Fitzgerald, Lord Edward (1763–98), United Irishman, was born 15 October 1763 in London, the fifth son and twelfth child of James FitzGerald (qv), first duke of Leinster, and his wife, Emily FitzGerald (qv) (née Lennox), daughter of the duke of Richmond. He was brought to Ireland as a young child, first to the impressive family estate at Carton in Co. Kildare, and then to Frescati, the idyllic bathing lodge at Blackrock outside Dublin. His mother, to whom Edward remained attached throughout his life, was enthused by Rousseau's ideas on natural education, and the Scotsman William Ogilvie (qv) was recruited to provide an unusually child-centred education to her growing brood. The tutor soon evolved into a stepfather: Emily and Ogilvie married shortly after the death of the first duke in 1773, and to avoid the inevitably malicious Dublin scandal they moved with the school-aged children to her brother's chateau, Aubigny, in France. Emily deployed her formidable array of emotional skills on her fractured family, ruling as a loving doyenne long after the scattering of her many children. Throughout Edward's short life, he was her acknowledged favourite.
As a younger son in a large family, Edward had limited prospects: a military career for the well-connected young man was decided upon, and in 1778 an ensign's commission was purchased for him in the 96th regiment. In 1780, in order to see American action and to improve his career prospects, he purchased a lieutenancy in the 19th regiment of foot (the Green Howards). He embarked from Cork for South Carolina with thirty officers, thirty sergeants, and 672 men (many of them Irish), and arrived at Charleston on 3 June 1781. FitzGerald served as aide-de-camp to the Irish officer Francis Rawdon-Hastings (qv), 2nd earl of Moira, the British commander. He was dispatched to fight against General Greene in the mosquito-ridden swamps and creeks of a blazing summer and escorted American prisoners back to Charleston; one prisoner (Lt-Col. William Washington) said of him: ‘I never knew so loveable a person and every man in the army, from the general to the drummer, would cheer at his expression. His frank and open manner, his universal benevolence, his valour almost chivalrous and above all his unassuming tone made him an idol to all who served him’ (Newsletter, p. 7). On 8 September 1781 the final and fiercest battle of the war in the Carolinas was fought over four hours at Eutaw Springs, where the Americans lost 550 men and the British 690. FitzGerald was wounded by a bayonet gash to his thigh and left for dead until he was rescued by Tony Small, a South Carolina slave.
The best-documented Irish example of imaginative sympathy between a white and a black man is the subsequent relationship between FitzGerald and Small. Until his death in 1798, in a sprawling career that took him across much of Europe, America, and Canada, FitzGerald never subsequently parted from his ‘faithful Tony’. In 1786 he ‘was going to send Tony to London to learn to dress hair but when he was to go, I found that I could not do without his friendly face to look at, and one that I felt to love me a little’. In 1788, lonely in Canada, he observed that ‘his black face is the thing that I feel attached to’. (NLI, MS 35,011). For FitzGerald, Small represented the talisman of universal brotherhood, of the possibility of human companionship across the barriers of colour, class, and nationality. After Lord Edward's death, Small moved to London, where the FitzGerald family continued to support him. Arthur O'Connor reported to Edward's sister Lady Lucy on 2 March 1802: ‘I have heard poor Tony was in London and in distress.’ She indignantly marked his letter: ‘This was not true’. (NLI, MS 35,005).
Following the British surrender at Yorktown on 19 October 1781, FitzGerald transferred to the West Indies in June 1782. As a fluent French speaker, he was invited to join General O'Hara in St Lucia. His regiment was then sent back to Ireland. Back at home, he was elected MP for Athy (a FitzGerald-controlled borough) in 1784. Bored and restive, he re-joined the British army in Canada in 1788 as a major, first in the 90th foot and then in the 54th foot. He was dispatched to Halifax and then New Brunswick. Because of his excellent connections (his uncle the duke of Richmond was master-general of the ordnance in the English cabinet) and his personal popularity, Lord Edward, as he was now habitually called, could have expected rapid advancement. In 1790 Richmond was behind the offer of a lieutenant-colonelcy, but accepting it required absolute political loyalty to Pitt. That was a step too far for a principled Irish whig. Edward's refusal opened a breach with the English side of his family and stopped his army career in its tracks.
