O'Brien, James (1769-1856) (DNB00)

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O'BRIEN, JAMES, third Marquis of Thomond (1769–1855), admiral, born in 1769, was second son of Edward O'Brien, captain in the army, who died in March 1801. His mother was Mary Carrick, and his uncle, Murrough O'Brien, was first Marquis of Thomond. As a captain's servant, he entered the navy on 17 April 1783 on board the Hebe, stationed in the Channel. From 1786 to 1789 he was a midshipman in the Pegasus and Andromeda frigates, both commanded by the Duke of Clarence, under whom he also served with the Channel fleet in the Valiant in 1790. As a lieutenant he joined, in succession, on the home station, the London (98), the Artois (38), and the Brunswick (74). In the latter ship he was present in Cornwallis's celebrated retreat, 16 and 17 June 1795. On 5 Dec. 1796 he was promoted to the command of the Childers sloop. From 1800 to 1804 he commanded the Emerald on the West India station, where, on 24 June 1803, he made a prize of the L'Enfant Prodigue, a French national schooner of 16 guns, and in the spring of 1804 distinguished himself in forwarding the supplies at the capture of Surinam, as well as by defeating a projected expedition by the enemy against Antigua. In February 1808 he was advanced to the same precedency as if his father had succeeded to the marquisate of Thomond, and was henceforth known as Lord James O'Brien. From September 1813 till November 1815 he served in the Channel in the Warspite (74). He became a rear-admiral in 1825, a vice-admiral 1837, a full admiral 13 May 1847, and an admiral of the red in 1853. On the accession of William IV, he was made a lord of the bedchamber, and nominated G.C.H. on 13 May 1831. He succeeded his brother, William O'Brien, on 21 Aug. 1846 as the third Marquis of Thomond. He died at his residence, near Bath, on 3 July 1855, and was buried in the catacombs of St. Saviour's Church, Walcot, Bath, on 10 July. He married, first, on 25 Nov. 1800, Eliza Bridgman, second daughter of James Willyams of Carnanton, Cornwall (she died on 14 Feb. 1802); secondly, in 1806, while in the West Indies, Jane, daughter of Thomas Ottley, and widow of Valentine Horne Horsford of Antigua (she died on 8 Sept. 1843); and, thirdly, on 5 Jan. 1847, at Bath, Anne, sister of Sir C. W. Flint, and widow of Rear-admiral Fane. The marquis leaving no issue, the marquisate of Thomond and the earldom of Inchiquin became extinct; but the barony of Inchiquin devolved to the heir male, Sir Lucius O'Brien, bart., who became thirteenth Baron Inchiquin on 3 July 1855.

[Gent. Mag. 1855, pt. ii. p. 193; Hardwicke's Annual Biography, 1856, pp. 38–9; Cokayne's Complete Peerage, 1892, iv. 317; Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages, 1866, p. 407; O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. Dict. 1849, p. 1171.]

G. C. B.