Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/53

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O'Leary
O'Leary
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practice in the City of London, first at 13 Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate Street, and then at 25 Finsbury Square; about 1870 he moved to 4 Cavendish Place, W., and in 1899 retired to Bournemouth, where he died on 19 Nov. 1902, being buried in the cemetery there. He was a great walker, an extremely simple eater, and for the last fifteen years of his life never ate meat, fish, or fowl.

He married in 1838 Sophia (d. 1885), eldest daughter of James Smith of Peckham, and had six children, four daughters and two sons, of whom one died in infancy and the other is Colonel Sir Henry Hugh Oldham, C.V.O., lieutenant of the honourable corps of gentlemen-at-arms.

[Obstet. Soc. Trans., 1903, xlv. 71; information from Colonel Sir Henry H. Oldham, C.V.O., and F. Taylor, M.D., F.R.C.P.]

H. D. R.


O'LEARY, JOHN (1830–1907), Fenian journalist and leader, born in Tipperary on 23 July 1830, was eldest son of John O'Leary, a shopkeeper of that city, by his wife Margaret Ryan. His sister Ellen is separately noticed. He inherited small house property in Tipperary. After education at the Erasmus Smith School in his native town, he proceeded to Carlow school. At seventeen he entered Trinity College, Dublin, intending to join the legal profession. While he was an undergraduate he was deeply influenced by the nationahst writings of Thomas Davis [q. v.], and he frequently attended the meetings of the Irish Confederation. He became acquainted with James Finton Lalor [q. v.] and the Rev. John Kenyon, two powerful advocates of the nationalist movement. He threw himself with ardour into the agitation of 1848, and taking part in an attack on the police known as the 'Wilderness affair,' near Clonmel, spent two or three weeks in Clonmel gaol. On discovering that he could not become a barrister without taking an oath of allegiance to the British crown, he turned to medicine, and entered Queen's College, Cork, in January 1850, as a medical student. In 1851 he left Cork and went to Queen's College, Galway, where he obtained a medical scholarship and distinguished himself in examinations. While he was in Galway he contributed occasionally to the 'Nation,' but he left the city in 1853 without passing his final examination. He spent the greater part of the following two years in Dublin, and was then in Paris for a year (1855-6).

Meanwhile O'Leary had fully identified himself with the advanced Irish section under John Mitchel [q. v.]. In Paris he made the acquaintance of John Martin [q. v.], Kevin ilzod O'Doherty [q. v. Suppl. II], and other Irishmen of similar dews. Returning to Dubhn, he came to know the Fenian leaders James Stephens [q. v. Suppl. II] and Thomas Clarke Luby [q. V. Suppl. II], who formed the Fenian organisation called the Irish Republican Brotherhood on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 1858 {Recollections, i. 82).

O'Leary was still irregularly studying medicine, and although he aided in the development of the Fenian movement, and was in sympathy with its aims, he was never a sworn member of the brotherhood. His younger brother Arthur, who died on 6 June 1861, however, took the oath. John frequently visited Stephens in France, and with some hesitation he went to America in 1859 on business of the organisation. In New York in April 1859 he met John O'Mahony [q. v.] and Colonel Michael Corcoran [q. v.], as well as John Mitchel and Thomas Francis Meagher [q. v.]. He contributed occasional articles to the 'Phoenix,' a small weekly paper published in New York, the first avowedly Fenian organ.

In 1860 O'Leary returned to London. The Fenian movement rapidly grew, although its receipts were, according to O'Leary, wildly exaggerated [Recollections, p. 135). During its first six years of existence (1858–64) only 1500l. was received; from 1864 to 1866, 31,000l.; and from first to last, a sum well under 100,000l. O'Leary watched the growth of the movement in London between 1861 and 1863.

In 1863 he was summoned to Dublin to become editor of the 'Irish People,' the newly foimded weekly journal of Fenianism, which first appeared on 28 Nov. 1863. O'Leary's incisive style gave the paper its chief character. The other chief contributors were Thomas Clarke Luby and Charles Joseph Kickham [q. v.]. Cardinal Cullen [q. v.] and the catholic bishops warmly denounced the Fenian movement and its organ, and O'Leary and his colleagues replied to the prelates defiantly. Bishop Moriarty declared that 'Hell was not hot enough nor eternity long enough' to punish those who led the youth of the country astray by such teaching. After nearly two years the paper was seized on 14 Sept. 1865 by the government. O'Leary, Kickham, Luby, O'Donovan Rossa (the manager), and other leading Fenians were arrested. An informer named Pierce Nagle, who had been employed in the office