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Theobald Wolfe Tone
20 January 1763 – 19 November 1798
Theobald Wolfe Tone - Project Gutenberg 13112.png
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Place of death Provost's Prison, Dublin
Allegiance United Irishmen
French First Republic
Years of service 1791-1798
Rank Adjutant general
Battles/wars Lough Swilly

Theobald Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798), commonly known as Wolfe Tone, was a leading figure in the United Irishmen Irish independence movement and is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism. He died from a wound that he received after being sentenced to death for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 — whether self-inflicted or otherwise remains under debate — at any rate, it deprived him of the chance to appeal his death sentence.

Contents

Early life

Born in Dublin, he was the son of a Church of Ireland Protestant coach-maker, Peter Tone, who had a farm near Sallins, County Kildare. Tone studied law at Trinity College, Dublin where he became active in the debating club, the College Historical Society and was elected Auditor in 1785. He qualified as a barrister from King's Inns at the age of 26 and attended the Inns of Court in London. As a student, he eloped with Matilda Witherington, daughter of William Witherington of Dublin, and his wife, Catherine Fanning.

Politician

Disappointed at finding no support for a plan to found a military colony in Hawaii that he submitted to William Pitt the Younger, Tone turned to Irish politics. In 1790 pamphlet attacking the administration of the Marquess of Buckingham brought him to the notice of the Whig club; in September 1791 he wrote an essay by "A Northern Whig," 10,000 copies of which were said to have been sold.

The principles of the French Revolution were now being eagerly embraced in Ireland, especially among the Presbyterians of Ulster. Two months before Tone's essay, a meeting had been held in Belfast, where republican toasts had been drunk and a resolution in favour of the abolition of religious disqualifications gave the first sign of political sympathy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant dissenters ("Whigs") of the north. "A Northern Whig" emphasized the growing breach between Whig patriots like Henry Flood and Henry Grattan, who aimed at Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform without severing the tie to England, and those who desired a separate Irish republic. Tone expressed contempt for the constitution Grattan so triumphantly extorted from the British government in 1782; himself an Anglican, Tone urged co-operation between the different religions in Ireland as the only means of obtaining redress of Irish grievances.

One of the inscribed flagstones on the steps leading to the grave of Wolfe Tone

In October 1791 Tone converted these ideas into practical policy by founding, in conjunction with Thomas Russell (1767–1803), Napper Tandy and others, the Society of the United Irishmen. The original purpose of this society was no more than the formation of a political union between Roman Catholics and Protestants, with a view to obtaining a liberal measure of parliamentary reform. It was only when it was obvious that this was unattainable by constitutional methods that the majority of the members adopted the more uncompromising opinions which Wolfe Tone held from the first, and conspired to establish an Irish republic by armed rebellion.

Tone himself admitted that with him hatred of England had always been "rather an instinct than a principle", though until his views should become more generally accepted in Ireland he was prepared to work for reform as distinguished from revolution. But he wanted to root out the popular respect for the names of Charlemont and Henry Grattan, transferring the leadership to more militant campaigners. Grattan was a reformer and a patriot without democratic ideas; Wolfe Tone was a revolutionary whose principles were drawn from the French Convention. Grattan's political philosophy was allied to that of Edmund Burke; Tone was a disciple of Georges Danton and Thomas Paine. Paine was a roommate of Tone's compatriot, "Citizen Lord" Edward FitzGerald, in Paris; and Paine's famous themes of the "rights of man" and "common sense" can be seen in the opening paragraph of the Declaration of the United Irishmen.

It is important to note the use of the word 'united'. This is what particularly alarmed the British aristocracy in Westminster as they saw the Catholic population as the greatest threat to their power in Ireland. Catholics had additional concerns of their own, these usually being having to pay the tithe bill to the Anglican Church of Ireland and the rent necessary to lease land from the Protestant Ascendancy. Eighteenth century Ireland was a sectarian state, ruled by a small Anglican minority, over both a majority Catholic population (most of whose ancestors had been dispossessed of land and political power in the 17th century Plantations of Ireland), as well to the exclusion of Presbyterian and dissenting Christians from high political office. This was in part also an ethnic division, the Catholics and Presbyterians being descended from native Irish, Normans, 'Old English', and Scottish settlers, and the "Protestants" (Church of Ireland) more often from English settlers like Tone's family. It is important to note, however, that in this era and place, "Protestant" referred specifically to the state sanctioned church, rather than to what today would be broadly referred to as "Protestantism"; many of what would be today called "Protestants" (but not Episcopalian/Anglican/Church of Ireland) would have then referred to themselves as "dissenters".

