FITZGERALD DE ROS, Henry William (1793-1839), of Boyle Farm, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. 12 June 1793, 1st s. of Lord Henry Fitzgerald*. educ. Eton 1808. unm. Took additional name of de Ros by royal lic. 6 Oct. 1806; suc. fa. 1829; mother as 21st Baron de Ros 9 Jan. 1831.
Henry de Ros, as he was familiarly known, was ‘for several years the glass of fashion in the circles of ton’. He was heir to an ancient barony called out of abeyance for his mother, who was second cousin five times removed of the previous baron, by Lord Grenville’s mediation with the King in 1806.1 In 1816 he was returned on a vacancy on the interest of John Buller II and voted with the government minority for the continuation of the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, in their majorities of May on the civil list and again in June on the question of the Irish vice-treasurership. He also voted with them on 25 Feb. 1817 on Ridley’s motion; appeared with the minority in favour of Catholic relief, 9 May; and on 23 June voted for the suspension of habeas corpus. No speech is known. He held his seat until the dissolution and was not again in Parliament.
In January 1818 there was a scandal when he was caught in flagrante delicto with Harriet, daughter of William Spencer; he disowned the child she was expecting, producing proofs that the lady was, to quote Lady Spencer ‘as common as the street’ and had invited him to her father’s house on the strength of a casual encounter on the Steyne. ‘De Rot’, as he was now dubbed, was soon discovered to be ‘somewhat of a roué’. By 1823 Creevey could describe him as ‘one of the cleverest and most hardened villains in [town]’. Eventually he was accused of cheating at cards (1837).2 In the Lords he was a Tory, but in favour of parliamentary reform.
He died 29 Mar. 1839 at his villa in Grove Road, St. John’s Wood.