In 1922 The Times reported the death of Maurice Fitzgerald, sixth Duke of Leinster, at the age of thirty-five. Delicate from birth, the holder of Ireland's premier dukedom and its vast estates and wealth had seldom been seen in public after he came of age. In 1967 a man names Maurice Fitzgerald and claiming ti be the rightful Duke of Leinster dies in California at the age of eighty. His children had believed him when he said that in 1922, in order to escape from his family, he had handed the title over to his younger brother and had been declared dead. They were understandably dismayed by the Lord Chancellor and any overtures to their relations in England rebuffed.
But was Maurice Fitzgerald of California an impostor? He knew a great deal about the Leinster Fitzgeralds than could be gathered by the most inquisitive outsider and if some details were at odds with the official versions of events, were the official versions necessarily correct?
John Ford, a specialist in tracing legal and historical records spent several years investigating the mystery of the sixth Duke of Leinster and has unravelled a story so complex and bizarre then it first appeared.
Heirs and Graces - The Claim to the Dukedom of Leinster
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