FITZGERALD, Sir Augustine, 1st bt. (?1765-1834), of Carrigoran, co. Clare
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Family and Education
b. ?1765, 1st s. of Col. Edward Fitzgerald, MP [I], of Carrigoran and 1st w. Rachel, da. of Standish O’Grady of Elton and Cappercullen, co. Limerick; half-bro. of John Forster Fitzgerald†. educ. Trinity, Dublin, 23 Nov. 1781, aged 16. m. 15 Feb. 1796,1 Elizabeth, da. of William Barton of Grove, co. Tipperary, s.p. suc. fa. 1814;2 cr. bt. 5 Jan. 1822. d. 3 Dec. 1834.3
Ensign 8 Ft. 1785, lt. 1790, capt. 1791; capt. 5 Ft. 1791; maj. (half-pay) 107 Ft. 1795; brevet lt.-col. 1800; col. 1810; maj.-gen. 1813; lt.-gen. 1825.
Lt.-col. co. Clare militia 1803-d
Like his father before him, Fitzgerald had sat for Clare as a pro-Catholic supporter of government with the backing of his stepmother’s second cousin, the 1st Marquess Conyngham.4 He had left the House in 1818 on account of sickness, but by May 1820 was said by Sir Edward O’Brien, Member for Clare, to be ‘much improved in health’.5 He seconded O’Brien’s unsuccessful attempt to move a loyal address to the king at the county meeting in January 1821.6 Owing to this, or perhaps rather to Lady Conyngham’s influence over George IV, he secured a baronetcy, with remainder to his half-brother William, in 1822. He attended county meetings in Clare on the king’s imminent visit to Ireland and agricultural distress in January 1823.7 He travelled from Paris to London in May 1826, startling O’Brien, who intended to vacate his seat in favour of his son Lucius O’Brien*, by expressing an unexpected interest in standing, of which nothing eventually came.8 He seconded William Vesey Fitzgerald for Clare at the by-election in mid-1828, when Daniel O’Connell defeated the newly appointed cabinet minister.9 He became president of the county’s Brunswick Club later that year and, on O’Connell being unseated, was mentioned as a possible candidate to oppose his re-election in July 1829.10 He proposed Sir Edward O’Brien at the by-election in March 1831, when O’Connell’s son Maurice was returned after a contest, and presented an address to the lord lieutenant, Lord Anglesey, on his visit to Ennis the following month.11
In February 1832, at the age of 66, he returned to the Commons on a vacancy for Ennis, the sitting Member and patron, Vesey Fitzgerald, having become an Irish peer.12 (Ironically, he had unwittingly contributed to the embarrassing defeat of Vesey Fitzgerald, then chancellor of the Irish exchequer, in Clare in 1812.) He was sworn in, 28 Feb. He voted against the third reading of the English reform bill, 22 Mar., and for an unsuccessful attempt to give Lincoln freeholders a vote for the county the following day. He divided against the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and to preserve the voting rights of freemen under it, 2 July. He was in the small opposition minorities against Crampton’s amendment to the Irish tithes bill, 9 Apr., and the Irish party processions bill, 25 June. He was expected to join the Protestant Conservative Society of Ireland that summer.13 He voted against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July 1832, and finally retired from Parliament, without apparently ever having spoken in debate, at the dissolution later in the year. He died in December 1834.14 By his will, dated 24 June 1828, he left his property, including his house in Merrion Square, to his wife. His personalty within the province of Canterbury was sworn under £25,000, and that in Ireland under £27,076.15 His half-brother John Forster Fitzgerald (d. 1877), was Liberal Member for Clare, 1852-7.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Authors: David R. Fisher / Stephen Farrell
- 1. Gent. Mag. (1796), i. 253.
- 2. Ibid. (1814), i. 415.
- 3. Morning Chron. 11 Dec. 1834.
- 4. Hist. Irish Parl. iv. 141-2; HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 749.
- 5. NLI, Inchiquin mss T23/2972, O’Brien to wife, 11 May 1820.
- 6. Dublin Weekly Reg. 20 Jan., 10 Feb. 1821.
- 7. Dublin Evening Post, 7, 18, 30 Jan. 1823.
- 8. Inchiquin mss 3627, O’Brien to wife, 2, 11, 15, 16, 18 May 1826.
- 9. Clare Jnl. 3 July 1828.
- 10. Dublin Evening Mail, 24, 27 Oct. 1828; Dublin Evening Post, 26 May, 16 June 1829.
- 11. Clare Jnl. 21 Mar., 7 Apr. 1831.
- 12. K. Sheedy, Clare Elections, 169-70.
- 13. NLI, Farnham mss 18611 (3), Lefroy to Farnham, 4 June 1832.