William Robert FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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FitzGerald, William Robert, 2nd Duke of Leinster, the second son of the preceding, was born in London, 2nd March 1749. Upon the death of his elder brother in 1765 he became Earl of Offaly; and when his father was created Duke in 1766, Marquis of Kildare. In 1767 he was elected member for Dublin, and continued to be a member of the House of Commons until his father's death in 1773. He held many important offices connected with the State, was one of the generals of the Volunteers, and on the institution of the order of St. Patrick in 1783 was the first of the original knights. Upon the Union, he received £28,800 compensation for the disfranchisement of Kildare and Athy. He died 20th October, 1804, aged 55, leaving a family of five sons and eight daughters. Barrington says: "His disposition and address combined almost every quality which could endear him to the nation; . . he always intended right. . . Something approaching to regal honours attended his investiture" [as a General of the Volunteers].

Sources

21. Barrington, Sir Jonah, Historic Memoirs of Ireland. 2 vols. London, 1835.

202. Kildare, The Earls of, and their Ancestors: from 1057 to 1773, with Supplement: Marquis of Kildare. 2 vols. Dublin, 1858-'62.

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