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  • ID: I08979
  • Name: Gerald FITZMAURICE , 3rd Earl Desmond 1
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: 3rd Earl of /Desmond/, Gerald FitzMaurice
  • Name: Gearoid IARLA , the Irish Poet & Magician
  • Birth: BEF 3 JUL 1340 in Lough Gur Castle, Limerick, Ireland 2
  • Birth: ABT 1338
  • Death: 1398 in Desmond, Kerry, Ireland 1
  • Note:
    EARLDOM OF DESMOND (III) Before 1363

    GERALD or GARRETT (FITZ MORICE), EARL OF DESMOND, next brother and heir [of Morice & Nicholas] (c). He was given the custody of the lands of his brother, Morice, July 1358, and had livery thereof, 20 July 1359, on condition oi maintaining his brother, Nicholas [e]. He was summoned to a Council at Waterford, 15 March 1358/9, by writ directed Geraldo filio Mauricii fitz Thomas nuper Comitis Dessemon'. Was appointed a commissioner to inquire concerning the oppressions caused by the King's ministers, 30 May 1363, being then styled Earl of Desmond. Appointed Justiclar of Ireland, 20 February 1366/7. On 3 March 1368/9 William de Windesore was appointed to succeed him, with the title of King's Lieutenant in Ireland. On 10 July 1370, he was captured, with many others, in an engagement with the native Irish under Brian O'Brien, King of Thomond, at Monaster Nenagh, co. Limcrick. He was summoned to four Parliaments (three at Dublin and one at Castle Dermot), 20 November 1374 to 29 April 1382, by writs directed Geraldo fitz Morice comiti Dessemon'. He had a quarrel with the Earl of Ormond in 1384, a treaty between them being at length effected by the King's agents after a 15 days' conference at Clonmel, Oct.-Nov. of that year. Was appointed a deputy of the Lieutenant of Ireland for the defence of Munster, 4. January 1385/6, a justice of assize in the cross of Kerry, 15 January 1385/6, a guardian of the peace in cos. Limerick and Kerry, 8 December 1388 and 8 September 1391, and in cos. Cork, Limerick, and Kerry, 26 October 1391. He had another quarrel with the Earl of Ormond [IRL] in 1386/7, the Earl of Kildare being appointed 14 March, to settle the dispute. He was summoned to a Council at Kilkenny, 7 April 1395.

    He married, after 20 July 1359, Alianore, 1st daughter of James (LE BOTILLER), EARL OF ORMOND, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John DARCY, of Knaith, Co. Lincoln (LORD DARCY]. She died in 1392. He died in 1398 (h). [Complete Peerage IV:243-4, XIV:255, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]

    (c) He is the son of the 1st Earl by his 3rd wife, Aveline.

    (e) The King, considering the probity, sense, and virtues, inherent in Gerald, the younger of the brother-, (fratre juniort) of Morice fitz Morice, late Earl of Desniond, ordains that Gerald shall marry the eldest da. of James le Botiller, Earl of Ormond, "absque donacione propter nupcias eidem Geraldo aliqualiter facienda." And in place thereof has granted to Gerald all the castles, lands, liberties royal or otherwise, &c., late of the said Morice, which are in the King's hand by reason of the death of Morice, and the idiotcy of Nicholas, the elder of the brothers (fratris senioris) of Morice, to hold as long as they are in the King's hand for the said cause, provided that Gerald find tile said Nicholas his elder br. (fratrem suum seniorem) in food, clothing, and other necessaries. Mandates to the said James, Earl of Ormond, justiciar Of Ireland, and to Ralph, Earl of Stafford to deliver the premises to Gerald and the said da. of Earl James: 20 July.

    (h) The 'Annals of Clommacnoise' say that "the lord Garrett, Earle of Desmond, a nobleman of wonderfull bounty, mirth, cheerfulness in conversation, easie of access, charitable in his deeds, a witty and ingenious composer of Irish poetry, a learned and profound chronicler. . . died penitently after receipt of the sacraments of the holy church." The account of the Four Masters agrees. It is, however, otherwise stated that he was something of a magician, and was "by enchantment carried away" from Newcastle in Connello. The Irish, when besieged in Limerick in 1691, are said to have expected that this Earl would come to their assistance. According to Harl. MSS, he was slain by O'Brien in 1397 or 1398, but in this statement there is perhaps some confusion with the battle in 1370, where, according to some ill-informed writers, he was killed.


