Irish Lords of Kerry


1st Lord of Kerry to 8th Lord of Kerry

Five hundred years of warfare between the Irish and the English have resulted in the destruction of most of the civil and religious records such as would typically be found in other countries in western Europe. Nevertheless, records concerning titled Lords of Kerry were of sufficient legal importance so that many were duplicated or preserved in Dublin or London. Therefore, I think the statements in this chapter are trustworthy.


Thomas fitzMaurice fitzThomas,
1st Baron of Lixnaw and Kerry

(b. c. 1220; d. 29 Jan 1280 at Browry, Limerick)

Circa 1260227, Thomas was created Baron of Kerry and Lixnaw (peerage of Ireland)218. This is said to have made him the Premier Baron of Ireland.

Thomas (1st Baron of Kerry) was the
son of Maurice fitzThomas (d. 1253)
son of Thomas fitzMaurice, Lord of Connello (d. 1213)
son of Maurice fitzGerald, Lord of Maynooth (d. 1176)79
son of Gerald fitzWalter, constable of Pembroke
son of Walter fitzOther, Castelan of Windsor before 1100
son of Other Dominus.

Since Thomas (1st Baron Kerry) was a result of four generations of intermarriage with the Irish, I think of him and his successors (until the 19th Baron) as the "Irish Lords of Kerry".

Thomas (1st Baron Kerry) founded the Franciscan Monastery at Ardfert (near Tralee) in A.D. 125379. The Monastery is sometimes called the Grey Franciscan Friary of Ardfert and is sometimes referred to as an Abbey.

Thomas fitzMaurice, "dying on the feast of St. Peter and Paul, 1280, at Browry, the house of his son-in-law (Otho de Lacy), was interred on the north side of the great alter in said Abbey"33. (According to Burke's Peerage, the date was June 29, 1280.)79

Subsequently, Maurice, the 2nd Baron, was buried at the Monastery in 1303 and Nicholas, the 3rd Baron, was buried there in 1324. Other members of the family buried at the monastery included Maurice in 1339, Desideria in 1345, and John in 1348.33

Thomas (the 1st Baron) married Grainne, a granddaughter of Diarmuid MacMurrough79, the king of Leinster who brought the Normans to Ireland to assist him in a local war that he would have lost without additional allies. The Normans came, defeated the enemies of MacMurrough, and then conquered most of Ireland for themselves.

Thomas (1st Baron) was succeeded by his eldest son, Maurice (2nd Baron of Kerry)79.

Almost everyone named FITZMAURICE today is descended from Thomas fitzMaurice, the first Baron of Kerry. However, the name FitzMaurice was adopted by some members of the Prendergast family in Mayo.84 On the other hand, some members of the FitzMaurice family in Kerry assumed the surname MacShane (from Mac Seáin meaning son of Seán or son of John84). 


Maurice fitzThomas fitzMaurice,
2nd Baron of Kerry

According to one record, Maurice was lying on his deathbed 14 April 1305 (Justiciary Rolls, Vol. II, p. 422)79. Maurice sat in the Parliament held in Dublin in 1295, and attended Edward I in 1297, with horse and arms, in an expedition against Scotland in compliance with a writ of summons79.

According to Burke's Peerage79, Maurice (2nd Baron) married firstly, Elena, daughter and heiress of William FitzElie, with whom he got Listowel and other lands in Kerry, and by her had issue:

  • Nicolas, 3rd Baron of Kerry
  • Peter.

Maurice married secondly, Sibilla, and by her had a son, Gerald79.

On 2 Nov. 1304, Sibilla sued for her dower in the lands of her husband which he had acquired by his first marriage (Plea Roll 32 Edward I)79.

Maurice (2nd Baron) died at Mayflayth (Molahiffe) in Kerry near Easter 1305. Another story says that he died in 130479.

According to Cusack86, Maurice (2nd Baron) married Mary MacLeod, daughter of Sir John MacLeod. Such a marriage would be plausible since the Norse clan of MacLeod was probably allied with the Norman King Edward I in his war against the Gaels of Scotland.

Sir John MacLeod was a descendant of either Tormod or Torquil
sons of Leod (for whom the clan was named)
son of Olaf the Black
descendant of Harald Hardraada
who married the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kiev.

"Hardraada" means hard-speaker or judge or ruler. Harald Hardraada was in Kiev in the eleventh century. He was a descendant of the Vikings who had invaded Russia from Sweden.

Magnus, the last Norse King of Man (died in A.D. 1265), was the brother of Olaf the Black.

The fact that the two sons of Maurice (2nd Lord) by his first wife were named Nicholas and Peter is certainly suggestive of Russian ancestors.

