Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Fitzwilliam - Contents

Thomas Fitzwilliam, 1st Viscount Fitzwilliam

Thomas Fitzwilliam, 1st Viscount Fitzwilliam,
of Merrion,
born 1581, Catholic.
See wikipedia and genealogics.
His father died 1595. He succ to Merrion Castle.
He entered Gray's Inn in London as a law student c.1602.
See the "riding of the bounds" of Dublin in 1603.

He mar 23 Aug 1605 to Margaret Plunkett [descendant of Edward III].
Knighted 23 Aug 1608.
[Ball, vol.2, 1903] tells of an incident in 1608 when the Lord Deputy's messenger delivered an order to the hall door of Merrion Castle, "and how on returning to town he met Lord Fitzwilliam at the cross roads at St. Stephen's Green riding home with his wife and eight attendants".
Sheriff of Co.Dublin 1609.
He was cr Baron Fitzwilliam of Thorncastle and Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion on 5 Aug 1629 by Charles I. Letters patent is in Wilton House.
Took his seat in the Irish House of Lords 14 July 1634.

Royalist in Irish Confederate Wars 1641 to 1653:
He was loyal to Charles I during English Civil War (the Irish Confederate Wars 1641 to 1653).
Loyal to the crown in rebellion of 1641.
Merrion Castle and Baggotrath were garrisoned with soldiers to defend Dublin.
The government forces leader Simon Harcourt, who was mortally wounded by a sniper on 26 Mar 1642 while fighting the rebels at Carrickmines Castle, Co.Dublin, was taken to Merrion Castle where he died on 27 March 1642.
Merrion Castle was overrun by the rebels in June 1642.
He was cr Earl of Warrington by Charles I, 1 May 1645, but it was not upheld. This letters patent is in Wilton House.
Merrion Castle was taken and was garrisoned by the Parliamentarians as at 1648.
Baggotrath Castle was destroyed 1649 in the Royalist-Parliamentarian fighting leading to the Battle of Rathmines of 2 August 1649. 1st Duke of Ormonde and 1st Earl of Inchiquin were Royalist commanders.
The Royalist defeat at Baggotrath and Rathmines was a crucial point in the end to resistance to Cromwell in Ireland. See [Ball, vol.2, 1903].
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland complete 1653.
1st Viscount was outlawed in Ireland under the Parliamentarians. He did not live to see the Restoration.

[Down Survey, 1655-58] shows Lord Fitzwilliam of Merrion, Irish Papist, as owner of Merrion and Simmonscourt and Owenstown. This refers to him rather than his son since his son is referred to as Col. Oliver Fitzwilliam.
He died c.1655, age c.74 yrs.
1st Viscount and Margaret had issue:

  1. Oliver Fitzwilliam, 1st Earl of Tyrconnel,
    and 2nd Viscount Fitzwilliam.

  2. William Fitzwilliam, 3rd Viscount Fitzwilliam,
    born est c.1610.

1st Viscount in [Complete Peerage].
This confuses Merrion with Mount Merrion.


Uncertain portraits


Identified in [Ball, vol.2, 1903] as 1st Viscount, by Cornelius Johnson.
But Fitzwilliam Museum now says "Portrait of a man" by unknown.
Portrait c.1625.
Used here with the kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Identified in [Ball, vol.2, 1903] as Margaret Plunkett, by Cornelius Johnson.
But Fitzwilliam Museum now says "Portrait of a woman" by unknown.
Portrait c.1625.
Used here with the kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

The "riding of the bounds" of Dublin in 1603

Dublin city officials rode in procession around the bounds of the city in 1603.
When they came to Merrion Castle, the seat of Thomas Fitzwilliam (not yet Viscount), they discovered that the path through the grounds of Merrion Castle, formerly passable, was now blocked. They rode around it.


Dublin city officials ride in procession around the bounds of the city in 1603.
They rode to Merrion chapel.
They then came to the grounds of Merrion Castle. They arrived at "the south-west corner of the orchard ditch of Merrion, through which corner the elder [fathers] of the city said that of old time they did ride. And now for that the same was so strongly fenced with trees and thorns, which, in favour of the gentleman of the house of Merrion [Thomas Fitzwilliam], being the city tenant, they would loathly break down, they rode a little besides it".

Gray's Inn, London

Gray's Inn has been repeatedly re-built since Fitzwilliam's time.
It had to be re-built after bombing in WW2.
See satellite view.

Gray's Inn in 1591.
See full size.
From here.

Gray's Inn in 1677.
See full size.
From here.

Dublin in 1610

John Speed's map of Dublin, 1610. View from S.
From Wikimedia Commons.
See also colour version (printed 1896).

Copy of Speed's 1610 map that appears as an insert on John Rocque's map of Dublin, 1757.
This map is an insert in Dublin Bay on Rocque's map.
Confusingly, he overlays it with the depth figures he notes for the water, which all have a dot after them.
See larger.

The Battle of Rathmines, 1649

The Battle of Rathmines, 1649.
From here.

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