Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam

Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam PC (c. 1677 – 6 June 1743) was an Irish nobleman and politician. He was the only son of Thomas FitzWilliam, 4th Viscount FitzWilliam and his first wife Mary Stapleton, daughter of the statesman Sir Philip Stapleton.[1] The FitzWilliam family are recorded in Ireland from about 1210, and had become one of the largest landowners in Dublin. He succeeded to the Viscountcy of FitzWilliam in 1704, and became a member of the Irish Privy Council in 1715. He was elected Member of Parliament for Fowey in 1727, a seat he held until 1734.[2] His father and grandfather had been Roman Catholics, and his father had been under attainder for a time for his loyalty to James II;[3] but Richard conformed to the Church of Ireland.


In 1711, he built Mount Merrion House in Dublin. The older family home of Merrion Castle was, rather surprisingly, allowed to decay: it was a ruin by 1730, and was pulled down later in the century.[3] Richard spent his later years in England, but his heirs returned to Mount Merrion.


Lord Fitzwilliam married Frances Shelley, daughter of Sir John Shelley, 3rd Baronet of Michaelgrove.[1] They had five children:

Through FitzWilliam's daughter Mary, Countess of Pembroke, the great FitzWilliam inheritance in Dublin passed into the Herbert family in the following century; they are still substantial landowners in Dublin.


  1. 1 2 Burke's Peerage, 107th Edition Vol.1 p.677
  2. House of Commons: Fairfield to Fylde South
  3. 1 2 Ball, F. Elrington History of Dublin Alexander Thom and Co. Dublin 1902–1920 Vol.2 p.21
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Nicholas Vincent
William Bromley
Member of Parliament for Fowey
with William Bromley 1727
Jonathan Rashleigh 17271734
Succeeded by
Jonathan Rashleigh
William Hedges
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Thomas Fitzwilliam
Viscount FitzWilliam
Succeeded by
Richard FitzWilliam
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