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Mountjoy, Charles Blount, 8th Baron

Mountjoy, Charles Blount, 8th Baron (c.1562–1606). The Blounts were a Derbyshire family, ennobled by Edward IV as Yorkist supporters in 1465. Charles Blount succeeded his brother in 1594. He had fought in the Low Countries under Leicester, who had knighted him in 1587, and commanded a ship in the defeat of the Armada. He seems to have made a good impression on Elizabeth and was given the Garter in 1597. His big chance came in 1600 after Essex, a political ally, had so signally failed to subdue Tyrone in Ireland. Mountjoy was appointed lord deputy and won a crucial victory in 1601 at Kinsale when the arrival of a Spanish expedition forced Tyrone to abandon the guerrilla tactics that had been so successful and give battle. By 1603 Tyrone had surrendered. James I reappointed Mountjoy lord-lieutenant of Ireland, made him master of the ordnance, and promoted him earl of Devonshire. A patron of authors, Blount appeared a coming man, but died of inflammation of the lungs at the age of 44. Since the legality of his marriage to Essex's sister was disputed, he left no legitimate heirs.

J. A. Cannon

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