Roger O'Connor

Roger O'Connor

County Cork, Ireland
Death 27 Jan 1834 (aged 71–72)
Kilcrea, County Cork, Ireland
Burial Kilcrea, County Cork, Ireland
Plot Buried in the vault of the MacCarthys
Memorial ID 190166057 · View Source
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Author, Irish Patriot. Roger O'Connor received notoriety for being a colorful Irishman, who wrote about the ancient history of Ireland from his view point. Born the son of Roger O'Connor in O'Connorville, in County Cork, he was well-educated being accepted to the Bar in 1784. Along with his three sons and an older brother, Arthur O'Connor, he was a member of the United Irishmen, a society that supported “an equal representation to all the people,” by defiance of the British Crown and an establishment of a free Irish nation. The O'Connor family was split on this political reasoning as two of his brothers , Daniel and Robert, were loyal to the British Crown. At one point, his brother Robert attempted to have him executed for treason. He, along with Arthur and other Irish agents, petitioned for France's aide to support an Irish Revolution. Carrying documents that gave evidence to this plan, he and Arthur were both arrested, while on the way to France, charged with high treason, eventually found guilty, and sent to prison in Scotland, yet a Catholic priest and several others were hung. Upon release from jail, he and Arthur went to France, but after a time he came back to Ireland to manage the vast land holdings, which he and Arthur had inherited from their father. Arthur had been forced into exile from Great Britain and was unable to manage his Irish property, which was worth $10,000. At that point, Arthur's property was placed in trust to him, yet the in-trust property was loss with bad investments and mismanagement. In 1822 he published his two-volume on the history of the Irish people, “Chronicles of Eri, Being the History of Gaiel, Sciot Iber, or Irish People.” He claimed he translated ancient documents to support his publications that the Irish people originated from the ancient Phoenicians, then to Scythia, Spain and then Ireland. Containing maps and drawings, the piece was dedicated to Sir Francis Burdett. On the inside title page, it states, “O'Connor Cier-rige head of his race and O'Connor chief of the prostrated people of this nation.” He claimed that he had a supposed lineal descendant of the twelfth-century High King of Ireland, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair. Today, Irish literary critics claim his book is “ an extraordinary piece of literary forgery,” but an entertaining read. Besides being a colorful author, he was an excellent orator. He leased Dangon Castle, which was the childhood home of the 1st Duke of Wellington. One night, the castle burnt almost to the ground, when one of his sons was trying to make bullets. Collecting the insurance , he made no repairs, and eventually, he left the dwelling in ruins, and it remains in ruins into the twenty-first century. His views on religion in general were very unconventional for his era. He married twice, L ouisa Anna Strachan and Wilhamena Bowen , having a total of nine children, and then eloped with a married lady. Embarrassed with all of his scandalous behavior, three of his sons fled Ireland to start a new life. Besides his sons Feargus and Roderic O'Connor, a third son Francis Burdett O'Connor left Ireland in 1819 with 200 Irish volunteers to help liberate South America from Spain by joining with Simon Bolivar's army. “Frank” O'Connor's godfather was Sir Francis Burdett, a baronet and radical member of the English parliament. Later, O'Connor became chief of staff for Bolivar, then the Minister of War in Bolivia, and dying at the age of eighty-one in Tarija, being buried there. Like other members of the O'Connor family, he was a prolific author, writing about the rebellions in South American and his adventurous life in his memoirs. A province in Bolivia was named Burdett O'Connor in his honor. With only one daughter surviving him, the surname O'Connor should have been lost generations ago, but in honor of him, proud his descendants tinkered with the surname using “O'Connor-d'Arlach.”

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eileen Cunningham
  • Added: 29 May 2018
  • Find a Grave Memorial 190166057
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Roger O'Connor (1762–27 Jan 1834), Find a Grave Memorial no. 190166057, citing Kilcrea Friary, Kilcrea, County Cork, Ireland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .