Robert Spear (the elder; died c.1745) of Stewartstown

(biographical sketch pending)


  • 1722-04-27: Memorial no. 49-421-32722 – Robert Speer of Stewartstown, Gent., was one of the witnesses to a lease given by Robert Stewart of Stewarthall, Esq., to William Blacker of Roughan, parish of Donaghenry.[4]
  • 1724-10-29: Memorial no. 80-364-56219 – a deed of release, dated 1st December 1732, from Robert Speer (d.1745) of Stewartstown, father of Solomon who married Jane, daughter of Capt. James Stevenson. The deed recites the marriage settlement between Robert Speer and his son Solomon, of the first part, and James Stevenson and his daughter, Jane, of the second part, said settlement dated the 29th October 1724. [1]
  • 1726-01-26: Robert Speer executed an indenture of agreement whereby, for the consideration of £107, he conveyed to his son, Solomon, the right and title to the renewal fines and one-half the rents issuing from leaseholds in Soarn, Listreagh, Ballyleck, and Cratley townlands, together with all benefits accruing from a corn mill in Ballyleck. [1]
    • Discussion – Soarn and Listreigh townlands are in the parish of Donaghenry, while Cratley is in Ballyclog. Ballyleck may refer to any of Leck, Back Lower, or Back Upper townlands in the latter parish.
  • 1729-05-21: Robert Speer and his daughter in law, Jane Speer née Stevenson, obtained letters of administration after the death of Solomon Speer, who had died intestate. [1]
  • 1732-12-01: Robert Speer agreed to settle upon his daughter in law the sum of £80; the moveable household furniture which his late son possessed; use of the dwelling house, office houses, garden, and farm which Jane then possessed in and near Stewartstown at the yearly rent of 40 shillings and to the servants' wages—to be paid one-half by herself and the other half by her children—but this arrangement to hold only during her widowhood; and to enjoy the cattle, cows, and horses in common with her children. In exchange, Jane would renounce any other claims or demands on her late husband's estate, real or personal. [1]
  • 1743-10-06: Robert Speer composed his last will and testament, which was proved on the 7th June 1745. [2] The major provisions of Mr. Speer's will specified that:
    • his body be buried in the church yard of Ballyclog;
    • his dwelling house, out houses, tenement, and premises in Stewartstown, formerly possessed by his late son Solomon, to be devised to his grandson, Robert Speer, and his lawful heirs—failing such issue, to his granddaughter, Mary;
    • as to his leaseholds in Sorne, Listreagh, Ballyleck, and Clontery (also known as Cratley) townlands, held from the Archbishop of Armagh, one half of which Robert had conveyed to his son, Solomon, by deed on the 27th January 1726, [3] with the other half to follow at his (Robert's) decease: after Solomon died intestate, c.1729, his wife, Jane Stevenson, became entitled to one third of these lands and Solomon's other chattels; in 1733, Robert purchased these premises and property from Jane—therefore, Robert bequeathed these leaseholds to his grandson, Robert, subject to an annuity of £6 payable to Robert the elder's son, Thomas, and the annual interest on £40 payable to his daughter, Elizabeth, and such portion of that principal amount for her support as the Executors think convenient;
    • the Parlour Kitchen, and the room above the kitchen of her current dwelling house, to his daughter, Elizabeth, with the barn, stable, and ten acres of land Scotch measure, at the yearly rent of 25s.—also, if Elizabeth should not recover the £50 payable out of her late husband's estate, an additional annuity of £3 to be paid out of the leaseholds;
    • a further incumbrance of £160 be raised out of the profit rents of those leaseholds, over time, as a marriage portion for Robert's granddaughter, Mary Speer;
    • the sum of £3 payable to his grandchildren, Robert, Elizabeth, and Solomon, sons and daughter of Robert's son, Alexander, on the dates of their respective marriages;
    • if his grandson, Robert (son of Solomon), should die before attaining the age of twenty-one years, the leaseholds and incumbrances should pass to Robert's sister, Mary;
    • if no lawful issue should proceed from his grandchildren, Robert or Mary, then the leasehold lands and all renewals to pass to Solomon, son of Alexander Speer;
    • all of his silver plate to his grandson, Robert (son of Solomon), except six silver spoons to the sister of Robert, Mary;
    • Robert's house in Stewartstown, with all his other chattels, real and personal, moveable and immoveable, to Robert and his sister, Mary—less payments for his (Robert the elder's) lawful debts and funeral charges;
    • the sum of 40s. to be paid to Robert's relation, George Lamie of Dungannon; and,
    • William Ledlie of Carnan, parish of Arboe, and William Herdman of Cor, parish of Armagh, to be appointed executors, and John Stewart of Ballymenagh, county Tyrone, as overseer.


Sources and notes:


Registry of Deeds, Ireland. Memorial no. 80-364-56219: Speer to Speer als Stephenson to Speer (dated 1 Dec 1732; reg'rd 25 June 1735). Copy per FHL film no. 522815. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to, 2016-08-02.


Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Copy extracts from the will of Robert Speer, of Stewartstown (dated 1743-10-06, proved 7 June 1745). PRONI ref. D2315/2/1. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2015-08-16.


This deed was recited in Memorial no. 80-364-56219 (Registry of Deeds, Ireland): Speer to Speer als Stephenson to Speer (dated 1 Dec 1732; reg'rd 25 June 1735). Copy per FHL film no. 522815. Transcribed and annotated by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to, 2016-08-02.


Registry of Deeds, Ireland: Stewart to Blacker (dated 27 April 1722; reg'rd 7 September 1726). Digital image online at per FHL film no. 522815. Indexed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to, 2017-05-18.

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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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