Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster
The Duchess of Leinster. 1753 portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
|Born||Lady Emilia Mary Lennox
6 October 1731
|Died||27 March 1814
Grosvenor Square, London
|Title||Duchess of Leinster
Marchioness of Kildare
Countess of Kildare
|Spouse(s)||James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster
|Children||George FitzGerald, Earl of Offaly
William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster
Lady Caroline FitzGerald
Mary Coote, Countess of Bellamont
Lady Henrietta FitzGerald
Lady Caroline FitzGerald
Charles FitzGerald, 1st Baron Lecale
Charlotte Strutt, 1st Baroness Rayleigh
Lady Louisa FitzGerald
Lord Henry FitzGerald
Lady Sophia FitzGerald
Lord Edward FitzGerald
Lord Robert FitzGerald
Lord Gerald FitzGerald
Lord Augustus FitzGerald
Lady Fanny FitzGerald
Lady Lucy Foley
Lady Louisa FitzGerald
Lord George FitzGerald
|Parents||Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster (6 October 1731 – 27 March 1814), known before 1747 as Lady Emily Lennox, from 1747 to 1761 as The Countess of Kildare and from 1761 to 1766 as The Marchioness of Kildare, was the second of the famous Lennox sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, and illegitimately descended from King Charles II of England.
In London on 7 February 1747, at age fifteen, she married the immensely wealthy James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare, and went to live in Ireland, firstly at Leinster House and then at Carton House.
The marriage was a happy one, despite Lord Kildare's constant infidelities. The couple had nineteen children:
- George FitzGerald, Earl of Offaly (15 January 1748 - Richmond House, 26 September 1765)
- William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster (b. Arlington Place, Piccadilly, London, 12 March 1749 - d. Carton House, Kildare, 20 October 1804).
- Lady Caroline FitzGerald (1750–1754).
- Lady Emily Mary FitzGerald (1752–1818), married Charles Coote, Baron Coote of Coolony and Earl of Bellamont. The couple had five children, one son who died young (b1776) and four daughters. Emily died in Penzance, Cornwall in 1818 after a lingering illness.
- Lady Henrietta FitzGerald (1753–1763).
- Lady Caroline FitzGerald (b. and d. 1755).
- Charles FitzGerald, 1st Baron Lecale (30 June 1756 - 30 June 1810).
- Lady Charlotte Mary Gertrude FitzGerald (1758–1836), married Joseph Strutt and was made first Baroness Rayleigh. Had issue.
- Lady Louisa Bridget FitzGerald (1760–1765).
- Lord Henry FitzGerald (30 July 1761 - 8 July 1829), general; married Charlotte Boyle and had issue, who take by inheritance the surname "de Ros".
- Lady Sophia Sarah Mary FitzGerald (1762 – 21 March 1845)
- Lord Edward FitzGerald (1763–1798).
- Lord Robert Stephen FitzGerald (1765 - 2 January 1833), a diplomat; married Sophia Charlotte Fielding and had issue.
- Lord Gerald FitzGerald (1766–1788). Drowned, went down with the ship in which he was serving.
- Lord Augustus FitzGerald (1767–1771).
- Lady Fanny FitzGerald (1770–1775).
- Lady Lucy Anne FitzGerald (1771 – 1851), who took part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. She was married to Admiral Thomas Foley, who served with distinction under Lord Nelson. They had no issue.
- Lady Louisa FitzGerald (1772–1776).
- Lord George Simon FitzGerald (1773–1783). Recognized as son of Lord Kildare, but in fact was the biological son of his brother's tutor, William Ogilvie.
Lord Kildare was created successively Marquess of Kildare and Duke of Leinster in recognition of his contribution to the political life of his country. It was partly the Duke's influence that led to a rift between the Duchess and her eldest sister, Caroline Fox, 1st Baroness Holland.
After the death of Lord Kildare in 1773, the Duchess caused a minor sensation by marrying her children's tutor, William Ogilvie, with whom she had begun an affair some years earlier in Frescati House. Despite her remarriage she continued to be known as The Dowager Duchess of Leinster. Ogilvie was nine years her junior, and was the natural father of her youngest son from her first marriage. A further three children were born to them after their marriage:
- Cecilia Margaret Ogilvie (1775–1824), married Charles Lock, British consul-general in Naples and Egypt. They had three daughters.
- Charlotte Ogilvie (b. and d. 1777).
- Emily Charlotte "Mimie" Ogilvie (b. 1778 - d. 1832), married Charles George Beauclerk, great-grandson of the Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans and had issue.
Emily was treated generously in her first husband's will. He left her a jointure of 4,000 pounds annually (increased from the 3,000 promised in the settlement), and a life interest in Leinster House (Dublin) and Carton (which she exchanged for Frescati House and 40,000 pounds) together with all their contents. She had brought the usual ducal daughter's dowry of 10,000 pounds, so the jointure and other payments would cripple her son the 2nd Duke of Leinster financially. The 1st Duke also made over-generous provisions for his younger sons and all his daughters. Emily, Duchess of Leinster and her second husband, also received the usual annuity of 400 pounds annually for each of the minor children who lived with her. Thus, Emily and William Ogilvie were probably financially better off than the 2nd Duke, who existed on less than 7,000 pounds annually out of which he had to run two large houses, play a role in Irish politics, and also provide lavish dowries of 10,000 each for three sisters who married. He also had to pay huge annuities (2,000 each) to the next youngest brothers Lord Lecale and Lord Henry Fitzgerald, and to pay the youngest brothers 10,000 each at their majority. Since Emily lived to 1814 (outliving the 2nd Duke by ten years), all these generous testamentary provisions, along with the huge building costs incurred by the 1st Duke, crippled the Leinsters for generations.
|Ancestors of Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster|
- Malcolmson, A.P.W. (2006). The Pursuit of the Heiress. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 41. ISBN 1-903688-65-5.
- A. P. W. Malcomson (2006). The Pursuit of the Heiress: Aristocratic Marriage in Ireland 1740-1840. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
Tillyard, Stella. Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832. London: Chatto & Windus, 1994.