William O'Brien, 2nd Earl of Inchiquin

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Col. William O'Brien, 2nd Baron O'Brien of Burren, 7th Baron & 2nd Earl of Inchiquin (c.1640 – 16 January 1692[1]) was an Irish nobleman.


William O'Brien was the son of Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin and Elisabeth St. Leger, daughter of Sir William St. Leger and his first wife Gertrude de Vries of Dordrecht. He served under his father in various military activities in France and Spain but was captured with his father by the Turks in 1660 and imprisoned in Algiers until the English Parliament had paid a ransom of 7,500 dollars. He was a Privy Councillor from 1671 to 1685.

He was Captain General of the Forces at Tangier from 1674 to 1680 and Colonel of the 2nd Tangier Regiment of Foot from 1675 to 1680. He commanded the Tangier Garrison at the time of the Great Siege of Tangier in 1680.

He was attainted in his absence by the Irish Parliament of King James II in 1689.[2]

He was the first Governor of Jamaica and Vice-Admiral of the Caribbean Seas from 1690 to 1692. He died in Jamaica in 1692 and his Irish estate and titles were inherited by his son William. His younger son James inherited the Earl's trading interests.


He married twice; firstly Lady Margaret Boyle, daughter of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, and secondly the Hon. Elizabeth Herbert, widow of Edward Herbert, 3rd Baron Herbert of Chirbury, and daughter of George Brydges, 6th Baron Chandos. With his first wife he had three sons and a daughter; his eldest son and heir was William O'Brien, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin, 8th Baron Inchiquin.


  1. ^ Gardner, William James. A history of Jamaica from its discovery by Christopher Columbus to the year 1872. 
  2. ^ Inchiquin, Earl of (I, 1654 - 1855), Cracroft's Peerage online


Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Murrough O'Brien
Earl of Inchiquin
Succeeded by
William O'Brien
Military offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Middleton
Governor of Tangier
Succeeded by
Palmes Fairbourne
Colonel of the Tangier Regiment