FITZGERALD, Augustine (?1765-1834), of Carrigoran, co. Clare.
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Family and Education
b. ?1765, 1st s. of Col. Edward Fitzgerald, MP [I], of Carrigoran by Rachel, da. of Standish Grady of Elton. educ. Trinity, Dublin 23 Nov. 1781, aged 16. m. 15 Feb. 1796, Elizabeth, da. of William Barton of Grove, co. Tipperary, s.p. cr. Bt. 18 Dec. 1821.
Ensign 8 Ft. 1785, lt. 1790, capt. 1791; capt. 5 Ft. 1791; maj. (half-pay) 117 Ft. 1795, brevet lt.-col. 1800, col. 1810, maj.-gen. 1813, lt.-gen. 1825.
Lt.-col. co. Clare militia 1803-d.
After a relatively brief and uneventful army career, Fitzgerald was returned for county Clare on the interest of the Marquess of Conyngham, who proved to be his patron throughout this period. The general expectation was that he would therefore follow Conyngham’s lead and support government, and in this the Castle was not unduly disappointed. He supported Catholic emancipation, opposed the Regency bill (no doubt because of Conyngham’s friendship with the Prince of Wales) and voted against government on the sinecures bill, 4 May 1812, but otherwise, when present, voted with ministers. He voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. His only known speech, 20 May 1811, on the Irish budget, was in defence of the conduct of government towards Ireland.
At the general election of 1812 he was once again returned with Conyngham’s support, but in circumstances which, through no fault of his own, led to the defeat of the chancellor of the Irish exchequer. Fitzgerald had reminded government of a promise of church preferment for his brother Henry, made when Sir Arthur Wellesley was chief secretary. The viceroy’s reaction was sour:
As to Col. Fitzgerald’s application for church preferment for his brother, I think he should recollect that he has been in decided opposition since the former application and that since he has explained his intentions to support he was assisted by us in his election against the chancellor of the exchequer and that another brother has got 500 a year beside a small office given a few days [ago] to his recommendation.
There was no change, however, in his parliamentary conduct, which continued to be governed by a silent support of Catholic emancipation (except on 24 May 1813) and of Liverpool’s government, from which he was soon receiving circulars requesting his attendance in Parliament.
In April 1817 Fitzgerald privately divulged that he would not stand at the next election ‘in consequence of the fatigue and labour of attending Parliament, and the expense of elections, etc.’: he would have faced a coalition against him, had he stood, in 1818. He remained out of the House until 1832. Fitzgerald died 4 Dec. 1834.
Add. 40181, f. 142; 40185, ff. 160-1; 40221, ff. 15-42; 40224, f. 322; 40227, ff. 181, 333; 40231, f. 206; 40285, ff. 75, 125; 40293, f. 82; NLI mss 7853, pp. 165-6, Sampson to Vesey Fitzgerald, 23 Apr. 1817.