The memorial tablet to Keane Fitzgerald is something of a mystery for, unlike Joshua Loring who had at least a fleeting residence in the village, no connection between Fitzgerald and Englefield can be discovered.
As the tablet, sited in the aisle to the east of the south door, reminds us Keane Fitzgerald was born in 1748 in London. His father, also Keane Fitzgerald, was a Fellow of the Royal Society and published many papers on scientific subjects. The younger Fitzgerald went up to Queen’s College, Oxford in 1765 at the age of 16 and graduated with a BA four years later. He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1773 and in 1778 was Clerk of Warrants in the Court of Common Pleas and Register of Deeds. He became a Bencher of the Inner Temple in 1803.
Also commemorated on the tablet are his wife, Mary Le Keux, and her father Peter. Peter Le Keux was a celebrated silk weaver of Huguenot descent who had 250 looms working in Spitalfields. Keane Fitzgerald and Mary were married on 29 October 1788 at St George’s, Hanover Square.
Fitzgerald had his estate at Underhill Hall at Barnet in Hertfordshire and a house in Dover Street, London. He must have been a rich man because in his will he left a large number of bequests, each of several thousand pounds and including a total of £8,000 to Queen’s College to provide grants for a number of undergraduates each year.
Keane Fitzgerald died at Underhill on 14 October 1831, his wife having died there three years earlier.