O'Brien, Daniel (DNB00)

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O'BRIEN, DANIEL, first Viscount Clare (1577?–1663), called of Mayarta and Carrigaholt, third son of Conor O'Brien, third earl of Thomond [q. v.], was probably born about 1577; his eldest brother, Donough, fourth earl of Thomond [q. v.], and his nephew Barnabas, sixth earl of Thomond [q. v.], are separately noticed. In 1598 Daniel was left to defend his brother's estates in Clare while Thomond was in England; Tyrone's victory at the Yellow Ford was followed by the spread of the rebellion into Clare, and Daniel's second brother, Teige O'Brien, entered into communication with the rebels. Daniel was attacked in the castle of Ibrickan, on which a treacherous assault was made on 1 Feb. 1599. The castle surrendered, and O'Brien was wounded and made prisoner; after a week's confinement at Dunbeg he was released, and, on the return of his eldest brother, Thomond, the rebels were defeated. O'Brien subsequently served under his brother during the remainder of the war; in 1600 Thomond took him to Elizabeth's court, where he was well received, and granted various lands in consideration of his wound and services. He was knighted, not, as O'Donoghue states, by Elizabeth, but on 1 July 1604 at Lexlipp.

O'Brien now took opposite sides to Thomond, becoming an ardent catholic, while his brother was a protestant; in 1613, being then member for co. Clare, he played a prominent part in the scenes attending the election of a speaker in the Irish House of Commons. He was summoned to England to answer for his conduct, and was charged with having forcibly held Everard in the chair; Thomond had gone to England as agent for the protestants, and O'Brien was dismissed with a reprimand. In November 1634 he was again elected member for co. Clare, not in conjunction with, but in place of, his nephew Barnabas, who after his election in June had gone to England (Official Returns, p. 608; cf. O'Donoghue, Hist. Memoir of the O'Briens); he is also said to have served on the committee of grievances. His conduct was evidently obnoxious to the lord-deputy, for an information was laid against him for his action in parliament; this subsequently afforded the House of Commons an opportunity of vindicating its right of free speech.

In 1641 O'Brien joined the confederation of Kilkenny, which he vigorously supported during the war; he was a member of the supreme council, and took an active share in its proceedings (cf. Gilbert, History of the Confederation; Carte, Ormonde, passim). In November 1641 he played a vigorous part in the siege of Ballyally Castle, co. Clare (The Siege of Ballyaly Castle, Camden Soc. pp. 14, 18). In 1645 he was appointed to seize his nephew's castle of Bunratty, a scheme which was frustrated by its surrender to the parliamentarians (Lodge, Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, ii. 190–3). He was fighting in Clare in 1649, but in 1651 the last of his castles surrendered, and O'Brien fled abroad to Charles II. He returned with Charles in 1660, and was mentioned in the king's declaration as one of the objects of his especial favour. In return for his own and his children's services, he was, by a patent dated 11 July 1663, created Viscount Clare. He died in 1663, when his age cannot have been much less than eighty-five. He married Catherine, third daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, sixteenth earl of Desmond. By her he had four sons—Donough, who predeceased him; Connor, his successor as second viscount; Murrough, and Teige—and seven daughters, of whom Margaret married Hugh, only son and heir of Philip O'Reilly.

Daniel O'Brien, third Viscount (d. 1690), son of Connor, second viscount, by his wife Honora, daughter of Daniel O'Brien of Duagh, co. Kerry, followed Charles II into exile, and his services are said to have been mainly instrumental in procuring the viscounty for his grandfather. He was lord-lieutenant of Clare under James II, member of the Irish privy council, and sat among the peers in 1689. He raised, in James's service, a regiment of dragoons, called after him the Clare dragoons, and two regiments of infantry. He died in 1690; his son Charles, fifth viscount [q. v.], is separately noticed (cf. O'Callaghan, Irish Brigades, pp. 26–27; D'Alton, Irish Army Lists of James II, p. 314; Memoirs of Ireland, pp. 107, 121, 125).

[Cal. State Papers, Ireland; Carew MSS.; Morrin's Cal. Close and Patent Rolls, Elizabeth and Charles I, passim; Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, ii. 23, &c.; Stafford's Pacata Hibernia; O'Sullivan-Beare's Hist. Catholicæ Hib. pp. 243–5, &c.; Narratives illustrative of the Contests in Ireland, 1641 and 1690 (Camden Soc.), passim; Lodge's Peerage, ed. Archdall, ii. 32–3; Gilbert's Hist. of the Confederation and Contemporary Hist. of Affairs, passim; Carte's Ormonde; Meehan's Confederation of Kilkenny; Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors, vol. iii.; O'Donoghue's Historical Memoir of the O'Briens; Addit. MSS. 20712 fol. 27, 20713, 20717; Hist. MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. App. v. 243; Collins's Letters and Memorials of State; Metcalfe's Book of Knights.]

A. F. P.