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O'Mahony
O'Mahony
167


gossa. Placed upon the extreme right, he was opposed to the Portuguese horse, whom he utterly broke and drove into the Ebro; then, continuing his impetuous charge, he rode over the enemy's artillery, and, as he could not carry it off, cut the sinews of four hundred artillery mules. In the meantime the main body of Vendôme's army was in retreat, and O'Mahony had the utmost difficulty in rejoining. He was criticised for having carried his successful onslaught too far. He was, however, placed at the head of the cavalry at Villa Viciosa, and specially distinguished himself. The Spanish king rewarded his valour by a commandership of the order of St. Iago, producing a rent of fifteen thousand livres (Bacallar y Saña, Comentarios). O'Mahony pursued the retreating army into Aragon, and captured at the stronghold of Illueca Lieutenant-general Dom Antonio de Villaroel with a detachment of 660 men (Quincy, vi. 453). He continued to act in Spain under Vendôme until the cessation of hostilities in 1712. Before the end of that year O'Mahony, whose first wife, Cecilia, daughter of George Weld of the ancient Dorset family, had died about 1708, remarried Charlotte, widow of Charles O'Brien, fifth viscount Clare [q.v.] , and a sister of the Duchess of Berwick. O'Mahony had been ennobled by Louis XIV, and the marriage took place at St. Germains, where the bridegroom was warmly received by the court. He did not, however, long survive his second marriage, dying at Ocana in Spain in January 1714. By his first wife he left two sons: James, who rose to be a lieutenant-general in the Spanish service, governor of Fort St. Elmo, commander of the order of Saint Januarius, and inspector-general of cavalry in the Spanish kingdom of Naples; and Demetrius (Dermod), who became ambassador from Spain to Austria, and died at Vienna in 1776. Neither of the sons left male descendants. A collateral descendant, who also held the title Count O'Mahony, commanded a regiment of dragoons at Barcelona in 1756.

‘Le fameux Mahoni,’ as he was called, to distinguish him from others of his family who had taken service under the Bourbons, was more than a dashing officer; he was an accomplished soldier, and Bellerive says of him with justice, ‘He was not only always brave, but laborious and indefatigable; his life was a continued chain of dangerous combats, desperate attacks, and honourable retreats’ (Camp. de Vendosme, pp. 237–9). St. Simon says of O'Mahony that he was a man of wit as well as of valour; and Louis XIV assured De Chamillart, when O'Mahony was at Versailles in 1702, ‘qu'il n'avait jamais vu personne rendre un si bon compte de tout, ni avec tant de netteté d'esprit et de justesse, même si agréablement.’ When at the end of his first interview Louis observed, ‘But you have said nothing of my brave Irish’ at Cremona, O'Mahony replied, ‘They fought in conjunction with the other troops of your majesty.’

[O'Callaghan's Irish Brigades in the Service of France, pp. 204–21, 231–5, 241–51, 273–8; O'Conor's Military History of the Irish Nation, pp. 245, 254, 329, 336, 356; D'Alton's King James's Irish Army List, p. 256; O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees, 1887, i. 236, ii. 803; Burke's Peerage, s.v. ‘Newburgh’; Wilson's James II and the Duke of Berwick, vol. ii. passim; Sevin de Quincy's Histoire Militaire, vols. iii. v. and vi. passim; Parnell's War of the Succession in Spain, pp. 145, 192, 215, 227, 281, 295; Rousset's Histoire Militaire du Prince Eugène, ii. 70–76; Bellerive's Histoire des Campagnes de Monseigneur le Duc de Vendosme, 1715; Targe's Hist. de l'avénement de la maison de Bourbon au trône d'Espagne, ii. 94–6; Relation exacte de l'Entreprise faite sur Crémone par le Prince Eugène, 1703; Pelet's Mémoires Militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV, passim; Bacallar y Saña's Comentarios de la Guerra de España, bk. iv.; Lafuente's Historia General de España, xvii. 187, 207, 287–9.]

T. S.


O'MAHONY, JOHN (1816–1877), Irish politician, born at Kilbeheny, co. Limerick, in 1816. His family was one of the oldest and most popular in the country, and still retained some small remnant of the tribal lands, adjoining and partly jutting into the demesne of the Earls of Kingston. Hence, as well as from more general causes of race and religion, there was a permanent feud between the O’Mahonys and, their powerful neighbours. The father and uncle of John were both ‘out’ in the rebellion of 1798.

O’Mahony was sent early in life to a good classical school in Cork, and afterwards entered Trinity College, Dublin, but never took a degree. He was a good Greek and Latin scholar, and always more or less devoted to linguistic and philological pursuits, especially in connection with his native Gaelic tongue. In 1857 he published ‘The History of Ireland, by Geoffrey Keating, D.D., translated from the original Gaelic, and copiously annotated’ (New York, 1857). It is the best translation yet published. According to Dr. Todd, the Irish antiquary, ‘it is a great improvement upon the ignorant and dishonest one published by Dermod O'Connor more than a century ago . . . but has been taken from a very imperfect text, and has evidently been executed [as O’Mahony himself confessed] in great haste.’ O’Mahony contributed to