Act in 1885, MacCarthy was appointed one of the two commissioners selected to carry out that measure. He was a firm believer in the efficacy of peasant proprietorship, and administered the different Land Purchase Acts with conscientious care.
MacCarthy was connected with many philanthropic institutions, notably with the Cork Young Men's Society, of which he was for a long period president, and in recognition of services to the catholic church, he was made a knight of the order of St. Gregory by Pope Leo XIII. He was married to Maria Josephine, daughter of John Hanrahan, esq., of Cork, and had a family. He died in London on 7 Sept. 1892, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.
He was the author of the following works, in addition to several legal pamphlets:
- ‘The History of Cork, a Lecture,’ Cork, 1856, 8vo, and almost entirely rewritten and republished in 1869.
- ‘Letters on the Land Tenures of Europe.’
- ‘Irish Land Questions, plainly stated and answered,’ London, 1870, 8vo.
- ‘A Plea for Home Government of Ireland,’ London, 1871, 8vo.
- ‘The French Revolution of 1792: its Causes, Events, and Results,’ Dublin, 1884, 12mo.
- ‘Henry Grattan, a Historical Study,’ Dublin, 1886, 12mo.
[Cork Examiner, 9 Sept. 1892; Freeman's Journal, 8 Sept. 1892; Irish Monthly, xx. 548–9; Thom's Official Directory for 1892; Irish Law Times, 8 Oct. 1881.]
MACCARTHY, JUSTIN, titular Viscount Mountcashel (d. 1694), was the third son of Donogh, first earl of Clancarty [see under MacCarthy, Donough, fourth earl], by Lady Eleanor Butler, sister of James, first Duke of Ormonde [q. v.] He entered the French service early, and was well known at court of Louis XIV under the name of Mouskry. This is not a feigned name, as Macaulay supposed, but only Dangeau's way of writing Muskerry, which was the title borne by MacCarthy s father before he was raised to the earldom of Clancarty.
MacCarthy was recalled to England in 1678 in consequence of Charles II's pretended rupture with France. It was the king's intention to employ him in Ireland, and when Halifax remonstrated, Charles divulged to him that statesman's confidential advice (Burnet, i. 602). MacCarthy did in fact give commissions to suspected Roman catholics bound for Ireland in November 1678 (App. to 8th Rep. of Hist. MSS. Comm. 391n; Carth, bk. viii.) He was at court in 1684. In 1676 MacCarthy's brother Callaghan, third earl of Clancarty, had left his protestant wife, Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, guardian of their son Donogh, fourth earl of Clancarty [q. v.] But under his uncle Justin's influence the lad became a Roman catholic, and on 20 Oct, 1684, 'he being then at the age of consent', married Lady Elizabeth Spencer, Sunderland's daughter, whom MacCarthy, in order to promote the union, was instrumental in decoying from Fell's charge at Oxford. 'The king,' says Burnet (i, 601), 'connived at two of the greatest crimes, taking an infant from her guardian, and marrying an infant secretly.' This strange match had important results and a most romantic history (Macaulay, ch. xxiii.)
When Tyrconnel's influence became supreme in Irish affairs one of his first measures was to deprive Ormonde of his regiment of foot and to give it to MacCarthy, who was made major-general and lieutenant-general successively. In 1687 and following years, after Clarendon's departure from Ireland, he was lord-lieutenant of co. Cork and a privy councillor. His pay as major-general was 680l., with the addition of 500l. a year on the pension list (D'Alton). In Feb. 1689 the protestant inhabitants of Bandon declared themselves for William III as soon as they heard that he was king in England. The small catholic garrison was surprised and overpowered with some loss, when MacCarthy approached with a force of several thousand men. The townsmen, who had no arms but what they had taken from their late oppressors, refused to surrender their leader. MacCarthy soon mastered the little town, which he proposed to burn with all the people in it, having first executed ten of the chief offenders. Intercession was made by Dr. Nicholas Brady [q. v.], the versifier of the Psalms, who had a living not far off, and who was the son of a royalist officer. The townsmen were ordered to pay down 1,600l., and to compensate the officers and soldiers. On 10 March Tyrconnel wrote objecting to these easy terms (Smith, bk. iii. ch. vil.), and James, who landed at Kinsale two days later, ordered prosecution for high treason. Nugent was judge of assize at Cork, and from him no mercy was to be expected. But MacCarthy, who felt his reputation at stake, entered the court and insisted upon an adjournment, which in this case had the effect of an acquittal. On another occasion his interference with the course of law was less justifiable, for he tried to intimidate Sir John Mead, Ormonde's judge in the palatinate of Tipperary, into directing a conviction of protestants on trumped-up charges (King, iii. socs. 7, 13).