In 1803 he married Frances Hastings with whom he had five children: John Hastings Otway, Caesar George Otway, Loftus Otway, Jane Otway and Frances Otway. His parents were Cooke and Elizabeth Otway and his elder brothers included Admiral Robert Otway and Loftus who became a general. Cooke had been an officer in the Irish Volunteers militia.
In 1810 he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with holy orders (became a clergyman of the Church of Ireland). He worked as a parish clergyman for seventeen years before becoming assistant chaplain at the Magdalen Asylum in Dublin. When his wife died in 1833 he remarried. His second wife was Elizabeth la Touche, daughter of James Digges la Touche of Dublin, on 17 January 1837.
He is best remembered as a writer of Irish tales. His writings, which display humour and sympathy with the poorer classes in Ireland, include Sketches in Ireland (1827), Sketches in Erris and Tyrawley and A Tour in Connaught (1839). He was a good friend of the writer William Carleton and was involved in the establishment of various journals during his lifetime.
He died on 16 March 1842 in Dublin at the age of sixty-three.
His Great Grandson, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Loftus Otway MB (1880-1958) Royal Army Medical Corps, had a most distinguished career and was mentioned in dispatches for his service with the British Expeditionary Force at the Battle of the Aisne between the 7-10 September 1914. He invented the army latrine system called the 'Otway Pit', which was later widely used by both British and US military forces during World War Two. He is also credited with developing a vaccination against Yellow Fever in the mid-1920s while serving in the Gold Coast of Africa.
- http://www.otway.com/family/26.html (includes a picture of the author)
- Caesar Otway (1839). A tour in Connaught: comprising sketches of Clonmacnoise, Joyce country, and Achill. From Internet Archive
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource