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Fitzgerald, Gerald, 8th earl of Kildare

Fitzgerald, Gerald, 8th earl of Kildare [I] (c.1457–1513). Fitzgerald's father, the 7th earl, was a prominent Yorkist and deputy to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland on several occasions. Fitzgerald succeeded to the title in 1477 when he was about 20. He was continued as deputy by Edward IV, Richard III, and Henry VII, and since the lord-lieutenant was often a nominal appointment, was effectively ruler of Ireland. In 1487 he and his brother Thomas supported Lambert Simnel: the earl is said to have crowned him in Dublin and Thomas Fitzgerald was killed fighting for him at Stoke. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald gained a pardon. In 1494, suspected of conspiracy with Warbeck, he was attainted, but once more pardoned and reappointed deputy in 1496. In 1505 he was given the Garter, and Henry VIII continued him in his post. Fitzgerald was killed in a skirmish at Lemyvanna, King's County. A member of one of the great Norman/Irish families, much of his time was devoted to subduing the native Irish and the indulgence shown him by Henry VII suggests the strength of the Kildare position in the Pale.

J. A. Cannon

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