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Thomas FitzGerald, 2nd Baron Desmond

Thomas FitzGerald, 2nd Baron Desmond Irish noble

Irish noble
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Irish noble
A.K.A. Thomas FitzGerald
Gender male
Father: Maurice FitzJohn FitzGerald
Children: Maurice FitzGerald1st Earl of DesmondThomas FitzGerald3rd Baron Desmond
Thomas FitzGerald, 2nd Baron Desmond
The details

Thomas son of Maurice, 2nd Baron of Desmond (died 1298), succeeded to the barony of Desmond, which lay in Munster, in the southwest of Ireland, in 1282. Thomas's succession followed his long minority (he did not inherit his lands until the age of 21). His father, Maurice son of John, and grandfather, John son of Thomas John FitzThomas FitzGerald died in the Battle of Callann in 1261. Tenants in-chief could not acquire their lands and title without special permission, and most likely a large fine, before the age of 21.
Alfred Webb tells us a fictional story about this baron that:
"[He] was called 'Thomas an-Apa,' or 'Thomas Simiacus,' from an incident which is thus related in the Desmond Pedigree: 'This Thomas, being in his swadling cloaths accidentally left alone in his cradle, was by an ape carryed up to the battlements of the monastery of Traly, where the little beast, to the admiration of many spectators, dandled him to and froe, whilst everyone ran with theire beds and caddows, thinking to catch the child when it should fall from the ape. But Divine Providence prevented that danger; for the ape miraculously bore away the infant, and left him in the cradle as he found him, by which accident this Thomas was ever after nicknamed from the ape.' (A similar anecdote is related of the 1st Earl of Kildare, whose family adopted as their crest two monkeys 'environed and chained.')."
In 1294, Thomas was appointed deputy justiciar, acting as Lord Justice after the death of William d'Oddingseles. He died in 1298, and was buried in the Dominican Priory of North Abbey, Youghal, which he had founded in 1268 (when he was 7?).


Marriage and issue

Thomas son of Maurice was the son of Maurice FitzJohn and Maurice's wife, Matilda, a daughter of David de Barry of Olethan, Thomas's wife was Margaret Berkeley. Their children were:

  1. Thomas FitzThomas FitzGerald, 3rd Baron Desmond
  2. Maurice FitzThomas FitzGerald, 4th Baron Desmond, later created 1st Earl of Desmond
  3. John son of Thomas, called Sir John of Athassell
  4. Joan daughter of Thomas
  • Orpen, Normans, iii, 156.
  • Robin Frame, 'Maurice FitzThomas FitzGerald', OxfordDNB

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