Bailey's Life of Fuller, p. 787; Beloe's Anecdotes, i. 205; Bentley's Excerpta Historica, p. 175; Boswell's Johnson (Croker), i. 202; Brushfield's Bibl. of Sir W. Raleigh, 1886; Brydges's Censura Lit. 1st edit. i. 438; Brydges's Restituta, ii. 30 n. iv. 167; Chambers's Cyclopædia of Engl. Lit. 1st edit. ii. 121; Corney's Curiosities of Literature Illustrated, 2nd edit. p. 162; D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, vi. 363; Fry's Bibliographical Memoranda, p. 33; Gent. Mag. 1784 pt. i. pp. 161, 200, 272, 329. pt. ii. pp. 744. 946, 975, 1785, pt. i. pp. 106. 107, pt. ii. p. 567; Gough's Brit. Topography, 1780, i. 31, 567: Grose's Olio; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. iv. 168, vii. 569; Nichol's Lit. Anecd. vii. 300, x. 641; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. ii. 540 (and general indexes); Taylor's Records of my Life. 1832. i. 25.]
O'LEARY, ARTHUR (1729–1802), Irish priest and politician, was born in 1729 at Acres, a townland in the parish of Fanlobbus, near Dumnanway, Co. Cork, his parents being of the peasant class. Having acquired some knowledge of clascical literature, he went to a monastery; of Capuchin friars at St. Malo in Brittany. There he entered the Capuchin order, and was ordained priest. In the course of the war between England and France which commenced in 1756 prisoners of war made by the French were confined at St. Malo; many of them were Irishmen and catholics, and O'Leary was appointed chaplain to the prisons and hospitals. The Duc de Choiseul, minister of foreign affairs, directed O'Leary to persuade the catholic soldiers to transfer their allegiance to France, but be indigantly spurned the proposal. 'I thought It,' wrote O'Leary long afterwards in his 'Reply to Wesley,' 'a crime to engage the king of England's soldiers into the service of a catholic monarch against their protestant sorereign. I resisted the solicitation, and my conduct was approved by the divines of a monastery to which I then belonged, who unanimously declared that in conscience I could not have acted otherwise.' l!e continued to hold the chaplaincy until peace was declared in 1762. Among distinguished personages whose intimacy he enjoyed in France was Cardinal de Luynes, archbishop of Sens.
In 1771 he returned to Ireland, and for Ireland, and for several years he officiated in a small edifice in the city of Cork, long known as Father O'Leary's chapel, when he preached to crowded congregations, his sermons being 'chiefly remarkable for a happy train of strong moral reasoning, bold figure,and scriptural allusion.' In 1775 a Scottish physician named Blair, residing in Cork, published a sceptical and blasphemous work under the title of 'Thoughts on Nature and Religion.' O'Leary obtained permission from Dr. Mann, protestant bishop of the diocese, to reply to this in 'A Defence of the Divinity of Christ and the Immortality of the Soul,' Cork. 1776. O'Leary's next publication appeared about 1777. under the title 'Loyalty asserted; or the now Test-oath vindicated and proved by the disciples of the Canon and Civil Laws, and the Authority of the most Eminent Writers, with an Enquiry into the Pope's deposing Power, and the groundless Claims of the Stuarts. In a letter to a Protestant Gentleman.' In 1779 the hostile French fleet rode menacing and unoppased in St. George's Channel, and much anxiety prevailed regarding the attitude of the Irish catholic body. At this critical moment O'Leary, in 'An Address to the common People of the Roman Catholic religion concerning the apprehended French Invasion,' explained to Irishmen their obligation of undivided allegiance to the Ilritish government. In I779 he issued 'Remarks on the Rev. John Wesley's Letter on the civil Principles of Roman Catliolics and his defence of the Protestant Association,' Dublin, 1760, 8vo. This witty, argumentative, and eloquent treatise elicited from Wesley a reply which was noticed by O'Leary in a few pages usually printed with the 'Remarks.' and entitled ' A rejoinder to Mr. Wesley's Reply.' Some years laterthe two controversialists met. Wesley noted in his 'Journal 'on 12 May 1787: 'A gentleman invited me to breakfast with my old antagonist, Father O'Leary. I was not at all displeased at being disappointed. He is not the stiff, queer man thai I expected, but of an easy, genteel carriage, and seems not to be wanting either in sense or learning.' About 1780 John Howard visited Cork, and was introduced to O'Leary, who was an active member of a society which had for some years been established in that city 'for the relief and discharge of persons confined for small debts.' In after times Howard frequently boasted of sharing the friendship and esteem of the friar.
O'Leary's ablest work was 'An Essay on Toleration; or Mr, O'Leary's Plea for Liberty of Conscience' [1780?']. One consequence of its publication was his election as one of the 'Monks of St, Patrick' or 'Monks of the Screw,' a political association which was started by Barry Yelverton, afterwards lord Avonmore. He was, however, only an honorary member of the association, and did not join in the orgies with which the soi-disant monks celebrated their reunions. In 1781 he collected his 'Miscellaneous Tracts,' and published them at Dnhlin in a single octavo