FITZPATRICK, John, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory [I] (?1719-58), of Ampthill, Beds.
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Family and Education
b. ?1719, 1st s. of Richard, 1st Baron Gowran [I], by Anne, da. and coh. of Sir John Robinson, 2nd Bt., of Farmingwoods, Northants. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 6 June 1735, aged 15. m. 30 June 1744, Lady Evelyn Leveson Gower, da. of John, 1st Earl Gower, sis. of Gertrude, w. of John, 4th Duke of Bedford, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Lord Gowran [I], 9 June 1727; and mother in the estates of Farmingwoods and Ampthill 1744; cr.Earl of Upper Ossory [I] 5 Oct. 1751.
On 30 June 1753 Lord Hardwicke wrote from London to his son Philip about the by-election in Bedfordshire:1‘If the Duke of Bedford sets up any Whig it is my opinion that you should concur with him, and if it should be my Lord Upper Ossory, that will do best of all, for I don’t find that his Lordship is a disagreeable man to our friends here.’ Lady Hardwicke described Ossory as ‘a very agreeable and a very moderate man’.2 He was proposed by Yorke, and returned unopposed; and again unopposed in 1754.
He was regarded as a loyal follower of Bedford. But once at least he tried to assert his independence. When before the session of 1754 Bedford was seeking support for his follower Lord Fane, against whose election for Reading a petition had been presented, Ossory’s declaration that he would attend no election petitions angered Bedford who wrote to him on 19 Nov.:
I find myself obliged ... to state to you by letter the obligations I think you are under in a public light to your constituents, and in a private one to me, by whose means you have been introduced to those constituents ... how will you answer to me your non-attendance in a point which so nearly interests me? ... the great personal friendship I have for Lord Fane, and the great opinion I have of his honesty and abilities, must always make me look upon those who engage at my request in this just defence of his cause, against the arbitrary power of a minister, as personal friends to myself, as on the other hand I must undoubtedly think myself very ill used by those who have been under any obligations to me who shall refuse to give my Lord Fane any assistance that may be justly in their power to give.
Ossory replied 24 Nov.:
Though I had determined ... never to engage in committees of election yet as your Grace thinks yourself equally pushed at with him [Fane] and makes such a point of this affair, I will attend it in the manner your Grace desires; but am resolved for the future never to engage in a thing of this kind upon any account whatever.3
Ossory died 23 Sept. 1758.