Croaghan House – Tamney, Fanad
Reverant William Patton and his wife Margaret, both “Scotts Protestants”, bought this house and 500 acres in 1636. Rev Patton was born in Scotland in 1590 and ordained a minister in 1613. Attracted by the financial opportunities offered by the Ulster Plantation, the Pattons came to Ireland and by 1622, they were living in the Fanad Peninsula at William Stewart’s of Fortstewart.
William Patton prospered in shipping and next lived in the Glebe House at Kerrykeel (Carrowkeel Glebe) from 1630 until he bought Croaghan House in 1636. The Patton family lived at Croaghan for over 250 years.
In 1797, while the Penal Laws were still being enforced, a liberal member of the Patton family transfered land in which the Catholics could rightfully bury their dead, because a Protestant rector of Rossnakill had refused burial to a Catholic man, at the time. A Church was later built at Massmount and is still in use today. (St Columba's Church)
Henry Patton, a third generation Patton, was granted 300 acres in 1688 at Springfield on the other side of the hill from Croaghan House, Fanad. Henry built Springfield Manor which was a large three-storied, sixteen-roomed manor house.
His fourth child, Captain James Patton, a merchant sea-captain, was born in 1692 and served in the Royal Navy during Queen Anne’s War before entering the merchant navy after 1713 when he sailed to Spain and the Mediterranean and also to America. He is credited with shipping Bulle Rock, the first thoroughbred horse, to Virginia about 1730 where it was owned by a Sam Patton who was probably another brother.
In 1737 Patton received a grant of 30,000 acres on the Calfpasture river beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains under condition of settling one family for each 1,000 acres and immediately set about bringing over families from North West Ireland. Many Patton cousins came over on the Walpole in 1738. The area they settled in is now Augusta county and Patton virtually ruled over this area himself.
Patton descendants made their mark in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama and they include General George Smith Patton, who commanded the Third American Army in Europe during World War II. He was the general primarily responsible for the defeat of Germany’s last offensive when he halted their counter attack on the Allies in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
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