Thomas Fitzgerald 10th earl of Kildare

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Fitzgerald, Thomas, 10th earl of Kildare [I] (1513–37). In 1534 Fitzgerald's father, the 9th earl, was recalled as lord deputy to England and imprisoned in the Tower in disgrace. Fitzgerald, then Lord Offaly, had been appointed deputy by his father. He began with a show of defiance to Henry VIII which developed into open revolt, declaring that the king was a heretic and that all Englishmen were to leave Ireland at once. In the course of the rising the archbishop of Dublin was murdered, probably with Fitzgerald's participation. Had the revolt received foreign assistance, it could have been formidable. In September 1534 his father died and Fitzgerald succeeded to the earldom. William Skeffington's relief army arrived in October, took Fitzgerald's stronghold at Maynooth, killed the garrison, and shattered the revolt. Fitzgerald surrendered, on promise of life, was sent to London, and there executed in 1537 with five of his uncles. The breach of surrender terms caused anger in Ireland, but the execution of a government official guilty of rebellion and atrocity hardly surprised many Tudor Englishmen.

J. A. Cannon