1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kavanagh, Arthur MacMorrough

KAVANAGH, ARTHUR MACMORROUGH (1831–1889), Irish politician, son of Thomas Kavanagh, M.P., who traced his descent to the ancient kings of Leinster, was born in Co. Carlow, Ireland, on the 25th of March 1831. He had only the rudiments of arms and legs, but in spite of these physical defects had a remarkable career. He learnt to ride in the most fearless way, strapped to a special saddle, and managing the horse with the stumps of his arms; and also fished, shot, drew and wrote, various mechanical contrivances being devised to supplement his limited physical capacities. He travelled extensively in Egypt, Asia Minor, Persia and India between 1846 and 1853, and after succeeding to the family estates in the latter year, he married in 1855 his cousin, Miss Frances Mary Leathley. Assisted by his wife, he was a most philanthropic landlord, and was an active county magistrate and chairman of the board of guardians. A Conservative and a Protestant, he sat in Parliament for Co. Wexford from 1866 to 1868, and for Co. Carlow from 1868 to 1880. He was opposed to the disestablishment of the Irish Church, but supported the Land Act of 1870, and sat on the Bessborough Commission. In 1886 he was made a member of the Privy Council in Ireland. He died of pneumonia on the 25th of December 1889, in London. It is supposed that his extraordinary career suggested the idea of “Lucas Malet’s” novel, The History of Sir Richard Calmady.