Today is the 214th anniversary of the declaration of an Irish Republic by General Humbert during the 1798 Rebellion. The 1798 Rebellion, with the 1916 Rising, was one of the two important rebellions of Modern Ireland. Its origins lie in the 18th century European political transition from Absolute Monarchy to Democracy and the emergence of the Nation-State and derived its ideological inspiration from the American War of Independence and French Revolution. We’ve been reading a lot about these events over the last few weeks and we thought we’d share some of these resources to help you get a better understanding of this fascinating period in Irish history.
The 1798 Rebellion
We found these two resources to provide an excellent overview of the events of the 1798 Rebellion:
On findmypast.ie you can find an extensive “Historical Background” to one of our record sets relating to the Rebellion, just scroll down towards the end of the page:
The Republic of Connaught
As this is the anniversary of the Republic of Connaught, in which General Jean Humbert proclaimed:
LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY, UNION - After several unsuccessful attempts, behold at last Frenchmen arrived amongst you... Brave Irishmen, our cause is common. Like you we hold as indefeasible the right of all nations to liberty. Like you we are persuaded that the peace of the world shall ever be troubled as long as the British ministry is suffered to make with impunity a traffic of the industry and blood of the people . . . Union, Liberty, the Irish Republic! Such is our shout. Let us march. Our hearts are devoted to you; our glory is in your happiness.
We thought we'd point you in the direction of further information on this momentous, yet short lived, event. The events in brief are captured here:
Local history of the 1798 Rebellion
The rebels had there most success in Wexford, the article below details the rise and fall of the Wexford Republic
The Clare county library have compiled a brief history of the Rebellion in the Banner County
Kildare was the scene of many battle s during the Rebellion, the events in the county are documented here by Kildare County Council
The 1798 Centre
The award winning National 1798 Rebellion Centre in Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford tells the epic and heroic tale of the most significant rebellion in Irish history from an international, national and local perspective. For more information and to browse some of their fantastic resources visit their website:
Resources for searching for ancestors involved
1798 Claimants and Surrenders
This dataset brings together some of the few remaining primary sources about the people involved in this conflict. It contains two lists of individuals who made claims for compensation for loss of property during the rising, and also two lists of rebels who surrendered in Dublin City and Coolock Barony. In total there are 8,440 names included in this dataset covering two different groups – those who took up arms and those whose property was damaged. These groups come from every social background, from poor Dublin city labourers and artisans to the aristocratic ascendancy of late eighteenth century Ireland.
National Archives of Ireland
The National Archives has a downloadable pdf on its website including 17 facsimile documents relating to the rebellion of the United Irish men in 1798, a fantastic free resource:
Ballads from 1798
Although not written until the 19th century, two of the most famous ballads relating to the Rebellion can be found below.
Luke Kelly sings "Kelly the Boy from Killanne"
Anthony Kearns sings - Boolavogue