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James Boothby Burke Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy (28 July 1851 – 30 October 1920)[1] was an Irish peer and a Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons. He was the great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.


The Lord Fermoy
Member of Parliament
for Kerry East
In office
1896 – 1900
Preceded byMichael Davitt
Succeeded byJohn Murphy
Personal details
Born
James Boothby Burke Roche

(1851-07-28)28 July 1851
Twyford Abbey, Middlesex
Died30 October 1920(1920-10-30) (aged 69)
Artillery Mansions, Westminster, London
Political partyAnti-Parnellite Nationalist
Spouse(s)
Frances Ellen Work
(m. 1880; div. 1891)
ChildrenEileen Roche
Cynthia Roche
Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy
Francis Roche
ParentsEdmond Roche, 1st Baron Fermoy
Eliza Caroline Boothby
Known forGreat-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales

Contents

Early lifeEdit

He was born at Twyford Abbey, Middlesex in 1851, the son of Edmond Roche, 1st Baron Fermoy, and his wife Eliza Caroline née Boothby.[2] He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.[3]

CareerEdit

In 1896, he stood as an Anti-Parnellite Nationalist candidate in the Kerry East by-election for a seat in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Nationalists had split into two factions after the party leader, Charles Stewart Parnell was named as co-respondent in a divorce. Roche was supported initially by both the Parnellites and the Anti-Parnellites, until it was revealed that he was himself divorced. During the campaign, Roche denied publicly that he knew of the divorce or that he had deserted his wife and children.[4] Although he went on to win the seat, the opposing Unionist candidate gained the highest vote ever recorded for a Unionist candidate in Kerry East.[5] He served one term and did not stand in the following general election in 1900.

Personal lifeEdit

He visited the United States where he met the heiress Frances Ellen Work (1857–1947). Shortly thereafter on 22 September 1880, they married at Christ Church, New York City. The marriage was not a success and they separated in December 1886. She was granted a divorce on the grounds of desertion on 3 March 1891 at Wilmington, Delaware.[6][7] Together, they had four children, twin sons and two daughters:

In 1899, he sued his ex-wife[9] with a Writ of Habeas Corpus to produce their daughter in Court, stating that she was depriving "the child of her liberty."[10] The case was settled out of Court shortly thereafter.[11]

On 1 September 1920, he succeeded his brother as Baron Fermoy. Just two months later he died at Artillery Mansions, Westminster, London aged 68. He was buried at St. Marylebone Cemetery in East Finchley on 3 November 1920.[12]

DescendantsEdit

Through his son Maurice, Roche was the great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. His daughter, Cynthia, is the matrilineal great-grandmother of American actor Oliver Platt.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Born 28 July 1851 and baptised 10 Sep 1851 in West Twyford
  2. ^ Williamson, D The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) p. 281-282
  3. ^ "Roche, the Hon. James Boothby Burke (RC870JB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ The Times (London) Saturday, 28 March 1896, p. 13 col. E
  5. ^ The Times (London), Monday, 30 March 1896; p. 7 col. F
  6. ^ The Times (London) Friday, 27 March 1896, p. 7 col. F
  7. ^ "A CELEBRATED SUIT ENDED; MRS. FRANCES BURKE-ROCHE IS GRANTED A DIVORCE. THE DECREE GIVES HER CUSTODY OF HER CHILDREN AND TAXES COSTS UPON THE HUSBAND -- ORDERS ISSUE IN TWO OTHER NOTABLE CASES". The New York Times. 4 March 1891. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. I p. 1414
  9. ^ "BURKE ROCHE IN TROUBLE.; Irish Nationalist Member Who Married Miss Work of New York". The New York Times. 17 July 1897. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  10. ^ "BURKE-ROCHE GETS A WRIT; He Obtains an Order for the Production of His Daughter. ALLEGES SHE IS DETAINED The Father Charges that His ex-Wife, Who Was Miss Fannie Work, Deprives the Child of Her Liberty". The New York Times. 21 May 1899. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. ^ "THE BURKE ROCHE CASE; The Matter Has Been Satisfactorily Settled Out of Court. FATHER TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER An Agreement Reached Between the Parties in the Suit and the Writ of Habeas Corpus Dismissed". The New York Times. 30 June 1899. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ Cokayne, G. E., Gibbs, Vicary and Doubleday, H. A. The Complete Peerage: Volume V (St. Catherine Press, London, 1926) p. 303
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Davitt
Member of Parliament for Kerry East
18961900
Succeeded by
John Murphy
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward Roche
Baron Fermoy
September–October 1920
Succeeded by
Maurice Roche