Madden: The United Irishmen

Pdf Madden, Richard R. The United Irishmen; Their Lives and Times, Volume 1. London: J. madden & Co., 1842
Size: 39.2M bytesModified: 16 April 2009, 17:26
Pdf Madden, Richard R. The United Irishmen; Their Lives and Times, Volume 2. London: J. madden & Co., 1846
Size: 29.7M bytesModified: 16 April 2009, 17:27
Pdf Madden, Richard R. The United Irishmen; Their Lives and Times, Volume 3. London: J. madden & Co., 1846
Size: 22.4M bytesModified: 16 April 2009, 17:27

Richard Robert Madden (1798-1886) was born in Dublin . He studied medicine and spent many years abroad before returning to Ireland in 1850. The United Irishmen – Their Lives and Times is his most well known work, although he also wrote many other books on Irish history as well as poetry. He issued two volumes of History of Irish Periodical Literature, the manuscripts for which are held at Pearse Street Library, Dublin .

Theobald Wolfe Tone was one of the founding members of the United Irishmen, established in 1791. The organisation was non-sectarian, consisting of both Catholics and Protestants who believed that Ireland could be a place where people of both faiths could live in peace with each other. Inspired by the French Revolution of 1789, they wanted to establish a democratic republic of Ireland based on French democracy. As Britain was at war with France , the United Irishmen organisation was seen as a treasonous and Britain drove them underground.

The United Irishmen were defeated on Vinegar Hill in Co. Wexford, at the climax of what came to be known as the 1798 Rebellion. Later in 1798, French reinforcements arrived in Mayo, but were soon defeated by the British. Wolfe Tone committed suicide in prison while awaiting execution. In 1803, following the Act of Union of 1800, Robert Emmet attempted another rebellion, the failure of which effectively lead to the end of the United Irishmen.

The United Irishmen – Their Lives and Times was originally a two volume history. It is dedicated to William Henry Curran. A second series of the volumes was printed in 1843 (in two volumes), a third was printed in 1846 (in three volumes), and a fourth was printed in 1857-60 (in four volumes).

The pdf of Volume I is from the original 1842 print, the preface to which is signed London , 10th May, 1842. Madden states his aim was to illuminate “this period of Irish, or rather British History”, and to review it in an unbiased manner. Although he did not intend it to rekindle the spirit of the revolution, his work did help to create a nationalist tradition with regards to the 1798 Rebellion. While he considered the rebellion to have been rash and foolish, he explained how they lived at a time of oppression and felt the time had come to take action against it.

Madden gives an introduction to the history of the relationship between England and Ireland and a history of the United Irishmen. Volume I also contains a section on the various illegal societies in Ireland from 1784, and an account is given of the origin to the 1798 Rebellion.

The pdfs of Volumes II and III are from the 1846 print. In Volume II, Madden gives an account of the United Irishmen from 1795, their aims, military organisation, and plans for revolution. He includes a memoir of Wolfe Tone and the 1798 Rebellion. The volume also contains a list of all of Wolfe Tone’s literary productions, including pamphlets and essays, as well as his letters.

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