Amory, Thomas (1691?–1788), writer, was said to be a son of Counsellor (Thomas?) Amory, secretary for the forfeited estates after the Williamite wars, who had acquired large estates in Co. Clare. Counsellor Amory was possibly the son of a Thomas Amory, victualler to the navy, who married Elizabeth Fitzmaurice, daughter of Patrick Fitzmaurice, 19th lord of Kerry. Thomas Amory is said to have been born in 1691, perhaps in Bunratty, Co. Clare, or in England. As a child and young man he came to know Ireland well; he may have attended TCD and trained as a doctor, although he never practised. He claimed to have known Jonathan Swift (qv) in Dublin, but after 1755 he was living practically as a recluse in London. He married in 1757; his wife, who may have been Elizabeth Vandeleur from Co. Clare, is said to have been a relation of the earls of Orrery. They had several children; only one son, a doctor, survived him. Amory's publications on religion and antiquities are unread today; his best-known works are Memoirs concerning the lives of several ladies of Great Britain(1755), and the Life of John Buncle, Esq., a fictional autobiography (2 vols, 1756, 1766). These works are chiefly of interest to literary historians, who find in their anecdotes and descriptions some evidence about contemporary Irish life, as well as motifs and a treatment of themes such as landscape and Celtic history which may have influenced later writers; John Buncle was translated into German in 1778, and was read by the German author Lessing, by Hazlitt and Lamb, and perhaps by Coleridge and Wordsworth. The book's structure and style, reminiscent of the German Märchen or wonder tales, and of similar fantastic stories in the Celtic tradition, as well as Amory's apparent obsession with beautiful unitarian ladies, led to him being described by most critics of his time as eccentric or even mad.
He died 25 November 1788 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and was buried in the churchyard there.