Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/O'Grady, Standish

Contains Subarticle: [[O'Grady, Standish (DNB00)#second |Standish O'Grady (1792-1848)]].

O'GRADY, STANDISH, first Viscount Guillamore (1766–1840), was the eldest son of Darby O'Grady of Mount Prospect, Limerick, and of Mary, daughter of James Smyth of the same county. He was born on 20 Jan. 1766, and, entering Trinity College, Dublin, graduated B.A. in 1784. He was called to the bar, and went the Munster circuit. He was remarkable for wit as well as learning, and attained considerable practice. On 28 May 1803, after the murder of Lord Kilwarden, he became attorney-general, and was one of the prosecuting counsel at the trial of Robert Emmet. In 1805 he was made lord chief baron, in succession to Yelverton, lord Avonmore. He was a sound judge, and Chief Baron Pigot [q. v.], of the Irish exchequer, expressed the opinion: 'O'Grady was the ablest man whose mind I ever saw at work.' His witticisms on and off the bench were long remembered (D. O. Madden, Ireland and its Rulers, i. 126). O'Grady was one of the first to suspect the duplicity of Leonard McNally [q. v.] On his retirement from the bench in 1831, he was created Viscount Guillamore of Cahir Guillamore and Baron O'Grady of Rockbarton, co. Limerick, in the peerage of Ireland. He was a handsome man, of a fine presence, and over six feet in stature. He died in Dublin on 20 April 1840. In 1790 he married Katharine (d. 1853), second daughter of John Thomas Waller of Castletown, co. Limerick, by whom he had several children.

Standish O'Grady, second Viscount Guillamore (1792-1848), eldest son of the above, born in 1792, was a lieutenant in the 7th hussars at Waterloo, and afterwards became lieutenant-colonel. On 17 June 1815 he had command of the troop of the 7th hussars on the high road from Genappe to Quatre Bras. The regiment was covering the British march from Quatre Bras to Waterloo, and Sir William Dörnberg left O'Grady outside the town, on the Quatre Bras road, to hold in check the advancing French cavalry while the main body of the regiment was proceeding in file across the narrow bridge of Genappe and up the steep street of the town. O'Grady advanced at the head of his troops as soon as the French appeared, and presented so bold a front that, after a time, they retired. When they were out of sight he crossed the bridge at the entrance of Genappe, and took his troop at a gallop through the town, rejoining Sir William Dörnberg, who had drawn up the main body of the regiment on the sloping road at the Waterloo end of Genappe. A severe cavalry combat ensued when the French lancers reached the top of the town, in which O'Grady's regiment made a gallant charge, with considerable loss. At Waterloo he was stationed on the ground above Hougoumont on the British left. 'The 7th,' he says in a letter to his father, 'had an opportunity of showing what they could do if they got fair play. We charged twelve or fourteen times, and once cut off a squadron of cuirassiers, every man of whom we killed on the spot except the two officers and one Marshal de Logis, whom I sent to the rear' (letter in possession of the Hon. Mrs. Norbury). Two letters of his to Captain William Siborne, describing the movements of his regiments on 17 and 18 June 1815, are printed in 'Waterloo Letters,' edited by Major-general H. T. Siborne (London, 1891, pp. 130-6). By his wife Gertrude Jane (d. 1871), daughter of the Hon. Berkeley Paget, he had issue Standish, third viscount (1832-1860); Paget Standish, fourth viscount (1838-1877); Hardress Standish, fifth and present viscount; and others. The second viscount died on 22 July 1848.

[O'Keefe's Life and Times of O'Connell, i. 183; Barrington's Personal Sketches; Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland, 1839, pp. 145,170; O'Flanagan's Munster Circuit, 1880, pp. 232-7; Foster's Peerage, p. 318; Wills's Irish Nation, iii. 692-3; O'Flanagan's Irish Bar, 1879, pp. 190-4.]

D. J. O'D.