FITZGERALD (FITZGARRETT, GARRETT, TARRAT), Edward (1529-90), of Stanwell, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 1529, yr. s. of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset. m. aft. 1550, Agnes, da. and coh. of Sir John Leigh of Stockwell, Surr., wid. of Sir Thomas Paston† of Norf., 4s. at least 2da.
Gent. pens. by 1549, lt. of gent. pens. by 1558; j.p. Mdx. by 1554, q. by 1559, commr. musters by 1576; steward, manor of Woking by 1585.1
Like his sister Elizabeth, immortalised by Surrey as ‘the fair Geraldine’, Fitzgerald was probably born at Maynooth castle. In 1534, when his father was executed, he was in England and subsequently lived with his mother at Beaumanor, Leicestershire, the home of his uncle Lord Leonard Grey. While he was still a youth, he and his sister found places in Princess Mary’s household at Hunsdon, and later his mother’s friends are said to have promoted his career at court and subsequent preferment as lieutenant of the gentlemen pensioners. Edward VI granted him an annuity of £40, which was renewed by Mary, and Fitzgerald retained his place under Elizabeth, receiving wages of £25 a quarter by 1584.2
Fitzgerald undertook a variety of duties on behalf of the Crown. In October 1569 he was ordered to escort the Duke of Norfolk to Paul Wentworth’s house at Burnham, Buckinghamshire. Four years later he was sent to Ireland to arrange a private meeting with his relative, the Earl of Desmond. Much to Elizabeth’s displeasure, the mission was botched.3
Returned, as Edward Garrett, to the Parliament of 1563 for Great Grimsby, through the efforts of his brother-in-law Lord Clinton (from 1572 Earl of Lincoln) who wrote to the town on his behalf, Fitzgerald is not named in the known proceedings of the House. He may however have been the ‘Mr. Gare’ who was named to the committee of the bill against ‘great hosen’, 14 May 1571. In this and the next Parliament he was returned for Lichfield, probably by the Earl of Leicester. Fitzgerald named his second son Dudley, and his daughter Lettice married Ambrose Coppinger, who served Leicester’s brother, the Earl of Warwick.4
Besides his Stanwell estate, Fitzgerald owned property in Gloucestershire, which he alienated in 1564. His wife, a substantial heiress with property in Dorset, Somerset, Surrey and elsewhere, succeeded to her inheritance in 1566. Some of these lands were sold soon afterwards, but in 1581 Fitzgerald added to his estate by acquiring a lease of Twickenham park. Some time before that date he had paid the large sum of £235 6s. 8d. for the wardship of Edward Preston. Yet by the time of his death nine years later, he was ruined, perhaps by the extravagance of his son and heir Gerald, later 14th Earl of Kildare. Fitzgerald was driven to mortgage Stanwell to his son-in-law Coppinger, and borrowed £200 from his daughter Elizabeth, one of the Queen’s maids of honour, a sum which he was quite unable to repay. His will, made 1 Aug. 1585, was proved 15 May 1590. As ‘a mystical member of the body of Christ’, he commended his soul into the hands of the Holy Trinity and looked for everlasting salvation. He asked to be buried in Stanwell parish church near his wife and, in discharge of his conscience ‘both to God and to the world’, bequeathed all his goods, chattels, leases and movables towards the payment of his debts. From any residue, his sons Dudley and Thomas were to receive annuities of £20 apiece. His heir and Coppinger were appointed executors, and his sister, the Countess of Lincoln, supervisor.5
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Lodge, Irish Peerage, i. 97, 99; CP, vii. 240-1; APC, vi. 364; xiii. 303; Stowe 571, f. 31v; Lansd. 3, f. 197; 56, f. 168 seq.; CPR, 1553-4, p. 21; 1555-7, p. 256; E315/309, f. 58v.
- 2. J. Graves, Brief Memoir of the Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald (1874), 7; Lodge, i. 99; DNB (Fitzgerald, Elizabeth); CPR, 1550-3, p. 174; 1555-7, p. 256; E407/1/16.
- 3. HMC Hatfield, i. 425, 427-9; Cal. Carew Pprs. 453-4, 457, 463, 473; CSP Ire. 1574-85, pp. 2-4, 6-7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 17, 20, 28; R. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, ii. 264-7.
- 4. HMC 14th Rep. VIII, 256; D’Ewes, 183.
- 5. CPR, 1563-6, pp. 166, 525; 1566-9, pp. 45, 96; Lysons, Environs of London, iii. 564; PRO Index 10217 (1); CSP Ire. 1574-85, pp. 39, 41, 353; PCC 28 Drury; APC, xix. 274-5.