FitzGerald (James fitz Thomas) (16th earl of Desmond)

  • d. 1607
James fitz Thomas FitzGerald, called the súgán (straw-rope) earl of Desmond and styled the 16th (or 15th) earl, was son of Sir Thomas fitz James FitzGerald, who despite being bastardised aspired to the title of earl of Desmond in opposition to his half-brother Gerald and fought for the English Crown. After Gerald’s death, the Crown dissolved the earldom in favour of a Munster plantation, but faced an uprising led in part by Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone. Where James had previously turned to the Crown in the hope of becoming earl of Desmond, he accepted that title from the rebels. In the ensuing years, however, he experienced great difficulty in making his authority felt. In 1601, he was captured and sent to the Tower of London, where he died in c.1607.

earl of Desmond earldom of Desmondearldom of Desmond

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1583–1601 (dep.)Known as the Súgán Earl, he was deposed and died in the Tower of London in 1607.
See also: FitzGerald dynasty of DesmondFitzGerald dynasty of Desmond
Leading family in Ireland, originally Anglo-Norman or Cambro-Norman, that produced the earls of Desmond.
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Reference works
McGuire, James [ed.], and James Quinn [ed.], Dictionary of Irish biography, online ed., Online: Royal Irish Academy, Cambridge University Press, 2009–present. URL: <>.
Clavin (Terry) [id. 003162.v1. ‘Fitzgerald, James fitz Thomas’] direct link
Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press, 2004–present. URL: <>. 
comments: General editors include Lawrence Goldman, et al.
McCormack (Anthony M.) [id. 9564. ‘Fitzgerald, James fitz Thomas, styled fifteenth earl of Desmond’] direct link
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February 2021, last updated: May 2022