Diana, Princess of Wales & Letterkenny

Diana, Princess of Wales & Letterkenny

So far, we have discovered the ancestral links the town of Letterkenny holds with Michael Palin and Patti Boyd, ex wife of George Harrison. In this post we note another interesting ancestral link, showing a connection to none other than the English Royal family, through Diana, Princess of Wales.

In 2011, Canon Stewart Wright of Conwal Parish Church was looking over an old grave map that had been discovered in a chimney in 1983. The old map showed the markings of all the graves in the churchyard, which was the primary graveyard for the town of Letterkenny since the church was built in 1636. Canon Wright discovered the interesting name of ‘Moobery’ on one of the graves, and after careful research, it was discovered that this grave was the final resting place of Johanna and her husband Sir George Marbury, the founders of the market town of Letterkenny.

However, upon further investigation, it seems that this hitherto forgotten grave holds even more significance. It would appear that Johanna Marbury was in fact the great (x12) grand aunt to Prince William, second in line to the throne of England, through his mother Princess Diana.

Originally from Belgium, Johanna Marbury was the daughter to Levimus Everard, Counsellor of State to the King of Spain in the province of Mechelen. Her fourth husband, Sir George Marbury inherited the deeds for the town of Letterkenny upon their marriage, following the death of her third husband in 1615. She died in 1638 and was buried in the Church graveyard near to their residence at the top of the Market Square.

The links to Diana and Prince William comes from Johanna’s first marriage to Sir John Hamilton. Her brother in law was James Hamilton, and it is through him that we get a direct link to Diana.

The line of lineage shows James Hamilton’s son, Sir George Hamilton; then his son, Col. James Hamilton; then his son with the same name, Col. James Hamilton; his son, Captain John Hamilton; his son, John James Hamilton; his son, James Hamilton; his son, James Hamilton, and then his son James Albert Edward Hamilton. It was his daughter, Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Hamilton who married Albert Edward John Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer in 1919. Their son, Edward John Spencer married Frances Ruth Burke Roche and their daughter was Diana Spencer, who became Princess of Wales upon her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981. Their first son, William, is second in line to the throne of England, being the grandson to Queen Elizabeth II.

Thus, we can see that the discovery of the grave of ‘Moobery’ in 2011 has far reaching implications. Johanna Marbury, buried in Conwal Parish Church in Letterkenny, was the sister in law to James Hamilton, a direct ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. This would make Johanna Marbury, through marriage, the great (x12) grand aunt of Prince William, heir to the English throne.