Maurice Desmond, 10th Earl

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Desmond, Maurice, 10th Earl, succeeded on the death of his brother in 1487. Being lame, and usually carried in a horse-litter, he was styled "Vehiculus," and by some, on account of his bravery, "Bellicosus." He sided with the pretender, Perkin Warbeck, in the siege of Waterford and other expeditions. Nevertheless, making humble submission, the King not only forgave, but took him into favour, 26th August 1497, and granted him all the "customs, pockets, poundage, and prize-wines of Limerick, Cork, Kingsale, Baltimore, and Youghall, with other privileges and advantages."

The condition of the inhabitants within the Pale at this period is thus described by a cotemporary writer: "What with the extortion of coyne and lyverye dayly, and wyth the wrongful exaction of osteing money, and of carryage and cartage dayly, and what with the Kinge's great subsydye yerely, and with the said trybute, and blak-rent to the Kinge's Iryshe enymyes, and other infynyt extortions, and dayly exactions, all the Englyshe folke of the countys of Dublyn, Kyldare, Meathe, and Uryell ben more oppressyd with than any other folke of this land, Englyshe or Iryshe, and of worsse condition be they athysside than in the marcheis." O'Daly thus writes of Earl Maurice: "This man was subsequently far famed for his martial exploits. He augmented his power and possessions — for all his sympathies were English — and a furious scourge was he to the Irish, who never ceased to rebel against the crown of England. The bitterest enemy of the Geraldines he made his prisoner, to wit, MacCarthy Mor, Lord of Muskerry; and now having passed thirty years opulent, powerful, and dreaded, he died [1520] to the sorrow of his friends and the exultation of his enemies." He was buried at Tralee. His first wife was daughter of Lord Fermoy; his second, daughter of the White Knight.


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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