Existing sectarian animosity did threaten to undermine the United Irishmen movement: two secret societies in Ulster fought against each other, the Peep O'Day Boys, who were made up mostly of Protestants, and the Defenders, who were made up of Catholics. These two groups clashed frequently from 1785 and sectarian violence worsened in the county Armagh area from the mid 1790s. Sectarianism was deliberately fostered to undermine Wolfe Tone's movement, as it suggested that Ireland couldn't be united and that religious prejudices were too strong. In addition, the militant Protestant groups, including the newly founded Orange Order, could be mobilised against the United Irishmen by the British authorities. However these groups were largely based in Ulster, and the underlying reason for their conflicts was the growing demand for rented land, not religion per se.

However, democratic principles were gaining ground among the Catholics as well as among the Presbyterians. A quarrel between the moderate and the more advanced sections of the Catholic Committee led, in December 1791, to the secession of sixty-eight of the former, led by Lord Kenmare; and the direction of the committee then passed to more violent leaders, of whom the most prominent was John Keogh, a Dublin tradesman, known as 'Gog'. The active participation of the Catholics in the movement of the United Irishmen was strengthened by the appointment of Tone as paid secretary of the Roman Catholic Committee in the spring of 1792. Despite his desire to emancipate his fellow countrymen, Tone had very little respect for the Catholic faith (a view shared by many subsequent Irish republicans). When the legality of the Catholic Convention in 1792 was questioned by the government, Tone drew up for the committee a statement of the case on which a favourable opinion of counsel was obtained; and a sum of £1500 with a gold medal was voted to Tone by the Convention when it dissolved itself in April 1793. A petition was made to the king early in 1793 and that year the re-enfranchisement of Catholics was enacted, if they had property as 'forty shilling freeholders'. They could not, however, enter parliament or be made state officials above grand jurors. Burke and Grattan were anxious that provision should be made for the education of Irish Roman Catholic priests in Ireland, to preserve them from the contagion of Jacobinism in France; Wolfe Tone, "with an incomparably juster forecast", as Lecky observes, "advocated the same measure for exactly opposite reasons." He rejoiced that the breaking up of the French schools by the revolution had rendered necessary the foundation of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, which he foresaw would draw the sympathies of the clergy into more democratic channels.

Revolutionary in exile

Statue of Wolfe Tone, Bantry, County Cork

In 1794 the United Irishmen, persuaded that their scheme of universal suffrage and equal electoral districts was not likely to be accepted by any party in the Irish parliament, began to found their hopes on a French invasion. An English clergyman, the Reverend William Jackson, who had taken in revolutionary opinions during his long stay in France, came to Ireland to negotiate between the French committee of public safety and the United Irishmen. Tone drew up a memorandum for Jackson on the state of Ireland, which he described as ripe for revolution; the memorandum was betrayed to the government by an attorney named Cockayne, to whom Jackson had imprudently disclosed his mission; and in April 1794 Jackson was arrested on a charge of treason.

Also in 1794 the society became a sworn association, using oaths that were clearly designed to overthrow the state. Given that France and Britain had been at war since early 1793, administering or making such oaths turned the society into something more than a liberal pressure group.

Several of the leading United Irishmen, including Reynolds and Archibald Hamilton Rowan, immediately fled the country; the papers of the United Irishmen were seized, and for a time the organisation was broken up. Tone, who had not attended meetings of the society since May 1793, remained in Ireland until after the trial and suicide of Jackson in April 1795. Having friends among the government party, including members of the Beresford family, he was able to make terms with the government, and in return for information as to what had passed between Jackson, Rowan and himself, he was permitted to emigrate to the United States, where he arrived in May 1795. Before leaving, he and his family travelled to Belfast, and it was at the summit of Cavehill that Tone made the famous Cavehill compact with fellow United Irishmen, Russel and McCracken, promising "Never to desist in our efforts until we subvert the authority of England over our country and asserted our independence". Living in Philadelphia, he wrote a few months later to Thomas Russell expressing unqualified dislike of the American people, whom he was disappointed to find no more truly democratic in sentiment and no less attached to authority than the English; he described George Washington as a "high-flying aristocrat," and he found the aristocracy of money in America still less to his liking than the European aristocracy of birth. Tone also lived briefly in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Tone did not feel himself bound by his agreement with the British government to abstain from further conspiracy; and finding himself at Philadelphia in the company of Reynolds, Rowan, and Tandy, he went to Paris to persuade the French government to send an expedition to invade Ireland. In February 1796 he arrived in Paris and had interviews with De La Croix and Carnot, who were impressed by his energy, sincerity, and ability. A commission was given him as adjutant-general in the French army, which he hoped might protect him from the penalty of treason in the event of capture by the English; though he himself claimed the authorship of a proclamation said to have been issued by the United Irishmen, enjoining that all Irishmen taken with arms in their hands in the British service should be instantly shot; and he supported a project for landing La Legion Noire in England, who were to burn Bristol, England and commit other atrocities.[1] He drew up two memorials representing that the landing of a considerable French force in Ireland would be followed by a general rising of the people, and giving a detailed account of the condition of the country.