Travels in America, 1788–9
His travels and his warm friendships with African-Americans (Tony Small) and Native Americans (Joseph Brant) convinced FitzGerald of the validity of that most eighteenth-century of concepts – the brotherhood of man. ‘I have seen human nature under all its forms – everywhere it is the same.’ As a member of the Abenaki tribe told him in 1789: ‘We were all one brother, all one Indian’ (NLI, MS 35,011). After his epic trek from Canada to the headwaters of the Mississippi and then down to New Orleans, he quipped that ‘Ireland and England will be too little for me when I go home’ (ibid.). Following his trips there in 1780–81 and 1788–9, his daughter claimed: ‘My father had got his republican ideas in America’ (Campbell, 96). The bulk of the United Irishmen leadership was born in the 1760s; they were teenagers during the American Revolution, and remained enthralled by it throughout their lives – Edward FitzGerald followed this pattern. In a wider sense, FitzGerald was equally characteristic of the European encounter with the wilderness. His travels deepened his disenchantment with aristocratic life and developed his evolving radicalism.
Having been rebuffed as an impecunious younger son from courting his first Irish love, Catherine Meade, in 1786, and then even more woundingly from pursuing his English aristocratic cousin, Georgiana Lennox, in 1788, the broken-hearted Lord Edward voyaged to Canada later that year, where his warm account of the domestic life of native peoples was profoundly tinged by his recoil from the cold realities of the English marriage market. He told his mother that, if it were not for his immediate family,
I really would join the savages, and, leaving all our fictitious ridiculous wants, and be what nature intended we should be. Savages have all the happiness of life, without any of those inconveniences or obstacles to it which custom has introduced among us. They enjoy the love of their wives, and relations and friends, without any interference of interests or ambitions to separate them. To bring things home to oneself, if we had been Indians, instead of its being my duty to be separated from all of you, it would be my duty to hunt and to fish for you, to be with you, to make you comfortable. Instead of Lord George's being violent against my marrying Georgiana, he might be glad to give her to me, that I might maintain and feed her. There would be then no cases of looking forward to the fortune for children; of thinking how you are to live; no separations in families, one in Ireland, one in England; no devilish politics; no fashions, customs, duties or appearances to the world to interfere with one's happiness. Instead of being served and supported by servants, everything here is done by one's relations, by the people one loves; and the mutual obligations you must be under increase your love for each other(NLI, MS 35,011).
His positive response to his Native American experiences in the Great Lakes area intensified after his introduction to the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant – himself the product of an Irish–Native American liaison. His father was the celebrated Irishman Sir William Johnson (qv), of upstate New York. FitzGerald enjoyed his ceremonial induction as a chieftain of the Seneca (one of the six Iroquois nations) near Detroit on 21 June 1789: ‘I, David Hill, Chief of the Six Nations, give the name of Eghnidal to my friend Lord Edward FitzGerald, for which I hope he will remember me as long as he lives. The name belongs to the Bear Tribe’ (Moore, 148).
Under the tutelage of Hill and Brant, FitzGerald made his epic trek from New Brunswick, via the Great Lakes, down the Ohio valley to the Mississippi, ending up at New Orleans, where his characteristically enthusiastic embrace of new cultures took the form of learning Spanish. FitzGerald's cosmopolitanism – travelling across Spain and Portugal, living in Paris with Paine at the height of the French Revolution, a sojourn in the West Indies, an epic trek across North America, his revolutionary intrigues in Hamburg and Switzerland – is itself an eloquent commentary on the international ethos of the radical milieu of the 1790s. His life was drawn on a vast canvas. His entrée into new cultures was smoothed by his skill with languages, his easy way with people, and his tremendous capacity for friendship. He became close to Small in 1781, to Brant in 1789, to Thomas Paine in Paris in 1792, to the moody, haughty, and intellectually arrogant Arthur O'Connor (qv) after 1793, and to many other of the leading United Irishmen after 1795.
