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Lady Mary Fitzgerald (1725-1815)

Lady Mary Fitzgerald was the daughter of John, Lord Hervey and a grandaughter of the Earl of Bristol. As a young woman she had served as Lady of the Bedchamber to Princess Amelia Sophia. Her family circumstances appear to have been extremely unhappy; Three of her brothers inherited the Earldom of Bristol and were characterised by scandalous behaviour. One, Frederick was a particularly notorious Bishop of Derry for thirty years.

In 1745 she married George Fitzgerald of Turlough. The marriage was unhappy and the couple separated. Her oldest son George Robert Fitzgerald was known as "Fighting Fitzerald" and enjoyed a considerable reputation for violent behaviour and general recklessness. He was convicted of an assault against his own father and was ultimately executed for shooting his coachman.

Fitzgerald joined the Methodists and was a close friend of John and Mary Fletcher. Her character was described as 'marked by great meekness and humility, joined with a quiet firmness which enabled her to abide faithfully by the principles she once embraced'.

At the age of ninety, she was burned to death when her clothes caught fire accidentally. She was buried in City Road Chapel, London.

Source: Eminent Methodist Women by Annie E. Keeling (London 1893), 83-92

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