Edmund FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent

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Edmund Bernard FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent KG, PC (1 June 1855 – 18 May 1947), known as Lord Edmund Talbot between 1876 and 1921, was a British Conservative politician and the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.[1]



FitzAlan was the second son of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk by his wife the Hon. Augusta, daughter of Vice-Admiral Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons, and the younger brother of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk. Born Lord Edmund FitzAlan-Howard, he assumed in 1876 by Royal licence the surname of "Talbot" as part of an unsuccessful attempt to succeed to the estates of the Earl of Shrewsbury. He returned to the use of his paternal name by Royal Licence in 1921, shortly after being raised to the peerage.


FitzAlan was elected Member of Parliament for Chichester in 1894, a seat he held until 1921, and served briefly under Arthur Balfour as a Lord of the Treasury in 1905 and under H. H. Asquith and later David Lloyd George as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from 1915 to 1921 (jointly from December 1916 onwards). In 1918 he was sworn of the Privy Council. On 27 April 1921 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the first Roman Catholic to be appointed to the position since 1685 during the reign of King James II. His appointment was possible because Section 37 of the Government of Ireland Act 1920 had been brought into force shortly beforehand.[2] That provision provided that no British subject would be disqualified from holding the position on account of his religious belief. Concerning the announcement of his impending appointment, the Daily Chronicle observed that "the concillatory motive of his appointment [being a Roman Catholic] is obvious...it is an olive branch in place of a dictatorship."[3]

However, his tenure as Lord Lieutenant lasted only a year and a half. The post was abolished with the coming into existence of the Irish Free State and its constitution in 1922. The position was replaced by the offices of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State and the Governor of Northern Ireland. The day after his appointment as Lord Lieutenant he was raised to the Peerage as Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, of Derwent in the County of Derby. In addition, during the minority of his nephew the 16th Duke of Norfolk, who succeeded to the dukedom in 1917, he served as Deputy Earl Marshal.

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