The ascent of John Fitzmaurice is a study in the processes of Anglo-Irish integration and socialization in aristocratic circles in eighteenth-century London, a subject area that awaits systematic investigation: his is less a story of rags to riches than of a resourceful Irishman from a family of Anglo-Norman pedigree repositioning himself in London society to take maximum advantage of an extraordinary piece of good fortune. He was so successful in confirming his own family’s preeminence, that the Fitzmaurice-Pettys procured a British peerage in one generation, and in the next, attained the office of British first minister in the person of his son, William Petty, second Earl of Shelburne.

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