Whig to republican, 1790–93
Elected MP for Kildare in 1790, he sat with the opposition, in which his family traditionally exercised leadership. However, his eldest brother William FitzGerald (qv) – socially dull, intellectually slow, and politically inept – was now duke of Leinster and leader of the Irish whigs, and Edward chafed in his shadow. In London, he embarked on a characteristically whirlwind and passionate affair with Elizabeth Linley, a celebrity singer and the wife of the dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan (qv). Together the pair had Mary, a short-lived natural child, but the exhausted Elizabeth died soon after of consumption.
Once more in recoil from a frustrated love, and drawn to what was happening in France, FitzGerald journeyed to Paris in October 1792, where his fluent French gave him instant access to revolutionary proceedings. He soon declared himself a fully fledged republican – le citoyen Edouard FitzGerald: ‘I do not like to be Lord Edward.’ He lodged with (and presumably translated for the monoglot) Thomas Paine, the most celebrated international advocate of the French Revolution. ‘I lodge with my friend Paine – we breakfast, dine and sup together. The more I see of his interior, the more I like and respect him. I cannot express how kind he is to me: there is a simplicity of manner, a goodness of heart and a strength of mind in him that I never knew a man before possess . . . The present scene occupies my thought a great deal and dissipates unpleasant feelings very much . . . I can compare it [Paris] to nothing but Rome in its days of conquest’ (Moore, 81).
His worried mother believed him to be ‘mad about French affairs – the levelling principles and indeed [he] seems entirely engrossed by these subjects upon which he converses in a charming, pleasant way’ (Campbell, 21). He cropped his hair, and he ostentatiously relinquished his title at a famous dinner in White's Hotel on 18 November 1792. His presence was widely reported and the army cashiered him on 30 November 1792. FitzGerald also renewed his affectionate and long-running affair with his French mistress, the adventuresome grass widow Madame De Lévis. Three days after the dinner at White's Hotel he spotted Pamela Sims at the theatre. On 21 December 1792 in Tournai, after yet another whirlwind three-week romance, he married the exotic Pamela (1776?–1831), allegedly the natural daughter of the comtesse de Genlis, and whose father was reputed to be Philippe Égalité (the erstwhile duc d’Orléans), the king's notorious cousin. Despite his decidedly unpromising track record, FitzGerald proved a faithful and loving husband, and the couple quickly had three children, Edward, Pamela, and Lucy.
Dublin and Kildare, 1793–6
Back in Dublin in January 1793, Lord Edward ostentatiously embraced radical politics. On 31 January 1793 he opposed a vote of thanks to the lord lieutenant, Westmorland (qv) (Musgrave, 118). His radical reputation swelled to the extent that he featured on jugs in Belfast as ‘the man of the people’ (Agnew, i, 497). It was said of him in Dublin: ‘He is turned a complete Frenchman, crops his hair, despises his title, walks the streets instead of riding and thence says he feels more pride in being on a level with his fellow citizens’ (Robert Jephson, in Maxwell, 108). He dramatically repudiated the Irish establishment into which he had been born and accused the arch-conservative lord chancellor John FitzGibbon (qv) of ‘being the king's worst subject’. In the house of commons, he ostentatiously refused to dress in mourning for the king of France (Waterford Herald, 12 Feb. 1793). This gesture was replicated by Arthur O'Connor, initiating a close friendship with the man Edward called ‘the twin of his soul’ (Campbell, 15).
