Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam

Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam (c. 1677 – 6 June 1743), PC, of Mount Merrion in Dublin, was an Irish nobleman and politician.


He was the only son of Thomas FitzWilliam, 4th Viscount FitzWilliam by his first wife Mary Stapleton, a daughter of the English statesman Sir Philip Stapleton. 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 a Member of Parliament for Fowey in 1727, a seat he held until 1734. His father and grandfather had been Roman Catholics, and his father had been under attainder for a time for his loyalty to James II; 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 fall into decay: it was a ruin by 1730, and was pulled down later in the century. Richard spent his later years in England, but his heirs returned to Mount Merrion.

Marriage & issue

Lord Fitzwilliam married Frances Shelley, daughter of Sir John Shelley, 3rd Baronet of Michaelgrove and his first wife Bridget Neville, daughter of George Nevill, 11th Baron Bergavenny. They had five children:
  • Richard FitzWilliam, 6th Viscount FitzWilliam
  • William FitzWilliam, Usher of the Black Rod in Ireland
  • John FitzWilliam, a soldier;
  • Mary FitzWilliam, who married Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke, and through whom in the following century the great FitzWilliam inheritance passed into the Herbert family, today still substantial landowners in Dublin city.
  • Frances FitzWilliam, who married George Evans, 2nd Baron Carbery.