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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 140

              [newspaper clipping continued]
  It is a curious fact that a cousin of Mr.
O�Brien�s, Mr. Edmund Burke Roche, succeeded
a few years since in reviving the ancient and
long-extinct Irish Barony of Fermoy in his own
person, the title of which he now enjoys.
  If this be a quiz upon poor Mr. O�Brien, it is
in bad taste, because it does not require an Irish-
man to disprove every statement in it.  If it be
a canard, it is an amusing one.  We can prove
its want of truth in all respects.
  When William O�Bryen, Marquis of Thomond
and Baron of Inchiquin, in Ireland, and Baron
Tadcaster in the peerage of England, died in
1835, without a child, his Irish Marquisate and
English Barony became extinct, and he was suc-
ceeded, in his Irish Barony of Inchiquin, by Sir
Lucius O�Brien, his kinsman, who then, as near-
est male relative, became thirteenth Baron Inchi-
quin.  Whoever will consult Burke�s Peerage for
the present year will find a copious article about
this identical Lord Inchiquin.  Now, who edits
or compiles this peerage?  Who but Sir Bernard
Burke, who has been the recognized and legal 
heraldic authority of Ireland, since 1853, when
he was appointed Ulster King of Arms, who ac-
tually supervised the legal proofs of Sir L. O�-
Brien�s right to this title,�and who has since re-
ceived his vote at each election of Irish Repre-
sentative Peers since 1855.  More than this, the
Crown has no �authority� whatever over a man�s
succeeding to a title by lineal descent,�the Her-
ald�s College in England has nothing to do with
this Irish peerage, �and there is no Herald�s Col-
lege in Ireland.  Lastly, there never was any
�order from the Crown� prohibiting the present
Lord Inchiquin �from appearing at court under
any title but that of Sir Lucius O�Brien.�
  Here, at one blow from the hammer of fact,
tumbles down this fabric of falsehood.
  No member of the Thomond family, within two
degrees of relationship as near as Sir Lucius O�-
Brien�s ancestors stood, could have emigrated to
Holland a century ago.  Simply�because there
was none.  That any Count Otto O�Brien ever
existed we greatly doubt,�the only Count in
Fitz James�s circle is called dis-count.
  Fitz James�s father, as we are informed and
believe, was simply a petty attorney in a small
country town on the borders of Cork and Kerry.
When Mr. W. E. Burton, the manager, was com-
pelled to quarrel with Fitz James, he generally
proclaimed that he had no right either to the
Norman �Fitz� nor the Melesian �O,� and that
he had been known, when a paragraph writer in
the London newspapers, merely as �Jimmy Bry-
an.�  Here for a time, he was said to have been
Editor of the London Times, an officer in the
Household Guards of England, (in which a man
needs $25,000 a year besides his pay,) and, we
have, heard, an eminent Professor of�Dancing.
  Count Otto left documents behind him, (says
Briggs,) �which are said fully to establish Mr. 
O�Brien�s claim to the title.�  So, after all the
great flourish, a mere on dit is the sole authority
�uness some emigrant Hollanders in this coun-
try, who are duly invited, will make or find evi-
dence:
  Finally, Edward Burke Roche, of Trabolgan
and Kilshannic, whose relationship with Fitz
James is as strong as it is with the reader of
these lines, and no stronger, was descended from
only a junior branch of Lord Fermoy�s family,
and, representives of the senior branch being
alive, did not succeed in reviving the peerage he
now holds  It was a new creation, in 1855, and
the �curious fact� about it is, that the Queen�s
right to make him an Irish peer (he was not
thought enough of to be made an English peer,
which would put him in the House of Lords) was
disputed for two years�and, we believe, then a
new patent of creation had to be issued.
  Here, we dispose of the canard which amusing
Briggs has thrust upon the readers of the Daily
Times.  We must express our surprise at the
moderation of FitzJames De Courcy O�Brien in
claiming the Barony of Inchiquin, created in
1536, when the Barony Kingsale, dating from
1181, with its possessor�s right to wear his hat in
the presence of Royalty, was just as much open
to his ambition.  He has as much right to be De
Courcey, Premier Baron of Ireland, as O�Brien,
Baron Inchiquin.  As much right�and no more.
We have only to add that Fitz-James is now
about thirty-five years old�that he is to be en-
countered in Boston, just now, and that in a wild
and wonderful romance, called �The Slave of
the Lamp,� written by the late William North,
(who also administered striking proofs of his distin
guished consideration,) he is introduced, at full
length, as a principal character, under the af-
fecting name of FITZ GAMMON O�BOUNCER.               
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