Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Halloran, Lawrence Hynes

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HALLORAN or O'HALLORAN, LAWRENCE HYNES (1766–1831), miscellaneous writer, ‘apparently a native of Ireland,’ was born in 1766. He became master of an academy at Alphington, near Exeter, where he had as pupil the future master of the rolls, Lord Gifford. Here he published ‘Odes, Poems, and Translations,’ 1790, and ‘Poems on Various Occasions,’ 1791. These include a variety of subjects, as ‘Ode on His Majesty's Birthday,’ ‘Animal Magnetism,’ ‘Anna,’ ‘Extempore Effusion to the Memory of an Infant,' 'Elegy under a Gallows,' &c., 'Ode on the proposed Visit of their Majesties to the City of Exeter,' 1791. A few years after Halloran was a chaplain in the royal navy. He published a charity sermon for 19 Dec. 1797, in celebration of the naval victories. He was chaplain on board the Britannia, the vessel which carried the flag of Admiral the Earl of Northesk, third in command at the battle of Trafalgar. During the engagement Halloran, who had a very loud and clear voice, stood beside the commander and repeated the word of command through a speaking-trumpet after him. He soon published 'A Sermon on Occasion of the Victory off Trafalgar, delivered on board H.M.S. Britannia at Sea, 3 November 1805,' and 'The Battle of Trafalgar, a poem,' 1806. He was afterwards appointed rector of the public grammar school, Cape Town, and chaplain to the forces in South Africa. Here in 1810 a duel took place between two officers. A court-martial was held on the parties engaged in the affair. Halloran warmly espoused the cause of the accused and wrote their defence. Lieutenant-general the Hon. H. G. Grey, considering that his interference was improper, ordered him to remove to Simon's Town. Rather than do this he resigned his chaplaincy, but revenged himself by publishing a satire, 'Capabilities, or South African Characteristics,' 1811. Thereupon the governor of the colony, the Earl of Caledon, ordered a criminal prosecution to be commenced against him. He was found guilty, was condemned in costs, and was banished the colony (Proceedings, including Original Correspondence, &c., at the Cape of Good Hope, in a Criminal Process for a Libel instituted at the Suit of Lieut.-Gen. the Hon. H. G. Grey, by order of the Earl of Caledon, Governor of the Colony, 1811). He now returned to England, where, preaching and teaching, he led a somewhat erratic life. He styled himself a doctor in divinity. He introduced himself at Bath to the Rev. Richard Warner, who describes him as of 'striking but not prepossessing appearance.' Warner, however, employed him for some time till he heard rumours that he was an impostor. Halloran, being asked for proof of the position he assumed, could only produce papers for deacon's orders; those relating to priest's ordination and doctor's degree had (he said) been mislaid by a maid-servant. They were never produced, and Halloran soon after left Bath to resume his wandering life.

In 1818 he was charged at the Old Bailey with having forged a frank, by which the revenue was cheated of tenpence, on a letter addressed to the rector whose church he was serving. 'He persisted in pleading guilty, because, he said, the only person who could establish his innocence was dead,' and added 'that the charge would not have been brought against him but for a subsequent quarrel with his rector.' He was sentenced to seven years' transportation. The reporter, who calls him, apparently without suspicion, 'a Doctor of Divinity,' adds that 'he has a large family' (Gent. Mag. 1818, ii. 462). He subsequently established a school at Sydney, New South, Wales, which he conducted very successfully. He died there 8 March 1831.

Besides the works noted Halloran wrote: 1. 'Lacrymæ Hibernicæ, or the Genius of Erin's Complaint, a ballad,' 1801. 2. 'The Female Volunteer' (a drama under the name of 'Philo-Nauticus'), 1801. 3. 'Stanzas of affectionate regard to the Memory of Capt. Dawson of the Piedmontaise,' 1812.

[Gent. Mag. 1831, ii. 476-7, December 1831 p. 482; Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; Rev. Richard Warner's Literary Recollections, 1830, ii. 292-8; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ix. 165; A. J. Hewitt's Sketches of English Church Hist. in South Africa.]

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