a sword also proper pommell and hilt or (Bellew) 2nd. A dove proper holding in the dexter claw a sceptre gold and standing on a barrell or (Grattan). Motto: Tout d'en haut.

There are also several Bellew coats of arms on record in England. Some are similar to those of the Irish family, others are totally different.