James Desmond, 7th Earl

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Desmond, James, 7th Earl, uncle of preceding, son of the 4th Earl, surnamed "James the Usurper." One of the chief instruments in compelling his nephew's exile, he seized his estates, but was not generally acknowledged as Earl until 1422. In the same year he was made Constable of Limerick, and two years afterwards obtained the custody of Limerick, Waterford, Cork, and Kerry. He married Mary, eldest daughter of Ulick de Burgh. He was relieved from the duty of attending Parliament in 1445. He and the Earl of Ormond were godfathers to George, afterwards Duke of Clarence. The following is a portion of a letter addressed to him as a descendant of the Geraldines in 1440, in the name of the Florentine republic: "Magnificent lord and dearest friend: If it be true, as is publickly stated, that your progenitors were of Florentine origin, and of the right noble and antique stock of the Gherardini, still one of the highest and greatest families of our states, we have ample reason to rejoice and congratulate ourselves that our people have not only acquired possessions in Apulia, Greece, and Hungary, but that our Florentines, through you and yours, bear sway even in Ibernia, the most remote island of the world. O great glory of our state! O singular benevolence of God towards our people! from whom have sprung so many nobles and dominators diffused over the entire orbit of the earth."[147] By the Earl of Ormond he was appointed Seneschal of Imokelly, Inchiquin, and Youghal, and founded the monastery of Franciscans at Askeaton. He died in 1462, and was buried in the Friary of Youghal.


147. Geraldine Documents: Edited by Rev. James Graves: in Journal of the Archaeological Association of Ireland, October, 1869.

216. Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, Revised and Enlarged by Mervyn Archdall. 7 vols. Dublin, 1789.

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