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John Fitzgibbon, Earl of Clare

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ISBN: 0716526050 Categories: ,


Few men have risen to prominence more rapidly or spectacularly than John Fitzgibbon. Entering parliament in 1778, he was Attorney General within five years, Lord Chancellor in 1789. In 1794 he advanced to the rank of Viscount of Limerick and, in 1795, he attained the Earldom of Clare. A fervent advocate of the current governmental philosophy who freely expressed his contempt for Irish Catholicism, the period of his tenure saw Ireland descend into a state of economic entropy and social chaos. A man of enormous power, who inspired hatred and fear in equal measure, Fitzgibbon was described thus by Sir Jonah Barrington: Authoritative and peremptory in his address, commanding, able and arrogant in his language, a daring contempt for public opinion was the fatal principle which misguided his conduct and Ireland became divided between the friends of his patron, the slaves of his power, and the enemies of his tyranny.

Table of Contents

  1. Historiographical Dilemmas
  2. Antecedents and Early Years, 1600-1776
  3. Youthful Patriot, 1776-1780
  4. The Making of a Government Man, 1776-83
  5. Reformers, Sheriffs and Attachments
  6. The Commerce of Empire, 1785-7
  7. Police, Whiteboys and the Fitzgerald Trial
  8. Court Business
  9. The Regency Crisis
  10. Lord Chancellor
  11. The Pride of Power
  12. Convicts, Whigs and Mayors, 1789-90
  13. Catholic Relief and Protestant Reaction, 1790-2
  14. Catholic Relief and Protestant Reaction, 1793
  15. The United Irish Challenge, 1791-3
  16. The Fitzwilliam Business
  17. Repression and Rebellion, 1795-8
  18. The Act of Union and After, 1798-1802
  19. Epilogue

About the Author

Ann C. Kavanaugh did her PhD at Trinity College, Dublin and now lives and teaches in Fargo, N. Dakota.