DENIEHY, Daniel Henry (1828-1865)


DENIEHY, Daniel Henry (1828-1865)
orator and miscellaneous writer
was born at Sydney on 16 August 1828 (Aust. Ency.). His father, Daniel John Deniehy, was an Irishman who had built tip a successful business in Sydney as a produce merchant. The son was educated at Sydney College, and when about 15 years of age was taken to England with the intention of being entered at an English university. His age and extremely small stature prevented this and he was placed under a private tutor. He afterwards visited Ireland and the Continent, where he developed the love of art shown afterwards in his writings. He returned to Sydney, was articled to N. D. Stenhouse, well known as a friend of literary men of the period, and was admitted to practice as an attorney and solicitor. In 1853 he delivered a series of lectures on literature at the Sydney school of arts, and in 1854 came into notice by making a vigorous speech against Wentworth's constitution bill at a public meeting in the Victoria Theatre. In the following year he married Adelaide Elizabeth Hoalls, who was on a visit from England. Her father, a man of means, did not approve of the match, cut himself off from his daughter, and left his money to charities. In May 1856 Deniehy moved to Goulburn where there was an opportunity for a man of his profession, and in February 1857 was returned to the legislative assembly for Argyle. He at first supported (Sir) Charles Cowper (q.v.), but afterwards became a strong opponent of him. He showed himself to be a master of sarcasm, but though always listened to with respect and interest, he could not compromise and gradually alienated his friends. He returned to Sydney in 1858, did a large amount of capable journalism, and made some brilliant speeches at public meetings and social gatherings; but he had unfortunately begun to give way to drink. He stood for West Sydney at the election in 1859 and was defeated, but two country electorates returned him. About this time he founded the Southern Cross newspaper in which much of his critical writing appeared. In October 1860 he moved and carried a resolution for the establishment of a free public library at Sydney. In the following year he retired from politics. In 1862, on the invitation of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (q.v.) and others, he went to Melbourne and edited the Victorian, a Roman Catholic organ. Probably he had hoped to make a fresh start in a city far from his old associates, but two years later he returned to Sydney a wreck of his former self. He contributed some critical essays to the Sydney Morning Herald, and in 1865 endeavoured to take up legal work again at Bathurst. There he died in the local hospital on 22 October 1865. His wife and three daughters survived him. His statue is at the department of lands in Sydney.
Deniehy was short in stature and delicate in frame. His brilliance as a speaker was long remembered in Sydney, he was a good literary critic, and one of the best journalists of his period. He wrote a little good verse, two of his lyrics have been included in several anthologies. In parliament he was brilliant and honest but unable to fit in with the conditions of his time. This combined with his unfortunate failing made it impossible for him to exercise the full influence of his fine intellect.
E. A. Marlin, The Life and Speeches of Daniel Henry Deniehy; G. B. Barton, The Poets and Prose Writers of New South Wales, and Literature in New South Wales, pp. 55-63; W. B. Dalley, Introduction to reprint of Deniehy's The Attorney-General of New Barataria; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 October 1865; The Bulletin, Red Page, 17 September 1898; Aubrey Halloran, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XII, pp. 341-5.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Daniel Deniehy — Daniel Henry Deniehy (18 August 1828[1] – 22 October 1865) was an Australian journalist, orator and politician; and early advocate of democracy in colonial New South Wales. Contents 1 Early life 2 Career …   Wikipedia

  • List of drug-related deaths — The following is a list of notable people who have died from drug related causes. Criteria for inclusion are death from overdose, death from organ failure/illness due to or exacerbated by drug use, or death from suicide/misadventure under the… …   Wikipedia

  • Australia — • Includes history, education, and religious statistics Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Australia     Australia     † …   Catholic encyclopedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.