    The following is copied from the website,


    An Encyclopedia Of The Irish Folk Tradition

    By Dr. Daith O Hogain


    FITZGERALD,GEAROID IARLA (1338-1398) 3rd Earl of Desmond, leader of the Munster branch of the Geraldines, the most powerful Norman family in late mediaeval Ireland. The surname was gaelicised as Mac Gearailt. He succeeded to the Earldom in 1358, and served two periods as Chief Justiciar for Ireland. Popularly known as Gearoid larla ('Gerald the Earl'), he was a leading example of the gaelicisation of the Norman lords, and was a noted composer of love poetry in the Irish language. The annals state that 'Ireland was full of the fame of his wisdom'.

    Lough Gur in Co. Limerick. where he had a castle, was at the centre of the earldom of Desmond (from Deasmhumhain i.e. 'south Munster'), and nearby is Knockainey (in Irish the 'Cnoc', or hill, of Aine). This Aine was in Gaelic tradition the goddess of Munster sovereignty, and as such was described in an early text as the mate of Ailill Olom, mythical king of the royal Eoghanacht sept. The Geraldines, as the new Norman overlords of Munster, were not slow to expropriate such symbolism to themselves. Thus we find the professional poet Gofraidh Fionn O Dalaigh, who was in the employ of the Geraldines in the 14th century, referring to Gerald's father, Maurice the Ist Earl, as 'Aine's king' and to Gerald himself as 'the son of Aine's knight'. It is striking to find this idea embedded in a story which was current in the recent folklore of the Knockainey area. According to this, Maurice was walking one day by the shore of Lough Gur when he saw the beautiful otherworld woman Aine bathing. He seized her cloak, which act magically put her into his power, and then lay with her. In this way Gearoid laria was conceived, and when he was bom Aine appeared at the castle of the Earl to present the child to him.

    This story is in reality a conflation of two distinct traditions - the Gaelic one whereby the Munster king lies with Aine, and a Continental legend which tells of how certain great families had a swan-maiden ancestress. The conflation must reflect actual policy of the Geraldines themselves, who wished to place their Norman heritage within a Gaelic framework.

    Another Continental legend which became applied to Gearoid larla was that which told of a >swan-knight' and was quite popular in French, German, and English literature of the late Middle Ages. This tells of a knight who appears in a boat accompanied by a swan, marries a lady, but goes away with the swan again when she breaks a taboo by asking about his identity. In the folklore of Gearoid Iarla, it takes the form of a taboo which Aine puts on Maurice not to show surprise at anything his son does. When Gearoid grows up, he shows his magical agility by leaping into a bot­tle and out of it again, and the father shows astonishment. At that Gearoid leaves the castle, enters the water of the nearby Camogue river, and swims away in the form of a goose. An old saying in Irish refers to how island-geese never return to the same habitat, and since an island on Lough Gur was known as Gearoid's Island, the proverb was claimed to r-efer to this episode. The story, however, contradicts the mass of the folklore con­ceming Gearoid larla, which accords with history in having him succeed to the earldom and gain fame in that position. It must have been attracted to him because of its similarity to the kine-story, not earlier than the 16th century, for it was at that time that the most celebrated motif concerning Gearoid gained ' currency. This was that he had not really died, but had disappeared from this world in a mysterious manner.

    Father: Maurice FITZTHOMAS , 1st Earl of Desmond b: 1293 in Desmond, Kerry, Ireland
    Mother: Aveline FITZMAURICE b: ABT 1310 in Kerry, Ireland

    Marriage 1 Eleanor (Alianore) BUTLER b: ABT 1350 in Gowran, Kilkenny, Ireland
    • Married: AFT 20 JUL 1359 1
    1. Has Children John FITZGERALD , 4th Earl of Desmond b: ABT 1363 in Lough Gur Castle, Limerick, Ireland
    2. Has Children James "The Usurper" FITZGERALD , 6th Earl Desmond b: ABT 1380 in Desmond, Kerry, Ireland

    1. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: IV:243-4
    2. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: IV:243-4
      Text: Even though he was supposedly underage, he was probably at least 18 when he received his father's lands from the King, 3 Jul 1358.
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