The Dublin social set – piqued that FitzGerald had married a glamorous outsider – closed ranks against this French invader – too young, too vivacious, too French, too much in love and loved. Pamela was also far in advance in the fashion stakes, and this caused a smear campaign against her. In 1793 her stylish pink ribbons were reported as red, dipped in the blood of her guillotined uncle by Parisian friends, and sent to her in Dublin (Campbell, 58–9). The snubbed Pamela complained: ‘Edward, je ne veux plus aller au Bal: des gens d’une telle impolitesse’ (Tillyard, 159).
Pamela and Edward both disliked the formal and ‘melancholy’ Leinster House, and in 1794 they moved their family to Kildare town, close to his personal small estate at Kilrush. Here Edward ingratiated himself with the local population and embraced the ‘democratic turf and milk’ of his rural Kildare retreat. He self-consciously shed elaborate aristocratic dress and wigs for the plain clothes and cropped hair of the democrat; he began to play the uilleann pipes, became an expert dancer of jigs, and started to learn Irish. He took up handball and charmed his way through the pubs and country kitchens of Kildare into the popular memory of his country. FitzGerald became the most charismatic of the United Irish leaders. The glamorous Geraldine mantle was inherited by him: ‘An intimacy persisted between numberless families who resided on the Leinster estate and Lord Edward. He was considered and known to be deep in the designs of the leaders of the United cause and was always accessible to the young farmers who were zealous to be deemed instruments in his hands for carrying on all their plans of insurrection to maturity’ (O'Kelly, 21). Another Kildare-based commentator described his activities: ‘About the year 1796, His Lordship resided in Kildare, danced among the rustics at bonfires, and in short uniformly conducted himself amongst them with such uncommon condescension, freedom and affability that like Absalom of old, he stole away the hearts of the people’ (Alexander, 22). Government-supported newspapers reported: ‘Lord Edward Fitzgerald used to mix with and participate in the breakfasts and dinners of the meanest peasantry in the county and we are assured by a letter from that county that he used to hold the plough in order to obtain the confidence (for the purpose of abusing it) of the unsuspecting and ignorant tiller of the land’ (FDJ, 3 May 1798). Edward used his new base as the launching pad of revolution, far enough away from the capital to be discreet, but close enough to stay in touch: ‘The neighbourhood of Kildare to Dublin renders it peculiarly connected in sedition with the affiliated conspiracy in Dublin’ (FDJ, 8 May 1798). Many Kildare people lived in the city, making for free and easy communication with the capital.
United Irish leader, 1796–8
Between mid 1795 and early 1796 the United Irish organisation was reorganised as an underground revolutionary movement, and FitzGerald became one of its recognised leaders and, given his army background, its leading military strategist. In May 1796 he went with Arthur O'Connor clandestinely via Hamburg to Switzerland, where he called on Reinhard, the French consul, although the less easily identified O'Connor negotiated with General Hoche, the designated leader of the proposed French invasion force. In May 1797 he went to London to solicit support for a French invasion through Jaegerhorn (dispatched from Hamburg by Reinhard and Count Valence, Pamela's brother-in-law) and also to Forge links with the revolutionary underground there. By 1795 a consensus developed among the FitzGeralds to protect the family as Edward's radicalism deepened into treason. With Edward's prompting, they all agreed to avoid overt political commentary in their letters. The young FitzGerald girls were warned ‘never to leave their private opinion to the mercy of the post office’ because ‘all the letters to and from FitzGeralds are opened’ (NLI, MS 35,005). Between 1795 and 1798, despite the circulation of hundreds of letters within this intensely epistolary family, there is only trivial or vaguely general political comment.
