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My wife's ancestors - Fitzwilliam - Contents

Richard Fitzwilliam, 5th Viscount Fitzwilliam

5th Viscount, c.1710-15.
Used here with the kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Richard Fitzwilliam, 5th Viscount Fitzwilliam, of Merrion (see here and here and here),
of Co.Dublin, born c.1677.
His father was Catholic, and so was he at first.
He succ 20th Feb 1704.
He mar (settlement 26th Feb 1704) to Frances Shelley [Roman Catholic, born 15 June 1685, descendant of Fitzwilliam of England and of Edward III].

He conformed to established church 1710 so could take part in political life.
Took his seat in the Irish House of Lords 1710.

It is unclear if daughters were bapt Protestant or Catholic before he conformed 1710.
[Burkes Peerage] has a bapt date for eldest dau in 1707, which presumably is only recorded if she was bapt Protestant.
[Complete Peerage] says eldest son bapt Protestant at St. Andrew's Church, Dublin in 1711.
[Ball, vol.2, 1903] says "children" were bapt there, but this cannot be checked since St. Andrew's baptism records were burnt in the 1922 fire.
The younger sons were bapt Protestant at St. Peter's Church, Dublin in 1712-14.

Builds new seat at Mount Merrion:
The 5th Viscount abandoned Merrion Castle 1710 [Pearson, 1998].
He built a new residence, Mount Merrion House, on "Mount Merrion", the hill overlooking Merrion and Dublin Bay, in 1711.
The children grew up Mount Merrion.
[Ball, vol.2, 1903] mentions a large picture then in Mount Merrion of the three sons as boys playing in the grounds. Current location of picture unknown.
At the time of Queen Anne's death 1714, the Archbishop of Dublin, William King, was staying at Mount Merrion House working on the revision of his book.
The 5th Viscount became MP for Fowey in Jan 1727 [using [NJ] date format, at the time this was regarded as the end of 1726].
This was a "rotten borough", but in England, not Ireland, so he needed to be at the London parliament, not the Dublin parliament.

Leaves Ireland, moves to England, around 1726-27:
After centuries in Ireland, the Fitzwilliams moved to England. (Despite building a new seat in Dublin.)
The 5th Viscount moved to England around 1726-27.
He became a follower of the Prince of Wales (shortly George II). His family became favourites at Court. The Prince succ as George II in June 1727.
The Lodge at Mount Merrion was built c.1727.
They rented Mount Merrion out. See [Ball, vol.2, 1903] for an account of the successive tenants.
Frances separated from her husband c.1730. She entered a convent abroad. The fact that she entered a convent indicates that she stayed Catholic, even as her children were bapt Protestant.
5th Viscount was MP for Fowey until 1734.
He lived Thorpe, Surrey.
See his eccentric will dated 4 Oct 1742.
He died 6th June 1743, at his house, Thorpe, Surrey, age c.66 yrs.

Frances returned from abroad c.1750.
She lived to a great age. She lived to see her grandson the 10th Earl of Pembroke elope in 1762, and have an illegitimate great-grandchild, Augustus Reebkomp (born 1762).
She outlived her daughter Mary, who died 1769.
She died 11 Nov 1771, NOT 11 Dec, Old Burlington St, Mayfair, London (off Regent St, see map), age 86 yrs (NOT age 99 yrs).
She was bur 18th Nov, St.James' church, Piccadilly.
(If she stayed Catholic, how was she buried at a Protestant church?)
5th Viscount and Frances had issue:

  1. Mary Fitzwilliam,
    bapt 8 Sept 1707 [Burkes Peerage],
    Tompsett has her bapt "Hampstead, Middlesex".

  2. Frances Fitzwilliam,
    mar 23 May 1732 to George Evans, 2nd Baron Carbery and had issue,
    ancestors of Barons Carbery until 1807 (when this line died out and title went to cousins).

  1. Richard Fitzwilliam, 6th Viscount Fitzwilliam,
    bapt 24th July 1711, St. Andrew's Church, Dublin [Complete Peerage].

  2. William Fitzwilliam,
    bapt 11 July 1712, St.Peter's church, Dublin [St. Peter's CoI par records],
    or poss. 11th Sept 1712.

  3. John Fitzwilliam,
    bapt 28th Mar 1714 [St. Peter's CoI par records],
    became Lieutenant-general,
    MP for Windsor 1754-68.

Frances Shelley, 1723.
Used here with the kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Herman Moll's map of Dublin, 1714.
NAI is wrong to say this is John Speed, 1610.

5th Viscount in list of Peers of Ireland in [Watson's Almanack, 1738, p.44].
[NLI] microfilm.


The eccentric will of the 5th Viscount in 1742.
From The Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction, Volume 28, 1836, no.798, 1 Oct 1836, p.223.

Irish House of Lords

5th Viscount took his seat in the Irish House of Lords 1710.
In this period the Irish Parliament met at Chichester House on College Green (built before 1605, demolished and replaced with the new Parliament building 1729) and the Blue Coat School (built 1671, demolished and replaced in 1773).
5th Viscount moved to England around 1726-27.
The grand new Irish Houses of Parliament were built in 1729.

Tapestry of King William at the Boyne (commissioned 1728).
House of Lords chamber of the Irish Houses of Parliament (opened 1729).
Photo 2007. See larger and full size.
From Aapo Haapanen. See terms of use.
See more pictures.

College Green, Dublin. Looking from Trinity College up Dame St. 1753 or later.
Irish Houses of Parliament on RHS.
On sale here.

St.James' church, Piccadilly

St.James' church, Piccadilly, was a new parish church consecrated in 1684.
Burial place of Frances Shelley in 1771.
Heavily damaged in WW2 in 1940.
See images and interior.

St.James' church on Piccadilly (then called Portugal St) on London map of c.1705, section W5.
It is the church between "Portugal" and "Street".
See modern satellite view and street view.

St.James' church, Piccadilly.
Photo 2012. See full size.

St.Andrew's church

The 6th Viscount was bapt 1711 at St.Andrew's Church, Dublin.
It is possible that Mary Fitzwilliam was bapt here too in 1707.
This was the old St.Andrew's church, built 1670, called "The Round Church", where St.Andrew St meets Suffolk St.

St.Andrew's church marked in blue on John Rocque's map of Dublin, 1757.
See original.

St.Andrew's church on hand-coloured John Rocque map of Dublin, 1756.
On the E side of it is the Earl of Kildare's old town house.

St. Andrew's Church on 1829 to 1842 map.
It burnt down 1860, replaced by a new church on same site. See 1887 to 1913 map.
The new church is now a tourist office.

St.Peter's church

The younger children were bapt 1712-14 at St. Peter's Church, Aungier St, Dublin.
This was built 1685.

St.Peter's church marked in blue on John Rocque's map of Dublin, 1757.
See original.

St.Peter's church on 1829 to 1842 map.
It was totally re-built 1867. See 1887 to 1913 map.
See 1950s photo and 1973 photo and 1973 photo.
It was demolished 1982 and is now totally gone.

William Fitzwilliam, 1775.
Portrait by Thomas Gainsborough.
Used here with the kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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