Page:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu/170

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Desmond, John, last of the line, a brother of the Sugan Earl, went to Spain in 1603, where he was styled Conde de Desmond. He was living in 1615, and died at Barcelona. His son Gerald, "choosing rather to trust to fortune, abruptly left Spain, and taking service in his Caesarian Majesty's army, served him well and chivalrously for three years but at last, when he had the command of a strong town, then besieged, he was called on to surrender; this he refused to do, choosing rather to die of starvation than betray his trust. Thus did his career terminate." [1632] Thomas, 10th Earl of Ormond, in right of his mother, Joan FitzGerald, daughter of the 11th Earl of Desmond, claimed the Earldom after the death and attainder of all the heirs male. "When his daughter was married to James I.'s Scotch favourite. Sir Richard Preston, the title was conferred on him. When the only child of the latter, a daughter, was about to be married to the son of the Earl of Denbigh, the title was passed to the intended bridegroom. The marriage never took place; yet the title was retained, and is still held by the Earls of Denbigh. 54 147 216


Despard, Edward Marcus, Colonel, was born in the Queen's County in 1755. He early embraced a military life, and saw service in the West Indies, on the Spanish main, and in the Bay of Honduras, where he was appointed superintendent of the British colony. He is described as having been highly educated, and gifted with fascinating manners. He was at one time the companion and friend of Nelson. At the taking of Honduras, he is said to have advanced money of his own for Government purposes; and although thanked by Parliament for his conduct, the money was not refunded. Irritated by the delays and difficulties thrown in the way of repayment, he offended the Ministry by strong and angry expostulations, and then appealed in vain to Parliament. He became very much embarrassed, and entering politics, joined the London Corresponding Society, and was incarcerated under the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act in 1799. Lord Cloncurry visited him in Coldbath-fields Prison, and found him in a cell only six feet by eight, poorly furnished, without fireplace or window. Through influence brought to bear on the Government, he was removed to better quarters, until his liberation on the expiration of the Suspension Act some years afterwards. Doubtless his mind was disordered by the many indignities he underwent, for when Lord Cloncurry met him in London in 1802 he "looked like a man risen from the grave," and declared that "though he had not seen his country for thirty years, he never ceased thinking of it and of its misfortunes, and that a main object of his visit to me was to disclose his discovery of an infallible remedy for the latter—a voluntary separation of the sexes, so as to leave no future generation obnoxious to oppression." He soon afterwards engaged in a conspiracy, having ramifications in the chief English centres of population, for overturning the British Government, was arrested in a public house in Lambeth, on 16th November 1802, and brought to trial in the following February. Found guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy on account of his previous character and services, he was, with six of his associates, executed at the Borough Jail, London, on 21st February 1803, aged about 48. To the last he acted with dignity and firmness, "confidently predicting, notwithstanding his fate, and perhaps that of many who might follow him, the final triumph of the principles of liberty, justice, and humanity over falsehood, despotism, and delusion." A full account of his trial will be found in Howell's State Trials. Lord Cloncurry provided for his widow, a creole, and she resided for many years in his family at Lyons, Hazlehatch. 7 34 42 82

De Vere, Sir Aubrey, Bart., was born, probably at Curragh Chase, County of Limerick, 20th August 1788.54 He combined high literary attainments with the performance of his duties as a landlord and country gentleman. Besides numerous poetical works, he was author of a drama, Mary Tudor, that has lately attracted renewed attention on account of the appearance of Tennyson's drama of Queen Mary. Hayes, in his Ballads, writes of De Vere as "distinguished for his literary attainments, and for his high poetic genius … He depicts the tragic passions with power and truthfulness … His poems and songs are instinct with grace and feeling." He was the friend and ardent admirer of Wordsworth. Sir Aubrey died, as he had lived, in the home of his infancy, Curragh Chase, 5th July 1846, aged 57. His works are sometimes confused with those of his son, the poet, Aubrey de Vere. 54 159*

Devereux, Walter, 1st Earl of Essex, was born in Carmarthenshire, about 1540. For ability displayed in suppressing the rebellion of the Dukes of Northumberland and Westmoreland, Devereux was created Earl of Essex by Queen Elizabeth in 1572. He became so great a favourite, that Leicester and others, jealous of his increasing influence, induced him to

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