"Sibilla" probably comes from "Isibéal", the French form of "Elizabeth".

At least one genealogist205 has written that Maurice (identified here as the 2nd Baron) was actually the 1st Baron of Kerry. If he is correct, then the numbers for the other Barons of Kerry must be changed accordingly. I have not yet seen any quotation of a primary source that might resolve this question. 


Sir Nicolas fitzMaurice fitzThomas,
3rd Baron of Kerry

Died in A.D. 132486 or 1332 and was buried at the Monastery in Ardfert.

Nicolas (3rd Baron) was the son of Maurice FitzMaurice (2nd Baron)79. The fact that Nicolas was not given the name of his paternal grandfather suggests that Nicolas had an older brother (named Thomas) who died in childhood. The mother of Nicolas was either Mary, daughter of Sir John MacLeod, or Elena, daughter of William FitzElie.

Nicolas was knighted at Adair for assisting John, Lord Offaly, to suppress a rising in Munster. He made several grants of land for religious purposes, and built the Leper House at Ardfert, as well as the castles of Portrinanda and Ardfert. He also erected a stone bridge at Lixnaw, and made roads to that place86.

Nicolas (3rd Baron) married Mary, daughter of O'Brien of Thomond, and had at least two sons and one daughter79:

  • Maurice, 4th Baron.
  • John, 5th Baron.
  • Eleanor, who married Maurice FitzThomas, Earl of Desmond.

According to Cusack86, Nicolas (3rd Baron) had three sons and six daughters.


Desideria was a member of the FitzMaurice family who was buried at the Franciscan Monastery in Ardfert in A.D. 134533.

The last king of the Lombards (773 or 774) was named Desiderius. As his descendants intermarried with the various aristocratic families of Italy, "Desiderius" and "Desideria" gained wide usage as names in aristocratic families.

This leads me to suspect that the Desideria who died in A.D. 1345 was the sister of Sir Nicolas FitzMaurice. A mother who would name her sons (Nicholas and Peter) after almost forgotten Russian ancestors in her Clan MacLeod would plausibly name her daughter after an almost forgotten Lombard or Tuscan ancestor of her husband. 


Maurice fitzNicholas fitzMaurice,
4th Baron of Kerry

Died in A.D. 133979.
Maurice (4th Baron) married Honor, daughter of O'Conor Kerry but had no issue79.

The land granted by Henry II to Thomas, the First Baron of Kerry, was taken by conquest from the Killarney branch of the MacCarthy family. Their principal set was at Ross Castle in Muckross, Kilarney, County Kerry. As might be expected, the hostility between the two families continued for many years.

In 1325, Maurice FitzMaurice, the 4th Baron of Kerry, had a dispute with Diarmaid Óg MacCarthy (son of Cormac Mór MacCarthy) and murdered him upon the bench, before the Judge of Assize at Tralee. For this act, Maurice was tried and attainted by the parliament in Dublin. His lands were forfeited, but after his death passed to his brother John FitzMaurice, 5th Baron of Kerry79.

After being attainted, Maurice was appointed sheriff.

Maurice probably avoided a sentence of death only because his victim was a Gael. Such consideration would not have been unusual. In 1310, there was trial in Waterford in which Robert le Waleys, Briton, was charged with the murder of John, the son of Ivor MacGillemory. The defense taken was that while admitting the prisoner had killed John, yet it was no murder, since the slain one was only an Irishman! To meet this effective line of defense the public prosecutor contended that the man killed was not Irish but Ostman (Dane)75.

In their complaint to Pope John XXII, Donald O'Neill, King of Ulster, and other princes of the Gael (1318) declared: "As it very constantly happens, whenever any Englishman, by perfidy or craft, kills an Irishman, however noble, or however innocent, be he clergyman or layman...nay, even if an Irish prelate were to be slain, there is no penalty or correction enforced against the person who may be guilty of such wicked murder, but rather the more eminent the person killed, and the higher the rank he holds among his own people, so much more is the murderer honoured and rewarded by the English, and not merely by the people at large, but also by the religious and bishops , of the English race, and, above all, by those on whom devolves officially the duty of inflicting on such malefactors a just reward and equitable correction for their evil deeds75.

The FitzMaurice-MacCarthy feud apparently continued for another 50 years and then became much less violent when Katherine MacCarthy married Patrick FitzMaurice, the 7th Lord of Kerry. 


