The Geraldines

Justin McCarthy
Chapter III | Start of Chapter

It is not surprising that many of the Norman invaders who had eyes to see and hearts to feel should have yielded to the witchery of this country so new to them, and have become permanent settlers there. A new race grew up of Norman or English invaders, who were proud in later days to be described as more Irish than the Irish themselves. Most of these families can be traced through history by the Norman prefix of Fitz, as the Fitzgeralds, the Fitzmaurices, Fitzpatricks, and many others. The Fitzgeralds were probably the most numerous, and gave the title of Geraldines to the new order of settlers. Many of their descendants took a leading part in all the Irish uprisings against English rule down to the days when Lord Edward Fitzgerald was one of the leaders in the rebellion of 1798. So thoroughly is this Geraldine race associated with Irish nationality that the name of Fitzgerald would now seem to the ordinary English reader as distinctly Hibernian as O'Donoghue or O'Neill.

Except for this gradual and peculiar blending, it may be said that while the history of Ireland was becoming more and more a part of England's history, the Irish populations in general showed no signs of accepting English rule or becoming to any extent Anglicized.