Thomas FitzMaurice, 1st Earl of Kerry
He was the son of William FitzMaurice, 20th Baron Kerry, and Constance Long. He succeeded his father in March 1696/97 and was invested as a Privy Counsellor before April 1711. He was created Earl of Kerry on 17 January 1723, together with the subsidiary title Viscount Clanmaurice, both in the Peerage of Ireland. He had some military experience, and even his grandson Lord Shelburne, in a notably hostile character sketch, admitted that he showed courage and talent as a soldier. He was notorious for his hot temper, and even in an age when dueling was commonplace, he was reprimanded for challenging John Methuen, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland to a duel.
He married Anne Petty (1671-1737), daughter of the scientist and philosopher Sir William Petty and his wife Elizabeth Waller, Baroness Shelburne, daughter of Sir Hardress Waller, in 1692. They had five children:
- William Fitzmaurice, 2nd Earl of Kerry
- John Petty, 1st Earl of Shelburne
- Elizabeth, who married Maurice Crosbie, 1st Baron Brandon
- Arabella Denny, who married Colonel Arthur Denny, and was a noted philanthrophist
- Charlotte, who married Sir John Colturst, first of the Colthurst baronets of Ardrum.
Thomas FitzMaurice was the grandfather of William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of Great Britain. Shelburne left a most unflattering picture of his grandfather as "a tyrant... the most severe and inflexible character that can be imagined, obstinate and inflexible... his family did not love him but dreaded him, as did his servants". He praised his grandmother Anne Petty (whom he never knew personally) as a woman of superior intelligence and strong character, who was the only person who could manage her husband. His picture of his grandfather must be treated with some caution: it is likely to be based largely on other people's reports of his character, since William was not quite four years old when the old man died.
- The Complete Peerage (1910–1959; Gloucester, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume VII, page 213 / 214
- English Lords : Kerry, Shelburne, Lansdowne, Leigh
|Parliament of Ireland|
|Member of Parliament for Kerry
With: Edward Denny
| Succeeded by|
|Peerage of Ireland|
|New creation||Earl of Kerry
1723 – 1741
| Succeeded by|
1697 – 1741