Meara, Dermod (DNB00)

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MEARA, DERMOD or DERMITIUS (fl. 1610), author and physician, was a native of the district styled Ormonde, in the county of Tipperary, Ireland. He studied at Oxford, where, Wood tells us, 'he was esteemed a good poet.' 'In all my searches,' added Wood, 'I cannot find him matriculated, or that he took a degree.' An earlier Dermitius Meara, who had studied at Paris and Cambridge, supplicated for the degree of B.C.L. 3 July 1514 (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., i. 93). Meara practised as a physician in Ireland with high repute. In 1615 he published at London a panegyrical poem in Latin on the genealogy and career of Thomas Butler, earl of Ormonde and Ossory [q. v.], who had died in the preceding year. The title was ' Ormonius: sive illustrissimi herois ac domini, d. Thomæ Butleri, Ormoniæ et Osoriæ Comitis, Viscomitia de Thurles, Baronis de Arckelo … commemoratio, heroico carmine conscripta à Dermitio Meara, Ormoniensi Hyberno et insignissimæ Oxoniensis Academiæ quondam alumno.'

The poem is divided into five books, and occupies 144 pages 12mo. Prefixed are dedications to Thomas Butler and Walter Butler, earls of Ormonde and Ossory, with an epistle to the reader. The volume closes with an 'epicedion' by the author, anagrams, acrostics, and chronograms.

Meara in 1619 published at Dublin a volume (sm. 12mo) entitled 'Pathologia hereditaria generalis sive de morbis hæreditariis tractatus spagyro-dogmaticus. In quo generalis eorundem morborum radix natura et therapeutica indicatio ex utriusque medicinæ fontibus investigatur.' This treatise is in twelve chapters, and ends at page 128 with 'epilogus ad lectorem.' It was dedicated to Sir Oliver St. John, lord-deputy of Ireland, and prefixed to the work are two Latin epigrams by John Kelli, in praise of the author.

The precise date of Meara's death has not been ascertained. Edmund Meara [q. v.] was his son. Harris, in his edition of Ware's 'Works,' 1746, stated that Meara's poem on the Earl of Ormonde was translated into English verse by William Roberts, Ulster king-of-arms in the reign of Charles I. No mention of such a work is to be found either in the known writings of Roberts or in any authentic document at present accessible.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 275; Gilbert's Hist. of City of Dublin; W. Roberts's manuscript Hist. of House of Ormonde; Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland, 1884, vol. iv.; D'Alton's King James's Irish Army List, p. 75.]

J. T. G.