Hoche's expedition and the 1798 rebellion

In End of the Irish Invasion ; — or — the Destruction of the French Armada (1797), James Gillray caricatured the failure of Hoche's expedition.

See also Irish Rebellion of 1798

The French Directory, which possessed information from Lord Edward FitzGerald and Arthur O'Connor confirming Tone, prepared to despatch an expedition under Louis Lazare Hoche. On 15 December 1796, the expedition, consisting of forty-three sail and carrying about 14,000 men with a large supply of war material for distribution in Ireland, sailed from Brest. Tone accompanied it as "Adjutant-general Smith" and had the greatest contempt for the seamanship of the French sailors, who were unable to land due to severe gales. They waited for days off Bantry Bay, waiting for the winds to ease, but eventually returned to France. Tone served for some months in the French army under Hoche; in June 1797 he took part in preparations for a Dutch expedition to Ireland, which was to be supported by the French. But the Dutch fleet was detained in the Texel for many weeks by unfavourable weather, and before it eventually put to sea in October (only to be crushed by Duncan in the battle of Camperdown), Tone had returned to Paris and Hoche, the chief hope of the United Irishmen, was dead.

Returns of membership in 1797 suggested that the United Irish had 280,000 members by then. This amounted to about 5% of the population, but considerably less than this number mobilised during the rebellion in the following year.

Napoleon Bonaparte, with whom Tone had several interviews about this time, was much less disposed than Hoche had been to undertake in earnest an Irish expedition; and when the rebellion broke out in Ireland in 1798 he had started for Egypt. When, therefore, Tone urged the Directory to send effective assistance to the Irish rebels, all that could be promised was a number of small raids to descend simultaneously on different points of the Irish coast. One of these under General Humbert succeeded in landing a force near Killala, County Mayo, and gained some success in Connacht (particularly at Castlebar) before it was subdued by Lake and Charles Cornwallis. Wolfe Tone's brother Matthew was captured, tried by court-martial, and hanged; a second raid, accompanied by Napper Tandy, came to disaster on the coast of Donegal; while Wolfe Tone took part in a third, under Admiral Bompard, with General Hardy in command of a force of about 3000 men. This encountered an English squadron at Buncrana on Lough Swilly on 12 October 1798. Tone, on board the Hoche, refused Bompard's offer of escape in a frigate before the action, and was taken prisoner when Hoche surrendered.

Death

Grave of Wolfe Tone, Bodenstown

When the prisoners were landed a fortnight later, Sir George Hill recognized Tone in the French adjutant-general's uniform. At his trial by court-martial in Dublin on 8 November 1798 Tone made a speech avowing his determined hostility to England and his intention "by frank and open war to procure the separation of the countries".[2] Recognizing that the court was certain to convict him, he asked "... that the court should adjudge me to die the death of a soldier, and that I may be shot...". Reading from a prepared speech, he defended his view of a military separation from Britain (as had occurred in the fledgling United States), and lamented the outbreak of mass violence:

Such are my principles such has been my conduct; if in consequence of the measures in which I have been engaged misfortunes have been brought upon this country, I heartily lament it, but let it be remembered that it is now nearly four years since I have quit Ireland and consequently I have been personally concerned in none of them; if I am rightly informed very great atrocities have been committed on both sides, but that does not at all diminish my regret; for a fair and open war I was prepared; if that has degenerated into a system of assassination, massacre, and plunder I do again most sincerely lament it, band those few who know me personally will give me I am sure credit for the assertion.[3]

Earlier version of Headstone from 1945

To the people, he had the following to say:

I have laboured to abolish the infernal spirit of religious persecution by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters," he declared from the dock. "To the former, I owe more than ever can be repaid. The service I was so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently but they did more: when the public cry was raised against me, when the friends of my youth swarmed off and left me alone, the Catholics did not desert me. They had the virtue even to sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honour. They refused, though strongly urged, to disgrace a man who, whatever his conduct towards the Government might have been, had faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty towards them and in so doing, though it was in my own case, I will say they showed an instance of public virtue of which I know not whether there exists another example.[4]

His eloquence, however, was in vain, and his request to be shot denied. On 10 November 1798, he was found guilty and was sentenced to be hanged on 12 November. Before this sentence was carried out, he attempted suicide by slitting his throat. The story goes that he was initially saved when the wound was sealed with a bandage, and he was told if he tried to talk the wound would open and he'd bleed to death. He responded with the statement 'so be it'. He died on 19 November 1798 at the age of 35 in Provost's Prison, Dublin, not far from where he was born. A cast of Tone's death mask is open to public viewing in the vaults of St. Michan's Church, Dublin. He is buried in Bodenstown co. Kildare and his grave is in the care of the National Graves Association.

