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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/213

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O'Neill
O'Neill
207

committee to ‘consider and lay down a model of civil government.’ He is said to have been present at the battle of Benburb on 5 June 1646, and, according to Rinuccini (Embassy, p. 175), ‘bore himself most bravely,’ and ‘when asked by the colonels for a list of his prisoners, swore that his regiment had not one, as he had ordered his men to kill them all without distinction.’ He supported Ormonde's endeavours at a pacification in 1646, and received the lord-lieutenant's thanks for his exertions. In September 1648 he was appointed a commissioner to treat for a peace, and for his services it was proposed to reward him with a title and an addition of estate. He was subsequently nominated a commissioner of trust for the government of Ireland, and appointed governor of the fort of Charlemont and commander of a regiment of foot. He still continued his opposition to Owen Roe O'Neill, and did his utmost to prevent an alliance between him and Ormonde.

After Owen's death he was disappointed in his expectation of succeeding to the command of the northern forces. He took part in the battle of Scarriffhollis, and afterwards escaped into Tyrone. He displayed great courage in his defence of Charlemont Castle against the forces of the parliament, but was forced to capitulate on 6 Aug. 1650. He was excepted from benefit of the articles of Kilkenny, and on 23 Aug. 1652 a reward of 300l. was offered for his apprehension. His hiding-place on an island in co. Tyrone was betrayed by Philip Roe MacHugh O'Neill to Lord Caulfeild, ‘who, having brought together a party of horse and foot, entered the island in boats and seized him there’ early in February 1652–3. He was taken to Dublin, and on 5 March placed on his trial before the high court of justice, presided over by Sir Gerard Lowther. A pardon was several times offered him if he would admit the genuineness of the commission said to have been received from Charles I at the beginning of the rebellion, but, refusing to do so, he was executed as a traitor on 10 March 1652–3. According to the impartial estimate of a contemporary calling himself a ‘British officer,’ Sir Phelim ‘was a well-bred gentleman, three years at court, as free and generous as could be desired, and very complaisant; stout in his person, but, not being bred anything of a soldier, wanted the main art, that is, policy in war and good conduct.’ A portrait of him, from a print in the British Museum, will be found in Mr. Gilbert's ‘Contemporary History of Affairs,’ ii. 208.

He was apparently married three times. His first wife is said to have died shortly before the rebellion. His second wife was a daughter of Thomas Preston, a younger brother of Lord Gormanston, by whom he is said to have been influenced in his relations with Owen Roe O'Neill. In 1649 he married Jean Gordon, widow of Claude Hamilton, baron of Strabane, by whom he had a son named Gordon, from his grandfather, the Marquis of Huntly.

Gordon O'Neill (d. 1704), captain of grenadiers in the infantry regiment of William Stewart, lord Mountjoy, was one of those catholic officers greatly favoured by the Earl of Tyrconnel in carrying out his plan for remodelling the government of Ireland in the interests of James II. He was made lord lieutenant of Tyrone, and represented the county in parliament in 1689. When the war of the revolution broke out he raised a regiment of foot for the royal cause, and was actively engaged at the siege of Derry, where he was wounded in the thigh. He was present at the battle of the Boyne, and was severely wounded at the battle of Aughrim, being left for dead on the field. He was discovered by some Scottish officers, relatives of his mother, in William's army, and removed to Dublin. On his recovery he took advantage of the treaty of Limerick to retire to France, where he was made colonel of the Irish infantry regiment of Charlemont. From 1692 to the peace of Ryswick in 1697 the regiment served against the emperor, and in February 1698 was incorporated in the infantry regiment of Galmoy, to which he was attached as a supernumerary or reformed colonel. He married a protestant lady of the city of Derry, and had a daughter Catherine, who became the wife of John Bourke, fourth lord Brittas, and ninth Lord Castle-Connell. He died in 1704.

[Carte's Life of Ormonde; Gilbert's Contemporary Hist. of Affairs in Ireland and Hist. of the Irish Confederation; Reid's Hist. of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; Hickson's Ireland in the Seventeenth Century; Gardiner's Hist. of England and Great Civil War; Brodie's Hist. of the British Empire; Engl. Hist. Review, vol. ii.; Borlase's Hist. of the Execrable Irish Rebellion; Cox's Hib. Anglicana; Clarendon's Historical View of the Affairs of Ireland; Bramhall's Works, ed. Haddan; Dean Bernard's The whole Proceedings of the Siege of Drogheda, London, 1642; Milton's Prose Works; The Mysterie of Iniquitie, ascribed to Edward Bowles; Audley Mervyn's An exact Relation of all such Occurrences as have happened in the several counties of Donegal, &c., London, 1642; A Relation of the Proceedings of the English Army in Ulster, from the seventeenth day of June to this