The Second Earl

Black Jack's son, also named John Fitzgibbon, then became the second Earl of Clare and in 1803, just one year after taking over Mountshannon, he built a school for the education of the children of his estate workers. Here, in the little stone building, still there, opposite the present schoolhouse at Rich Hill, boys were taught reading and writing while the young girls, for some strange reason, were taught needlework only.

During his career the Earl spent much of his time in foreign parts and even became Governor of Bombay for some years. There is a story told locally of how, while on an inspection visit to the construction site of a new pier in Bombay, he recognised a face among the convicts carrying out the work. On questioning the man he found that he was a blacksmith from Lisnagry [a townland adjacent to Castleconnell] who had been transported five years previously for a minor transgression. Lord Clare had the man reprieved and immediately arranged for his free passage home to Ireland.

When the Earl died fifty years on his youngest brother, Richard, became the third Earl of Clare.

He represented the county and city of Limerick in parliament for many years. He was noted for his many acts of charity and his concern for the poor was well known to whom he constantly supplied food from the estate and firewood from his woods. He also contributed handsomely on several occasions to the building of the Catholic Church in Castleconnell. His son, John Charles Henry Fitzgibbon, died at Ballaclava in 1854 while leading his troop of Royal Irish Hussars in the famous charge of the Light Brigade. A statue to his memory was erected on the Wellesley Bridge (now Sarsfield Bridge) in Limerick city but was destroyed in an explosion in 1930. The site is now occupied by the 1916 Memorial.

previousPrevious - The Fitzgibbon Years
Next - Decline and Fallnext

Upload to this page

Upload to this page

Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.

Map Search

Related Libraries

Limerick City Library
Contact this library »


History & Heritage

Popular Sections