John Sweetman, United Irishman

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Sweetman, John, a leading United Irishman, a Dublin brewer, and a connexion of Lord Cloncurry, was born in 1752. He took an active part on the Catholic Committee, and was one of the delegates to the Catholic Convention, the proceedings of which resulted in the partial Relief Act of 1793. He was greatly beloved and trusted by the leading United Irishmen, and assisted the escape of Hamilton Rowan to France. In March 1798 he was arrested, and after an incarceration of some months was sent to Fort George, Scotland, with the other state prisoners, and was deported to the Continent in 1802.

He was afterwards permitted to return to Ireland. He died in May 1826, aged 74, and was buried at Swords. Dr. R. R. Madden describes him as "a man of high intelligence, sound judgment, and sober, well-considered opinions, strongly attached to the rights and interests of his country, as they were understood, and acted on conformably. Of his integrity there seems to have been but one opinion entertained — all his associates placed entire confidence in him." Wolfe Tone writes in his Journal on 1st March 1798, on receiving a report of his death: "A better and a braver heart, blood never warmed; I have passed some of the pleasantest hours of my life in his society. If he be gone my loss is unspeakable, but his country will have a much severer one; he was a sincere Irishman, and if ever an exertion was to be made for our emancipation, he would have been in the very foremost rank; I had counted upon his military talents."

Sources

324. Tone, Theobald Wolfe, Autobiography: Edited by his Son. 2 vols. Washington, 1826.

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

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