Curry: Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland

Pdf Curry, John. An Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the Settlement Under King William. With the state of the Irish Catholics from that settlement to the relaxation of the property laws, in the year 1778. Extracted from Parliamentary Records, State Acts and other Authentic Materials, In Two Volumes. Dublin: Printed for Luke White, 1786.
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John Curry was born in Dublin in the early 18th century. He was descended from the O'Corra family of Cavan who lost their estates in the Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian invasion in the years 1641-1652 and the Williamite Wars 1689-1691. His grandfather, a cavalry officer in James's army, fell at the battle of Aughrim. As a Catholic, Curry found himself unable to obtain a degree in Ireland, due to the stringency of the Penal Laws at the time, and so he left for Paris. After studying medicine there for several years, he continued to Rheims, where he took his medical diploma.

Having returned to Ireland to practice medicine, he rose to eminence as a physician and began to write in defense of his co-religionists. He felt compelled to do so when he learned of a sermon which had been given in Christ Church in 1746 on the memorial day of the Irish rebellion in 1641, warning against the Papists in Dublin. He sought to combat these prejudices in a Dialogue. The publication of this work caused much sensation and Walter Harris replied to it. Dr. Curry retorted in his Historical Memoirs.

Curry took part in the campaign of the Irish Catholics for the repeal of penal laws. With a Mr. Wyse, Mr. O'Conor, and a few more, Dr. Curry was one of the founders of the first Catholic Committee, which in March, 1760, met privately at the Elephant Tavern in Essex-street, Dublin. This organization was the precursor of the Catholic Associations which would achieve Emancipation seventy years afterwards.

In 1775, he published anonymously An Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland. This was his major work. Curry begins with a brief of events in Ireland after the invasion of Henry II and then from the reign of Elizabeth I details happenings until the Settlement under William III. Most notable is the fact that the writing is anti-partisan, differing from the anti-Catholic accounts of events written previously.

Curry also published several medical volumes on fevers. He died in 1780.

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