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Duke of Leinster, Irish Dukedom created in 1766.

His Grace is the Premier Duke, Marquess, and Earl of Ireland.

Arms of the Duke of Leinster

Arms: Argent, a saltire gules.

Crest: A monkey statant proper, environed round the loins and chained or.

Supporters: Two monkeys proper environed round the loins and chained or.

His Grace's family has held many Peerages over the centuries; created Baron of Offaly (circa 1203), created Earl of Kildare (Ireland 1316), created Viscount Leinster (Great Britain 1747), created Earl of Offaly and Marquess of Kildare (Ireland 1761), created Baron Kildare (United Kingdom 1870).

All of that said, His Grace presently holds the titles of: Duke of Leinster, Marquess of Kildare, Earl of Kildare, Earl and Baron of Offaly, Viscount Leinster, and Baron Kildare.

John FitzGerald, 6th Baron of Offaly was a valiant soldier who assisted King Edward I in his Scottish campaigns in 1296, 1299, and 1301, was created Earl of Kildare in 1316. There is an interesting story related to the 1st Earl; while he was an infant, he was asleep at Woodstock Castle, near Athy, when a fire alarm was raised. In all the confusion, the child was forgotten. When the servants returned to search for the child, they found the room where the infant was sleeping in total ruin. Shortly thereafter, they heard a strange noise in one of the castle towers, they looked up and saw an ape (that was usually kept chained) carefully holding the infant in his arms. Later, as a sign of appreciation for the ape saving his life, the Earl adopted the monkey for his crest and supporters.

Some 200 years later, a sad turn of events befell the FitzGerald family.

Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl, was Lord Deputy and Lord Justice of Ireland for 33 years. He was an eminent military commander who invaded Ulster, took numerous castles, and in 1504 obtained a complete victory over the Irish chiefs of Connaught.

Upon the 8th Earl's death in 1513, he was succeeded by his son Gerald, 9th Earl and Lord Deputy of Ireland. The 9th Earl was deprived of his high office and, with his five half-brothers, was committed to the Tower of London and sentenced to be executed as a traitor. The 9th Earl died as a prisoner in 1534 and was succeeded by his son Thomas, 10th Earl.

The 10th Earl, having heard that his father was to be executed, threw off all of his allegiance to the English crown. He eventually surrendered on the promise of receiving a full pardon; this promise was violated my Henry VIII, and in 1537, the Earl, along with his five uncles, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tybury.

The 10th Earl was succeeded by his half-brother, Gerald, who remained in Italy, not to return to England until the death of Henry VIII.

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