Fitzwilliam, Sir William

Fitzwilliam, Sir William, 1526–99, lord deputy of Ireland. He acquired (1547) land in Ireland by a grant of Edward VI. Although a Protestant, he was loyal to Queen Mary I, and she appointed him keeper of the great seal in Ireland (1555). Under Elizabeth I he was vice treasurer (1550–73) and several times lord justice of Ireland in the absence of the 3d earl of Sussex. His terms as lord deputy (1572–75, 1588–94) were marked by insufficient funds, his own lack of military skills, ineffective communication between him and the English court, and vague charges of maladministration. He did, however, successfully quell an uprising in Monaghan, and thereafter assisted in its resettlement. He was governor of Fotheringhay Castle when Mary Queen of Scots was executed there (1588).

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