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O'Meara
O'Meara
172

at St. Helena,’ 1816. In 1819 an attempt to vindicate Lowe's position was made in an anonymous pamphlet (assigned to Theodore Hook), ‘Facts illustrative of the Treatment of Napoleon Bonaparte,’ which was criticised severely in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ (xxxii. 148–70). Later in the year O'Meara published ‘An Exposition of some of the Transactions that have taken place at St. Helena since the appointment of Sir Hudson Lowe as Governor,’ in which he replied to the anonymous pamphlet. His ‘Exposition’ was well received, and in 1822 he produced an expanded version as ‘Napoleon in Exile; or a Voice from St. Helena. The Opinions and Reflections of Napoleon on the most important events of his life and government, in his own words,’ 2 vols. 8vo. This work created a great sensation, and it soon reached a fifth edition, while a French translation appeared in three volumes between 1822 and 1825. Its most valuable feature was an account of Napoleon's outspoken conversations with O'Meara; but the chapters that chiefly rendered it popular were those that pitilessly denounced the treatment meted out to Napoleon by Lowe and the government. Croker in the ‘Quarterly Review’ (October 1822, xxviii. 219–64), and Christopher North in ‘Blackwood's Magazine’ (xiv. 172), in reviewing it, assailed O'Meara furiously; while the ‘Edinburgh’ for June defended him with equal warmth (xxxvii. 164–204).

Lowe did not take any steps to defend his character from O'Meara's embittered attacks till, in Hilary term 1823, he applied for a rule for a criminal information. He was then informed that his case was ‘lost in point of time,’ and he was dissuaded from indicting O'Meara, or bringing an action for damages against him. But Lord Bathurst advised Lowe to draw up a full vindication of his government at St. Helena, and publish it with other documents. This counsel Sir Hudson did not follow, but, instead, wearied the government with applications for redress. It was not until 1853 that the publication of William Forsyth's ‘Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena, from the Letters and Journals of Sir Hudson Lowe,’ proved that O'Meara had overstated his case, and was largely inspired by bitter personal feeling against Lowe. Besides a few pamphlets, O'Meara's only further publication was some ‘Observations upon the Authenticity of Bourrienne's “Memoirs”’ (1831). He left in manuscript a journal kept at St. Helena, which he bequeathed to Mr. Mailliard of Bordentown, New Jersey, formerly Joseph Bonaparte's private secretary. He died on 3 June 1836 at his house in Edgware Road, of erysipelas in the head, contracted, it was said, by attending one of O'Connell's meetings. Many relics of Napoleon, including a tooth extracted by O'Meara, which fetched seven guineas and a half, were sold at the sale of his effects on 18 and 19 July.

O'Meara was twice married. He became, in 1823, the third husband of Theodosia, daughter of Sir Edward Boughton of Lawford, Warwickshire. She first married, in 1777, Captain John Donellan, who was hanged at Warwick in 1781 for poisoning her brother, Sir Theodosius Edward Allesley Boughton. Her second husband was Sir Egerton Leigh, bart. (d. 1818), by whom she had one son and three daughters. She died in 1830 (Gent. Mag. 1830, pt. ii. p. 179). Kathleen O'Meara [q. v.], the granddaughter of O'Meara, is noticed separately.

[Las Cases' Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène, pt. vi. p. 370; ‘Napoleon à Sainte-Hélène,’ Rapports Officiels du Baron Sturmer; Firmin-Didot's La Captivité de Sainte-Hélène d'après les Rapports du Marquis de Montchenu, 1894; Thiers's Hist. de l'Empire, 1879, iv. 678, 681; Alison's Hist. of Europe; Moore's Corresp. vol. iii.; Fagan's Reform Club, pp. 27, 30, 35; Annual Register, 1836; Gent. Mag. 1836, pt. ii. pp. 219, 434; Allibone's Dict.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; information kindly given by Charles M. Tenison, esq., of Hobart, Tasmania; and see art. Lowe, Sir Hudson.]

W. W. K.

O'MEARA, DERMOD or DERMITIUS (fl. 1610), author and physician. [See Meara.]

O'MEARA, EDMUND (d. 1680), physician. [See Meara.]

O'MEARA, KATHLEEN (1839–1888), biographer and novelist, eldest surviving daughter of Dennis O'Meara of Tipperary, the son of Barry Edward O'Meara [q. v.], was born in Dublin in 1839. She accompanied her parents to Paris at an early age, and it is doubtful whether she afterwards visited her native land. She adopted the literary profession, and, under the pseudonym of 'Grace Ramsay,' became well known as a writer of works of fiction, which were remarkable for purity of tone, delicacy of feeling, and sympathetic language. Her biographical works also won her a high reputation. For many years she was the Paris correspondent of the 'Tablet' newspaper. She died in Paris on 10 Nov. 1888.

Among her works of fiction are: 1. 'A Woman's Trials,' a novel, 3 vols. London, 1867, 8vo. 2. 'Iza's Story,' 3 vols. London, 1869, 8vo, reprinted under the title of 'Iza: a Story of Life in Russian Poland,' London, 1877, 8vo. 3. 'The Battle of Connemara,'