Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/131

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collect materials, but eventually abandoned the design. In 1786 hs wrote his ‘Review of the Important Controversy between Dr. Carroll and the Rev. Messrs. Wharton and Hawkins; including a Defence of Clement XIV.' Appended to it is ‘A Letter from Candor to the Right Hon. Luke Gardiner on his Bill for a Repeal of a part of the Penal Laws against the Irish Catho1ics.’ This was written in 1779, and had appeared in the newspapers of that time. In 1785 and 1786 the peace of the county of Corlt was diaturbed at night by mobs under the guidance of a leader who assumed the nams of ‘Captain Right,' all O'Leary published 'Addresses to the Common People of Ireland, particularly such of them as are called Whiteboys,’ demonstrating in a familiar, eloquent, sad bold mode of reasoning the folly, wickedness, and illegality of their conduct. His personal exertions were further solicited by the magistrates of the county, and he accompanied them to different places of worship, exported the deluded ‘people to obedience to the laws and respect or religion, and was successful in persuading numbers of them to suit the association. He afterwards published ‘A Defence of the Conduct and Writings of the Rev. Arthur O'Leary during the late Disturbance; in the Province of Munster, with a full Justification of the Irish Catholics, and an Account of the Risings of the Whiteboys; Written by Himself in Answer to the False Accusations of Tbeophilus [i.e. Patrick Duigenan], and the Ill-grounded Insinuations of the ight Rev. Dr. Woodward, Lord Bishop of Cloyne.’

The controversies in which his equivocal position involved him induced him to quit Ireland in 1789, when he was appointed one of the chaplains to the Spanish embassy in London, his colleague there being Dr. Hussey, afterwards bishop of Waterford. They afterwards had a dispute, and a ‘Narrative of the Misunderstanding between the Rev. A. 0'Leary and the Rev. Mr. Hussey' appeared in 1791 (Fitzpatrick, p. 255 n.) On his arrival in London, O'Leary was anxiously sought after by his countrymen. Edmund Burke introduced him to the Duke of York, and always spoke with characteristic enthusiasm oi` the good effect of his writings. He uaed to attend the meetings of the English catholic committee, but he opposed its action, and took exception to the absurd appellation of ‘Protesting Catholic Dissenters. Charles Butler, the secretary of the committee, says: ‘The appearance of Father O'Leary was simple. In his countenance there was a mixture of goodness, solemnity, and drollery which fixed every eye that beheld it. No one was more generally loved or revered; no one less assuming or more pleasing in his manner. Seeing his external simplicity, persons with whom he was arguing were sometimes tempted to treat him cavalierly ; but then the so enmity with which he would mystify his adversary, and ultimately lead him into the most distressing absurdity, was one of tha most delightful scenes that conversation ever exhibited’ (Hist. Memoirs of the English Catholics, 1822, iv. 438). Successful efforts were meanwhile made by his friend Plowden to secure the full payment of the pension of 200l., with all unpaid arrears.

St. Patrick‘s chapel, Sutton Street, Soho Square, was, during the later years of his life, the scene of his labours. His sermons were widely admired, and his auditory included all grades of society. His collections for a projected history of the Irish rebellion of 1798 he presented to Francis Plowden. He published in 1800 an ‘Address to the Ian; Spiritual and Temporal of the Parliament of Great Britain; to which is added an Account of Sir H. Mildmay‘s Bill relative to Nuna.’ This was followed by 'A Memorial in behalf of the Fathers of La Trappe and the Orphans committed to their Gare; which was probably the last of his literary labours. Towards the end of 1801 he went to France for the benefit of his health. He was again in London on 7 Jan. 1802, and died on the following morning at No. 45 Great Portland Street. His ‘Funeral Oration,' pronounced by the Rev. Morgan D‘Arcy, has been printed. The body was interred in Old St. Pancras churchyard, and a monument was placed over tha grave by Earl Moira. afterwards marquis of Hastings (Addit. MS. 27488, L 156), This monument was repaired by public subscription in 1851. Another was erected in St. Patrick's Chapel. When old St. Pancras churchyard was taken by the Midland railway for the extension of their station building, the remains of O'Leary were removed, and on 8 Feb. 1691 they were interred in the catholic cemetery at Kensal Green, in a grave close to that of Cardinal Wiseman (Tablet, 28 Feb. 1891, p. 355).

His earliest biographer, England, in portraying his character, states that 'good sense, unaffected piety, and extensive knowledge gained him the respect and admiration of the learned and grave, whilst by his unbounded wit, anecdotes, and unrivalled brilliancy of imagination he was the source of delight and entertainment to all whom he admitted to his intimacy.' A more discriminating critic, Mr. Lecky, admits that