Support from Lord Kilwarden

Wolfe Tone (1967) by Edward Delaney

A long-standing belief in Kildare is that Tone was the natural son of a neighbouring landlord at Blackhall, near Clane, called Theobald Wolfe. This man was certainly his godfather, and a cousin of Arthur Wolfe, Lord Kilwarden, who warned Tone to leave Ireland in 1795. Then when Tone was arrested and brought to Dublin in 1798, and facing certain execution, it was Kilwarden (a senior judge) who granted two orders for Habeas Corpus for his release. This was a remarkable act, given that the rebellion had just occurred with great loss of life, and one that could never be enlarged upon as Kilwarden was unlucky enough to be killed in the riot starting Emmet's revolt in 1803. The suggestion is that the Wolfes knew that Tone was a cousin; Tone himself may not have known. As a pillar of the Protestant Ascendancy and notorious at the time for his prosecution of William Orr, Kilwarden had no motive whatsoever for trying to assist Tone in 1795 and 1798. Portraits of Wolfes around 1800 arguably show a resemblance to the rebel leader.[5]

Emily Wolfe (1892-1980), the last of the Wolfes to live in Kildare, continued her family tradition of annually laying flowers at Tone's grave until her death.[6]

Legacy

"He rises," says William Lecky the 19th century historian, "far above the dreary level of commonplace which Irish conspiracy in general presents. The tawdry and exaggerated rhetoric; the petty vanity and jealousies; the weak sentimentalism; the utter incapacity for proportioning means to ends, and for grasping the stern realities of things, which so commonly disfigure the lives and conduct even of the more honest members of his class, were wholly alien to his nature. His judgement of men and things was keen, lucid and masculine, and he was alike prompt in decision and brave in action."[7]

His journals, which were written for his family and intimate friends were published after his death by his son, William Theobald Wolfe Tone (1791–1828), who was educated by the French government and served with some distinction in the armies of Napoleon, emigrating after Waterloo to America, where he died, in New York City, on 10 October 1828 at the age of 37. His mother, Matilda (or Mathilda) Tone also emigrated to the United States, and she is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Tone has been adopted by the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s as an iconic figure, -the "father of Irish republicanism". Modern republicans often quote him:

"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country--these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter--these were my means."

"To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim".

"If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property".

Every summer, Irish Republicans of various political and paramilitary groupings hold commemorations at Tone's grave in Bodenstown, County Kildare.

An attempt on 17 June 1934 by Protestant Republican Congress members from Belfast to join in the commemoration march was prevented by IRA stewards. The marchers were stoned and 'scuffles broke out'.[8] This was later portrayed by some commentators as sectarianism, that republicans had abandoned Tone's aim to unite Irishmen by ignoring their religious differences, paying tribute only to his anti-British republicanism.[9] However, Brian Hanley's history of the IRA from 1926-1936 concludes that the trouble arose because they were seen as "communist", and not for sectarian reasons[1].

Many Gaelic Athletic Association clubs in Ireland are named in honour of Wolfe Tone; for example Bellaghy Wolfe Tones GAC, County Derry.

A minor character named Wolfe Tone O'Rooney appears in Thomas Pynchon's 2006 novel Against the Day.

In 1963 Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle, Tommy Byrne, and Derek Warfield formed The Wolfe Tones, an Irish rebel music band deeply rooted in Irish traditional music.

Descendants

Wolfe Tone's only surviving son was William Theobald Wolfe Tone (both the eldest two children died prematurely: Maria, b. 1786, Dublin, d. 1803, Paris, France, of consumption i.e. tuberculosis and Richard, b 1787/1789, died in infancy. A fourth child, Francis Rawdon Tone, b. 23 Jun 1793 died 1806, of T.B.). Raised in France by his mother after the death of his father. Appointed a cadet in the Imperial School of Cavalry in 1810 by order of Napoleon. He was naturalized a French citizen on May 4, 1812. In Jan. 1813 he was made sub-lieutenant in the 8th Regiment of Chasseurs and joined the Grand Army in Germany (nom de guerre - Le Petit Loup). He was at the battles of Löwenberg, Goldberg, Dresden, Bauthen, Mühlberg, Acken, and Leipzig. He received six lance wounds at the Battle of Leipzig, was promoted to lieutenant and aide-de-camp of General Bagneres and was decorated with the Legion of Honor. After Waterloo, he immigrated to the United States, where he was commisioned a Captain in the United States Army. (According to granddaughter Katherine Ann Maxwell he was a Captain of Chasseurs in the French Army and a second lieutenant in the U.S. Cavalry, and his date of death is 11 Oct, 1828)

