Edmund Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy

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Edmund James Burke Roche
Born(1939-03-20)20 March 1939
Died19 August 1984(1984-08-19) (aged 45)
TitleThe Lord Fermoy
Spouse(s)Lavinia Frances Elizabeth Pitman
IssueHon. Frances Roche
Hon. Elizabeth Roche
Maurice Roche, 6th Baron Fermoy
Hon. Edmund Roche
ParentsMaurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy
Ruth Gill

Edmund James Burke Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy (20 March 1939 – 19 August 1984) was an Irish peer.[1] He was also the maternal uncle of Princess Diana.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 20 March 1939, the only son and youngest child of Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, and his wife, Ruth Sylvia Gill.[1][2] His father died in 1955.

He was a graduate of Eton and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[3]


Roche became 5th Baron Fermoy in 1955 when his father died.[3] He was an elected member of Newbury District Council between 1976 and 1979. He was chairman of Eddington Bindery Ltd, based at the Fermoy family home near Hungerford.[4] He was also a steeplechase jockey.[3]

Marriage and children[edit]

He was married to Lavinia Frances Elizabeth Pitman (born 1941), daughter of John Pitman and Elizabeth Donaldson (a descendent of Sir Isaac Pitman) and they had four children and eight grandchildren:

  • Hon. Frances Caroline Burke Roche (31 March 1965) she married Hon. Peter Stanley in 1990. They have three children:
    • Richard Hugh Edward Stanley (1 May 1993)
    • Portia Ruth Isobel Stanley (19 April 1995)
    • Algernon Edmond Stanley (8 March 1999)
  • Hon. Elizabeth Burke Roche (27 March 1966–2 April 1966)
  • Maurice Burke Roche, 6th Baron Fermoy (11 October 1967) he married Tessa Kayll on 26 March 1998. They have two daughters.
  • Hon. Edmund Hugh Burke Roche (5 February 1972) he married Philippa Long in 2004. They have three children:
    • Rosie Jeanne Roche (21 June 2005)
    • Archie Edmund Roche (5 October 2007)
    • Agatha Frances Roche (15 October 2009)

Lady Fermoy later married Nigel Edward Corbally Stourton, a grandson of Alfred Stourton, 23rd Baron Mowbray, in 1995.

Royal connections[edit]

Baron Fermoy and his family have close connections to the British royal family. His mother Ruth was a longstanding member of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's household.[3] His sister, Frances, was the mother of Lady Diana Spencer.[3] As the bride's maternal uncle, Lord Fermoy attended her wedding to the Prince of Wales in 1981.


After suffering from depression for a long period of time, Roche committed suicide by gunshot at his home, Eddington House, in Hungerford on 19 August 1984.[1][5][6] He was 45.[3]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 1939–1955: The Honourable Edmund James Burke Roche
  • 1955–1984: The Rt. Hon. Edmund James Burke Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy


  1. ^ a b c "Lord Fermoy Shoots Himself. Uncle of Princess of Wales". The New York Times. Associated Press. 20 August 1984. Retrieved 2015-05-04. Lord Fermoy, the uncle of the Princess of Wales, shot himself today at his home, the police said. He was 45 years old. ... Lord Fermoy, born Edmund James Burke Roche, became the fifth Baron Fermoy in 1955, succeeding his father, a former Conservative Member of Parliament. His mother, Ruth, Dowager Lady Fermoy, has been lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for 30 years. Lord Fermoy's sister, Frances Shand-Kydd, is the mother of the Princess of Wales. ...
  2. ^ "Person Page 156". The Peerage. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lord Fermoy kills self". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Hungerford. AP. 20 August 1984. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  4. ^ "A Visit to British Binders & Binderies". Cool. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  5. ^ Hugo Vickers (8 July 1993). "Obituary: Ruth Fermoy". The Independent. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ "The Dowager Lady Fermoy; Diana's Grandmother, 84". The New York Times. 8 July 1993. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Maurice Roche
Baron Fermoy
Succeeded by
Maurice Roche