Francis Higgins, Sham Squire

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Higgins, Francis, the "Sham Squire" (born 1750, died 19th January 1802), a Dublin celebrity, who by flagitious means raised himself in society, became proprietor of the Freeman's Journal, was admitted an attorney, and acquired a large fortune. Concerning his unsavoury life an interesting work has been written. He acquired the sobriquet by which he is generally known, by personating in his early life a gentleman of landed property, and gaining the hand of a lady, who died of grief subsequently. Mr. FitzPatrick has established beyond doubt the fact that Higgins was the betrayer of Lord Edward FitzGerald, for the sum of £1,000. He left most of his property for charitable purposes. He was buried at Kilbarrack, near Howth, but his gravestone, bearing a fulsome epitaph, has long since been destroyed.

Sources

301. Sham Squire and the Informers of 1798, William J. FitzPatrick. Dublin, 1869.

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