O’CONOR, Mathew Esq. Military History of the Irish Nation, comprising a Memoir of the Irish Brigade in the Service of France;
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with an appendix of official papers relative to the brigade, from the archives at Paris. Dublin, Hodges and Smith, 1845. Octavo. pp. xi, 421. Bound in full black morocco almost certainly by Gerald Bellew of Dublin (see De Búrca’s ‘Irish Bookbinding Dublin & Provincial, Catalogue 31’). Covers framed by double gilt fillets enclosing intertwining gouge-work or curved lines and arabesque tools between two panels with circlets. Spine divided into six panels by five raised bands, title and author in gilt direct in the second and fourth, the remainder tooled in gilt to a centre-and-corner design; fore-edges and turn-ins gilt; blue and red endbands; yellow endpapers. With the bookplate of Mr. Tristram Kennedy. All edges gilt. A very good copy with minimum rubbing. Very rare. [L4 11D]
A detailed history of those valiant Irishmen who filled the ranks of French and Spanish armies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. High honours were bestowed on Bourke, Dillon, Mahony, and Lord Clare to mention but a few. The author covers the period 1550 to 1738 treating: The Campaign of Tyrone; Campaign of Sir Edward Stanley; Campaigns in the Service of France, Spain, Ireland (1690); Campaigns till the Peace of Ryswick; War of the Spanish Succession, etc.
Matthew O’Conor, historian and lawyer was born in 1773 at Belanagare. He was the grandson of Charles O’Conor Don (1710-1791) the famed Irish antiquarian of the eighteenth century. His brother the Rev. Charles O’Conor (1767-1828), was a noted scholar and antiquary. Matthew O’Conor Don was educated for the priesthood in Rome, but changed his mind and became by profession a lawyer. He was highly regarded by fellow Irish scholars such as George Petrie and John O’Donovan. To the latter he gave unstinting aid during his field work in Roscommon for the Ordnance Survey; O’Donovan held him in very high regard, not only because of his historical efforts and political work, but also because of his noble descent and status as a Prince of the Royal Family of Connacht. In this he was not alone; during the Tithe War a large assembly of Roscommon Catholics unanimously elected him King of Connacht (in his absence) and sent word to him to meet them at Carnfree for the formal inauguration.
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