Fitzmaurice, Patrick (d. 1600), 17th baron of Lixnaw and Kerry , was eldest son of Thomas (qv), 16th baron, and his wife Margaret, second daughter of James fitz John Fitzgerald (qv), 14th earl of Desmond. He was probably born in the early to mid 1550s. In October 1567 he, along with a number of Irish notables, accompanied the lord deputy of Ireland, Sir Henry Sidney (qv), to London. His father ruled the territory of Clanmaurice in north Co. Kerry and sought crown recognition for his claims to independence from his traditional overlord Gerald Fitzgerald (qv), 15th earl of Desmond (and Patrick's uncle). By going to the royal court, Patrick was to serve as a pledge for his father's future loyalty. However, the Fitzmaurices were to be consistently disappointed in their expectations of support from the English, who often abandoned them in order to placate the more powerful Desmond. By 1573 Patrick was back in Ireland, being kept as a pledge in Cork city. In spring 1574 Desmond forced the citizens of Cork to hand Patrick over to him and compelled both Patrick and his father to support him in his defiance of royal authority. In October 1576 Patrick appears participating in a raid on Desmond's behalf in Kerry.
He was in London in 1578, where he petitioned on behalf of his father for the property of two dissolved monasteries within Clanmaurice, but was rebuffed, as the queen had already granted these lands to Desmond. In 1579 he was described as being a servant of the queen, and he appears to have been in receipt of a royal pension. He was still in London in summer 1579 at the outbreak of the second Desmond rebellion in Munster. On 16 July the queen agreed to grant his father unspecified property equivalent in value to what he had petitioned for the previous year, and dispatched him home in the hope that he would assist the royal cause. However, by the start of October English officials in Munster were receiving intelligence that he had joined the rebels. On 17 March 1580 he met at Tralee with the lord justice Sir William Pelham (qv), who had brought a large army with him, and protested that he had been compelled to assist the rebels after falling into their hands. In fact, both he and his father claimed to be loyal while covertly aiding the rebels. As a result the government seized him and his brother Edmund in early August, imprisoning them in Limerick castle.
Apparently with the help of his jailer's wife, he escaped in August 1581, along with his brother Edmund and the son of Rory MacSheehy, the head of the MacSheehy galloglass in Munster. At first he and Edmund took refuge in Thomond but by the end of the year they had returned to Clanmaurice, where many of their father's supporters had become alienated by the exactions of a newly established royal garrison at Ardfert. They attracted widespread support and were able to mount a series of attacks on royal forces in the area. In April 1582 he led an attack on the garrison at Ardfert, at which time his father joined the rebellion. Royal forces devastated Clanmaurice in retaliation but the Fitzmaurices inflicted a significant defeat on the Ardfert garrison in September, after which the English withdrew from Ardfert. In January 1583 he was wounded in an engagement near Dingle. His father submitted to the government in April and Patrick did so either then or soon after. He was pardoned along with his father and brothers on 22 April 1585.
However, the government continued to regard him with great suspicion and – fearing he might lead armed resistance to the proposed plantation of Munster – arrested him in spring 1587. He languished in Dublin castle for the next five years despite pleas on his behalf by powerful Munster landowners, both English and Irish. The lord deputy Sir William Fitzwilliam (qv) regarded him as an inveterate troublemaker and kept him in confinement long after the release of other Munster lords who had been arrested around the same time. The devastation wrought on Clanmaurice during the second Desmond rebellion had left the Fitzmaurices in penury, and his lengthy incarceration may partly be due to his inability to bribe the notoriously venal Fitzwilliam. The English privy council eventually ordered his release on 20 March 1592.
On his return to Clanmaurice he was able to possess the family lands (his father having died in December 1590), but was immediately confronted with royal officials demanding he pay an annual rent to the crown for this property. At first he refused to countenance this, but found that royal soldiers were willing and able to seize his goods and livestock in lieu of a formal payment. He offered to pay £50 a year, which the royal commissioners sent to determine the matter found unsatisfactory. They eventually accepted this but only after forcing him to ride in their train for about 200 miles while they carried out government business in Munster. This must have been a humiliating experience for a proud noble lord. Thereafter, he was further discomfited by the activities of English land-grabbers in his territory.
Unsurprisingly, he joined the Munster uprising against the crown in autumn 1598 led by the self-proclaimed earl of Desmond, James fitz Thomas Fitzgerald (qv), whose forces quickly succeeded in overrunning most of the province. In June 1599 he and his men assisted fitz Thomas in attacking the English army led into Munster by Robert Devereux (qv), 2nd earl of Essex. Fitz Thomas was seized on behalf of the English by treachery in May 1600 and imprisoned in Castleishin, Co. Cork. However, Fitzmaurice and a large number of other rebel captains hastened to Castleishin with their men and rescued their leader before the main English army arrived to take him into custody. The royal governor of Munster, Sir George Carew (qv), regarded Fitzmaurice as one of the committed rebels and prepared to invade north Kerry in July. Fitzmaurice intended burning all his castles to prevent their falling into English hands but Carew surprised him by speedily sending a detachment into Clanmaurice, which captured his main castle at Lixnaw before it could be destroyed. Apparently in despair at the loss of Lixnaw, he withdrew to the castle of his son-in-law Donal O'Sullivan Mor, where he died 12 August 1600. He was buried at the Franciscan friary at Muckross, Co. Kerry.
He married (1574) Joan, daughter of David Roche, Viscount Fermoy. They had three sons, Thomas (qv), Gerald, and Maurice; and two daughters, Joan and Eleanor.