The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I08990
  • Name: Maurice FITZTHOMAS , 1st Earl of Desmond 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: 1st Earl of /Desmond/, Maurice FitzThomas
  • Birth: 1293 in Desmond, Kerry, Ireland 2
  • Death: 25 JAN 1355/56 in Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland 2
  • Burial: Dominican Friary, Tralee, Kerry, Ireland
  • Note:
    The Earldom of Desmond has a longer (and more distinguished) history as a separate entity. It was in 1329 conferred on Maurice Fitz Thomas, descended from a certain Thomas Fitz Anthony, Seneschal of Leinster temp. King John and presumably a Norman or hanger-on of the Normans who pushed into Ireland from South Wales in the 12th century. These Earls of Desmond later took the surname FitzGerald, intermarried with the old Irish nobility and like so many of the Normans "went native". The last Earl of Desmond of the 1329 creation was a constant thorn in the side of Elizabeth I in her attempts to control Ireland and was eventually in 1583 attainted and killed while on the run in Co Kerry from the Elizabethan forces. [Burke's Peerage]



    MORICE FITZ THOMAS, next brother and heir [after Thomas], born 1293. On 5 April 1314 the King took his fealty and he had livery of his lands. He was summoned for Military Service from 3 April 1322 to 8 December 1322, by writs directed Mauricio filio Thome. He was present in a Parliament at Dublin, Easter 1324. On 16 July 1327 he was admonished for refusing to obey the Justiciar. Having quarrelled with the Earl of Ulster, peace was made between them in a Parliament at Dublin in March 1329. On 27 August 1329 the King gave him all the royal liberties in co. Kerry, except the four usual pleas and the profits from the crosses, to hold, to him and the heirs male of his body, by the service of a knight's fee, by the name and honour of EARL OF DESMOND, and on this account the King girded him with the sword: on the same day he was granted the advowson of the church of Dungarvan, that he might the better support the dignity of an Earl. He was pardoned for all offences committed in Ireland before 10 October, 14 October 1329. In 1330 he assisted the Justiciar, John Darcy, by subduing the O'Nolans and the O'Mores. He was prohibited from attacking the Earl of Ulster, 19 June 1330: both Earls were taken into custody, but Desmond escaped. He was ordered, 28 September 1330, to appear before the King and Council, to receive justice in a certain matter. He absented himself from the Parliament held at Dublin in July 1331, but made peace with the Justiciar, Anthony de Lucy, at Kilkenny, on 5 August, and swore fealty to the King. He was, however, arrested at Limerick, 16 August, and sent to Dublin Castle on 7 October. Here he remained about 18 months, when, having found mainpernors, he was released. On 16 July 1334 the royal liberties in co. Kerry, which the King had resumed, were restored to hirn. He was summoned for Military Service against the Scots, 8 May 1335, and accompanied the Justiciar, John Darcy, in his expedition to Arran and Bute in the autumn of that year. The King's resumption of all grants made by himself or his father in Ireland, and the removal from office of all Irishmen, and Englishmen who held no land in England, having aroused much resentment, the Anglo-Irish lords absented themselves from a Parliament summoned by the Deputy Justiciar, John Morice, in October 1341,and assembled at another convened by themselves at Kilkenny in November. There they formulated their grievances and their charges against the King's officials. The Earl of Desmond took a leading part in this affair. He summoned a Parliament at Callan on his own initiative in February 1344/5, but the magnates summoned failed to attend. He was summoned for Military Service in France, 10 July 1344. Having absented himself from a Parliament held at Dublin in June 1345, the Justiciar, Ralph d'Ufford, seized his lands into the King's hand, and besieged and took his castles. The Earl escaped and could not be found, and the lands, &c., of his mainpernors were therefore forfeited. He was excepted from pardon, 12 May 1346 but on 28 June he received a special protection in order that he might come to England to answer his accusers before the King, as he had been impeached of things prejudicial to the King in Ireland. On 20 July the Justiciar was ordered to send him to England, and he embarked at Youghal with his wife and two sons on 13 September, the King making him an allowance of 20s. a day from the time he reached England. He remained in custody for a long time. On 18 February 1347/8 he was released, his mainpernors having undertaken to produce him before the King when required. On 28 November 1349 he was admitted to the King's grace, pardoned for all treasons, acts of war, and outlawries, and restored to his former estate, obtaining his castles and lands, together with the issues thereof since these had been taken into the King's hand: but he was required to leave his two sons then in England as hostages during the King's pleasure. He returned to Ireland about May 1350. On 16 September 1351 he received a special protection against his enernies in Ireland. He was again in England in May 1355. On 8 July 1355 he was appointed Justiciar of Ireland, and held the office till his death.

    He married 1stly, 5 August 1312, at Green Castle, co. Down, Katherine, 6th daughter of Richard (DE BURGH), EARL OF ULSTER, by Margaret, his wife. She died about 1 November 1331, at Dublin. He is said to have married, 2ndly, Margaret, daughter of Conor O'BRIEN of Thomond (b). He married, 3rdly, before 20 April 1344, Aveline, said to have been daughter of Nicholas [FITZ MORICE], 2nd Baron of Kerry and Lixnor (d). He died 25 January 1355/6, in Dublin Castle, and was buried in the Dominican Friary at Tralee. His widow had livery of her dower, 10 February 1357/8. She was living 14 March 1358/9. [Complete Peerage IV:237-40, XIV:255, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]

    (b) Conchobhar O'Briain (a younger son of Turlough or Toirdhelbhach, King of Thomond), who was slain in battle at Thurles, 19 Jul 1329.

    (d) If this was the case, Aveline was sister of Morice fitz Nicholas of Kerry, who, joining in an insurrection of the Irish in 1339, was captured by the Earl, and died in prison.

    Father: Thomas FITZMAURICE , Lord of Decies b: ABT APR 1261 in Decies, Waterford, Ireland
    Mother: Margaret de BERKELEY b: ABT 1269 in Berkeley Castle, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England

    Marriage 1 Katherine de BURGH b: ABT 1293 in Ulster, Ireland
    • Married: 5 AUG 1312 in Green Castle, Down, Ireland (1st wife) 2

    Marriage 2 Margaret O'BRIEN b: ABT 1293 in Thomond, North Munster, Clare, Ireland
    • Married: AFT 1331 in 2nd wife 3
    1. Has No Children Maurice FITZMAURICE , 2nd Earl of Desmond b: 31 JUL 1336 in Newcastle in Connello, Limerick, Ireland
    2. Has No Children Nicholas "The Idiot" FITZMAURICE , of Ossory b: ABT 1338 in Desmond, Kerry, Ireland

    Marriage 3 Aveline FITZMAURICE b: ABT 1310 in Kerry, Ireland
    • Married: BEF 20 APR 1344 in 3rd wife 2
    1. Has Children Gerald FITZMAURICE , 3rd Earl Desmond b: BEF 3 JUL 1340 in Lough Gur Castle, Limerick, Ireland

    1. Title: Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
      Page: 1635, 801
    2. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: IV:237-40
    3. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: IV:237-40
      Text: date implied by death of 1st wife
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