Fitzpatrick, Hugh (d. 1818), printer and bookseller, was said by an obituarist to be ‘descended from a noble Irish family’ and seems to have been a nephew of Sir Jeremiah Fitzpatrick (qv), of whose will he and his son Patrick Vincent Fitzpatrick (qv) were beneficiaries. It seems likely from this that his family were from Co. Westmeath. He is listed in the Dublin directories as being in business as a printer in Cope Street (1789), as an engraver and copper-plate printer at 2 Upper Ormond Quay (1790), as a printer and bookseller at the same address (1791–1800), and finally in the same capacity at 4 Capel Street (1801–18). He was the printer of a weekly newspaper, the Dublin Evening Packet (or The Town) (May 1788 to June 1789).
Fitzpatrick printed for Richard Cross (qv) a catholic edition of the Bible (1792). For the Catholic Committee he printed and published several public statements, most notably The petition of the catholics of Ireland (1793). Shortly after the passing of the Catholic Relief Act a few months later (9 April 1793) he was one of the first catholics to be admitted to the stationers’ guild. When the catholic national seminary at Maynooth was established, he was appointed its official printer and bookseller (July 1795), which he remained until his death; one of his productions in this capacity was A practical grammar of the Irish language (1809) by the Irish-language scholar Paul O'Brien (qv). Fitzpatrick's premises in Capel Street were the venue for many catholic meetings: the earl of Fingall (qv) and others met there and agreed to form a lay college beside the seminary at Maynooth (5 May 1802), and the Catholic Committee's business was regularly conducted there after its revival in 1805.
A few years before his death Fitzpatrick was said to be worth £20,000. Rather incautiously, however, he printed and published a pamphlet written anonymously by Denys Scully (qv), Statement of the penal laws (1811), in consequence of which he was prosecuted (1812–13) for libelling a former lord lieutenant, the 4th duke of Richmond (qv), though the libel was unintended (it occurred in a footnote on a case heard in 1809). He was tried on 6 February 1813 and, though ably defended by Peter Burrowes (qv), was convicted. The conviction was upheld (28 May) and he was sentenced to a £200 fine and eighteen months’ imprisonment, all of which he served, not being released until October 1814. He was said to have ‘gloried in the prospect of suffering in the cause of his religion and country’ (Bishop Milner to Denys Scully, 5 Aug. 1812, MacDermot, 370), but his business suffered badly and his wife, Jane, died 3 January 1814. She was described by a later but well-informed writer as ‘a woman of a very high order of intellect, of considerable power of mind, firmness and resolution, of conversational talents, repartee and liveliness of imagination that made such men as Bushe, Lysaght, Keogh &c., delight in her company’ (Freeman's Journal, 26 Sept. 1865). Hugh Fitzpatrick himself died on 23 October 1818 and was buried, like his wife, in the Fitzpatrick vault at the catholic chapel in James's Street, Dublin.