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Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Duke of Leinster (1914–2004) was an Irish nobleman.

Biography

The 8th Duke of Leinster was the third son of the 7th Duke; he inherited the title on the death of his eldest brother, Maurice, who died in an asylum in Edinburgh, his second brother had been killed in action in 1916.

Educated at Eton, he spent most of his childhood being cared for by Lady Maurice FitzGerald, an aunt of his father, at Johnstone Castle, County Wexford, where he enjoyed riding and hunting. He became the Marquess of Kildare in 1922 when his father inherited the Leinster titles. He became a cadet at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and took a commission in the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, with whom he served as a major in the Second World War. He was invalided out of the Army after being wounded in Normandy.

After the war he tried to farm the estate at Kilkea Castle, County Kildare, Ireland, but it proved unprofitable, and in the early 1960´s he moved to Oxfordshire and worked in the aviation industry. It was at his Oxfordshire home that, in 1976, the police were called to prevent his father making off with over £100,000 by way of a painting by Joshua Reynolds and a tapestry. His father died the same year; however he was prevented from receiving his title due to an American-based impostor claiming to be the son of his father's elder brother, Desmond (d. 1916). [1]

Similarly, in 1999, the Duke failed in his attempts to prevent a half-brother being formally recognised in both Debrett's Peerage and Burke's Peerage. This man, Adrian FitzGerald, was the illegitimate son of the 7th Duke by Yvonne Probyn, great-niece of Sir Dighton Probyn, VC, Keeper of the Privy Purse to Edward VII.

He married first, in 1936, Joane McMorrough-Kavanagh; they had three daughters, one of whom died in infancy. The marriage was dissolved in 1946, and later that year he married, secondly, Anne Eustace Smith, with whom he had two sons. His eldest son, Maurice, Marquess of Kildare, who was born in 1948, succeeded to the peerages.

References

  1. ^ IrishAbroad.com "American loses battle over Leinster duke claim".

External links

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward FitzGerald
Duke of Leinster
1976–2004
Succeeded by
Maurice FitzGerald
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