John FitzEdmund FitzGerald

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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FitzGerald, John FitzEdmund, Seneschal of Imokilly, in the County of Cork, was one of the most distinguished FitzGeralds of the 16th century — "the chief man of service among the rebels." He went out into insurrection with the Earl of Kildare. In 1569 Sir H. Sidney captured his castle of Ballymartyr; and eventually, with FitzMaurice, he had to submit to Sir John Perrot among the ruins of the church of Kilmallock, which they had destroyed a short time before. When FitzMaurice proceeded to France to seek assistance against England, the Seneschal was discovered to be in communication with him; and in November 1579 he threw aside the mask of loyalty and invaded the country of the Butlers, burning Nenagh and some other of Ormond's towns. Soon after, we are told, "Sir Walter Rawley returning from Dublin, had a hard escape from the Seneschal, who set on him with fourteen horse and sixty foot. . . About Twelfth-tide the Seneschal of Imokelly killed thirty-six of Pers's soldiers, and ten of Sir W. Morgan's, as they had been to get a prey." Next year he burnt down numerous towns in the Decies, and carried off 7,000 head of kine; reaping all the corn and conveying it to hiding places in the woods. In September 1582 he was in the field at the head of 200 horse and 2,000 foot; but his fortunes, like those of his friend the Earl of Desmond, were soon on the wane. Shortly before the Earl was slain, the Seneschal, much to the satisfaction of Queen Elizabeth, submitted unconditionally; and Ormond, respecting the character of his former antagonist, successfully exerted himself to save his life. In 1585 he was committed to Dublin Castle, where he appears to have ended his troubled career early in 1589. He must not be confounded with his namesake and cousin, the following.

Sources

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

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