John Lawless

Lawless, John, an Irish politician, was born about 1772. Educated for the Bar, he was refused admission by Lord Clare, on account of his well-known revolutionary sentiments, and his intimacy with Thomas Addis Emmet. He then became partner with his father in a brewery; but business not suiting his tastes, he edited the Irishman in Belfast, became a leading member of the Liberal party, and occupied a prominent position during the stormy agitation for Catholic Emancipation. He was foremost in opposition to the "Veto" as well as the "wings" which Government attempted to attach to Emancipation — the payment of the Catholic clergy, and the disfranchisement of the forty-shilling freeholders. O'Connell latterly entertained a bitter animosity against him, and opposed his candidature for Meath. His unflinching integrity gained for him the title of "Honest Jack Lawless." His oratory was nervous, forcible, and convincing; his manner was earnest and often vehement, every gesture showing that the heart of the speaker was engaged in his subject. He died in London, 8th August 1837.


146. Gentleman's Magazine. London, 1731-1868.
Gilbert, John T., see Nos. 110, 335.