Sir Roland FitzEustace, Lord Portlester

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Eustace, or FitzEustace, Sir Roland, Lord Portlester, was descended from a branch of the Geraldines to whom Henry II. had granted the country round Naas. In 1454 he was appointed Deputy to Richard, Duke of York; and again in 1462 he filled the same office for the Duke of Clarence. Subsequently he was tried for plotting with the Earl of Desmond, and acquitted. Created Lord Portlester, he married Margaret, daughter of Janico d'Artois, by whom he had two daughters; the elder married Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare. He held the office of Treasurer of Ireland for many years, and was in 1474 appointed to the custody of the great seal, which six years afterwards he refused to surrender when the King granted the post to another. This was for a time a great hindrance to public business, until the King authorized the construction of a new great seal for Ireland by Thomas Archbold, Master of the King's Mint in Ireland, and that in Eustace's hands was "damned, annulled, and suspended," while his acts as Treasurer were also repudiated.

A turbulent spirit was at that period shown by many of those who should have been foremost among the King's supporters. Eustace refused to give up the seal; his son-in-law Kildare positively declined to admit a new Lord-Deputy, Lord Grey; James Keating, Constable of Dublin Castle, broke down the drawbridge, and defied the Deputy and his three hundred archers and men-at-arms to gain admittance; and the Mayor of Dublin proclaimed that no subsidy should be paid the Earl; while a parliament held at Naas repudiated Lord Grey's authority; and one summoned at Trim declared the proceedings of Kildare's parliament at Naas null and void. Lord Portlester died 14th December 1496, and was buried at Cotlandstown, County of Kildare. Two monuments were erected to his memory — one in the new abbey, Kilcullen, which he had founded in 1460; the other in St. Audoen's Church, Dublin, where he had built a chapel to the Virgin.

Sources

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

76. Chancellors of Ireland, and Keepers of the Great Seal: J. Roderick O'Flaherty. 2 vols. London, 1870.

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