Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/228

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FitzGerald
FitzPatrick
216

including the Fenian conspirators, Luby, O'Donovan Rossa, and others, in 1865 and 1866; Alexander Martin Sullivan [q. v.] and Richard Pigott [q. v.] for seditious libel in 1868; Charles Stewart Parnell [q. v.] and others in December 1880 and January 1881 (14 Cox, C.C. 508). His statement of the law of criminal conspiracy in the last-mentioned case, and in relation to undue clerical influence in the Longford election case (2 O'Malley and Hardcastle 6), has been generally accepted and followed in subsequent cases. In 1882 he was appointed a lord of appeal with a life peerage, patent dated 23 June 1882, took his seat in the House of Lords on 27 June 1882, and was sworn of the English privy council. He was the first Irish judge to be appointed a lord of appeal, and his appointment was received with general approval in Ireland. On the occasion of his sitting for the last time in the court of queen's bench, congratulatory addresses were presented to him by the Irish bar and the Irish Incorporated Law Society. Thenceforward he sat constantly in the House of Lords and judicial committee of the privy council. He also took part from time to time in the debates in the House of Lords, especially on subjects relating to Ireland, where his intimate knowledge of the country and moderation of his views gave weight to his opinion. His judgments will be found in 'Appeal Cases,' vols. vii-xiv. In 1883 he was elected an honorary bencher of Gray's Inn. On the death of Sir Edward Sullivan [q. v.] in 1885 FitzGerald was offered the lord chancellorship of Ireland with an hereditary peerage, which he at first accepted, but, on further consideration, declined. He died on 16 Oct. 1889, at the residence of his brother, 22 FitzAVilliam Place, Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, near Dublin.

As a judge FitzGerald enjoyed a high reputation. 'No fairer minded, abler, or more independent man sat upon the Irish bench' (Lord Selbourne, Memorials, ii. ii. 18). Thoroughly versed in law and practice quick of apprehension, appreciating legal distinctions, with a facility for grasping and dealing with facts, by temperament calm and judicial, he possessed the combination of qualities of which successful judges are made. He took a great interest in Irish educational matters, was a commissioner of national education, 1863 to 1889, a visitor of the queen's colleges, and a governor of the Royal Hibernian Military School. In 1870 the university of Dublin conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D.

FitzGerald married, first, in 1846, Rose, youngest daughter of John Donohoe of Dublin, distiller (she died 1850); and, secondly, in 1860, Jane, second daughter of Lieutenant-colonel the Honourable Arthur Southwell, and sister of the fourth Viscount Southwell. He had thirteen children, all of whom survived him; his three eldest sons are barristers, and have all attained the rank of K.C., two in Ireland and one in England.

[Times, 17 Oct. 1889; Irish Times. 17 Oct. 1889; Dublin Evening Mail, 17 Oct. 1889; Irish Law Times, 19 Oct. 1889; Annual Register, 1889; O'Flanagan's Munster Circuit, 1880; Trials of Thomas Clarke Luby and others for Treason-Felony, Dublin, 1866; Trials of A. M. Sullivan and Richard Pigott for seditious libel by T. P. Law, Dublin, 1868; Gray's Inn Admission Register; private informntion.]

J. D. F.

FITZPATRICK, WILLIAM JOHN (1830–1895), Irish biographer, was born at Thomas Street, Dublin, on 31 Aug. 1830. His father, John FitzPatrick, was a successful merchant or trader who left his son a competence. FitzPatrick was educated first at a protestant school, and later at Clongowes Wood College, co. Kildare, the well-known Roman catholic seminary. He early displayed a taste for recondite and somewhat morbid investigation into the secret history of eminent personages. In 1855 appeared his first book, 'The Life, Times, and Contemporaries of Lord Cloncurry;' the style was 'puerile, involved, and turgid,' revealing a defect which the author never overcame. But his next book, 'The Life and Times of Bishop Doyle' (1861), was much more successful, and, besides giving a vivid picture of a powerful personality, it provides a useful contribution to Irish nineteenth-century history.

On 3 Nov. 1855 FitzPatrick commenced a series of letters to 'Notes and Queries,' 'Who wrote the Waverley Novels ?' It was a weak attempt to foster a charge of unacknowledged plagiarism on Sir Walter Scott, and to claim for the novelist's brother, Thomas Scott, the chief credit for a large part of the famous Waverley series; but after four letters had appeared, the editor declined to publish any more. FitzPatrick continued to pursue his theory with pertinacity, and in 1856 published his material as a pamphlet. It reached a second edition in the same year. His hopeless claim in behalf of Thomas Scott was repudiated in a letter to the 'Times' of 5 June 1857 by the three daughters of that gentleman. In 1859 FitzPatrick published 'The Friends, Foes, and Adventures of Lady Morgan,' and in 1860 'Lady Morgan, her Career, Literary