Murrough O'Brien, 1st Marquess of Thomond

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Murrough O'Brien, 1st Marquess of Thomond KP, PC (1726–1808), 5th Earl of Inchiquin (1777–1800), wearing purple coat, white waistcoat, pale blue sash and breast star of the Order of Saint Patrick (Henry Bone)

Murrough O'Brien, 10th Baron Inchiquin, 5th Earl of Inchiquin, 1st Marquess of Thomond KP, PC (Ire) (1726 – 10 February 1808), known from 1777 to 1800 as the 5th Earl of Inchiquin, was an Irish peer, soldier and politician.


Murrough O'Brien was born in 1726 to the Hon. James O' Brien and Mary Jephson in Drogheda.

He joined the Grenadier Guards and was an officer in Germany, where he carried colours at the Battle of Lauffeld in 1747. He retired in 1756 and entered the Irish House of Commons for Clare in the following year. He represented the constituency until 1761 and sat then as Member of Parliament (MP) for Harristown until 1768.

Because of his support for the Act of Union of Great Britain and Ireland, on 29 December 1800 he was created Marquess of Thomond in the Peerage of Ireland, with a special remainder to his younger brother, and Baron Thomond, of Taplow in the Peerage of the United Kingdom on 2 October 1801 (which title allowed him to sit in the United Kingdom House of Lords), but this time with no special remainder. He had a close relationship with King George III. In 1783 he was one of the Founding Knights of the Order of St Patrick. His Irish seat was Rostellan, near Cork.

He was a drinker, called a "'six bottle man", and a gambler. He had a zest for life. He was a keen farmer and oversaw enclosure of lands around Taplow and mechanisation.

Marriages & progeny[edit]

Mary, Countess of Inchiquin (1750–1820), by Thomas Lawrence
Mary O'Brien (née Palmer), Countess of Inchiquin, by Thomas Phillips after original by her uncle Sir Joshua Reynolds, Petworth House, Sussex (the brother of Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont (1710–1763) of Petworth House, was Percy Wyndham O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond (c. 1713 – 1774), the heir of his uncle Henry O'Brien, 8th Earl of Thomond)
Mary O'Brien (née Palmer), Countess of Inchiquin, painted before 1785 by her uncle Sir Joshua Reynolds. Collection of Fairfax House, City of York

He married twice:

He also is reputed to have had an illegitimate son, Thomas Carter (1769–1800), who was a composer in London during the 1790s. Thomas lived with Inchiquin at Taplow Court after his return from India in July 1789, and lent the earl all the money he earned in a benefit concert in Calcutta. In return, Inchiquin recommended Thomas to all his friends as a coal merchant; he had gone into that field after his marriage to Mary Wells in 1793 in order to support his growing family.[citation needed]

Death & succession[edit]

He died after a fall from his horse in Grosvenor Square, London on 10 February 1808. The title of Marquess of Thomond passed to his nephew William O'Brien, 2nd Marquess of Thomond. The barony of Thomond became extinct.


Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Robert Hickman
Sir Edward O'Brien
Member of Parliament for Clare
With: Sir Edward O'Brien
Succeeded by
Sir Edward O'Brien
Francis Pierpoint Burton
Preceded by
John Graydon
Agmondisham Vesey
Member of Parliament for Harristown
With: Edward Sandford
Succeeded by
Garret FitzGerald
Robert Graydon
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Fitzwilliam
Marquess of Graham
Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorkshire)
With: Charles Dundas 1784–1786
Sir Grey Cooper 1786–1790
Lawrence Dundas 1790–1796
Succeeded by
Lawrence Dundas
Charles George Beauclerk
Preceded by
Edward James Eliot
John Eliot
Member of Parliament for Liskeard
With: John Eliot
Succeeded by
John Eliot
Viscount Fincastle
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Marquess of Thomond
Succeeded by
William O'Brien
Preceded by
William O'Brien
Earl of Inchiquin
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Thomond