Charles Lucas

Justin McCarthy
Chapter VIII | Start of Chapter

A new era was opening in the political life of Ireland. This was the era of constitutional agitation for reform in the system of government. The writings of Molyneux and Swift, the Viceroyalty of Chesterfield, had all done their part in creating a movement having for its object the abolition of evil laws through the agency of political argument and Parliamentary debate. A powerful party was formed in Ireland for the purpose of carrying on a strictly constitutional agitation for the repeal of the obnoxious laws which had condemned the great majority of the people to a condition little better than slavery. One of the earliest and most powerful leaders of this new party, the Patriot Party, as it was called, was Charles Lucas, a medical man by profession. He was born in Dublin, and there he obtained a lucrative practice, from which he soon turned aside to assist the national movement. Early in his political career he got into trouble with the authorities because of the freedom with which he expressed his national opinions, and found it prudent to withdraw for awhile to the Continent. After his return to Ireland he resumed his course of political agitation, but was more careful in his manner of denouncing the grievances he was striving to abolish.