William Theobald Wolfe Tone immigrated to the USA from France in 1816. He was naturalized 31 Oct 1816 ("Early New York Naturalizations" ancestry.com. Actual text: Court of Common Pleas - Tone, William Theobald Wolfe, subj. King of France, age 25, 31 Oct 1816) There is also a naturalization record in Washington, D.C. dated 3 Jan 1820's - final digit of the year date illegible ("Index to Naturalization Records of the US Supreme Court for the District of Columbia" NARA, sources2go.com) The first record may be the Declaration of Intent.

Originally buried in Marbury Burying Ground in Georgetown, D.C., his remains were moved to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and interred there on 31 Oct 1891.

William Theobald Wolfe Tone's only daughter, Mrs. Grace Georgiana Tone Maxwell (widow of Lascelles Edward Maxwell of 498 Washington Ave, Brooklyn NY; he died in 1878[10] and she, in 1900[11]).

She was a guest of honour at the Centenary of the 1798 Rising.

William Theobald Wolfe Tone (son -b. 29 Apr 1791 Dublin, Ireland, d. 10 Oct 1828 Georgetown) married Catherine Anne Sampson (b. 1 Sep 1798, Belfast, Antrim, Ireland, d. 17 Dec 1864, Brooklyn, Kings, New York) in St. George's Church and their only daughter was Grace Georgiana Tone, T. Wolfe Tone's granddaughter. William T. W. Tone, his mother, Martha ("Matilda" - b. 17 Jun 1769, Dublin, Dublin,, d. 18 Mar 1849, Georgetown, D.C) and wife were buried in the historic Green-Wood Cemetery (founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Kings County, New York, now in Brooklyn). Grace Georgiana Tone (b. 28 May 1827, Georgetown, Washington D.C, d. 29 Mar 1900, Brooklyn, Kings, NY) married Lascelles Edward Maxwell (himself a native of Belfast with ancestry in Portaferry, Co. Down), in 1851 and had seven children [12], [13]:

1. Katherine Ann Maxwell, b. 25 Apr 1852, New York, d. 24 Jul 1923, New York (Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn)
2. Matilda Tone Maxwell, b. Oct 1855, New York, d. 6 Aug 1900, New London, Connecticut (married, in 1884, Willard Neal Banks, b. Nov 1859, Connecticut)
Malcolm Sterling Banks, b. Sep 1885,
Margery Castleman Banks, b. Jan 1890,
Lascelles Maxwell Banks, b. 7 Jun 1898, location, d. 26 Jul 1978, Pinellas, Florida
3. Lascelles Chester Maxwell, b. 2 Mar 1857, New York City, New York, New York, d. Jun 1932 (married on 2 Aug 1890 Mary Elizabeth Hogg, b. Nov 1870, New York)
Grace Maxwell, b. Jan 1892, New York
Katherine Hogg Maxwell, b. 20 Aug 1903, Long Branch, New Jersey, d. 20 Sep 1995 (married Livington T. Dickason)
4. Florence Maxwell, b. Abt 27 Jun 1859, New York City, New York, New York , d. 1 Jan 1920, N. Plainfield, Somerset, New Jersey (married, 5 Oct 1887, Thomas Chalmers Overton, b. 26 Dec 1854, New York City, New York, New York , d. 2 May 1931, Brooklyn, Kings, New York)
Florence Luray Overton, b. Aug 1888, New Jersey (married, in 16 Jun 1914, Albert Eli Crane, b. Abt 1891, Iowa )
Chalmers Wolfe-Tone Overton, b. 9 Mar 1890, New Jersey , d. Sep 1973, Plainfield, Union, New Jersey (married, on 5 Oct 1887, Lillian Fawcett, b. 3 Feb 1897, New Jersey, d. Jan 1978, Plainfield, Union, New Jersey)
Alan Maxwell Overton, b. 17 Feb 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York , d. 30 May 1988, Longwood, Seminole, Florida (married, 1918 , Helen Moeller, b. 21 Mar 1895, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio , d. 15 Sep 1969, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio)
Katherine Lascelles Overton, b. 26 Jan 1894, Brooklyn, Kings, New York , d. Jul 1992, Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts (married, 12 Feb 1916 , Thomas Reginald Fawcett, b. 2 Mar 1890, Plainfield, New Jersey , d. Sep 1969, Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts)
Penelope Witherington Overton, b. 6 Aug 1903, Huntington, Suffolk, Long Island, New York , d. Apr 1985, Rochester, Monroe, New York (married)
5. William Sampson Maxwell, b. 4 Jul 1861, Babylon, Suffolk, New York (married, 19 Jan 1901, Helen Saunders Barlow, b. Abt 1866, Florida)
6. Theobald Wolfe-Tone Maxwell, b. Abt 1864, Brooklyn, Kings, New York (married, 3 Apr 1893, Mary W. Cook, b. Abt 1871, New York)
Emily Louise Maxwell, 6 May 1900.
7. Richard Witherington Maxwell, b. 6 Aug 1865, Brooklyn, Kings, d. May 1940 (Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York)

