James Desmond, 9th Earl

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Desmond, James, 9th Earl, was born in 1459, and succeeded on his father's execution in 1467. O'Daly says: "Now James FitzThomas, having made terms with King Edward, and received immunity for any act which he had committed to avenge his father's death, became Earl of Desmond. He was a man of singular prudence, and largely to the detriment of the Irish did he increase the territories he had acquired." He married Margaret, daughter of Thady O'Brien, Prince of Thomond. King Richard III. endeavoured to attach him to his interests, and sent him a collar of gold weighing 20 oz., with the device of a white boar, pendant from a circlet of roses and suns; also a "long gown of cloth of gold, lined with satin or damask; two doublets, one of velvet, and another of crimson satin; three shirts and kerchiefs; three stomachers; three pair of hose — one of scarlet, one of violet, and the third of black; three bonnets; two hats; and two tippets of velvet." But notwithstanding these blandishments, the Earl augmented his Irish alliances, and retained his Irish habits. He was murdered at Rathkeale, 7th December 1487 (aged 28), possibly at the instigation of his brother and successor, and was buried at Youghal. His sister Catherine married the MacCarthy Reagh. A book once her property (now known as the Book of Lismore) was discovered in a wall in Lismore Castle in 1811.


52. Burke, Sir Bernard: Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages. London, 1866.

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

147a. Gillespie, Major-General Sir Robert R., Memoir. London, 1816.

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

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