Thomas Fortescue, Lord Clermont 1815 – 1887
Author of “A History of the Family of Fortescue in All Its Branches” and other books
Thomas succeeded to his father’s estates in Louth and Down in November 1826. He graduated with a BA at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1837. He became a knight of the shire for Co. Louth in July 1840, and in that year he married Lady Louisa Grace Wandesforde Butler, 3rd daughter of James, Marquis of Ormonde, in London. On 21st August 1833 he inherited the Louth and Armagh estates of the last Viscount Clermont from Sir Harry James Goodricke of Ribston Hall, Yorkshire. He became the representative of both branches of the Fortescues from the Buckland-Filleigh House through Sir Faithful Fortescue. He was keen to claim the defunct title Lord Clermont and financed his brother Chichester Fortescue to enter the English Parliament to assist his claim. On 1st February 1852 he obtained a revival of the Irish Barony of Clermont. He was made a peer of the UK on 2nd May 1866, as Baron Clermont.
He published a small book in 1858 based on a manuscript written by Sir Faithful Fortescue about Faithful’s uncle Arthur Chichester, Lord Belfast. He included in the Book a description of Sir Faithful’s life. He gave a copy of this book to his brother with this dedication. His brother Chichester Fortescue had become Lord Carlingford. The contents of the book were incorporated in his major work “A History of the Family of Fortescue in all its Branches” The First Edition was printed in 1869, the Second in 1880 and a supplement in 1885. All were published privately.
It must have taken him many years to complete. His research involved him in using a lot of references (whose details he gives), going back over the centuries, and his book contains numerous quotations from them. Clermont’s prime objective was to follow the main line of the Fortescues and to identify the properties that were held and occupied by the various branches of the family. Most of his content deals with the branches in England and Ireland, and a final chapter took him to Normandy, where Richard Le Fort came from in 1066, and to which he returned.