Hardy, Edward John (1849–1920), Church of Ireland clergyman and author, was born 7 May 1849 in Armagh, one of at least two children of the Rev. James Hardy (c.1814–1874), perpetual curate of Moylary, Co. Louth, and Sarah Hardy (née Harden). Educated at Royal School, Portora, Enniskillen, and TCD, he graduated BA (1871) with gold medal. He was ordained in 1874. An army chaplain from 1878 until his retirement in 1908, he travelled throughout the British empire, including Hong Kong, from where he visited China and Japan.
His first and most famous book, published anonymously, How to be happy though married, being a handbook to marriage. By a graduate of the university of matrimony (1885), was translated into many languages. He wrote other popular works, including The love affairs of some famous men (1897), which he dedicated to his ‘only wife’; Pen portraits of the British soldier (1902); John Chinaman at home: sketches of men, manners and things in China (1905); The unvarying East: modern scenes and ancient scriptures (1912); and The British soldier: his courage and humour (1915), based on soldiers' letters from the front. A frequent contributor to church papers, he published Faint yet pursuing, and other sermons (1888). He lectured widely throughout England and was TCD's Donnellan lecturer (1898–9); he subsequently published six of these lectures with supplementary chapters as Doubt and faith (1899).
He was known as ‘Happy Hardy’ for his ready wit and good humour. Among his recreations cited in WWW are ‘riding on horse, camel, ass, top of motor bus’, his club was ‘his wife's tea-table’. He died 8 October 1920 at Blackrock, Co. Dublin. He married (1876) Margaret, daughter of the Rev. William Noble; no evidence has been found of any children.