James Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy

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James Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy
Born James Boothby Burke Roche
(1852-07-28)28 July 1852
Twyford Abbey, Middlesex
Died 30 October 1920(1920-10-30) (aged 68)
Artillery Mansions, Westminster, London
Title 3rd Baron Fermoy
Tenure September 1920 – October 1920
Known for Great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales
Predecessor Edward Roche
Successor Edmund Roche
Spouse(s) Frances Ellen Work (divorced 1891)
Parents Edmond Burke Roche
Eliza Caroline Boothby

James Boothby Burke Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy (28 July 1852 – 30 October 1920) was an Irish peer and a Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons. He was the great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.


He was born at Twyford Abbey, Middlesex in 1852, the son of Edmond Burke Roche, and his wife Eliza Caroline née Boothby.[1] He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

He visited the United States where he met and married the heiress Frances Ellen Work on 22 September 1880 at Christ Church, New York City. The marriage was not a success and they separated in December 1886. She was granted a divorce on the grounds of desertion on 3 March 1891 at Wilmington, Delaware.[3]

They had four children, twin sons and two daughters:

In 1896 he stood as an Anti-Parnellite Nationalist candidate in the Kerry East by-election for a seat in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Nationalists had split into two factions after the party leader, Charles Stewart Parnell was named as co-respondent in a divorce. Roche was supported initially by both the Parnellites and the Anti-Parnellites, until it was revealed that he was himself divorced. During the campaign, Roche denied publicly that he knew of the divorce or that he had deserted his wife and children.[5] Although he went on to win the seat, the opposing Unionist candidate gained the highest vote ever recorded for a Unionist candidate in Kerry East.[6] He served one term and did not stand in the following general election in 1900.

On 1 September 1920 he succeeded his brother as Baron Fermoy. Just two months later he died at Artillery Mansions, Westminster, London aged 68. He was buried at St Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley on 3 November 1920.[7]


  • 1852–1856: James Boothby Burke Roche
  • 1856–1896: The Hon James Boothby Burke Roche
  • 1896–1900: The Hon James Boothby Burke Roche, MP
  • 1900–1920: The Hon James Boothby Burke Roche
  • 1920: The Rt Hon James Boothby Burke Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy


  1. Williamson, D The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) p. 281-282
  2. "Roche, the Hon. James Boothby Burke (RC870JB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The Times (London) Friday, 27 March 1896, p. 7 col. F
  4. Mosley, Charles (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. I p. 1414
  5. The Times (London) Saturday, 28 March 1896, p. 13 col. E
  6. The Times (London), Monday, 30 March 1896; p. 7 col. F
  7. Cokayne, G. E., Gibbs, Vicary and Doubleday, H. A. The Complete Peerage: Volume V (St. Catherine Press, London, 1926) p. 303
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Davitt
Member of Parliament for Kerry East
Succeeded by
John Murphy
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward Roche
Baron Fermoy
September–October 1920
Succeeded by
Edmund Roche