Donogh MacCarthy, 4th Earl of Clancarty

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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MacCarthy, Donogh, 4th Earl of Clancarty, grandson of the 1st Earl, was born about 1670. His father died in 1676, leaving him estates equivalent to £200,000 in present value. He was educated a Protestant at Oxford. When but sixteen he was privately married to Lady Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of the Earl of Sunderland. On James II.'s accession, MacCarthy became a Catholic, and afterwards warmly espoused his cause in Ireland. He joined his uncle Mountcashel in the operations against Bandon, received James II. on his landing, and was appointed to many important offices. Being under age, he sat by royal dispensation in the Irish Parliament of May 1689.

Assisting in the defence of Cork in 1690, he was, on its capture by Marlborough, sent prisoner to the Tower of London, where he was held until the autumn of 1694, when he escaped to France (leaving his periwig block dressed up in his bed, with the inscription, "The block must answer for me"). He commanded a troop of King James's Guards until the Peace of Ryswick in 1697.

Next year he ventured to cross to England to visit his wife, whom he not seen since their marriage. He had not been in her company more than two hours when, on the information of his brother-in-law, Lord Spencer, he was arrested and again committed to the Tower, his wife insisting upon accompanying him. He was eventually pardoned and a pension of £300 a year granted him on condition of his leaving the country. He retired to Hamburg, and purchasing an island in the Elbe, near Altona, made it his residence until his death. His Countess died in June 1704. The attainder was reversed and his honours restored in 1721, but he never returned to England, and died at Hamburg, 19th September 1734, aged 64. His son and heir, Robert, the 4th Earl, after serving, for a time in the British navy, resided many years at Boulogne on a pension of £1,000 from the French government, and died in 1770, aged 84. His two sons died without issue, and the Muskerry family became extinct in the male line. The greater part of the MacCarthy estates were bestowed upon Lord Woodstock, the eldest son of the Duke of Portland.

Sources

57. Burke, Sir Bernard: Vicissitudes of Families. 2 vols. London, 1869.

186. Irish Brigades in the Service of France: John C. O'Callaghan. Glasgow, 1870.

223. Macaulay, Lord: History of England, from the Accession of James II. [to 1702]. 5 vols. London, 1849-'61.

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