|Arturo O'Neill de Tyrone y O'Kelly|
|1st Spanish Governor of West Florida|
May 9, 1781 – 1794
|Preceded by||Peter Chester (British West Florida (1763-1784))|
|Succeeded by||Enrique White|
|93º Colonial Governor of Yucatán|
March 10, 1792 – 1794
|Lieutenant||Benito Pérez Valdelomar|
|Preceded by||Jose Sabido de Vargas|
|Born||January 8, 1736
|Died||December 9, 1814.
|Profession||colonel and Political|
Arturo O'Neill (January 8, 1736 – December 9, 1814) was an Irish-born colonel who served the Spanish crown as governor of several places in New Spain (1781–1794). He came from a lineage that occupied prominent European positions and titles, beginning before the 16th century.
Arturo O'Neill de Tyrone y O'Kelly was born in Dublín, Ireland, in January 8, 1736. He was third of the five children of Henry O´Neill and Ana O´Kelly. One of his brothers was Lieutenant Colonel Niall O'Neill (later Nicolás O'Neill y O'Kelley). As a youth, Arthur O'Neill went to Spain in 1752 as a cadet in the Irish regiment.
He joined the Spanish royal army very young during the reign of Charles IV of Spain. Achieved grades of lieutenant general and field marshal. He served in the campaign of Portugal, 1762. He was then in garrison Oran and later, in 1775, in issuing Algiers. He was present in the campaign against Brazil, which contributed to the seizure of Fort Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina Island, which served as governor until the end of the war.
He was promoted to colonel of the Regiment of Hibernia after serving with distinction against the British at Pensacola in March 1781. At the battle's conclusion, on May 9, 1781, he was appointed governor of Spanish West Florida in the service of New Spain, proving to be an effective diplomat and an able administrator. Later he became a member of the Supreme War Council and a lieutenant general of allies against Napoleon, replacing the governor Miguel de Uztaraiz on the council.
On March 10, 1792 Arturo O'Neill became Marqués del Norte (Marquis of North). He was appointed governor and captain general of Yucatan on December 13, 1792, but the office was expanded him with the quartermaster on January 20, 1793, taking over possession of it on June 29, 1793. He replaced Joseph Sabido de Vargas, who held the position of Interim, following the murder of the owner Lucas de Galvez, which occurred on June 22 last year. During his government he took urgent measures to prevent the spread of the rabies that came to represent a public health risk in the Yucatan. He expanded the supply of teachers for schools and also had to tackle smuggling that was done from across the province of Cuba and the islands the Caribbean Sea.
He faced harassment by English buccaneers in Walix (Belize) where he led an expedition which resulted in bad end to the belief that England had conquered eastern territories of the Peninsula. He carried out the seizure of the ship,' La Bella Jane' in San Francisco de Campeche.
In 1794, O'Neill stepped down as governor of West Florida and was replaced later by Enrique White. He wrote a book entitled Description, population and census of the Province of Yucatan in New Spain in 1795, which was never printed.
He served as governor of Yucatan until October 19, 1800, where he gave it to Benito Perez Valdelomar. Back in Madrid was appointed Minister of the Royal and Supreme Council of War. His last position was as a soldier in the army of Spain against Napoleon. Arturo O´Neill died in Madrid in December 9, 1814. and was buried on the 11th, in a niche in the cemetery of the Gate Wells.
One of his sons was Patrick O'Neill.
- Eric Beerman (1981). "ONEILL-L Archives". Retrieved May 22–26, 2010.
- Casares G. Cantón, Raúl; Duch Colell, Juan; Antochiw Kolpa, Michel; Zavala Vallado, Silvio. Yucatán en el tiempo(In English: Yucatan in Time). 1998. Isbn = 970 9071 04 1. Mérida, Yucatán
- Marqués del Norte, Arturo O'Neill. (in English: Marquis, Arthur O O'Neill). Retrieved on March 3, 2012.
- Eric Beerman (1981). Arturo O´Neill: First Governor of West Florida During The Second Spanish Period. JSTOR 30148550.