In 1796 Edward relinquished his much-loved son Eddie into the care of trusted relatives in England, having persuaded Pamela (who hero-worshipped as well as loved him) that this was the right course of action. ‘As for the dear child's sake, the thing must not be done by halves, so that I consider the little thing as dead for me and shall act as if there was no such being in the world and I cannot be too strict in this conduct and hope I shall act up to it with all the firmness that is necessary – it is painful’ (NLI, MS 35,011). Eddie was left with his grandmother Emily in London. She immediately understood the sacrifice that the child's parents were making: ‘They adore it and delight in all of its pretty ways and yet to leave it behind out of downright good nature and affection to me was a sacrifice indeed’ (NLI, MS 35,005). The emotionally adept FitzGerald correctly anticipated that the young boy would solace his grieving mother if death struck him down. The boy – ‘my little heart's delight’ – soon absorbed Emily's formidable mothering instincts. After Lord Edward's death, he proved therapeutic – ‘he chases away misery, occupies and delights me’ (NLI, MS 35,004). Emily's daughter Sophia believed that the child was ‘a sweet little emblem of the dear beloved departed father. He is the balm of her afflicted soul’ (NLI, MS 35,004). FitzGerald's infant daughter Lucy Louisa was given into the care of his maiden aunt Sophia in England in 1798, when Pamela was forced out of the country.
The arrangements for the future of his son prove the seriousness of FitzGerald's revolutionary commitment. By now he was leaning towards an indigenous insurrection strategy. He was also seen as the life and soul of the United Irish movement. The teenage Trinity student Thomas Moore (qv) captured the radical chic attached to FitzGerald in 1797, as he strode down Grafton Street: ‘Though I saw him but this once, his peculiar dress, the elastic lightness of his step, his fresh, healthful complexion and the soft expression given to his face by their long dark eyelashes are as present and familiar to me in my memory as if I had intimately known him’ (Moore, 143).
FitzGerald invited the spendthrift but financially rapacious Thomas Reynolds (qv) (a tenant on the Leinster estate) to join the United Irishmen in November 1797 and then rapidly promoted him colonel in the Co. Kildare organisation. Reynolds betrayed the society, leading to the arrests of senior Leinster United Irishmen in March 1798. Lord Edward was forced into hiding in various Dublin locations, although he continued to circulate with surprising freedom, amazingly confident that the ordinary people would never betray him, even after Dublin Castle posted the huge reward of £1,000 on 11 May for information leading to his arrest. Despite the fact that it would have been easy for him to do so, Edward decided not to flee to America: ‘I am too deeply pledged to these men to be able to withdraw with honour.’ A bodyguard of seasoned United Irishmen accompanied him on his nocturnal rambles, notably William Lawless (qv), William Putnam McCabe (qv), and Samuel Neilson (qv) (Madden, i, 298). FitzGerald was by now scrambling hard to put the final pieces in place for a Dublin-centred insurrection, to take place on 23 May 1798.
Arrest and death
Lord Edward's hiding place with the feather merchant Nicholas Murphy was betrayed to the spymaster Francis Higgins (qv) by the secretive catholic barrister Francis Magan (qv), who received the £1,000 reward. At seven in the evening on 19 May, an arrest party led by Major Sirr (qv) burst into his upstairs room at 151 Thomas Street in the heart of the Liberties. FitzGerald fiercely resisted arrest, killed one man with his dagger, but sustained serious injuries himself when Sirr shot him in the shoulder at point-blank range. He was taken to Dublin Castle and then jailed in Newgate.
Richard Farrell (1776–1850), the young catholic diarist, described the atmosphere in Dublin after his capture:
The public mind seemed much agitated – the countenances of some expressed great grief, a few open joy, but most were serious . . . . There was but one subject of conversation and that was unfortunate Lord Edward. From the commencement of the war he appeared the declared opponent of government, and the champion of the independence of this country – some say he took a lesson in politics from his Lady Pamela, said to be a daughter of that unnatural and detested monster Égalité. Lord Edward, whom I have often seen, was in the middle size and of hardy make, like flint. His engaging countenance was good natured as well as enterprising. He was remarkable for dressing like an English groom or, as we are told, like a French Jacobin – a member of a beloved and illustrious family. He was well fitted for a leader of the people in the approaching struggle and now from his general conduct in life and his heroic conduct when taken he was loved and revered by his friends and respected and pitied by his enemies . . . I supped in Murray's in Great George's Street where, as I was accustomed, I expected to meet a pleasant party – but nothing could raise the dejected spirits of this party – the females were in tears all day . . .(Little, 336).
