Gerald Fitzgerald, 11th Earl of Kildare

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Gerald Fitzgerald

Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: London, Middlesex,England
Death: November 16, 1585 (56-64)
London, Middlesex,England
Immediate Family:

Son of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Husband of Mabel Fitzgerald
Father of Gerald Fitzgerald, Lord Offalay; Henry FitzGerald, 2nd/12th Earl of Kildare; William Fitzgerald, 13th Earl of Kildare; Mary Nugent; Elizabeth O'Brien and 1 other
Brother of Elizabeth Fiennes-Clinton; Edward Fitzgerald, MP and Alice Fitzgerald of Kildare
Half brother of Catherine Preston; Mary O'Connor; Ellis Fleming; "Silken Thomas" Fitzgerald, 10th Earl of Kildare and Lady Cecilia FitzGerald,

Occupation: 11th Earl of Kildare
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gerald Fitzgerald, 11th Earl of Kildare

  • 'Gerald FitzGerald, 1st/11th Earl of Kildare1
  • 'M, #33087, b. 25 February 1525, d. 16 November 1585
  • Last Edited=29 Apr 2011
  • Consanguinity Index=0.02%
  • ' Gerald FitzGerald, 1st/11th Earl of Kildare was born on 25 February 1525.1 He was the son of Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Lady Elizabeth Grey.1 He married Mabel Browne, daughter of Sir Anthony Browne and Alice Gage, on 28 May 1554.1 He died on 16 November 1585 at age 60 at London, England.1
  • ' Gerald FitzGerald, 1st/11th Earl of Kildare also went by the nick-name of 'The Wizard Earl'.1 He held the office of Master of Horse to Cosimo de' Medici, Duca di Firence.1 He was invested as a Knight circa 1552.1 In 1552 his estates were restored to him.1 He was created 1st Earl of Kildare [Ireland] on 13 May 1554.1 He was created 1st Baron of Offaly [Ireland] on 13 May 1554.1 He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Kildare in 1556.1 He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Dublin in 1556.1 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) [Ireland] in March 1557/58.1 He succeeded to the title of 11th Earl of Kildare [I., 1316] on 23 February 1568/69, restored by Act of Parliament.1 He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.2
  • 'Children of Gerald FitzGerald, 1st/11th Earl of Kildare and Mabel Browne
    • 1.Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald+3 d. 12 Jan 1617
    • 2.Lady Mary FitzGerald+4 d. 1 Oct 1610
    • 3.William FitzGerald, 3rd/13th Earl of Kildare3 d. c Apr 1599
    • 4.Gerald FitzGerald, Lord Garratt+1 b. 28 Dec 1559, d. Jun 1580
    • 5.Henry FitzGerald, 2nd/12th Earl of Kildare+3 b. 1562, d. 1 Aug 1597
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 2298. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • 2.[S18] Matthew H.C.G., editor, Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1995). Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.
  • 3.[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2299.
  • 4.[S15] George Edward Cokayne, editor, The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume I, page 231. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Baronetage.
  • From:
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Gerald FitzGerald, 11th Earl of Kildare (1525–1585), also known as the "Wizard Earl" (a sobriquet also given to Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland), was an Irish peer. He was the son of Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kildare.

FitzGerald became the sole male representative of the Kildare Geraldines when only twelve years of age, after his half brother Silken Thomas—the tenth earl— together with 5 of his uncles were executed at Tyburn in 1537 [1]. Thereafter he was on the run in Ireland and ended up in Donegal under the guardianship of his aunt, Lady Eleanor McCarthy, the wife of the O Domhnaill chief. Around his claims to the Earldom of Kildare formed the short-lived Geraldine League, a federation including the O'Neills, the O'Donnells, the O'Briens of Thomond, and other powerful Irish clans, related to the Geraldines by marriage. The League came to nothing after the principal members were badly defeated in Monaghan following a raid into The Pale in August 1539.

FitzGerald escaped Ireland with a few loyal servants and was protected from Henry VIII and his agents by King Francis I of France and Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. He was educated at a monastery in Liège, and spent time with the Bishop of Verona, the Cardinal of Mantua and the Duke of Mantua. From his time at the Duke's court, Kildare was fluent in Italian and experienced in the court culture of Renaissance Italy. He then moved on to Rome, to his kinsman Cardinal Reginald Pole. He spent three years studying there under his guidance.[2]; He fought with the Knights of Rhodes against the Turks and during these years in exile he travelled as far as Tripoli in Libya, then held by the Knights of St. John. He returned to Kildare following the death of Henry VIII and was received at court. There his lands were returned to him by Edward VI. Also, at court he met Mabel Browne, daughter of Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse. They were wed on 28 May 1554 in the Chapel Royal. During the reign of Henry VIII's daughter Mary I in 1554 FitzGerald helped suppress the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger. He was created Earl of Kildare and Baron of Offaly. He returned to Ireland soon after receiving his titles. [2]

His interest in alchemy caused much interest among those living around his Kilkea Castle, and he was said to possess magic powers. This interest earned him the nickname "the Wizard Earl".

The Earl died in 1585, and according to legend his ghost returns to the castle every seventh year, mounted on a silver-shod white charger.


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Gerald Fitzgerald, 11th Earl of Kildare's Timeline

February 28, 1525
London, Middlesex,England
Age 33
Age 36
Age 37
Age 38
November 16, 1585
Age 60
London, Middlesex,England
November 16, 1585
Age 60