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Baron Fermoy

Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy

Baron Fermoy is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. This title was created by Queen Victoria by letters patent of 10 September 1856 for Edmond Roche. Previous letters patent were issued on 14 May 1855 which purported to create the barony for Roche, but these were ruled invalid in 1856. Under the Acts of Union 1800, three pre-1801 Irish peerages had to go extinct for each new Irish peerage created; the three extinct peerages cited in 1855 were Viscounts Melbourne and Tyrconnel and the Earl of Mountrath; the earldom went extinct in 1802, but the subsidiary title Baron Castle Coote passed by special remainder and remained current until 1827. The Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords reasoned that the number of peerages had reduced in 1802, but the number of peers had not, and so the 1855 patent was incompatible with the terms of the Act of Union. The 1856 patent substituted Viscount O'Neill for Earl of Mountrath and was accepted.[1]

The first baron represented County Cork and Marylebone in the House of Commons, taking the Chiltern Hundreds the day the spurious 1855 patent was issued. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of County Cork. His younger son, the third Baron, sat as Member of Parliament for Kerry East. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Baron. He notably represented King's Lynn in Parliament. As of 2017 the title is held by his grandson, the sixth Baron, who succeeded his father in 1984. The first baron was named after his relative Edmund Burke and are descended from the House of Burke.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was a great-great-granddaughter of the first Baron Fermoy through her mother, Frances Shand Kydd. Shand Kydd was the younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy, a friend of King George VI and the elder of the twin sons of the American heiress Frances Work and her first husband, the Hon. James Boothby Burke Roche, who, after their divorce, became the third Baron Fermoy. Diana's maternal grandmother, Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy, was a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the founder of the annual King's Lynn Festival (of classical music) in Norfolk, England.

The family seat is Nethercote House, near Nethercote, Warwickshire.

Barons Fermoy

The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother the Hon. Edmund Hugh Burke Roche (b. 1972).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son Archie Edmund Roche (b. 2005).




  1. ^ Macdonell, John; Wallis, John Edward Power (1888). "The Fermoy Peerage Claim". Reports of state trials. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode for HMSO. pp. 723–786.