A daughter of theirs, Katherine Anne Maxwell (1853-1922) willed a famous bust of her illustrious great grandfather to Trinity College Dublin in 1923 upon her death (this bust was commissioned by L.E. Maxwell, exhibited in Dublin in 1853). She also contributed papers (MSS 2041-50). Grace Georgiana Tone Maxwell's eldest son was named Lascelles Chester Maxwell (1857-1932) and his daughter, Katherine Hogg Dickason neé Maxwell (b. Short Hills N.J. 20th Aug. 1903, d 20 Sept. 1995) presented more Tone papers to T.C.D. in July 1964 (MSS 3805-7). She had married Livingston T. Dickason and had three daughters by him including her second, Katherine, whose second daughter Katherine ("Kit") Prendergast neé Goodale of Stillwater Minnesota retains possession of all remaining papers [14]

Amongst Grace Georgiana Tone Maxwell's descendents are those of her daughter, Matilda Tone Maxwell Banks.[15][16]

granddaughter Margery Castleman Banks and 3 great-granddaughters:Jane Willard Gunza, nee Anderson; Margery Banks Anderson, a Missouri family[15] who claim descent through a daughter of the aforesaid, Mrs. Margery "Peg" Bobbitt-L'Hote neé Anderson;and Shirley Sparrow Ruoff, nee Anderson.

As Grace Georgiana Tone was the only descendant of Wolfe Tone, all descendants of Theobald Wolfe Tone are thus, related through Georgiana and Lascelles's children, surname MAXWELL. Grace and Lascelles Edward Maxwell had 7 children.

The 1940s-1950s era American actor, Franchot_Tone was distantly related to the Wolfe Tone: his great-great-great-great-grandfather John was a first cousin of Peter Tone, whose eldest son was Theobald Wolfe Tone. [17]

Hugh Tone was born in 1650 at Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland.1 He married Sarah Bodine, daughter of Daniel Bodine, in 1676. He was the great-grandfather of Theobald Wolfe Tone.
Thomas Tone, baptised in 1682, lived at Lurgan Street, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
John Tone b. 1719, at Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland. He emigrated to New Jersey, U.S.A., arriving on circa 1740.1 He was a farmer at New Jersey, U.S.A.
Andrew Tone b. 1743. Somerset Cemetery, Somerset, New York, U.S.A. Andrew Tone fought in the Battles of Germantown and of Brandywine.
John Tone b. 1768, d. 1825, Bergen, New York, U.S.A.
John Tone b. 1799, d. 1861, Bergen, New York, U.S.A
Thomas Tone b. 1830, d. 1903He fought in the American Civil War, for the Union with the Squirrel Hunters of Ohio. He was Superintendant of Schools at Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Frank Jerome Tone b. 1868, d. 1944 (educated at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A., Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). He was president of Carborundum Company between 1919 and 1942 at Niagara Falls, New York)
Stanislas Pascal Franchot Tone b. 27 Feb 1905, d. 18 Sep 1968

Ancestry

[18] [19]

Bibliography

  • The Writings of Theobald Wolfe Tone 1763-98: Volume One Tone's Career in Ireland to June 1795 Volume Two America, France and Bantry Bay - August 1795 to December 1796 and Volume Three France, the Rhine, Lough Swilly and Death of Tone - January 1797 to November 1798.[20]
  • Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone by himself, continued by his son, with his political writings, edited by W. T. Wolfe Tone (2 volumes., Washington, 1826), another edition of which is entitled
  • Autobiography of Theobald Wolfe Tone, edited with introduction by R. Barry O'Brien (2 vols., London, 1893);
  • Lives of the United Irishmen by R. R. Madden, (7 vols., London, 1842);
  • Compendium of Irish Biography by Alfred Webb (Dublin, 1878);
  • History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, by W. E. H. Lecky, vols. iii., iv., v. (cabinet ed., 5 vols., London, 1892).
  • "Wolfe Tone's Provost Prison", by Patrick Denis O'Donnell, in The Irish Sword, no. 42, Volume XI, Military History Society of Ireland, Dublin, 1973.
  • "Wolfe Tone: Suicide or Assassination", by Patrick Denis O'Donnell, in Irish Journal of Medical Science, no. 57, Dublin, 1997 (with Dr. T. Gorey)
  • "By fair and open war to procure the separation of the Two countries," Footsteps in Time by Kevin McCarthy. published by CJ Fallon.
  • Chapter 13 "Theobald Wolfe Tone and County Kildare" by C.J. Woods; in Kildare History and Society (Geography Press, Dublin 2006) pp.387-398. ed. by Nolan, W. & McGrath, T.
  • Elliott, Marianne (1989). Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  • The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

