Edward Fitton, the younger

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Sir Edward Fitton the younger (1548?–1606), was an Englishman who took part in the Elizabethan plantation of Ireland.

Biography[edit]

Fitton was the son and heir of Sir Edward Fitton (the elder) of Gawsworth, Cheshire and his wife Anne Warburton.[1] His education included attending Brasenose College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1566 with a BA, and then went on to Gray's Inn (1568).[1]

Fitton was Receiver General for Ireland in 1579. His father died in July that year and, being disappointed in his expectation of succeeding his father as Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, he retired to England shortly after having been knighted by Sir William Pelham in 1580.[2][3]

Sir Edward was returned as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Wigan, Lancashire in 1572, as MP for Boroughbridge, Yorkshire in 1588.[1]

Sir Edward's interest in Ireland revived when it was proposed to colonise Munster with Englishmen, and he was one of the first to solicit a slice of the forfeited estates of the Gerald FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond. On 3 September 1587 Sir Edward passed his patent for 11,515 acres in the counties of Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford; but the speculation proved to be not so profitable as he had anticipated, and on 19 December 1588 he wrote to William Cecil that he was £1,500 out of pocket through it, and begged that his rent might be remitted on account of his father's twenty years' service and his own.[4] He was most energetic in his proposals for the extirpation of the Irish, but failed to fulfil the conditions of the grant, and was noted as an absentee.[5]

Sir Edward was also an active in administration of districts close to his family seat of Gawsworth in Cheshire. From around 1583 he was a Justice of the Peace (JP) in Cheshire and Lancashire, Sheriff of Lancashire in 1591/92, and in 1601 mayor of Macclesfield.[6] He died in London in March 1606 and was buried shortly after on 3 April at Gawsworth.[1]

Family[edit]

Sir Edward married Alice, daughter and sole heiress of Sir John Holcroft of Holcroft, Lancashire, who survived him until 5 February 1626, and who, after his death in 1606, erected a monument to his memory in Gawsworth Church.[7]

He was the father of Sir Edward Fitton (3 Dec 1572 – 10 May 1619), another son, Alexander, and daughters, Anne and Mary, who has been speculated as the "Dark Lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets.[8] His direct male line ended in 1643, leading to a bitter inheritance dispute which went on for decades.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d W.J.J. 1981.
  2. ^ W.J.J. 1981 Cites DNB; PCC 19 Stafforde; CSP Ire. 1574-85, p. 176
  3. ^ Dunlop 1889, p. 82 cites Ham. Cal. ii. 175; cf. Domestic Cal. Add. p. 25.
  4. ^ Dunlop 1889, p. 82 cites Ham. Cal. iv. 87.
  5. ^ Dunlop 1889, p. 82.
  6. ^ W.J.J. 1981 Cites :Sloane 3194, f. 7v; HMC Hatfield, xi. 201-2.
  7. ^ Dunlop 1889, p. 82 cites Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 295.
  8. ^ Sunil Kumar Sarker, Shakespeare's sonnets, Atlantic, 2006, p.101-2.

References[edit]

  • W.J.J. (1981). "History of Parliament FITTON, Edward (c.1548-1606) of Gawsworth, Cheshire". History of Parliament. Retrieved September 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)
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