1798 Rebellion


United Irishmen Organization

Declaration of the United Irishmen

Oliver Bond
     The government kept a strict watch on the United Irishmen, the Catholic Committee, and all such associations, so as to be ready for prosecutions as occasions might arise. At a meeting of United Irishmen held in Dublin in February 1798, with the Hon. Simon Butler as chairman, and Oliver Bond, a Dublin merchant, as secretary, an address was adopted and circulated, animadverting on the conduct of the lords in a secret inquiry about the Defenders. For this Butler and Bond were sentenced to be imprisoned for six months and to pay a fine of £500 each.
     Mar. 12, 1798 : Police raid meeting of Leinster directory of United Irishmen at Oliver Bond's house at Dublin, arresting 12 leaders; four others arrested elsewhere; all but two members of supreme executive thus arrested.

William Drennan (1754-1820) was born in Belfast. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1778 and returned to Belfast to practise medicine. In 1791 Drennan, together with Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell, co-founded the Society of United Irishmen in Belfast. In 1794 he was tried and acquitted of Sedition for issuing the Address of the United Irishmen. Drennan was a prolific poet and is remembered for having coined the phrase 'the Emerald Isle' in his poem When Erin first Rose. Drennan's poem To Ireland was composed after the 1800 Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland.© Source: http://www.searcs-web.com/drennan.html

Poems by William Drennan - To Ireland, The Wild Geese, Erin.

Henry Grattan (July 3, 1746 - June 6, 1820) was a member of the Irish House of Commons and a campaigner for legislative freedom for the Irish Parliament in the late 18th century. He opposed the Act of Union 1800 that merged the Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain.

Henry Joy McCracken (31 August 1767 – 17 July 1798) was a cotton manufacturer and industrialist, Presbyterian, radical Irish republican, and a founding member, along with Theobald Wolfe Tone, James Napper Tandy, and Robert Emmet, of the Society of the United Irishmen.
henry joy mccracken

Samuel Neilson (1761-1803) was one of the original members of the Society of United Irishmen and the founder of its newspaper the Northern Star.

William Orr (1766-1797) was a member of the United Irishmen who was executed in 1797 in what was widely believed to be a judicial murder and whose memory led to the rallying cry “Remember Orr” during the 1798 rebellion.

Orr was born to a Presbyterian farming family outside Antrim town and little is known of his early life. He was active in the Irish Volunteers and joined the United Irishmen sometime in the mid-1790’s, contributing several articles to their newspaper, the Northern Star. He was compelled to go on the run to avoid imprisonment during the brutal “dragooning” of Ulster in 1797, a concerted attempt by the authorities to smash the United Irish movement. However, he was captured on 15 September 1797 when he slipped home to pay a visit to his dying father.

He was charged with administering the United Irish oath to two soldiers, an offence which had recently been deemed a capital charge under the Insurrection Act of 1796. It was widely believed that the evidence of the soldiers was fabricated and that the authorities wished to make an example of Orr to act as a deterrent to potential United Irish recruits. Despite packing the jury, the court had difficulties in convicting Orr as he was widely believed to be a scapegoat and innocent of the trumped up charges. Even the presiding judge, Yelverton, was said to have shed tears at the passing of the death sentence, although Orr’s friend, the poet and United Irishman William Drennan expressed his disgust at this display with the words “I hate those Yelvertonian tears”.

Orr was hanged on October 14 1797 in Carrickfergus and is regarded as the first United Irish martyr. Source: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orr"

Speech from the Dock, 1797

Orr Papers

Thomas RussellThomas Russell (1767-1803) was born in County Cork. He joined the British Army in India at the age of fourteen and returned to Ireland as an Ensign in 1788. He spent some time in Dublin where he became acquainted with Theobald Wolfe Tone before being posted to the 64th Regiment of Foot in Belfast. Russell later sold his Commission to pay a surety he had put up for a friend. In 1790 he became Seneschal of Dungannon and a Magistrate in Tyrone but was reluctant to prosecute members of the agrarian secret societys, the Peep O' Day Boys and the Defenders, and so resigned his post as magistrate.
     Russell then became a librarian with the Society for the Promotion of Knowledge in Belfast where, in the summer of 1791 he, together with Samuel Neilson and Henry Joy McCracken, wrote the Declaration and Test of the United Irishmen which they later revised with Wolfe Tone and William Drennan.  Thomas Russell's life.

Napper Tandy

James Napper Tandy
Napper Tandy: Forgotten Patriot

 Wolfe Tone       
Theobald Wolfe Tone, commonly known as Wolfe Tone (June 20, 1763 – November 19, 1798) was a leading figure in the United Irishmen Irish independence movement and is regarded as the father of Irish republicans. He died, allegedly by cutting his own throat, following an illness after being sentenced to death for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Exerpts from the Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone

The Rebellion

1798 - County Kildare

1798: the United Irishmen and the early Trade Unions

Click on the pike at the bottom of the page for a link
to an excellent site created by Irish school children.

1798 Ireland
Exellent site, many great links!

The Women of 1798

The Battle of Antrim
Battle of Vinegar Hill
Battles of the 1798 Rebellion

"The Sham Squire and the Informers of '98" by William J. Fitzpatrick. 1866.

Croppy (sometimes spelt croppie) was a derogatory nickname given to Irish rebels during the period of the 1798 rebellion.

The name "croppy" derives from Ireland in the 1790's as a reference to people with closely cropped hair, a fashion which was associated with the anti-wig (and therefore, anti-aristocrat) French revolutionaries of the period. Those with their hair cropped were automatically suspected of sympathies with the pro-French underground organisation, the Society of United Irishmen and were consequently liable to seizure for interrogation by pro-British forces. Suspected United Irish sympathisers were often subjected to torture by flogging, picketing and half-hanging but the reactive contemporary torture, pitchcapping, was specifically invented to intimidate "croppys". There is evidence of United Irish activists retaliating by cropping the hair of loyalists to reduce the reliability of this method of identifying rebel sympathisers.