References

  1. ^ Tone, Theobald Wolfe; William Theobald Wolfe Tone (1831). The Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone. London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot. pp. 213–214. http://books.google.com/books?id=EJMEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA214. Retrieved 2008-07-30.  
  2. ^ ""Speech of Theobold Wolf Tone, To the Court-Martial, assembled to pass sentence on his life" in Memoirs of William Sampson". 1817. http://rewinn.com/8043.html. Retrieved April 8 2007.  
  3. ^ cited by Marianne Eliot, p. 393
  4. ^ Speeches From the Dock, or Protests of Irish Patriotism, by Seán Ua Cellaigh, Dublin, 1953
  5. ^ C. Costello, A Class Apart The Gentry Families of County Kildare (Nonesuch, Dublin 2005) p98.
  6. ^ W. Nolan (ed.), Kildare History and Society (Geography, Dublin 2006) p.395. ISBN 978-0-906602-57-7.
  7. ^ History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Centuryvol 5, by W. E. H. Lecky, Longmans, Greens and Co. (London), Pg.79 (cabinet ed., 5 vols., London, 1892).
  8. ^ Durney J. On the one road. Naas 2001, p176.
  9. ^ Irish Times 28 February 2006, p16. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2006/0228/1140626822824.html
  10. ^ 1878 Death
  11. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf&OQ=_rQ3D2Q26resQ3D990CE3DA1339E733A25751C0A9629C946197D6CFQ26orefQ3Dslogin&OP=61ec62d8Q2FQ3D75qQ3DQ27kK5Q23I.Q3DQ2AK(Q23zzQ27bQ3DQ23Q7CQ2AQ20ks5zQ7C@K5Q2AK5IQ3DQ23Q7CKkQ2AQ255Q7DzIagQ20K.Q25
  12. ^ "Irish Family History: Tone of Bodenstown, co. Kildare", Maxwell, Katherine Ann Tone, ("Notes and Queries", vol. s12-VII: 432-433. Oxford University Press, Nov. 27, 1920.).
  13. ^ http://longislandsurnames.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I94&tree=Nancy_Overton
  14. ^ http://books.google.ie/books?id=9VZ_Sfvhe_EC&pg=PA487&lpg=PA487&dq=grace+georgiana+tone&source=bl&ots=X00LxN6SCm&sig=rWoi54Y1IrKbaSVLZEP7go7w6Mk&hl=en&ei=2VB-SvbcJZvMjAe5ruHwAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=grace%20georgiana%20tone&f=false
  15. ^ a b Lost Woulfes
  16. ^ Bobbitt Obituary
  17. ^ http://thepeerage.com/p31932.htm#i319316
  18. ^ http://books.google.ie/books?id=t9UVholyZF0C&pg=PT39&lpg=PT39&dq=Fran%C3%A7ois-Tone&source=bl&ots=b4x_9Tu3in&sig=CXZs_S4g3DonMGlQN-589tf5yns&hl=en&ei=1EUIS5X3B9Ch4QbF6qS4Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false
  19. ^ http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/t/o/n/William-R-Tone/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-Index.html
  20. ^ Detail taken from copies of Writings of Theobald Wolfe Tone edited by T W Moody, R B McDowell and C J Woods published by Clarendon Press (USA) 1998; ISBN 0 19 822383 8

See also

External links

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/5512670/person/-754312769

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Theobald Wolfe Tone - Society of the United Irishmen United Irish leader.

Theobald Wolfe Tone (June 20, 1763November 19, 1798), commonly known as Wolfe Tone, was a leading figure in the United Irishmen Irish independence movement and is regarded as the father of Irish republicans.

