Edward FitzGerald

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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FitzGerald, Edward, a leader in the Insurrection of 1798, was a country gentleman of ample means who was born at Newpark, County of Wexford, about 1770. He was in Wexford jail on suspicion, at the breaking out of the Insurrection in 1798, was released by the populace, and during the occupation of the town commanded in some of the engagements that took place in different parts of the county, showing far more ability than the Commander-in-chief, Bagenal B. Harvey.

Dr. Madden says: "With regard to the prisoners that fell into his hands at Gorey, he behaved in the most humane manner possible; amid the threats and shouts of the people for vengeance on those who had recently slain or butchered their nearest relatives, . . he said to the people: `You cannot bring the dead to life by imitating the brutality of your enemies. It is for us to follow them, and come face to face with them." He particularly distinguished himself at the battle of Arklow, where he commanded the Shelmalier gunsmen. He afterwards joined in the expedition against Hacketstown; and surrendered upon terms to General Wilford, in the middle of July. With Garrett Byrne and others he was detained in custody in Dublin until the next year, when he was allowed to remove to England. He was rearrested on 25th March 1800, imprisoned for a short time, and then permitted to emigrate to Hamburg, where he died in 1807. He is described as a handsome, finely formed man.

Sources

331. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 4 vols. London, 1858-'60.

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