The Cole Legacy

Although not widely known, the Cole family have made their mark in many different fields over the past 400 years when King James 1 commissioned William Cole to found the town of Enniskillen in Ireland. His descendants, the eldest son of each generation having been enobled to the Earldom of Enniskillen, included distinguished soldiers, anthropologists and politicians, three of whom latterly settled in Kenya in the late 19th century. One married the third Baron Delamere, one married Eleanor Balfour, Prime Minister Arthur Balfour’s niece and one remained unmarried, although all three siblings died early from various causes before the age of fifty. Eleanor Balfour’s two sons became prominent members of Kenyan society; David Cole the eldest being a member of the pre independence Legislative Council and Arthur one of the first Kenya citizens of European descent. David became the 6th Earl of Enniskillen and returned to the family estate in Ireland at the time of Kenya’s independence, and upon his death Andrew the writer of this book became the 7th Earl. This is his story of how the Cole legacy evolved from the foundations laid in Kenya by his grandparents at the turn of the twentieth century and spanning the years before independence to the present day.

About the Author
Andrew Cole was born in England in 1942 while his father, who was born and lived in Kenya, was serving in the British army during WW2. After education in England and six years serving in the Irish Guards, Andrew returned to Kenya where he became a citizen in 1972. In 1989 upon the death of his father, he became the 7th Earl of Enniskillen. He is married with three daughters, all born in Kenya, and now lives on the southern edge of Laikipia.

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