Chichester, Arthur, first Earl of Donegal 1606-1675, governor of Carrickfergus, born on 16 June 1606, eldest son of Edward, viscount Chichester, by Anne, daughter of John Coplestone of Eggesford, Devonshire, received a captain's commission in the Irish army in 1627, which he still held in 1641. He sat as member for county Antrim in the parliament of 1639. On the outbreak of the rebellion of 1641 (23 Oct.), he displayed considerable energy in raising and arming troops at Carrickfergus, and marched at the head of three hundred men to Belfast, where his force was augmented by a hundred and fifty men from Antrim. On 27 Oct. he effected a junction with Lord Montgomery at Lisburne, and on 1 Nov. was appointed, jointly with Sir Arthur Tyringham, to the chief command in Antrim. In 1643 he was made governor of Carrickfergus. He refused to take the covenant prescribed by the parliament in the ensuing year, and published the proclamation against it directed by the lords justices. Accordingly he withdrew from Ulster. In recognition of his loyalty he was recommended by Ormonde for a peerage in 1645, and was created Earl of Donegal by patent of 30 March 1647. He was one of the hostages given by Ormonde for the performance of his part of the treaty of that year for the surrender of Dublin. He took his seat in the House of Lords on 25 June 1661. He was replaced in the command of Carrickfergus, where in 1666 his garrison mutinied, but were compelled to surrender at discretion by Lord Arran. In 1668 he established a mathematical lecture at Trinity College, Dublin. He died at Belfast on 18 March 1674-5, and was buried at Carrickfergus on 25 May following. He married thrice: first, Dorcas, daughter of John Hill of Honiley, Warwickshire; secondly Mary, daughter of John Digby, first earl of Bristol; thirdly, Letitia, daughter of Sir William Hicks of Knockholt, Essex. He was succeeded in the title by his nephew.

     Temple's Irish Rebellion (Brydale), xxxi. 27
     Lists of Members of Parliament (official return of)
     Carte's Life of Ormonde, i. 493, 588, 603, ii. 327
     Archdall's Irish Peerage (Lodge).

Contributor: J. M. R. [James McMullen Rigg]

Published: 1887