James FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond

James FitzGerald, 1st Earl Of Desmond

James FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond

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James FitzGerald (1570? - 1601), an Irish nobleman, was the successor of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond. He assumed the title of Earl of Desmond, which had been suppressed in 1582 after the Desmond Rebellions. He spent much of his life in captivity, and was temporarily, but unsuccessfully, restored to the earldom in 1600-01 by the English in an attempt to pacify Munster during the Nine Years War . He thus became the 1st Earl of Desmond, but soon returned to England, where he died in obscurity.

Early life

James FitzGerald, the son of the 15th Earl and Eleanor Butler, was born during the earlier of the Desmond Rebellions; Queen Elizabeth of England was his godmother. He was resident in Ireland in 1579, when his father joined the later rebellion against the crown, and at that time his mother chose to deliver him to Sir William Drury, lord deputy of Ireland, who placed him in custody in Dublin Castle. In August 1582, his mother complained bitterly to Lord Burghley that her son's education was being neglected and sought better care for him. After the death of his fugitive father, FitzGerald's gaolers made petition to the English government for his removal to the Tower of London. The petition was granted in 1584, and before the end of the year he was removed to the Tower, where he remained for the next 16 years.

Captivity

FitzGerald was the heir to the earldom of Desmond, but in 1585 his late father's estate was attainted by the Irish parliament and all its property...
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