O'Brien and MacCarthy

According to Keating, Munster used to be reigned over alternately by the two tribes that inhabited it, the Ithians (descendants of Ith, the uncle of Melesius) and the Eberians (descendants of Melesius through Eber). When one tribe supplied the king, the other supplied the chief judge, and vice versa.75

This arrangement continued until Munster was invaded by a northern tribe circa 50 B.C. After a series of wars, Olioll Ollum, an Eberian, became the first king of all Munster, both of the Eberian and of the Ithian sections. Olioll Ollum was succeeded by MacNiad, an Ithian; but, thereafter, the kingship of Munster alternated between the descendants of Eoghan Mór and Cormac Cais, the two eldest sons of Olioll Ollum.

The families descended from Eoghan Mór are known as the Eoghanacht while the families descended from Cormac Cais are known as Dalcassions. (Dal Cais means "race of Cais"). The family of MacCarthy is descended from the Eoghanacht while the family of O'Brien is descended from the Dalcassions.

Diarmaid mac Cárthagh (Dermod MacCarthy)

Died in A.D. 1185.

Diarmaid was king of Desmond in 1151. His kingdom of Cork extended from Lismore, County Waterford, in the east of Brandon Head in Kerry. He was killed in 1185 A.D. by Theobald Walter. (The Walter family was a branch of the Connacht Burke family.78)

Diarmaid had four sons:

  • Cormac, who rebelled against his father in 1177.

    According to Cusack86, Diarmaid asked Raymond le Gros for assistance. Raymond eventually captured and executed Cormac. In return for this assistance, Diarmaid was said to have given Raymond a large tract of land at Lixnaw. This land was then supposedly passed on to his descendants to become the estates of the FitzMaurice Lords of Kerry.

    According to Williams78, Cormac was killed by the O'Donoghues of Kerry. The Williams version seems to be more consistent with other reports of the era.

  • Dónal Mór, who succeeded Diarmaid in 118578.
  • Muircheartach, who was killed by the O'Driscolls of Carbery in 117978.
  • Tadhg Ró. 


John fitzMaurice fitzNicholas,
5th Baron of Kerry

(Died A.D. 1348 or 1378)
Son of Sir Nicholas fitzMaurice fitzThomas 3rd Baron of Kerry)
Summoned to Parliament 48 Edward III79 in 1375.218

John (5th Baron) married firstly Honor, daughter of O'Brien of Thomond, and had a son79,
(1) Maurice (6th Baron)

John married secondly Elenor, daughter of Garrett FitzPierce of Bally McEquim and xad two sons:
(2) Gerald (Garrett) FitzMaurice, ancestor of the FitzMaurice family of Duagh.
(3) Robert FitzMaurice

Duagh (formerly called Duaghnafealla52) is in Co. Kerry near the border of Co. Limerick. Garrett succeeded his father in these estates in 1358 but records for the following 200 years were destroyed52 during the various wars between the Irish and the English. The next male descendant for whom a record has been found was

James McMorrish52, who was living in 1550.

This James had a son:
Edmund McMorrish52, who took part in the Desmond war. He was attainted April 26, 1579. His estates were seized and sold upon his death in battle against the English in 1586.52

Edmond McMorrish (d. 1586) had two sons52:

  • Shane MacEdmond McMorrish. [Note: "Shane" = "Seán" = "John"]
  • Ulick [a diminutive of Uilliam, the Irish equivalent of William]

Shane McMorrish may have been killed in the Desmond war. He married and left a son52:
Thomas MacShane FitzMaurice of Duagh, who was pardoned in 1603 and to whom the estates were restored in 1612.

This Thomas married Catherine, daughter of Edward Trant of Fenit, Co. Kerry, and had issue, including52
Garrett FitzMaurice married Honora Dare (d. 1628).  She held the Duagh estate in 1641 when it was seized. Their eldest son was
Ulick FitzMaurice of Duagh, a minor in 1641 (d. 1682).  He regained the estate in 1663 and obtained other lands in 1660.  One of the 1649 officers.  Will dated 23rd May 1680.  Married Ann, daughter of Francis Gough, Bishop of Limerick by Elizabeth Greene.

This Ulick had five sons52. The eldest was
Henry FitzMaurice of Duagh who had his estates confiscated in 1691 because James FitzMaurice, a near relative of Henry, took part in the war against William III. 


Statutes of Kilkenny

In a futile attempt to stop the assimilation of Normans in Ireland, the Statues of Kilkenny12,35 were promulgated in A.D. 1366 while John (5th Lord) was the Lord of Kerry. The statutes forbade Normans to take on the manners, fashion, and language of the Irish. Intermarriage and the admitting of an Irish storyteller into the house were both unlawful. The English born in England were no longer to be dubbed "English churls or clowns", nor were the English born in Ireland to be called "Irish dogs". The English archbishops and Bishops pronounced sentence of excommunication against all who disobeyed the statutes.

