Gerald, Ninth Earl of Kildare

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXIV

Gerald, the ninth and last Catholic Earl of Kildare, succeeded his father as Lord Deputy in 1513. But the hereditary foes of his family were soon actively employed in working his ruin; and even his sister, who had married into that family, proved not the least formidable of his enemies. He was summoned to London; but either the charges against him could not be proved, or it was deemed expedient to defer them, for we find him attending Henry for four years, and forming one of his retinue at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Kildare was permitted to return to Dublin again in 1523, but he was tracked by Wolsey's implacable hatred to his doom.[3] In 1533 he was confined in the Tower for the third time. The charges against him were warmly urged by his enemies. Two of his sisters were married to native chieftains; and he was accused of playing fast and loose with the English as a baron of the Pale—with the Irish as a warm ally.[4] Two English nobles had been appointed to assist him, or rather to act the spy upon his movements, at different times. One of these, Sir Thomas Skeffington, became his most dangerous enemy.


[3] Doom.—See The Earls of Kildare, vol. i. p. 106, for Wolsey's reasons for not removing him from the Viceroyalty, notwithstanding his dislike.

[4] Ally.—He was charged with having written a letter to O'Carroll of Ely, in which he advised him to keep peace with the Pale until a Deputy should come over, and then to make war on the English. The object of this advice is not very clear.