Notes on the Sheriffs of County Clare, 1570-1700
Clare County Library
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By Thomas Johnson Westropp, M.A., Member

1690 Sir Donat O’Brien

1690. Sir Donat O’Brien, BART. of Lemeneagh Castle and Dromoland, son of Captain Conor O’Brien, at whose death, 1651, he is said to have been apprenticed to a London goldsmith. He was a man greatly noted in county Clare, which he represented in Parliament, 1695 to 1713. He was created a baronet by patent, November 9, 1686, and built the gate before Lemeneagh, adorned with his arms as baronet, and made the great avenue still called Sir Donat’s-road. He was confirmed in Cahermoyle, June, 1678, by act of settlement. He removed from Lemeneagh to Dromoland in his later years. During his shrievalty, he, by orders of Tyrconnell, confiscated the horses of the principal gentry of Clare,[70] April, 1690.

O'Brien of Lemeneagh 1690
He married twice, his first wife being Lucia, sister of Anthony Hamilton, author of the Grammont memoirs; from her the present family descend; from his second wife, Elizabeth Deane, spring the O’Briens of Blatherwyck. He died November 18, 1717, aged 76. His really fine Corinthian monument remains in the Church of Kilnasoolagh (Newmarket). It is of dark marble, the ornaments in white. The baronet, in the full costume of the period, leans back on a pile of cushions, resting his head on his hand a child standing near points upwards; behind is a long and pompous epitaph in Latin, in gold letters:-“Siste gradum ac intuere-Sub hoc marmore conditur quod mortale fuit Donati O’Brien Baronetti, qui patrum stemmate nobelium erat, virtute propria longe nobilior. Homo, vere ad humanitatem factus, totus ad amicitiam gratam natus, statura corporis procerus fuit ac decorus. In aspectu dignitas, in sermone majestas, in incessu gravitas in moribus simplicitas, prudentiam, æquinimitatem, authoritatem indicabant. Si patrem inspicias, nemo indulgentior. Si Avum, nemo benevolentior. Si Amicum, nemo candidior. Non sibi suisque solum vixit sed aliis sed Patriæ. Pauperes sublevadit citra spem gloriæ. Sine partium studio æri publico invigilavit. Omnibus favorem, consilium, mensam impertivit nulli (ubi opus erat) repre hensionem denegavit. Comitatus clare patronum ubiq. ostendat; in consensu pacis per 30 annos primus tenebat. Animo semper fortis, justitiâ integerrimus. Viæ publicæ ac pontes commercii favorem praedicant. Ecclesiæ parochialis ornamenta vere filium loquuntur. Pastores orthodoxi ab impiis perduellibus agitati, beneficio ejecti, et per vim sceleratam grege orbati, in ædibus suis (quoties pro iniquitate temporum fas erat) sibi vicinisque non sine periculo dato patrocinium charitatem in fraters, pro religione zelum demonstrat. His meritis, sua præmia accumulavit fortuna opibus et honoribus tam eximia virtutes ornabantur. Privatis regni consiliis sub Anna Regina interfuit Patrimonium, prope et insigniter auctum, liberis legavit, sui desiderium bonis omnibus reliquit. Obiit 18 die Novembris 1717. Anno ætatis suæ 76 Hoc monumentum, in perpetuam vere et sinceræ pietatis memoriam posuit Henricus filius natu secundus solusque superstes sumptibus suis. Kidwell fecit.” He was succeeded by his grandson, Sir Edward, ancestor of the present Lord Inchiquin. Arms, as enamelled on the marble plinth of his tomb, and cut on Lemeneagh Gate quarterly, 1 and 4 gules, 3 lions passant per pale arg. and or.; 2 arg. 3 piles gu; 3 or. a pheon azure.
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