Hervey De Marisco

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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De Marisco, Hervey, one of the most distinguished of the Anglo-Norman invaders of Ireland, nephew to Earl Strongbow, came over with the first band of adventurers led by Robert FitzStephen, in May 1169, and received large grants of land in Tipperary, Wexford, and Kerry — some of which is still vested in his brother's descendants, but the greater portion was carried by intermarriages into the houses of Butler and FitzGerald.

Hervey was the rival and opponent of Raymond le Gros. He was commander of the body of troops defeated by Duvenald, Prince of Limerick, in Ossory. When Strongbow went over to the assistance of King Henry in Normandy, jealousies broke out between De Marisco and Raymond le Gros, upon their being appointed joint governors of Ireland. In 1175 he married Nesta, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald. [See NESTA.]

In 1179 he founded Dunbrody Abbey, Wexford; and he ultimately retired as a monk to Canterbury, where he ended his days. He was interred at Dunbrody.

Giraldus Cambrensis places his character in no favourable light: "Hervey was a tall and handsome man, with grey and rather prominent eyes, a pleasant look, fine features, and a command of polished language. His neck was so long and slender that it seemed scarcely able to support his head; his shoulders were low, and both his arms and legs were somewhat long. He had rather a broad breast, but was small and genteel in the waist, which is generally apt to swell too much, and lower down his stomach was of the same moderate proportion. His thighs, legs, and feet, were well shaped for a soldier, and finely proportioned to the upper part of his body. In stature he was above the middle height. .. He was addicted to lascivious habits. .. He was spiteful, a false accuser, double-faced, full of wiles, and smooth but false,.. a man of no principle. .. Formerly he was a very good soldier after the French school, but now he is more remarkable for his malice than his gallantry."

He left no descendants. His large estates passed to his brother Geoffrey (whom we find Custos of Ireland in 1215, 1226, and 1230), ancester of the Mount-morris family, who with his son perished in an engagement with some of the pirates that then frequented the coasts of Ireland. His sister Ellinor married Thomas FitzGerald, ancestor of the Desmonds.


5. Anglo-Normans, History of the Invasion of Ireland by the: Gerald H. Supple. Dublin, 1856.

148. Giraldus Cambrensis: Topography, and History of the Conquest in Ireland: Forester and Wright. London, 1863.

196. Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840-'7.

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