Fitzgerald, Maurice Fitzmaurice (DNB00)

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FITZGERALD, MAURICE Fitzmaurice (1238?–1277?), justiciar of Ireland, was the son and heir of Maurice Fitzgerald (d. 1257) [q. v.], the justiciar (Sweetman, vol. ii. No. 563). His mother is said to have been Juliana de Cogan (Earls of Kildare, p. 15). Being still a minor at his father's death he was claimed as the ward of Margaret de Quinci, countess of Lincoln, the widow of Walter Marshall, of whom the elder Maurice had held the barony of Offaly (Sweetman, vol. ii. No. 563; Doyle, ii. 376, iii. 7; Dugdale, i. 102, 607). He had perhaps come of age two years later (7 Nov. 1259), when he was granted Athlone Castle and the shrievalty of Connaught (Sweetman, vol. ii. No. 631). Next year he was defeated in an expedition against Conor O'Brian at Coill-Berrain in Munster, but succeeded in plundering the O'Donnells, who retaliated on Cairpre (Carbery, co. Sligo) in North Ireland (Loch Cé, pp. 435-7; Ann. Four Masters, sub an.) He led another expedition against Brian Ruadh O'Brien in 1272 or 1273. For the expenses of this campaign he received a hundred marks; and it was perhaps on this occasion that he borrowed from the Dublin citizens the 86l. 19s. which they asked the king to repay in June 1275. This expedition of 1273 was a success, and, according to the Irish annals, Maurice 'took hostages and obtained sway over the O'Briens' (Sweetman, ii. 170, No. 1139; Loch Cé, p. 473). He is said on this occasion to have been aided by Theobald Butler (Ware, from Earls of Kildare, p. 16; but cf. Ware, ed. 1705, pp. 57-8).

Fitzgerald was summoned to England in 1262, and in 1264 was ordered to secure for the young Earl of Gloucester seisin of his Irish lands. The new justiciar, Richard de Rochelle (1261-c. May 1265), was at feud with the Geraldines, and within a short time the island was in arms (Dowling, p. 16; Campion p. 77; Grace, p. 37; Hanmer, ii. 401-402; Clyn, p. 8; Earls of Kildare, p. 16). The quarrel extended to the De Burghs, and in 1264 Maurice took the justiciar Theobald Butler and John Cogan prisoners, and incarcerated the former at his castle of Leigh (Annals of Ireland, ii. 290; Grace, p. 37; Book of Howth, p. 323). With the justiciar it is said that Walter de Burgh, earl of Ulster, was also taken (Earls of Kildare, p. 16). But this statement seems due to a confusion with the reported action in 1294 of Fitzgerald's nephew, John Fitzthomas, first earl of Kildare [q. v.] Next year he and his nephew, Maurice Fitzgerald [see Fitzgerald, Maurice, d. 1257, ad fin.], on whose behalf the feud with the De Burghs may have originated, received royal letters exhorting them to peace; in April 1266 he was twice granted letters of protection to England (Sweetman, Nos. 727, 795, 798). About August 1272 he was appointed justiciar of Ireland in the place of James Audeley. On Henry III's death he was renewed in the office and received the oaths of succession from the Irish nobles to the new king. About August 1273 he was supplanted by Geoffrey de Geneville (ib. vol. ii. Nos. 924, 927, &c.; Rymer, ii. 2). According to the Earl of Kildare, quoting from Ware, in 1273 'he invaded Offaly, but was betrayed by his own people into the hands of the O'Conors' (Earls of Kildare, p. 16, but cf. Ware, p. 57). With this may be connected a later statement that about 23 Aug. 1273 he was deprived of part of the barony of Offaly. But this story seems altogether erroneous. Fitzmaurice, although often reckoned one of the Barons Offaly, never held the barony, which passed on his father's death in 1257 to his nephew (son of his elder brother Gerald) Maurice (d. 1268), and thence to Maurice's eon Gerald Fitzmaurice. The latter Gerald was attacked by the native Irish in 1285, and it is probably this incident which has found its way disguisedly into our Fitzmaurice's biography [see Fitzgerald, Maurice, d. 1257 ? ad fin.] An entry in the Irish treasury accounts of 1276-7 shows that he led an expedition to Glendory (Glenmalure, co. Wicklow). On 24 July 1276 he was ordered to England to do fealty for his wife's inheritance (Sweetman, ii. 258, Nos. 1249, 1321-2; cf. Clyn, p. 9; Cox, p. 73). Later in the same year (1277) he accompanied his son-in-law against Brian Ruadh O'Brien, king of Thomond. Brian was taken prisoner and beheaded; but a little later the two kinsmen were besieged in Slow-Banny, and reduced to such straits that they had to give hostages for their lives and yield up the castle of Roscommon (Hanmer, ii. 406; Ware, p. 58; Cox, p. 73; Earls of Kildare, pp. 16, 17; cf. Loch Cé, i. 481; Annals of Ireland, p. 318). Maurice is said to have died shortly after (1277) at Ross (Earls of Kildare, p. 17; cf. SSweetman, vol. ii. No. 1527).

Maurice Fitzmaurice married Emelina, daughter and heiress of Emelina de Riddlesford, the wife of Hugh de Lacy (d. 1242), and Stephen Longsword (Abbrev. Plac. p. 227; Sweetman, vol. ii. No. 1249,vol. iii. No. 1028; Dugdale, Monast. vi. 443; Matt. Paris, iv. 232). This Emelina was probably born c. 1252 A.D. (Cal. Gen. i. 236). He is wrongly said to have been succeeded by a son Gerald Fitzmaurice, an assertion due to a confusion noted under Maurice Fitzgerald (d. 1257?) (Earls of Kildare, p. 18; Sainthill, ii. 47; cf. Clyn, p. 10). He left two daughters : (1) Juliana, who married Thomas de Clare (d. 1286), brother of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, and, secondly, Adam de Cretinge (Cal. Gen. i. 448, ii. 431; Sweetman, vol. ii. No. 2210, vol. iii. Nos. 940, 1142; Clyn, p. 40); (2) Amabilia, who seems to have died unmarried, and to have enfeoffed her cousin, John Fitzthomas [q. v.], of part of her estates (Sweetman, vol. iii. No. 940; Earls of Kildare, p. 17).

In the complicated genealogy of the Geraldines, some of the entries ascribed to this Maurice Fitzmaurice properly belong to his nephew Maurice Fitzgerald (d. 1268), who is noticed under Maurice Fitzgerald II (1194 ?-1257).

[See authorities cited in text. For editions and value of the various chroniclers see Maurice Fitzgerald II.]

T. A. A.