John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare

John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare KP GCH PC (10 July 1792 18 August 1851) was an Irish aristocrat and politician.

The Earl of Clare

Governor of Bombay
In office
Preceded byJohn Romer
Succeeded bySir Robert Grant
Personal details
Born(1792-07-10)10 July 1792
Died18 August 1851(1851-08-18) (aged 59)
Hon. Elizabeth Burrell
(m. 1826; his death 1851)
RelationsThomas Whaley (uncle)
ParentsJohn FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare
Anne Whaley
Alma materHarrow School
Christ Church, Oxford

Early life

FitzGibbon was born on 10 July 1792. He was the eldest son of John FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare and his wife, the former Anne Whaley.[1] He had two siblings, the Hon. Richard Hobart FitzGibbon (who later became the 3rd Earl of Clare), and Lady Isabella Mary Anne FitzGibbon.[2]

His maternal grandparents were Richard Chapel Whaley, of Whaley Abbey in County Wicklow, and the former Anne Ward (daughter of Rev. Bernard Ward). His uncle was the Thomas Whaley, a Member of Parliament for Newcastle. His father was the second, but first surviving son, and heir, of John FitzGibbon, of Mount Shannon in County Limerick and Eleanor (née Grove) FitzGibbon (daughter of John Grove, of Ballyhimmock, in County Cork).[2]

Upon his father's death in 1802, he succeeded to the titles of Baron FitzGibbon in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Clare in the Irish Peerage.[2] He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1812.[2]


From 1820 to 1851, he was active in estate management when not in public office, and from 1820 onwards was active in the House of Lords. In 1830 he became a Privy Councillor, and later the same year was appointed Governor of Bombay, serving until 1835.[2]

In 1835 he was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1839 and invested as a Knight of St Patrick in 1845. He was Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Limerick from 1846 to 1849 and afterwards Lord Lieutenant of the City of Limerick for the remainder of his life.

Personal life

On 14 April 1826, he married the Hon. Elizabeth Burrell, daughter of Peter Burrell, 1st Lord Gwydwyr and Lady Priscilla Bertie, suo jure Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.[3] Her dowry was between £30,000 and £60,000.[1] The couple lived apart, Lady Clare moving to the Isle of Wight where she built a Catholic church at Ryde and a Priory at Carisbrooke.

He was also known to have been a great friend of Lord Byron while attending Harrow School. Byron had claimed to love him "ad infinitum" and said that he could never hear the word "Clare" without "a murmur of the heart".[4]

Lord Clare died on 18 August 1851 and, as he had no issue, was succeeded in his titles and estates by his younger brother. His remains are deposited in Catacomb B, Vault 63, in Kensal Green Cemetery, London where his cap of maintenance may be seen inside the vault. His widow was buried at Mountjoy Cemetery in Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, next to her close companion Miss Charlotte Elliot.[5]


  1. Malcomson, A. P. W. (2006). The Pursuit of the Heiress: Aristocratic Marriage in Ireland 1740-1840. Ulster Historical Foundation. pp. 38, 80. ISBN 9781903688656. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. "Clare, Earl of (I, 1795 - 1864)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  3. "Person Page: John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare". 16 February 2011.
  4. O'Brien, Edna (2009), Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life; W.W. Norton & Co., pg 18.
  5. Toms, Jan (23 October 2017). "The Countess of Clare - Marriage, Love, Good Works". Retrieved 26 August 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Romer
Governor of Bombay
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Grant
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Hon. Richard FitzGibbon
Lord Lieutenant of Limerick
Succeeded by
The Earl of Clare
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
John FitzGibbon
Earl of Clare
Succeeded by
Richard FitzGibbon
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
John FitzGibbon
Baron FitzGibbon
(of Sidbury)
Succeeded by
Richard FitzGibbon, 3rd (and last) Earl of Clare
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