If a wayfarer were seen either riding in the Irish fashion, or dressed in Gaelic costume, or not wearing "a civil English cap", it was "advisable and lawful" to kill the offender. Even the sporting of a mustache after the Irish fashion (the fashion in Europe then also) and not having a shaven upper lip like the English, was denounced by act of Parliament (25 Henry VI, 1447) as deserving of death, and the delinquent's estate was to be forfeited to the Crown. The Statutes were in effect for about 200 years75.

Although I have seen several mentions of the infamous Statutes of Kilkenny, I have not found any personal account or judicial record of their actual implementation. 


Maurice fitzJohn fitzMaurice,
6th Baron of Kerry79

Died at Lixnaw in A.D. 1398. Interment at Ardfert.
Son of John fitzMaurice fitzNicholas (5th Baron)

Maurice (6th Baron) married firstly Elizabeth, daughter of Redmond de Canton, by whom he had a son,

(1) John, d.v.p.s.p. 1364

Maurice married secondly Joan, daughter of the 4th Earl of Desmond, by whom he had a son,

(2) Patrick, 7th Baron. 


Sir Patrick FitzMaurice, 7th Baron of Kerry79
(aka Patrick fitzMaurice fitzJohn)
(aka Patrick, the Bearded fitzMaurice)
Son of Maurice FitzMaurice (6th Baron)

It has been reported215 that Patrick (7th Baron) was the first Baron of Kerry who used "FitzMaurice" as a surname.

Killed in Co. Clare in A.D. 1410

On 27 Mar 1422, Patrick (7th Baron) married Katherine, daughter of Teige MacCarthy Mór, and had three sons,

  • Thomas, 8th Baron
  • Nicholas, bishop of Ardfert in A. D. 1420
  • Gerald, Abbot of Odorney. 


Thomas FitzMaurice, 8th Baron of Kerry79

Died in A. D. 1469 in Dublin.
Son of Sir Patrick FitzMaurice (7th Baron)

On 21 Oct 1$46, Thomas (8th Baron Kerry) married Honora, daughter of James the 7th Earl of Desmond, and had two sons,

  • Edmund, 9th Baron
  • Robert, ancestor of FitzMaurice of Ardglas and Tubrid. 


8th Lord of Kerry to 17th Lord of Kerry


Edmund FitzMaurice, 9th Baron of Kerry79

Died in A. D. 1498 or 1510.
Son of Thomas FitzMaurice (8th Baron).

In 1489, Edmund (9th Baron) recovered in the Earl of Desmond's Court Palatine at Dingle, lands granted to his ancestor by King John.

Edmund (9th Baron) married Mór, daughter of O'Connor Kerry, and had at least two sons:

  • Thomas
  • Edmund (10th Baron of Kerry). 


Edmund FitzMaurice, 10th Baron of Kerry79

Died in A.D. 1543
Son of Edmund FitzMaurice (9th Baron)

Edmund (10th Baron) was the Baron of Kerry in 1535 when Henry VIII of England left the Catholic Church, organized his own church, and initiated the persecution of Catholics that continued for more than 300 years.

Edmund (10th Baron) married firstly Úna, daughter of Teige MacMahon of Corcavasey in Thomond, by whom he had four sons,

  1. Edmund, 11th Baron
  2. Patrick, 12th Baron
  3. Gerald, 15th Baron
  4. Thomas, 16th Baron (b. c. 1502)

Edmund (10th Baron) married secondly Amy, daughter of MacIbrien Arra and widow of the 11th Earl of Desmond, by whom he had no issue. After her death, he resigned his estate to his eldest son (Edmund, the 11th Baron) and took the habit of St. Francis as a lay brother in the Friary of Ardfert79


Edmund FitzMaurice, 11th Baron of Kerry

D.s.p. in A.D. 154179
1st son of Edmund FitzMaurice (10th Baron)

In 1537, Edmund (11th Baron) was created by Henry VIII Baron of Odorney and Viscount Kilmaule, Co. Kerry, and had a grant of several abbeys to him and his issues male79.

Edmond (11th Baron) married Katherine, daughter of Sir John Zouche, and sister to Elizabeth, Countess of the 9th Earl of Kildare79.

Edmond (11th Baron) d.s.p.m. 1541 when the Viscounty of Kilmaule became extinct and the Lordship of Kerry devolved on his brother Patrick (12th Baron)79.

