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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/8

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O'Ferrall
Offa
2

letters who flourished in that district early in the last century. He wrote a poem in Irish in praise of William Peppard of Kingscourt, of which there is a copy in the Cambridge University Library, made by Peter Galligan on 19 Dec. 1827; 'Beir beannacht uaim sios go baile na ccraobh' ('A blessing from me on Ballynacroe'); 'Suibhal me cuig coige na Fodla' ('I walk the five provinces of Ireland'); 'Bhidh me lá deas ('I was one fine day'); and others preserved in the manuscript books which formed the chief literature of farmhouses in Meath and Cavan in the last century. He was often entertained by the Mortimers of Cloghwallybeg and their kin, the chief landowners of the district.

[Works; Transactions of the Iberno-Celtic Society, Dublin, 1820; local information.]

N. M.


O'FERRALL, RICHARD MORE (1797–1880), governor of Malta, born in 1797 at Balvna, co. Kildare—the ancient seat of his race—was eldest son of Ambrose O'Ferrall (1752–1835), by his first wife, Anne, daughter of John Bagot. Unlike his brother John Lewis More, afterwards commissioner of police (d. 1881), he declined, as a conscientious catholic, to enter the protestant university of Dublin. From an early age he joined in the struggle in Ireland for civil and religious liberty, and long corresponded with James Warren Doyle [q. v.], the patriot-prelate of Kildare. After the Catholic Relief Bill passed in 1828, he became in 1831 member of parliament for Kildare, his native county, which he represented without interruption for seventeen years (1830–46), and afterwards for six years (1859–65). He also sat for a short time in 1850–1 for co. Longford, in which his family held property. He supported Daniel O'Connell, who wrote to his confidential friend P.V. Fitzpatrick, on 3 June 1834: ‘I do not believe that More O'Ferrall will accept office.’ In this opinion, however, the Liberator was wrong. In 1835, under the Melbourne administration, O'Ferrall became a lord of the treasury; in 1839 secretary to the admiralty, and in 1841 secretary to the treasury. On 1 Oct. 1847 he severed his connection with Kildare to assume the governorship of Malta. On 22 Nov. 1847 he was made a privy councillor. He resigned the governorship of Malta in 1851, on the ground that he declined to serve under Lord John Russell, the prime minister, who in that year carried into law the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, in opposition to the papal bull which created a catholic hierarchy in England.

O'Ferrall died at Kingstown, near Dublin, at the age of eighty-three, on 27 Oct. 1880. He had been a magistrate, grand juror, and deputy-lieutenant for his native county, and at his death was the oldest member of the Irish privy council. He married, on 28 Sept. 1839, Matilda (d. 1882), second daughter of Thomas Anthony, third viscount Southwell, K.P. By her he left a son, Ambrose, and a daughter, Maria Anne, who married in 1860 Sir Walter Nugent, bart., of Donore, co. Westmeath.

[Life, Times, and Correspondence of Bishop Doyle; Private Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell; Leinster Leader, 30 Oct. 1880; Burke's Landed Gentry, ii. 1516; Lingard's England, with marginal notes in manuscript by Bishop Doyle; personal knowledge.]

W. J. F.


OFFA (fl. 709), king of the East-Saxons, was son of Sighere, king of the East-Saxons, whose overlord was Wulfhere, king of the Mercians. Sighere was succeeded on his throne by his brother Sebbi, who, dying in 694, was himself succeeded by his sons Sigheard and Swefred. It is possible that Offa shared the rule withboth his uncle and cousin; but it was not until the death of the latter that he became sole king of the East-Saxons (Bede, iii 30, iv. ll; Flor. Wig. Genealogies, i. 203). Being a young man of most lovable appearance, he was joyfully received as king by the whole people. He is said to have been in love with Kineswyth, daughter of Penda, king of the Mercians though, as Penda died in 655 must have been too old for so young a lover. She incited him to give up kingdom and land and wife—probably some other lady—for the Gospel's sake. In 709 he made a pilgrimage to Rome in the company of Coenred of Mercia and Ecgwine, bishop of Worcester. At Rome received by Pope Constantine, and, in common with Coenred, is represented as attesting a spurious letter of the pope to Archbishop Brihtwald [q. v.] He seems to be wrongly described in one charter as king of the Mercians, and in another as king of the East-Angles. He took the tonsure and died at Rome.

[Bede's Eccl. Hist. iii. 30, iv. 11, v. 19 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Flor. Wig. Genealogies, i. 250, 263 (Engl. Hist. Soc.): Will. of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum. i. 99 (Rolls Ser.) and Gesta Pontiff. pp. 296, 317 (Rolls Ser.); Kemble's Codex Dipl. i. Nos. 55, 61, 64; Haddan and Stubbs's Eccl. Documents, iii. 279–83; Dict. Chr. Biogr. iii. 68, art. ‘Offa’ (3), by Bishop Stubbs.]

W. H.


OFFA (d. 796), king of the Mercians, was son of Thingferth, who was descended from Eoppa or Eowa, brother of Penda, king of the Mercians. In 757 Offa's cousin Ethelbald or Æthelbald (d. 757) [q. v.], king of the Mercians, was slain by rebels, led probably by Beornræd, who usurped Ethelbald's throne.