Therry, John Joseph (1766–1853), commissioner of revenue, was the first son of James Therry of Castle Therry, near Glanworth, Co. Cork, and his wife Elizabeth (née Nagle), who appears to have been a first cousin of Edmund Burke (qv), whose mother Mary was a Nagle of Ballyduff, Co. Cork. After his father's early death (1770) Therry became a ward of Burke and seems to have been brought up in England and to have become Burke's aide. In 1792 he accompanied Richard Burke (1758–94), Edmund's son, to Ireland, was soon called (though the evidence is unclear) to the Irish bar (November) and attended the Catholic Convention as a delegate from the city and county of Cork (December 1792). When it was announced that Earl Fitzwilliam (qv) was to go to Ireland as lord lieutenant, Burke, a close friend of the earl, wrote to Henry Grattan (qv) recommending Therry to the Irish whigs (12 December 1794). Therry, who seems to have settled in Munster, wrote to Grattan from Cork (6 January 1797) reporting the abortive French landing in Bantry Bay; he was one of those named (but does not appear to have been called) by John Sheares (qv) as a character witness at his trial for treason (4 July 1798).
Therry played no visible role in public affairs until 1806. In that year he was appointed a commissioner of revenue (patent issued 3 September) by Lord Grenville (qv), who admitted not having ‘ever heard of his name before’ but acknowledged that he was ‘thought the fittest Roman catholic for that situation’ (Fortescue MSS). The significance of the appointment, as one of the seven commissioners in the excise department, was that John Therry was the first Catholic to hold high office in the central administration after the relief acts of the 1790s. He was a prominent catholic and a connexion of Daniel O'Connell (qv) – Therry's maternal uncle Nicholas Nagle (d. 1787) had married Honora O'Mullane whose sister Catherine was mother of the Liberator – but as an official he could not involve himself in political controversy and so has since been largely forgotten. It appears that his post was abolished in the amalgamation of the Irish and British exchequers (5 January 1817) and that Therry then retired, though he was listed in the Dublin directories under ‘Barristers’ as ‘commissioner of revenue’ until 1825. His Dublin address is given as 48 Summer Hill in issues of the early 1820s; his name disappears after 1830. It seems that he never lived at Castle Therry in later life. John Joseph Therry died at Queenstown, Co. Cork, on 25 May 1853 aged 86 and was buried nearby in Templerobin churchyard. With his wife Jane, youngest of the four daughters of Bryan Keatinge (d. 1783) of Cork and a sister of Sir Henry Sheehy Keating (qv), he had beside four sons, James (1797–1841), John (d. 1821), Bryan Keating (1798?–1861) and Roger (1800–74), an eldest daughter Anne (1796–1827) who, as Sister Baptist, was a novice at the Bar Convent, York, and a founder of the Loreto nuns in Ireland (1821).
Roger Therry (d. 1874), judge, born in Cork, one of the first pupils at Clongowes Wood College (1814–18), entered TCD (1818) and, after acting as joint-secretary of the Irish National Society for the Education of the Poor, was called to the Irish bar (1825). Having won the favour of George Canning, briefly prime minister, he edited his speeches (5 vols, 1827). He was appointed commissioner at the court of requests in New South Wales (April 1829), the first catholic to be appointed to high civil office in that colony. In Australia he rose to be a judge (1846–59). He was an admirer of Sir Richard Bourke (1777–1855), governor in the 1830s, promoted interdenominational education and acquired a reputation as an advocate of equitable treatment of catholic immigrants, who made up one quarter of the settler population. On returning to Europe he settled in England, published Reminiscences of thirty years’ residence in New South Wales (1863) and received a knighthood (1869). Sir Roger died 17 May 1874 at Bath. He has a place in the Australian dictionary of biography. He married in Dublin (9 August 1827) Mrs Ann Reilly (née Corley) and by her had three or more children. In Australia, Roger Therry was a ‘close friend’ (ADB) of John Joseph Therry (qv) the catholic priest; but any family connexion has not been ascertained.