According to Cusack, Edmond (11th Baron) married Margaret, daughter of James, the 15th Earl of Desmond86


Patrick FitzMaurice, 12th Baron of Kerry

Died in A.D. 154779
2nd son of Edmund FitzMaurice (10th Baron)

Patrick (12th Baron) married Slany, daughter of the 1st Earl of Thomond, and had two sons:

  1. Thomas, 13th Baron
  2. Edmund, 14th Baron79

Patrick (12th Baron) died of a "cold" caught while hunting65. Slany married secondly Sir Donald O'Brien, Knight of Dough79.

"Slany" comes from "Slainte", an Old Irish name which means "health". It was a common name among the O'Briens77


Thomas FitzMaurice, 13th Baron of Kerry79

Son of Patrick FitzMaurice (12th Baron)

Being a minor, Thomas (13th Baron) was granted in ward to the 14th Earl of Desmond. Thomas (13th Baron) died under age and unmarried at the Castle of Listowel, Co. Kerry, in 1549, and was succeeded by his brother Edmund (14th Baron). 


Edmund FitzMaurice, 14th Baron of Kerry79

Son of Patrick FitzMaurice (12th Baron)

Edmund (14th Baron) was also in ward to the 14th Earl of Desmond, but died unmarried at the Castle of Beale, a month after his brother's death in 1549. 


Gerald FitzMaurice, 15th Baron of Kerry

Son of Edmund FitzMaurice (10th Baron)

Gerald (15th Baron) married Julia, daughter of Cormac Óg MacCarthy (Chieftain of Muskerry), by whom he left no issue. Gerald (15th Baron) was killed in Desmond a month after his marriage. He was buried at Ardfert, 1 August 155079.

The baptismal name of Julia was probably Síla77


Thomas FitzMaurice, 16th Baron of Kerry

Born A.D. 150279. Died 16 December 159079 at Lixnaw.

As the fourth son of Edmund (10th Baron) and Úna (daughter of Teige Mac Mahon), Thomas (16th Baron) could not reasonably expect to inherit the title.

Thomas was trained as a soldier at Milan in Italy and served many years under the Emperors of Germany79. When Gerald (15th Baron) died, the whereabouts of Thomas (16th Baron) were unknown and another person temporarily assumed the title and estates of the Lord of Kerry. Then, Joan Harman, the old childhood nurse of Thomas, set off to find him. She went first to France and then to Italy. She finally found him at the court of the Duke of Milan. Joan died not long after delivering her message65.

Thomas (16th Baron) returned to Ireland where he apparently had no trouble in claiming his title and estate65. Thomas (16th Baron) sat in the Parliaments 3 and 4 Philip and Mary, and 2 Queen Elizabeth, and in that of Lord Deputy Sir John Perrott 158479.

Thomas is said to have revolted against Queen Elizabeth.

From Ref. 39, p. 255:
.....the FitzMaurices had been dispossessed of their ancient burial place in the preceding century by Governor Zouch, who.... refused to allow Thomas the sixteenth Lord Kerry to be buried with his forefathers in the abbey.

According to Burke's Peerage79, Thomas (16th Baron) married firstly Catharine, daughter of Teige MacCarthy Mór, a brother of Dónal, Earl of Clancare and had four sons and one daughter:

  • Patrick, 17th Baron
  • Edmund, killed at Kingsale, leaving a daughter Mary who married Teige MacCarthy of Cosmange.
  • Robert, killed in the Isles of Arran, leaving a son, Gerald, a chief Cmdr. under Philip III of Spain.
  • Richard, who had a son, Gerald, whose son, Edmund, d.s.p.
  • Joan, married 3rd Earl of Thomond.

According to the Four Masters as quoted by Cusack86, Thomas (16th Baron) married Catherine, the daughter of Fergus, son of Donnell, son of Cormac Ludheach MacCarthy. According to the Four Masters, this Catherine died in A.D. 1582.

According to Burke's Peerage79, Thomas (16th Baron) married secondly, circa 1550, Margaret, daughter of 15th Earl of Desmond; and thirdly Penelope, daughter of Sir Donal O'Brien, brother of Conor, 3rd Earl of Thomond, but had no issue by the last two marriages. 


Caitrín Uí Cártagh (Catherine MacCarthy)

Wife of Thomas FitzMaurice, 16th Baron of Kerry86
Died in 1582 A.D.86

In the "Annals of the Four Masters" is the following statement:

"A.D. 1582, Catherine, the daughter of Fergus, son of Donnell, son of Cormac Ludheach MacCarthy, and wife of MacMaurice of Kerry, died. She passed her last days upon the lake of Lean Linphiachagh, moving from one island to another through fear of the plunderers; and she was interred in the monastery of Airdheallach" (Muckross)86.