Wadding from the slugs lodged in his shoulder caused infection of his wound, and Lord Edward suffered excruciating pain from septicaemia. Because they did not think of his wounds as life-threatening and because they feared renewed bleeding, the doctors decided not to remove the slugs. This left the source of the infection in place, and probably induced excruciatingly painful tetanus. On the eve of the rising, Samuel Neilson, who was now in charge, launched a desperate attempt to rescue Lord Edward, but succeeded only in getting himself arrested. The decapitated United Irish leadership was a principal cause of the failure of the subsequent rebellion.
FitzGerald died in agony on 4 June 1798 in his Newgate cell. Two versions of his death circulated. One was sentimental and sanitised, prepared to assuage his mother's grief by her religiously minded and politically terrified sister Lady Louisa Conolly (qv). It emphasised her son's calm resignation, his piety, and his solicitude for his family. The harsher truth surfaced more obliquely – the horrible suffering, the mood swings, the rage, the final swearings and cursings. A will had been signed a week previously in jail: its wildly scrawled and almost disintegrated signature vividly suggests physical and mental anguish.
With an unexpectedly formidable rebellion raging all around them, with rumours racing through loyalist Dublin, and with the capital in a state of feverish excitement and barely suppressed panic, the authorities, led by Lord Castlereagh (qv), mandated a hurried and clandestine burial. At dead of night, following a macabre funeral procession organised by his aunt Lady Louisa, FitzGerald was buried in the crypt of St Werburgh's, under the shadow of Dublin Castle, where his lead coffin remains. Edward's brother Henry complained subsequently: ‘A guard was to have attended at Newgate the night of my poor brother's funeral in order to provide against all interruption from the different guards and patrols in the street. It never arrived which caused the funeral to be several times stopped in its way so that the burial did not take place till near two in the morning and the people attending obliged to stay in the church until passes could be procured to enlarge them’ (NLI, MS 35,006).
FitzGerald's nemesis, Major Sirr, who first met him in Gibraltar in 1787 and who lived to respectable old age, lies in the same churchyard, within twenty-five yards of him.
A vindictive parliament passed an act of attainder directed against FitzGerald's wife and three young children. The estate was sold in chancery and bought in trust for the children by Ogilvie, who ignored Pamela in making these arrangements. Carefully managed by Ogilvie, FitzGerald's son Edward was given an impeccably loyal education at Eton College and pursued a career as an army officer. After the end of the French wars in 1815, Ogilvie pressed the case for the reversal of the attainder, stating that ‘the late Lord Clare having assured me that the measure had been judged necessary at the time for the purposes of intimidation but that it would be be repealed as soon as the public tranquility was restored’ (NLI, MS 35,013). The attainder against the children (but not Lady Pamela) was finally lifted in 1819.
Even FitzGerald's enemies acknowledged his personal qualities. Sir Richard Musgrave (qv) commented on his ‘great valour and considerable abilities as an officer’, described him as ‘a man of honour and humanity’, and praised his ‘frankness, courage, and good nature’ (Musgrave, 298–9). The United Irishman Charles Teeling (qv) said of him that ‘no man was more truly happy in his domestic circle’ and that he was ‘the favourite of his family, the idol of his sisters’ (Teeling, 82). His niece Lady Mary FitzGerald offered this appraisal on 20 November 1798:
I think he acted from the greatest, the purest motives – the wish of making all his fellow creatures happy but the order of his patriotism & the enthusiastic mind he possessed were the cause of his being greatly imposed on by the ambitious few who afterwards betrayed everything & to whose wickedness we attribute his fall and our irreparable loss. Events have since proved that everything was represented in false colours . . . The Paddys have disgraced themselves I must confess and by their excessive love of plunder, and their conduct even from the French reports was not such as one would expect if they fought merely for their liberty: that sentiment alone inspires disinterestedness and gives an enthusiasm there is no conquering. Such was our Edward.(NLI, MS 35,001.)
