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Edmund Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy (15 May 1885 – 8 July 1955) was a British Conservative Party politician, an Irish peer and the maternal grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy
Maurice Roche 2163448066 13967c95e5 o EDIT.jpg
Edmund Maurice Burke Roche

(1885-05-15)15 May 1885
Chelsea, London
Died8 July 1955(1955-07-08) (aged 70)
EducationHarvard University
Known forMaternal grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales
Title4th Baron Fermoy
Predecessor3rd Baron Fermoy
Successor5th Baron Fermoy
Spouse(s)Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy
ChildrenMary Cynthia Roche
Frances Shand Kydd
Edmund Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy
Parent(s)James Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy
Frances Ellen Work
RelativesDiana, Princess of Wales (granddaughter)


Life and careerEdit

Roche was born on 15 May 1885 in Chelsea, London, the elder of twin sons of the Hon. James Roche (later Baron Fermoy) and his American wife, Frances Ellen Work.[1]

He was educated at Harvard University and graduated in 1909.[2] He returned to England on succeeding to his father's Irish peerage in 1920.[3] He was a naturalized American citizen but resumed British nationality following his succession to the title.[2]

He rented Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk from the royal family. At the 1924 general election, he contested and won the local parliamentary constituency, King's Lynn, holding the seat until he stood down at the 1935 general election.[3] He was also elected the town's mayor in 1931.[4]

On 17 September 1931, Lord Fermoy married Ruth Sylvia Gill, the youngest daughter of Col. William Gill, at St. Devenick’s, Bieldside, Aberdeenshire[1] and they had three children:

Lord Fermoy joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 at the start of World War II but when the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for King’s Lynn was killed on active service in 1943, he resigned his commission and stood for re-election. He retired from politics when Parliament was dissolved for the 1945 general election.[3]

Lord Fermoy collapsed in a shop at King’s Lynn, Norfolk in June 1955 and died three weeks later.[3] He was succeeded by his only son.


His life was the subject of the book Lilac Days, by Gavan Naden and Maxine Riddington (HarperCollins (ISBN 0-00-719863-9)), where it was claimed he had a 30-year affair with an American, Edith Travis.


  1. ^ a b 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
  2. ^ a b "Queen heads lists guests at wedding". The Montreal Gazette. Montreal. 1 June 1954. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d The Times, 9 July 1955; p. 8 col. D
  4. ^ The Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit