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O'SULLIVAN or O'SULLIVAN-BEARE, PHILIP (1590?–1660?), historian, born about 1590, son of Dermot O'Sullivan and nephew of Donall O'Sullivan-Beare [q. v.], lord of Dunboy, was in 1602, while still a lad, sent by his uncle to Spain, where, after the fall of Dunboy, he was joined by his father and his family. He was educated at Compostella, became a soldier, and served on board the Spanish ships of war. In 1619 he was in the squadron appointed to guard the treasure-fleet on its approach to Cape St. Vincent from the Barbary pirates, who were also on the look-out for it, and wrote an interesting account of the service to his old tutor (Compendium, edit. 1621, ff. 270–9). His military life was, however, not very noteworthy: his predilection was for literature, and to that he principally devoted himself. His most important work was the 'Historiæ Catholicæ Iberniæ Compendium' (Lisbon, 4to, 1621), an octavo edition of which, edited by Matthew Kelly [q. v.], was published at Dublin in 1860. The most valuable part of it is the history of the Elizabethan wars, the story of which he received orally from his father and his father's companions; it has the merits and defects incidental to a work so written — the vigour, the bitter partisanship, the inability to understand more than the personal issue, the inaccuracy of detail, and the confusion of dates. His other works, all in Latin, are 'Patriciana Decas,' a life of St. Patrick (1629); and a violent and abusive criticism of Archbishop Usher, under the title of Archicornigeromastix, sive Jacobi Usheri Heresiarchæ Confutatio.' He wrote also many lives of saints, which were not published, and in 1634 sent Bolland some contributions to his colossal undertaking. This is the last that is definitely known of him, though Webb has identified him with the Earl of Bearhaven who died at Madrid in 1659 or 1660, leaving one daughter, a girl of twelve, and a fortune of a hundred thousand crowns.

[Little is known of his life beyond what is to be gleaned from his own writings, and especially the Compendium; Kelly's preface to the edit, of 1850 contains most of this. M'Gee's Irish Writers of the Seventeenth Century; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography.]

J. K. L.