His extended family had always adored Edward, and the word ‘angel’ is used again and again to describe him. His heart-broken sister Sophia observed after his death: ‘You know how truly he was loved by everyone of his family. He was the acknowledged favourite of our hearts. Whenever he came amongst us, it was universal delight’ (NLI, MS 35,004). While this might suggest a cardboard saint, Edward was far from that. He had a terrific sense of humour that so amused his many sisters – ‘that comedy, that buffoon, that dear ridiculous Eddy’, as his sister Lucy described him delightedly in 1793 (NLI, MS 35,004). He was charming, witty, and relaxed company, equally comfortable in male and female circles. A chess player and opera lover, he was a fine dancer, handsome, sensual, and endlessly fond of women. He was also a man's man, fond of the outdoor and military life, active and energetic. In Canada he enjoyed the winter sports of skating, snow shoeing, tobogganing, and canoeing. He was also easily bored, restless, mercurial, and prone to homesickness and debilitating bouts of ennui. He missed his closely knit family when abroad, notably his adored and adoring mother Emily, always his closest confidante. In Canada he wryly observed that ‘she has a rope around my heart that gives hard tugs’ (NLI, MS 35,011).
Thomas Moore published a courageous if bowdlerised life in 1831, which painted Lord Edward in glowing romantic colours, papered over the cracks within his family, and carefully avoided embarrassing his whig connections. Moore also cleaned up Lord Edward for edifying consumption. He corrected his style, removed any hint of low vulgarity, excised Edward's robust sense of humour, and toned down his lively exchanges with his sisters. In 1788, for example, FitzGerald had bantered his sisters Charlotte and Lucy in the humorous style that he reserved for them: ‘I am sure Charlotte got Mr Strutt by the swing of her bum but don't abandon your favourites, never spare them, work them well – the Lennox handkerchief and a Castletown nosegay and the little cockers [breasts] must get something’ (NLI, MS 35,011). Edward was also a man of the world, writing knowingly to his stepfather about his visits to Canadian brothels and comparing them to famous Parisian ones; he characteristically adds: ‘Pray don't let my mother hear about this, she would be quite shocked’ (ibid.).
The cult of Lord Edward grew apace. Popular in his lifetime, he immediately entered into the ballad tradition, where he was to stay verdant for two centuries. His grieving but politically cautious family commissioned multiple copies of the iconic Hugh Douglas Hamilton (qv) portrait from his studio (latterly in the NGI), discreetly replacing his republican jacket and buttons with a non-committal blazer, and his green and red cravat with an innocuous white scarf.
His wife, Pamela FitzGerald (c.1776–1831), had been reared from about age four as Anne Caroline Stéphanie Sims (or Seymour; sources differ) in the household of her natural father, the radical duc d'Orléans, at Bellechasse; she received the pet name ‘Pamela’ after Samuel Richardson's fictional heroine. Like her future husband, she received a Rousseauvean education, under the tutelage of her natural mother, Mme de Genlis, author, educationist, and governess to the duke's children. Between Lord Edward's arrest and death she made strenuous but futile efforts to visit him in prison. Thereafter she moved to Hamburg, where she assisted United Irish exiles, and married secondly (1800) Joseph Pitcairn, the US consul; they had two children, but separated by 1806. Pamela lived the rest of her life in various European locations, suffereing considerable financial hardship; after 1812 she lived mainly in France, most permanently in Montauban. Hoping vainly for a reversal of her fortunes, she moved to Paris in 1830 after the Orléanist ‘July revolution’ placed her natural half-brother Louis-Philippe on the French throne, but died penniless in the city 8 November 1831 at the Hotel de Danube, 7 rue Richepance. A double portrait with her daughter Pamela (1800), in the NGI, conveys a sense of her renowned and envied beauty.