Thomas FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Kildare
Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Kildare (c. 1421 – 25 March 1477), was an Irish peer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
Background↑Jump back a section
Kildare was Lord Justice of Ireland in 1454 and between 1461 and 1470. In circa 1463 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, a post he held until 1468. By decree of Edward IV of England he held the title of Lord Chancellor for life and continued receiving the salary of the position and exercising some of its influence until his death in 1477.
Thomas was young when he succeeded his father. He was appointed lord deputy to the Lieutenant Richard Plantagenet Duke of York in 1455. Thomas suceeeded in making an Irish parliament a reality, he assembled parliament four times and got legislative independence in 1460 (assembled) at Drogheda). He was Justisciar until 1462. Both Thomas and his cousin Thomas Earl of Desmond were reasonable and civilized men and ruled Ireland patriotically. They were joint leaders of the patriot and home rule party, The Earl of Desmond attempted to found a university at Drogheda but failed. In 1468 boh Desmond and Kildare were attainted and their lands forfeited and Desmond was beheaded at Drogheda on 14/2/1468 at the age of 42, Kildare was more fortunate he escaped to England and that same year his attainder was reversed. Thomas became deputy under Duke of Clarence from 1470 until his death in 1477. The Earl's of Kildare were for the next 60 year in supremacy once more, the Desmond's though became completely Gaelised and fought with great enmity against the English
Kildare married firstly Dorothy O More the daughter of Owny O More Chief of Leix with whom he got an annulment so that he could marry his kinswoman the Lady Joan, daughter of James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond.
"Others alledge that Thomas the 7th Earl of Kildare before he came to the Earldom was first married to Dorothy, daughter of Owny or Anthony O’More, Lord of Leix, by whom he had one son called John, but after he attained the Earldom, he turned off and repudiated the said Dorothy and sent her home to her father, which was so highly resented by him that he resolved a severe revenge; and to that end having got together a strong party of his relatives and followers he burnt and destroyed the Earls houses and preyed on all his tenants in the county of Kildare, which although upon a private quarrel, the Earl declared traitors and as such prosecuted till they were all cut off and their estates forfeited. However they said John put aside from his right as eldest son, yet was ancestor to a great many worthy families of the name."
Their children included:
from the first marriage with Dorothy O More
- John known also as Shane FitzGerald of Osberstown
and from the 2nd marriage with Lady Joan FitzGerald
- Sir Thomas FitzGerald of Laccagh, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, killed at the Battle of Stoke
- Sir James FitzGerald
- Lady Eleanor FitzGerald d. 14 Nov 1497 - married Conn More O'Neill, King of Ulster 
- Lady Anne FitzGerald
- Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare.
Kildare died in March 1477.
- thepeerage.com Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Kildare
- Lady Eleanor FitzGerald at thePeerage.com
The Earl of Worcester
|Lord Chancellor of Ireland
|Peerage of Ireland|
John FitzMaurice FitzGerald
|Earl of Kildare