Edward Hay

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Hay, Edward, was born about 1761 in Ballinkeel, County of Wexford, descended from an old Anglo-Norman family deprived of most of their property for espousing the cause of James II. He was active in the cause of his co-religionists, the Catholics, both before and after the Union. Although he took no overt part in the Insurrection in 1798, he narrowly escaped hanging — his successful efforts to mitigate the sufferings of the royalists during the occupation of Wexford, causing suspicion to centre on him as a person of influence among the insurgents. He was for many years secretary to the Catholics of Ireland in their efforts for emancipation. We are told that he died in absolute want in Dublin in October 1826, and was buried in St. James's churchyard, where his grave "is unmarked by any memorial of his faithful services to the Catholic cause, or any record of the base ingratitude with which they were repaid by his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen and the Catholic Association." He was the author of a book relating to the Insurrection of 1798 — the History of the Rebellion in Ireland. John Hay, his brother, once a Lieutenant in the Irish brigade in France, was executed on Wexford bridge in 1798 for complicity in the Insurrection; whilst another brother, Philip, rose to be a Lieutenant-General in the British service, dying at Lambeth, 8th August 1856, aged 82. In June 1860 two daughters of Edward Hay were still living in indigence in Dublin.

Sources

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

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