Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fitzgerald, James Fitzmaurice (d.1540)

FITZGERALD, JAMES Fitzmaurice, thirteenth Earl of Desmond (d. 1540), was the son of Maurice Fitzthomas, only son and heir-apparent of Thomas, twelfth earl of Desmond, and Joan, daughter of John Fitzgibbon, the White Knight. Immediately on the death of his grandfather, Thomas, twelfth earl, in 1534, the succession was disputed by John Fitzthomas, brother of the twelfth earl, and fourth son of Thomas, eighth earl [q. v.] on the ground of the invalidity of the marriage of Maurice Fitzthomas with the daughter of the White Knight. Whether it was so or not was never determined, but John Fitzthomas having taken forcible possession remained earl de facto during his life, and after his death in 1536 the earldom was seized by his son James, fourteenth earl [q. v.], the title being cleared by the 'accidental' death of James Fitzmaurice, thirteenth earl de jure, at the hand of Maurice à totane, brother of the fourteenth earl. Lodge, who correctly describes James Fitzmaurice as thirteenth earl, incorrectly states that he was succeeded by his uncle, John Fitzthomas, which was impossible, John having died in 1536. This alteration makes Lodge's fifteenth and sixteenth earls, fourteenth and fifteenth respectively (cp. Unpublished Geraldine Documents, edited by Hayman and Graves, pt. ii. pp. 103-17).

James Fitzmaurice, thirteenth earl, being in England at the time of his grandfather's death was, at the suggestion of the Irish council, who had their own purposes to serve (State Papers, Hen. VIII, iii. 106), allowed to return home, being 'sufficiently furnished with all things fitting and necessary for such a journey and enterprise' by the bounty of the king. Landing at Cork, he was proceeding through the territory of Lord Roche, when he was waylaid and slain by Sir Maurice of Desmond on 19 March 1540 (ib. p. 195). He married Mary, daughter of his great-uncle, Cormoc Og MacCarthy, but had no male issue (Lodge, Peerage, Archdall). She remarried Daniel O'Sullivan Mor, and died in 1548.

[Authorities cited above.]

R. D.

FITZGERALD, JAMES Fitzmaurice (d. 1579), 'arch traitor,' was the second son of Maurice Fitzjohn à totane, i. e. of the burnings, and Julia, second daughter of Dermot O'Mulryan of Sulloghade, co. Tipperary, nephew of James, fourteenth, and cousin of