of O'Neill's letter to Charles II was given in Gilbert's ‘Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, 1641–1652,’ printed in 1880.
[Authorities quoted; Ormonde Archives, Kilkenny Castle; Carte Papers, Bodleian Library; O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees, ed. 1887, i. 723; Gilbert's Hist. of Irish Confederation, 1890; Bate's Elenchus Motuum, 1676; Articles for Limerick, 1651; Whitelocke's Memorials, 1853; Ludlow's Memoirs, ed. Firth, 1894; cf. also authorities for art. O'Neill, Daniel.]
O'NEILL, HUGH (1784–1824), architectural draughtsman, son of an architect who designed a portion of Portland Place, was born in Bloomsbury on 20 April 1784. He spent the early part of his life at Oxford, where he taught drawing, and afterwards resided in Bath, Edinburgh, and Bristol. Of Bristol alone he made over five hundred drawings. The originals he usually worked up and retained, disposing only of copies. Six sketches by him of the ruins of the fire at Christ Church, Oxford (3 March 1809), were engraved by W. Crotch, and published, with descriptive letterpress, at Oxford in 1809. Five drawings of Oxford and its vicinity were engraved by Skelton for his ‘Oxonia Antiqua Restaurata’ (vol. ii. plates 109, 110, 116, 117, 119). Drawings of St. Peter's Church and of Balliol, Magdalen, Exeter, and All Souls Colleges (engraved by Basire and Storer) were published in the ‘Oxford Almanacks’ for 1809, 1810, 1812, 1813, and 1828. Several of his drawings were engraved by Skelton for his ‘Antiquities of Bristol’ (Oxford, 1820, 1826). In the print-room of the British Museum are fifteen of O'Neill's drawings in pencil and water-colour, and in the South Kensington Museum there are three. A lithograph by him of a large manor-house, with wings, is in vol. ii. of ‘Polyautography vel Lythography’ in the print-room, British Museum. He was possibly the H. Neill who exhibited drawings in the Royal Academy in 1800, 1802, 1803, and 1804. He made a fair collection of fossils, minerals, and other curiosities.
O'Neill died in poverty, in Princes Street, Bristol, on 7 April 1824.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers (Graves); Cat. of the Library of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Gent. Mag. 1824, pt. i. p. 381; Farley's Bristol Journal, 10 April 1824.]
O'NEILL, JOHN, first Viscount O'Neill in the peerage of Ireland (1740–1798), born at Shane's Castle, co. Antrim, on 16 Jan. 1740, was the eldest son of Charles O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, by Catherine, daughter of the Right Hon. St. John Brodrick. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 14 April 1762, and was created M.A. on 15 June in the same year. In the Irish parliaments elected in 1761, 1769, and 1776, he sat for the family borough of Randalstown, co. Antrim. In 1783 and 1790 he was returned for Antrim county as well as the borough, but preferred to sit for the former.
During these years he acted both in and out of parliament with the nationalist party (cf. Irish Parl. Debates, 2nd ed. i. 3–10). On 12 Aug. 1785 he spoke against Pitt's proposal for free trade between Great Britain and Ireland, holding that the government disturbed the settlement of 1782 by legislating for Ireland (ib. v. 347). Haliday, writing to the first Earl of Charlemont on 27 Dec. 1785, said: ‘I spent Saturday at Shane's Castle, and was delighted to hear Mr. O'Neill express himself with such animation against this reprobated bill, and on behalf of the independency and rights of Ireland; he lamented at the same time that opposition was but a rope of sand, and seemed anxious that some means could be found to cement it and bind it together’ (‘Charlemont Papers’ in Hist. MSS. Comm. Rep. ii. 31–2). During the session of 1787 O'Neill was prominent among the opponents of the Riot Bill, which he regarded as unnecessary, and designed to overawe the spirits of the people (ib. vii. 199, 205, 207, 449–52). In the course of these debates O'Neill was consequently singled out for attack by the attorney-general, John Fitzgibbon, afterwards Earl of Clare [q. v.] (Irish Parl. Debates, vii. 471–4; cf. Grattan's Life, iii. 309–12).
O'Neill was one of the four delegates appointed by the Irish House of Commons on 20 Feb. 1789 to present a joint address of the two houses requesting the Prince of Wales to assume the regency in Ireland without stipulating any conditions; and on 20 March he moved that the prince's answer be read from the chair (Irish Parl. Debates, ix. 145, 331). On the question of catholic relief he at first hesitated, but finally, though a protestant and representative of a protestant county, became a warm supporter of emancipation (ib. xii. 82, 84, 123, 124, xiii. 5, 6, 310; Lecky, Hist. of England, vi. 567).
O'Neill had been one of the five Ulster delegates to the national convention of 1783. He signed the so-called ‘round robin’ of 22 Feb. 1789, the signatories to which promised not to accept any office which might become vacant by the dismissal of any of them in consequence of their votes on the regency question. He was also one of the original members of the Northern Whig Club formed at Dublin on 26 June of the same year.