William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster

William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster

William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster (13 March 1749 – 20 October 1804) KP, PC (I), was an Irish liberal politician and landowner.


He was the second, but eldest surviving, son of James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster and the well-connected Lady Emily Mary Lennox. On 4 November 1775 he married Hon. Emilia Olivia St. George, daughter of St George Saint-George, 1st Baron St George and Elizabeth Dominick. [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p1206.htm thePeerage.com - Person Page 1206 ] ] He was also the elder brother of the 1790s revolutionary Lord Edward FitzGerald, and was a first cousin of the English liberal politician Charles James Fox.


Mary Rebecca (6 May 1777 - 28 Sep 1842); m 15 Jan 1799 Sir Charles Lockhart Ross, 7th Bt (d 8 Feb 1814)

Emily Elizabeth (13 May 1778-9 Feb 1856); m.13 Mar 1801 John Joseph Henry (d.28 Jun 1846)

George, Marquess of Kildare (Carton 20 Jun 1783-10 Feb 1784)

Cecilia Olivia Geraldine (3 Mar 1786-London 27 Jul 1863); m.Boyle Farm, Kingston-on-Thames 18 Aug 1806 Thomas Foley, 3d Lord Foley (22 Dec 1780-London 16 Apr 1833)

Olivia (9 Sep 1787-Bath 28 Feb 1858); m.London 8 May 1806 Charles Kinnaird, 8th Lord Kinnaird (12 Apr 1780-Brighton 12 Dec 1826)

Augustus Frederick FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster, etc (Carton 21 Aug 1791-Carton 10 Oct 1874); m.16 Jun 1818 Lady Charlotte Stanhope (15 Feb 1793-15 Feb 1859)

His homes were at Carton in County Kildare and Leinster House in Dublin. He was a founder member of the Order of St Patrick in 1783 and of the Royal Irish Academy (1785), and was a large investor in the Royal Canal company launched in 1790. His family's estates of 60,000 acres (25,000 Ha) in Kildare were in three parts, around Maynooth, Rathangan and Athy. He rebuilt the main bridge in Athy over the River Barrow.


After making his Grand Tour in 1768-69, he entered the Irish parliament as an MP in 1769 until 1773 when he took on his father's title and estates. Politically he was a liberal supporter of Henry Grattan and co-founded the Irish Whig Club in 1789. He controlled usually six Kildare members of the Irish House of Commons. He supported Catholic Emancipation and helped to found the Catholic seminary at Maynooth in 1795. Withdrawing from parliament with Grattan in 1797, he moved to England to be with his sick wife and remained there during the 1798 rebellion.

ee also

Duke of Leinster


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