Edmund FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent

The Right Honourable
The Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
27 April 1921  6 December 1922
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Andrew Bonar Law
Preceded by The Viscount French of Ypres
Succeeded by Office abolished
Personal details
Born 1 June 1855 (1855-06)
Died 18 May 1947 (1947-05-19) (aged 91)
Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Mary Bertie
Religion Roman Catholic

Edmund Bernard FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent KG GCVO DSO PC (1 June 1855 – 18 May 1947), known as Lord Edmund Talbot between 1876 and 1921, was a British Conservative politician and the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was the first Roman Catholic to be appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland since the 17th century, holding office when the former Ireland was partitioned into Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland.[1][2]


FitzAlan was the second son of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk by his wife the Hon Augusta Lyons, daughter of Vice-Admiral Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons, and the younger brother of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk. Born Lord Edmund FitzAlan-Howard, he assumed in 1876 by Royal licence the surname of "Talbot" as part of an unsuccessful attempt to succeed to the estates of the Earl of Shrewsbury. He returned to the use of his paternal name by Royal Licence in 1921, shortly after being raised to the peerage.[2]


Talbot was elected Member of Parliament for Chichester in 1894, a seat he held until 1921, and served briefly under Arthur Balfour as a Lord of the Treasury in 1905 and under H. H. Asquith and later David Lloyd George as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from 1915 to 1921 (jointly from December 1916 onwards). In 1918 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[2]

On 27 April 1921 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the first Roman Catholic to be appointed to the position since 1685 during the reign of King James II. His appointment was possible because Section 37 of the Government of Ireland Act 1920 had been brought into force shortly beforehand.[3] That provision provided that no British subject would be disqualified from holding the position on account of his religious belief. Concerning the announcement of his impending appointment, the Daily Chronicle observed that "the concillatory motive of his appointment [being a Roman Catholic] is obvious...it is an olive branch in place of a dictatorship."[4]

However, his tenure as Lord Lieutenant lasted only a year and a half. The post was abolished with the coming into existence of the Irish Free State and its constitution in 1922. The position was replaced by the offices of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State and the Governor of Northern Ireland. The day after his appointment as Lord Lieutenant he was raised to the Peerage as Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, of Derwent in the County of Derby. In addition, during the minority of his nephew the 16th Duke of Norfolk, who succeeded to the dukedom in 1917, he served as Deputy Earl Marshal.[2]

Personal life

FitzAlan married Lady Mary Bertie (1859–1938), daughter of Montagu Bertie, 7th Earl of Abingdon, on 5 August 1879. They lived at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park and had two children:[5]

FitzAlan died on 18 May 1947 at the age of 91, and was succeeded in the viscountcy by his only son Henry.



Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Walter Gordon-Lennox
Member of Parliament for Chichester
1894 – 1921
Succeeded by
Sir William Bird
Political offices
Preceded by
John Gulland
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
With: Neil James Archibald Primrose 1916–1917
Hon. Frederick Guest 1917–1921
Succeeded by
Charles McCurdy
Leslie Orme Wilson
Government offices
Preceded by
The Viscount French of Ypres
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Succeeded by
Position replaced by the
Governor-General of the Irish Free State
and the Governor of Northern Ireland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent
Succeeded by
Henry FitzAlan-Howard
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