FITZWILLIAM, Richard, 5th Visct. Fitzwilliam [I] (c.1677-1743).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



27 Jan. 1727 - 1734

Family and Education

b. c.1677, o. s. of Thomas, 4th Visct. Fitzwilliam [I], of Merrion, co. Dublin by Mary, da. of Sir Philip Stapleton, M.P., of Wighill, Yorks. m. (settlement 26 Feb. 1704) Frances, da. of Sir John Shelley, 3rd Bt., of Mitchelgrove, sis. of Sir John Shelley, 4th Bt., 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 20 Feb. 1705.

Offices Held

P.C. [I] 15 Sept. 1715.


Fitzwilliam, a Roman Catholic, conformed to the established church, taking his seat in the Irish House of Lords on 25 May 1710. In 1715 he was a member of a committee of Irish Lords to congratulate George I on his accession.1 Returned for Fowey as a Whig in 1727, he moved the Address on 13 Jan. 1730 in a studied but laboured speech,2 on which Lord Hervey commented:

Lord Fitzwilliam’s performance was darker, thicker and heavier than the fog of this day ... I am sorry when God thought fit to send such a piece of original obscurity and chaos into the world as that head, that he did not think fit to dispel the mists of it by the same methods which Moses tells us he made use of to enlighten the rest of the universe. Human aids, I am sure, can never bring it about.3

Never standing again, he died 6 June 1743.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Lodge, Irish Peerage, iv. 319-20.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 3.
  • 3. Ilchester, Lord Hervey and his Friends, 44.