Caitrín Uí Cárthagh (Catherine MacCarthy) d. 1582
daughter of Ferghus MacCarthy86
son of Donnell MacCarthy86
son of Cormac Ludhrach MacCarthy86 d. 1516
son of Tedhg Leith MacCarthy78 d. 1489
son of Dónal Óg MacCarthy III
(King of Desmond and first Earl of Clancarthy)78
son of Tadhg MacCarthy (King of Desmond)78
son of Dónal Óg MacCarthy II78 d. 1391
son of Cormac Mór MacCarthy (Lord of Muskerry)78 d. 1359
son of Dónal Óg MacCarthy I78
son of Dónal Roe MacCarthy (King of Desmond)78
son of Cormac Fionn MacCarthy78 d. 1248
2nd son of Dónal Mór MacCarthy78 d. 1206
2nd son of Dairmaid MacCarthy (King of South Munster)78 d. 1185
son of Cormac MacCarthy (King of Eoghanacht Cashel and Munster)78 d. 1138
son of Muireadach MacCarthy (King of Eoghanacht Cashel)78 d. 1093
son of Cárthagh (Lord of the Eoghanacht) (Carthy himself)78 d. 1045
son of Saorbhreathach78
son of Ceallachán Caiseal (King of Munster)78 d.c. 950
descendant of Eoghan Mór78
son of Olioll Ollum (first King of Munster)75
son of Mogh Nuadat75
descendant of Eber75

Olioll Ollum married Sabia, second daughter of Conn of the Hundred Battles. Conn (who reigned as High King) was the son of Feidlimid, son of Tuatal75.


  • In all Celtic languages, a modifying adjective normally follows the noun that it modifies.
  • Irish and Welsh genealogists added adjectives to personal names in order to distinguish between historical persons who would otherwise have identical names.
  • In Ireland, the most common adjectives were "Mór" meaning "big" or "great" ("Mawr" in Welsh), "Óg" meaning "young", and "Ró" or "Roe", meaning "red".
  • Male descendants were indicated by adding the prefix "mac" (meaning "son") to the name of the ancestor being memorialized; female descendants were indicated by inserting the word "Ui" before the name of the ancestor. 


Patrick FitzMaurice, 17th Baron of Kerry

(Born 1541 or 1555; died: 12 August 160079 in Downlogh.)

Patrick (17th Baron) was brought up at the court of Elizabeth I in England but returned to Ireland after his succession. He remained loyal to Ireland and fought against the Tudor English invaders79.

Patrick (17th Baron) married Jane, daughter of Viscount Fermoy, and had, with other children, two sons79:

  1. Thomas, 18th Baron.
  2. Maurice, who married firstly Honora, daughter of Teige MacMahon, of West Corvassy, by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Owen MacCarthy of Dristanet.

    Maurice married secondly Elenor, daughter of Thomas FitzGerald of Ballyglighin, Co. Limerick, by whom he had two sons:
    • Gerald (Capt.), who married Katherine, daughter of John Pierse of BallyMacquin, and had a son, Gerald, who died unmarried in Denmark, 1673, on the Staff of Charles, Duke of Richmond, the Ambassador.
    • Thomas who served as Capt. in Tangier. He married Elenor, daughter of Florence MacCarthy, son of MacCarthy Mór, and had a son, William, and two daughters.

According to Cusach8&, Patrick (17th Baron) married Joan Roche, daughter of Lord Fermoy. 


17th Lord of Kerry to 19th Lord of Kerry


Thomas FitzMaurice, 18th Baron of Kerry

(aka Thomas FitzMaurice of Kerry and Lixnaw, Baron of Kerry and Lixnaw,)
(Born: 1574. Died: 3 June 1630 at Drogheda79. Interment at Cashel Cathedral.)

English historians during the 16th and 17th centuries often commented that the Normans in Ireland had become "more Irish than the Irish themselves". This was nonsense, of course. The result of 15 generations of intermarriage with the people of Ireland, Thomas the 18th Baron of Kerry was genetically as much a Gael as anyone in Ireland. Because of their system of designating Lords solely on the basis of male heredity, the English discovered to their horror that, where once sat a Norman Lord, there now sat a Gael with a Norman name and a legitimate title under English law. Because of his local authority and the income from his estate, this Lord could be more troublesome than other Gaels.

Such a "sean ghall" (old foreigner) typically wore the Irish national dress, spoke Gaelic and Latin, fostered Gaelic literature and music, ruled by the Brehon laws, and was correctly regarded by the people as a Gaelic chief75.

