Barry O'Meara

Barry Edward O'Meara (1786–1836) was an Irish surgeon and founding member of the Reform Club, who accompanied Napoleon to Saint Helena and became his physician, having been surgeon on board the Bellerophon when the emperor surrendered himself.


O'Meara is remembered as the author of Napoleon in Exile, or A Voice From St. Helena (1822) a book which charged Sir Hudson Lowe with mistreating the former emperor and created no small sensation on its appearance. Less known are his secret letters he sent clandestinely from Saint Helena to a clerk at the Admiralty in London. These letters shed a unique light on Napoleon's state of mind as a captive and the causes of his complaints against Lowe and the British government.

O'Meara was also the physician to have performed the very first medical operation on Napoleon: by extracting a wisdom tooth in the autumn of 1817.[1]


O'Meara's granddaughter, Kathleen O'Meara was a Catholic writer based in Paris.[2]

O'Meara was portrayed by Michael Williams in the 1972 Anglo-American historical drama film Eagle in a Cage.

See also


  1. See the story of Napoleon's Tooth
  2. Flaherty, M. (1911). Kathleen O'Meara. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved December 6, 2014 from New Advent:


  • O'Meara, Barry Edward, pp. 806–07, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 41 - Norbury - Osborn, Oxford, 2004.
  • Inside Longwood, Barry O'Meara's clandestine letters, Albert Benhamou, 2012, ISBN 9780-9564654-12.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed. (1907). "O'Meara, Barry Edward" . The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.

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