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Friday, June 11, 2010

Gearóid Óg (Young Gerald) - The 9th Earl of Kildare

Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare

In 1513, he inherited the title of Earl of Kildare and he also served as Lord Deputy of Ireland. He died on the 2 September 1534.

In 1496, he was detained by Henry VII at his court as a hostage for his father's fidelity. In April 1502, at the age of 15, he played the principal role in the funeral ceremony for Henry VII's eldest son Arthur, Prince of Wales in Worcester Cathedral.

In 1503, he was soon after permitted to return to Ireland. Next year lie was appointed Lord High Treasurer. In August 1504, he commanded the reserve at the battle of Knocktuagh, where his rashness and impetuosity were the cause of some loss. On the death of his father in 1513 he succeeded to the title, and was by the council chosen Lord-Justice. Henry VIII soon afterwards appointed him Lord-Deputy.

Some of the Irish chiefs at the end of 1513 having ravaged parts of the Pale, the Earl, early in the following year, defeated O'More and his followers in Leix, and then, marching north, took the Castle of Cavan, killed O'Reilly, chased his followers into the bogs, and returned to Dublin laden with booty. This energetic action was so highly approved by the King that he granted the Earl the customs of the ports in the County of Down - rights repurchased by the Crown from the 17th Earl in 1662. In 1516 the Earl invaded Imayle, and sent the head of Shane O'Toole as a present to the Lord Mayor of Dublin. He then marched into Ely O'Carroll, in conjunction with his brother-in-law the Earl of Ormond, and James, son of the Earl of Desmond. They captured and razed the Castle of Lemyvannan, took Clonmel, and in December he returned to Dublin " aden with booty, hostages, and honour."

In March 1517, he called a parliament in Dublin, and then invaded Ulster, stormed the Dundrum Castle, marched into Tyrone, and took, "and so reduced Ireland to a quiet condition." On the 6 October of the same year his Countess died at Lucan, County Dublin, and was buried at Kilcullen. Next year, 1518, his enemies having accused him of maladministration, he appointed a deputy and sailed for England. He was removed from the government, and the Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk appointed in his stead. He appears to have accompanied the King to France in June 1520, and was present at "the Field of the Cloth of Gold", where he was distinguished by his bearing and retinue. On this occasion he met the King's first cousin, Lady Elizabeth Grey, whom he married a few months afterwards, and thereby gained considerable influence at court.

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