When the De Burghos renounced England to become Irish in all things (under the name of MacWilliam) they came before the English Castle at Athenry, and in cight of the garrison there, threw off their English dress, and donned the Irish costume.75

John Davies, in the reign of James I of England, deplored such conduct: "As they did only forget the English language and scorned the use thereof, but grew to be ashamed of their very English names, though they were noble and of great antiquity, and took Irish surnames and nicknames." "In Munster, of the great families of the Geraldines planted there, one was called MacMorice, chief of the House of Lixnaw; and another MacGibbon, who was also called the White Knight." ..."And they did this in contempt and hatred of the English name and nation whereof these degenerate families became more mortal enemies" to England than the Gaels75.

The "MacMorice" mentioned by John Davies was probably Thomas FitzMaurice, the 18th Baron of Kerry or Lixnaw.

Thomas (18th Baron) revolted against James I of England but later submitted and surrendered his estate, whereupon the King, by patent 16 July 1604, granted him a free pardon and restored his estates, which he confirmed to him and his heirs and assigns forever by further patent, 6 July 1612.

Thomas was given the Duagh estates by King James 1st of England in addition to the forfeited lands of Thomas MacJames.  He returned some to Thomas MacShane FitzMaurice and some were sold.79


Circa 1594, Thomas (18th Baron) married firstly Lady Honora O'Brien (d. 1600), daughter of the 3rd Earl of Thomond, and had at least one child79:

  • Patrick, 19th Baron.

In 1600, after a siege of three weeks, an English force captured the FitzMaurice castle in Listowel, Co. Kerry. Soon thereafter, Patrick, the five-year-old son of the 18th Baron, was captured and taken to England where he was raised in the English church. This abduction had two significant consequences:

  1. Young Patrick was a useful hostage who made unlikely another revolt by his father, the 18th Baron of Kerry.
  2. At age five, Patrick was young enough so that he might be transformed into a loyal Englishman if kept in England until reaching adulthood. Patrick would then be acceptable to the English government as the next Baron of Kerry. If Patrick ever had an older brother, no record survived in the English archives.

Thomas (18th Baron) married secondly, in 1615, Hon. Julia Power, daughter of 3rd Lord Power of Curraghmore, and had more children79:

Edmund (Col.) who married Hon. Ellena MacCarthy, daughter of Charles, Viscount Muskerry, and had issue.

  • Garrett (Col.), who married Lady Lucia Touchet (d. 16 Dec. 1662), daughter of 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, and had two daughters and a son79:
    Richard, a Capuchin friar of the Order called Cyprian, and their Principal in 1689.
  • Katherine, who married John FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry.

In order to delay an appropriation of money in the Dublin Parliament, Thomas (18th Baron) engaged in a parliamentary dispute with the Lord of Slane concerning who had precedence as the Premier Baron of Ireland. All votes for appropriations were delayed about three months while the genealogical evidence was examined and re-examined. The Parliament eventually decided that the Baron of Kerry was the Premier Baron of Ireland. It was through a 20th century re-examination of the record of that enquiry that the exact relationship of Thomas FitzMaurice, 1st Baron of Kerry, to Gerald of Windsor was rediscovered65


Penal Laws

Thomas (18th Baron) was the Baron of Kerry in 1607 when most of Ulster was confiscated by the government of England. The English colonized the land with Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. The Gaels of that time used the same word (sasanach) to mean either an Englishman or a Protestant. Protestant settlers were sent to other parts of Ireland in smaller numbers until about 1840.

The English colonization of Ireland with Protestant settlers did not usually include the use of pre-planned genocide as a tool. The English rulers would have been satisfied if they could have destroyed every trace of the Gaelic culture and language, stamped out Catholicism, and transformed the Irish into English-speaking, Protestant serfs. Under the Penal Laws13 of the period:

  • No Catholic was permitted to own land.
  • No Catholic was permitted to vote.
  • No Catholic was allowed to hold public office.
  • No Catholic was allowed to work in the Civil Service.
  • No Catholic was allowed to own a weapon.
  • No Catholic was allowed to own property of value over 5 pounds.
  • No Catholic was allowed to be educated in or out of Ireland.
  • No Catholic was permitted to practice as a lawyer, doctor, trader, or professional.
  • All Catholics were compelled to pay a tithe to the English Church.
  • Foreign-educated priests were outlawed. Priests returning from Europe were hunted down, hanged, drawn, and quartered. 


The Four Masters and Keating

Faced with the impending annihilation of the Gaelic culture and traditions, a handful of scholars devoted their lives to the preservation of Gaelic literature. The last writers in the ancient bardic dialect, the three O'Clerys and O'Mulconry, four friars who have been immortalized as the four Masters, in the early 17th century collected all the old manuscripts they could find, and in Donegal Abbey wrote their Annals that, though the nation should perish, the names of the great ones at least should be preserved75.

