The Fitzpatricks- Earls of Upper Ossory

John FitzPatrick, 2nd Baron Gowran and 1st Earl of Upper Ossory (1719-1758)

John FitzPatrick (he capitalized the P) was the son of Richard FitzPatrick and became the 2nd Baron Gowran.  As Baron Gowran, he represented Harristown and Queen’s County (new name for County Laois) in the Irish House of Commons.  In 1751, he was elevated to Earl of Upper Ossory, the highest level in the peerage system ever attained by a Fitzpatrick.  He married Lady Evelyn Leveson-Gower, daughter of the 1st Earl Gower on 29 June 1744 and they had four children:.

  • John FitzPatrick (1719-1758)
  • Hon. Richard FitzPatrick (1748-1813)- Richard was one of the most interesting of the Fitzpatricks.  Hew was educated at Eton and joined the British Army as a lieutenant.  Despite his opposition to the war on the colonists, his regiment was ordered to fight the colonists  in New York and he fought in the Battle of Brandywine and Battle of Germantown.  He was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and returned to England where he was elected to parliament where he spoke out against the war on the colonists in the House of Commons.  He also retained his position in the British Army and was eventually promoted to Major General.  He became a powerful Whig politician and served as Secretary of War and as Chief Secretary of Ireland.  He was also a noted poet and wrote political satire. His writings included “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Almack’s Assembly Room” which was a parody on Thomas Gray’s “Eton College Ode.”   He also wrote a poem called “Verses Inscribed in the Temple of Friendship at St. Anne’s Hill.”  He never married but had numerous affairs including one with Lady Caroline Carpenter and was noted for having a “taste for married women of the Whig persuasion” including Lady Anne Foley, who was said to have sent him the following note after giving birth- “Dear Richard, I give you joy.  I have made you the father of a beautiful boy….P.S. This is not a circular.”

    Lady Mary FitzPatrick, daughter of John FitzPatrick, Earl of Upper Ossory

    Lady Mary FitzPatrick, oldest daughter of John FitzPatrick, Earl of Upper Ossory

  • Lady Mary FitzPatrick (c1747-1778)- married the Stephen Fox 2nd Baron Holland of Foxley on 20 April 1766.  they had two children, Hon. Caroline Fox and Henry Richard Fox, who became 3rd Baron Holland of Foxley (see her painting)
  • Lady Louisa FitzPatrick (1755-1789)- married General William Petty (formerly Fitzmaurice) 2nd Earl of Shelburne (later the 1st Marquess of Landsdowne) on 19 July 1779 at St. George’s, Bloomsbury, London.  Her son, Henry-Petty-Fitzmaurice was 3rd Marquess of Landsdowne.  She died in 1789 at Berkeley Square in London.

John FitzPatrick, 3rd Baron Gowran, 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory, Baron of Upper Ossory of Ampthill  (1745 – 1818)

John FitzPatrick, 2nd and last Earl of Upper Ossory was born in Ampthill, Befordshire, England.  He was educated at Westminster and Cambridge (Trinity College).  He was a member of the Whig party and a member of Parliament for Bedfordshire from 1767 to 1794.  He married Anne Liddell on 26 March 1769 at Kingston upon Thames in Surrey, England after having their first child (see below).  They had three children:

Lady Ann Fitzpatrick, daughter of John Fitzpatrick, Earl of Upper Ossory

Lady Anne FitzPatrick

  • Lady Anne Fitzpatrick (1768 – 1841)- see photograph of an etching done by Sir Joshua Reynolds that is on display at the National Museums in Liverpool.  Anne was the result of an affair between John Fitzpatrick and Anne Liddell who was married to Lord Grafton.  This affair resulted in a scandal and divorce before she married Lord FitzPatrick.  Anne was initially put in foster care but finally retrieved after the death of Mary and miscarriage of twin sons and was brought up in the household.  She never married.

    (c) Lady Lever Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

    Lady Gertrude FitzPatrick

  • Lady Mary FitzPatrick (1770 – 1771)
  • Lady Gertrude FitzPatrick (1774 – 1841) – see photograph of painting that is llocated in the Lady Lever Art Gallery.  Gertrude never married but she and her older sister did inherit the family estate.

In addition to his wife, he also had children by Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson.  They were apparently never married.  There were three children from this liaison.

  • John Wilson-Fitzpatrick (1807-1883)
  • Richard Wilson- (? – 1850)
  • Emma Mary Wilson (? – 1882)

John FitzPatrick, the last Earl of Upper Ossory died on 1 February 1818 at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England. He is known to have suffered from gout.  He is buried at Grafton Underwood in Northamptonshire, England.  All of his titles became extinct since he did not have a legitimate male heir; however, the peerage of the family will be reborn through John Wilson-Fitzpatrick, his illegitimate son.


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