Lord Otho FitzGerald

Lord Otho Augustus FitzGerald PC (10 October 1827 – 19 November 1882) was a British soldier and Liberal politician. He notably served as Comptroller of the Household under William Gladstone between 1868 and 1874. He was also a noted amateur composer.

Lord Otho FitzGerald
"A Message from The Queen" – Lord Otho FitzGerald, by Leslie Ward, 1873.
Comptroller of the Household
In office
12 December 1868  17 February 1874
Prime MinisterWilliam Gladstone
Preceded byViscount Royston
Succeeded byLord Henry Somerset
Personal details
Born10 October 1827
Died19 November 1882 (1882-11-20) (aged 55)
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Ursula Bridgeman
(d. 1883)


Although the family home of the Duke of Leinster was Carton House near Maynooth, County Kildare (Ireland), FitzGerald was born at Harrington House, Northamptonshire (England), the home of his mother. He was the third son of Augustus FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster, by his wife Lady Charlotte Augusta Stanhope, daughter of General Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington. Charles FitzGerald, 4th Duke of Leinster, was his elder brother.[1] Another brother, Gerald Fitzgerald (1821–1886) was, like Otho, an amateur composer and a noted artist.

Political career

Fitzgerald was an officer in the Royal Horse Guards and served as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.[1] He entered the House of Commons in 1865 as member for Kildare, a seat he held until 1874.[1][2] In 1866 he was sworn of the Privy Council[3] and made Treasurer of the Household under Lord Russell,[4] a post he only held until the fall of the Liberal government in June of that year.[5] He returned to office as Comptroller of the Household under William Gladstone in 1868,[6] a post he retained until the government fell in 1874.[7]

Fitzgerald died at Bray, Berkshire.


Lord Otho married Ursula Lucy Grace Bridgeman, daughter of Vice Admiral Charles Orlando Bridgeman and widow of Lord Londesborough, on 14 December 1861.[1] This was regarded by his contemporaries as a fortune-hunting match. They had two children:

  • Major Gerald Otho FitzGerald (25 September 1862 – 20 March 1919), unmarried and without issue.
  • Ina Blanche Georgie FitzGerald (12 January 1864 – 6 July 1910), married on 29 January 1885 Major Arthur Leopold Paget (19 August 1856 – 1 March 1906).[1]

Fitzgerald for a while owned Oakley Court on the Thames, at Bray in Berkshire. He died in November 1882, aged 55. Lady Otho FitzGerald only survived him by a year and died in November 1883.[1] They are buried at St Andrew's Church, Clewer.

Musical compositions

Fitzgerald probably enjoyed a private musical education. He published piano music in Dublin with Robinson & Bussell (later Henry Bussel). Works include:[8]

  • The Spirit of the Ball (c.1850)
  • The Irish Steeple Chase Galop (c.1860)
  • The Mirage Valses (c.1860)
  • The Mistletoe Waltzes (not dated)
  • The Staff Polka (not dated)

The composer Oscar Krahmer dedicated his piano work The Garrison Ball Galop (1857) to Otho Fitzgerald.[9]


  1. thepeerage.com Rt. Hon. Lord Otho Augustus FitzGerald
  2. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 1)
  3. "No. 23126". The London Gazette. 12 June 1866. p. 3423.
  4. "No. 23115". The London Gazette. 11 May 1886. p. 2899.
  5. "No. 23137". The London Gazette. 13 July 1866. p. 3984.
  6. "No. 23452". The London Gazette. 22 December 1868. p. 6776.
  7. "No. 24071". The London Gazette. 3 March 1874. p. 1453.
  8. Taken from the online catalogues of the National Library of Ireland (http://catalogue.nli.ie) and the British Library (http://catalogue.bl.uk).
  9. Copy in the National Library of Ireland, call number Add Mus 6691.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard More O'Ferrall
William Cogan
Member of Parliament for Kildare
With: William Cogan
Succeeded by
Charles Henry Meldon
William Cogan
Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Bury
Treasurer of the Household
May–June 1866
Succeeded by
Lord Burghley
Preceded by
Viscount Royston
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Lord Henry Somerset
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