John FitzGerald, Baron FitzGerald

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John David FitzGerald, Baron FitzGerald PC, PC (Ire) (1 May 1816 – 16 October 1889)[1] was an Irish judge and Liberal politician.


Born in Dublin, he was the son of the merchant David FitzGerald and his wife Catherine, eldest daughter of David Leahy.[2] His sister Kate was married to Charles Robert Barry and his youngest sister Emily to Denis Caulfield Heron.[3] FitzGerald was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and was called to the bar by King's Inns in 1838.[2] In 1870, he received a Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Dublin.[4]


FitzGerald became a Queen's Counsel in 1847 and was judge of the Munster circuit.[2] He entered the British House of Commons in 1852, sitting for Ennis the next eight years.[5] In 1855, FitzGerald was first elected a Bencher, then nominated Solicitor-General for Ireland.[4] He became Attorney-General for Ireland a year later, on which appointment he was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland.[2] FitzGerald held the former post until 1858 and after a break for a year, again until 1860, when he was appointed Judge on the Court of Queen's Bench (Ireland).[4] On 23 June 1882, he was created a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary with the title Baron FitzGerald, of Kilmarnock, in the County of Dublin.[6] Six days later, he was additionally sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.[4]


  • Foakes v Beer [1884] UKHL 1, [1881-85] All ER Rep 106, (1884) 9 App Cas 605; 54 LJQB 130; 51 LT 833; 33 WR 233 - a leading case from the House of Lords on the legal concept of consideration


In 1846, he married firstly Rose, second daughter of John O'Donohue, and had by her three sons.[7] She died in 1850 and FitzGerald remarried Hon. Jane Matilda Mary, daughter of Arthur Francis Southwell and sister of Thomas Southwell, 4th Viscount Southwell.[7] By his second wife, he had four sons and six daughters.[7] Conservative politician Amber Rudd is his great-great-granddaughter.


  1. ^ "Leigh Rayment - Peerage". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dod, Robert P. (1860). The Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Whitaker and Co. p. 257. 
  3. ^ O'Malley, Liam. The Law Faculty. Galway: National University of Ireland, Galway. p. 45. 
  4. ^ a b c d Debrett, John (1886). Robert Henry Mair, ed. Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench. London: Dean & Son. p. 284. 
  5. ^ "Leigh Rayment - Baronetage, Ennis". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "No. 25119". The London Gazette. 20 June 1882. p. 2848. 
  7. ^ a b c "ThePeerage - John David FitzGerald, Baron FitzGerald of Kilmarnock". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Patrick O'Gorman Mahon
Member of Parliament for Ennis
Succeeded by
William Stacpoole
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Keogh
Solicitor-General for Ireland
1855 – 1856
Succeeded by
Jonathan Christian
Preceded by
William Keogh
Attorney-General for Ireland
1856 – 1858
Succeeded by
James Whiteside
Preceded by
James Whiteside
Attorney-General for Ireland
1859 – 1860
Succeeded by
Rickard Deasy