Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Kildare

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Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Kildare (died 11 February 1612) was an Irish peer.

Background[edit]

Kildare was the son of Edward FitzGerald, younger son of Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare. His mother was Agnes, daughter of Sir John Leghe of Stockwell, Surrey,[1] who was a half-brother of Catherine Howard, the fifth queen of Henry VIII, both being children of Joyce Culpepper. His mother was the widow of Sir Thomas Paston, of the famous Norfolk family.

Career[edit]

Kildare was knighted in 1599 and succeeded his cousin as Earl of Kildare that same year. He served as Governor of Offaly in 1600 and was Commissioner of Connaught in 1604.[1]

The last decade of his life was much troubled by a long-running lawsuit brought against him by his cousin Lettice and her husband.[2] Lettice, only child of the eldest son of Gerald FitzGerald, 11th Earl of Kildare and his countess, Mabel Browne, had expected to inherit a substantial part of her grandfather's estate, but shortly before his death in 1585 she was disinherited by deed. In 1602 she sued both Kildare and her aged grandmother alleging that Countess Mabel had forged or fraudulently altered the deed and that Kildare as a result was unlawfully in occupation of her property. Kildare filed a countersuit alleging, rather implausibly, that the action was collusive and that Mabel and Lettice were conspiring to deprive him of his property.[3] The case, which became quite celebrated, dragged on for years with hearings in several courts in both London and Dublin. Kildare complained bitterly of the disgrace to his honour and impoverishment of his estate, but was unable to bring proceedings to a resolution; the case continued even after both he and Mabel were dead.[4]

Family[edit]

Kildare married Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Nugent, 5th Baron Delvin and Lady Mary FitzGerald, daughter of his predecessor the 11th Earl of Kildare.

He died suddenly at Maynooth in February 1612 after complaining of a "pain in his stomach"[4] and was succeeded in the earldom by his infant son, Gerald.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c thepeerage.com Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Kildare
  2. ^ Crawford, John G. A Star Chamber Court in Ireland- the Court of Castle Chamber 1571-1641 Four Courts Press Dublin 2005 p.493
  3. ^ Crawford p.151
  4. ^ a b Crawford p.310

External links[edit]

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William FitzGerald
Earl of Kildare
1599–1611
Succeeded by
Gerald FitzGerald