Name: Thomas FITZJOHN , 5th Earl of Desmond 1
ALIA: 5th Earl of /Desmond/, Thomas FitzJohn
Birth: ABT 1385 in Lough Gur Castle, Limerick, Ireland 1
Death: BEF 10 AUG 1420 in Rouen, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France (in exile) 1
Burial: Church of the Franciscans, Paris, France
EARLDOM OF DESMOND (V) 1400
THOMAS (FITZ JOHN), EARL OF DESMOND, son and heir, aged about 14 at his father's death. On 29 May 1400 the King committed to Thomas, son of John fitz Gerald late Earl of Desmond, and to Morice fitz Gerald uncle of Thomas, the custody of the late Earl's castles and manors in cos. Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford, to hold during the King's pleasure. On 13 March 1405/6 the King committed to the same Thomas the custody of all the castles, lordships, liberties, &c., then in the King's hand, of which Gerald fitz Morice, late Earl of Desmond, his grandfather, had died seized in his demesne as of fee, to hold until the said Thomas reached his age. He was appointed a justice in cos. Cork, Limerick, and Kerry, and the crosses thereof, 8 September 1407, being then styled Earl of Desmond. On 21 August 1413 he was in England, about to go on the King's service to Ireland for the safe keeping of that land, with 60 men-at-arms and 300 archers.
Having, it is said, been benighted when out hunting, he unfortunately "was obliged to take up his lodgings at the Abbey of Feale," where he saw Katherine, the daughter of one of his tenants, William MacCormicke, commonly called the Monk of Feale, and afterwards married her. Owing to this imprudent match, his friends and tenants abandoned him, and his uncle James thrice expelled him from his estates, and finally obliged him to surrender the Earldom in 1418.[a] He then "pined away and died" at Rouen or at Paris, and was buried at Paris, 10 August 1420, in the Church of the Franciscans, or in that of the Dominicans (b). [Complete Peerage IV:245-6, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]
(a) The Annals of Ulster, vol. iii, p. 60, and the Annals of the Four Masters, vol. iv, p. 804, say that James banished him in 1411, but assign no reason. Lodge states that the Earl made a formal surrender of the Earldom to his uncle James at Callan in 1418, and that James got the Earldom confirmed to himself and his heirs by Act of Parl. [there is nothing on the subject in the printed Statute Rolls]. Also that James gave to Morice, the Earl's son, "an Earl's son's portion of land," viz., the manors of Moyallow, Broghill, and Kilcolman. The existence of this Morice and his descendants (the FitzGeralds of Broghill and others, according to most genealogists) is awkward, as it renders, according to any known doctrine, all the subsequent Earls of Desmond usurpers. More thoughtful writers accordingly bastardize the issue of Earl Thomas. In a statement of claim to Decies (Carew MSS., vol. 610, f. 87), dated 1612, it is stated "Then cometh James . . . to be Earl of Desmond, by unjust disinheriting of his nephew Thomas . . . which was banished into Normandy, and there died without issue."
(b) The King of England being present at his funeral. Henry V may have been at Paris on 10 Aug 1420, and the legend is so far plausible.
Father: John FITZGERALD , 4th Earl of Desmond b: ABT 1363 in Lough Gur Castle, Limerick, Ireland
Mother: Mary daughter of Thomas MacWilliam BURK b: ABT 1366 in Connaught, Ireland
Katherine daughter of William MACCORMICKE b: ABT 1390 in Abbey of Feale, Limerick, Ireland
- Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000