Seathrún Céitinn (1570-1644), called Geoffrey Keating in English, was the first eminent popular writer. Having returned from Spain as a doctor of divinity, Keating won fame as a preacher in County Tipperary. After one sermon that attacked the immoral action of Carew (the English Lord President of Munster), Keating fled for his life and hid in the Glen of Aherlow. There he composed his Forus Feasa ar Eirinn (History of Ireland). His work included much material that had been part of the oral Gaelic tradition of Ireland but that had been omitted from the Annals of the Four Masters75.

Keating attended some of the last bardic schools, but he chose to write in a style and dialect to be "understanded" of the people". 


Patrick FitzMaurice, 19th Baron of Kerry

Patriarch of an English network of FITZMAURICE families.

Born at Lixnaw, 159579; died at St. Gile’s in the Fields, England, Jan. 1660.

The first 15 FITZMAURICE Barons of Kerry were able to rule with little regard to what was happening in England. During the reign of Elizabeth I, however, the English effort to destroy Catholicism reached Kerry. The 16th, 17th, and 18th Baron (Thomas, Patrick, and Thomas) all fought against the English and in the defense of Ireland, the FitzMaurice family, and their freedom to remain Catholics.

After becoming the 19th Baron of Kerry in 1630, Patrick apparently turned traitor and sold out to the English in order to retain title to the FitzMaurice estates (100,000 acres granted by Henry II). Patrick (19th Baron) took his seat in Parliament 14 July 1634 but fled to England upon the start of the revolt in 164179. There were several lawsuits in which Patrick's father, Thomas (18th Baron), tried unsuccessfully to disinherit his son.

Patrick (19th Baron) was
the first Baron of Kerry to die outside Ireland,
the first Baron of Kerry to desert his country in time of war,
the first Baron of Kerry to become an absentee landowner, and
the first Baron of Kerry to abandon the religion of his ancestors and join the church of Henry VIII.

Patrick (19th Baron) was Baron of Kerry while Oliver Cromwell was slaughtering, and selling into slavery, the Catholic people of Ireland. Since Patrick survived that period, he could not have been an active opponent of Cromwell while living in London.

Sir William Petty (Justiciar of Ireland under Cromwell), in his Political Anatomy of Ireland, estimated that the population of Ireland had decreased from 1,466,000 in 1641 to 616,000 in 165075. Most of the decrease was due to killing by Cromwell's forces but between 30,000 and 80,000 Irish Catholics (especially women and children) were sold as slaves and sent to islands in the Caribbean.

It appears that the name "Patrick" was about as popular as the name "Judas" in the various branches of the FitzMaurice family after the death of Patrick FitzMaurice, 19th Baron of Kerry. I have found no example of the name "Patrick" ever being used in the English branches of our family. In Ireland, the stigma eventually disappeared. The major reason, no doubt, was the common occurrence of the name "Patrick" in the families of the women who married a FitzMaurice. As late as 1980, however, "Patrick" was a far less common name among the FitzMaurice families in Kerry than among other Irish families.

Before Mar 1617, Patrick (19th Baron) married Honora, daughter of Sir Edmund FitzGerald, Knight of Cloyne, and had (with four other daughters)79:

  • William, 20th Baron.
  • Raymond, who married firstly Anne (d. Mar 1681), daughter of Sir John Barry, created Lord Santry, and had two sons. Raymond married secondly Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Kenny, M.P.., of Kenny's Hall, Co. Wexford. Raymond died 5 Jul 1713.  His will was proved on 28th November 1714.
  • Elizabeth, who married firstly Thomas Amory, one of the Victualers of the Navy; and secondly Charles O'Connor Kerry. Elizabeth died 13 Sep 1733 at the age of 8379.

Thus, Patrick (19th Baron) became the patriarch of an English network of FITZMAURICE families. 



I have never known of a descendant of African slaves who was named FitzMaurice but I have seen at least a half dozen who were named MacMorrice or MacMorrish. I presume that they are all descendants of the Gaelic-speaking FitzMaurice men, women, and children who were among the thousands of Irish sent as slaves, from Ireland to islands in the Caribbean, by Cromwell in the mid-17th Century. This may have been the last example of Europeans being openly sold into slavery by other Europeans. Thirteen hundred years earlier, it was a common event, as illustrated by the case of Padraig mac Calprinn (Old St. Patrick) who was enslaved together with his two sisters by Irish slavers from the fleet of King Niall circa 389 A.D.75 


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