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Gerald FitzMaurice, 1st Lord of Offaly

Cambro-Norman nobleman
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 1204
Family
Children: Maurice FitzGerald 2nd Lord of Offaly
Spouse: Eve de Bermingham Lady of Offaly
Father: Maurice FitzGerald Lord of Lanstephan
The details
Biography

Gerald FitzMaurice, jure uxoris 1st Lord of Offaly (c. 1150 – 15 January 1204) was a Cambro-Norman nobleman who settled in Ireland, with his father, Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan, founding the notable FitzGerald dynasty who were to play important roles in Irish history. By right of his wife, the heiress Eve de Bermingham, Gerald was granted the barony of Offaly, thus becoming the first Lord. He is the ancestor of the Kildare branch of the dynasty.

Confusingly, his father Maurice was granted the lordship of Offelan in north County Kildare in 1175 by Strongbow.

Family

Gerald was born in Wales in about 1150, the second eldest son of Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan and an unknown second wife. Gerald had one sister, Nesta, who was named after their celebrated grandmother, Princess Nest ferch Rhys, and five brothers, including his eldest, William FitzMaurice, 1st Baron of Naas.

Career

Gerald's father was the leader of the first landing of Normans who arrived in Ireland in 1169 to assist the exiled Irish King of Leinster Dermot MacMurrough regain his kingdom. Both Gerald and his father were at the Siege of Dublin in 1171. Upon the death of their father, on 1 September 1176, Gerald's elder brother William granted him half the cantred of Ophelan with centres at Maynooth and Rathmore. He was confirmed in them by Prince John in 1185. In 1197, he took part in the conquest of Limerick acquiring Croom, County Limerick.

Marriage and issue

Sometime around 1193, he married as her first husband, Eve de Bermingham (died between June 1223 and December 1226), daughter of Sir Robert de Bermingham. In marriage, he received the barony of Offaly, becoming the first FitzGerald Lord of Offaly. Together Gerald and Eve had one son:

  • Maurice FitzGerald, 2nd Lord of Offaly, Justiciar of Ireland (1194- 20 May 1257), married Juliana N.N., by whom he had four sons.

Following Gerald's death on 15 January 1204, Eve would go on to marry two more times. Her second husband was Geoffrey FitzRobert, and her third, whom she married sometime after 1211, was Geoffrey de Marisco, Justiciar of Ireland.

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