Contents

Sourced

  • From my tenderest youth I have considered the union of Ireland with Great-Britain as the scourge of the Irish nation. And that the people of this country can have neither happiness nor freedom whilst that connection endures. Every day's experience, and every fact that arose, convinced me of this truth; and I resolved, if I could, to separate the two countries. But as I knew Ireland could not of herself, throw off the yoke, I sought for help wherever I could find it.
    • Speech to the Court-Martial, assembled to pass sentence on his life (November 10, 1798) [1]
  • I have laboured to abolish the infernal spirit of religious persecution by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters. To the former, I owe more than ever can be repaid. The service I was so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently but they did more: when the public cry was raised against me, when the friends of my youth swarmed off and left me alone, the Catholics did not desert me. They had the virtue even to sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honour. They refused, though strongly urged, to disgrace a man who, whatever his conduct towards the Government might have been, had faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty towards them and in so doing, though it was in my own case, I will say they showed an instance of public virtue of which I know not whether there exists another example."
    • Theobald Wolfe Tone [from the dock, to the people] on the occasion of his Court-Martial [1]

Attributed

  • Strum, strum and be hanged
    • Comments to a gathering of harpists (1792)

Cited in Celtic Identity and the British Image by Murray G.H. Pittock (1999) pg 123

An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland by a Northern Whig. (September, 1791)

From Ireland Her Own, T. A. Jackson, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1976

  • [T]hey and the Catholics had but one common interest and one common enemy; that the depression and slavery of Ireland was produced and perpetuated by the divisions existing between them; and that consequently to assert the independence of their country, and their own individual liberties it was necessary to forget all former feuds, to consolidate the entire strength of the whole nation, and form for the first time but one people.
    • His objective was to convince the Dissenters to join with their fellow countrymen.
  • The Revolution of ’82 (1782) was a revolution which enabled Irishmen to sell at a much higher price their honour, their integrity, and the interests of their country; it was a revolution which while at one stroke it doubled the value of every borough monger in the Kingdom, left three-fourths of our countrymen [Catholics] slaves as it found them, and the Government of Ireland in the base, wicked and contemptible hands who had spent their lives plundering and degrading her … Who of the veteran enemies of the country lost his place, or his pension? Not one. The power remained in the hands of our enemies, again to be exerted for our ruin, with this difference, that, formerly, we had our distresses gratis at the hands of England, but now we pay very dearly to receive the same with aggravations at the hands of Irishmen—yet this we boast of and call a Revolution.
  • To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter, these were my means.

Notes and references

  1. Speeches From the Dock, or Protests of Irish Patriotism, by Seán Ua Cellaigh, Dublin, 1953

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THEOBALD WOLFE TONE (1763-1798), Irish rebel, the son of Peter Tone, a Dublin coachmaker, was born in Dublin on the 10th of June 1763. His grandfather was a small farmer in county Kildare, and his mother was the daughter of a captain in the merchant service. Though entered as a student at Trinity College, Dublin, Tone gave little attention to study, his inclination being for a military career; but after eloping with Matilda Witherington, a girl of sixteen, he took his degree in 1786, and read law in London at the Middle Temple and afterwards in Dublin, being called to the Irish bar in 1789. Though idle, Tone had considerable ability. Chagrined at finding no notice taken of a wild scheme for founding a military colony in the South Seas which he had submitted to Pitt, he turned to Irish politics. An able pamphlet attacking the administration of the marquess of Buckingham in 17 9 0 brought him to the notice of the Whig club; and in September 1791 he wrote a remarkable essay over the signature "A Northern Whig," of which Io,000 copies are said to have been sold. The principles of the French Revolution were at this time being eagerly embraced in Ireland, especially among the Presbyterians of Ulster, and two months before the appearance of Tone's essay a great meeting had been held in Belfast, where republican toasts had been drunk with enthusiasm, and a resolution in favour of the abolition of religious disqualifications had given the first sign of political sympathy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant dissenters of the north. The essay of "A Northern Whig" emphasized the growing breach between the Whig patriots like Flood and Grattan, who aimed at Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform without disloyalty to the connexion with England, and the men who desired to establish a separate Irish republic. Tone expressed in his pamphlet unqualified contempt for the constitution which Grattan had so triumphantly extorted from the English government in 1782; and, himself a Protestant, he urged co-operation between the different religious sects in Ireland as the only means of obtaining complete redress of Irish grievances.

In October 1791 Tone converted these ideas into practical policy by founding, in conjunction with Thomas Russell (1767-1803), Napper Tandy and others, the society of the "United Irishmen." The original purpose of this society was no more than the formation of a political union between Roman Catholics and Protestants, with a view to obtaining a liberal measure of parliamentary reform; it was only when that object appeared to be unattainable by constitutional methods that the majority of the members adopted the more uncompromising opinions which Wolfe Tone held from the first, and conspired to establish an Irish republic by armed rebellion. Tone himself admitted that with him hatred of England had always been "rather an instinct than a principle," though until his views should become more generally accepted in Ireland he was prepared to work for reform as distinguished from revolution. But he desired to root out the popular respect for the names of Charlemont and Grattan, and to transfer to more violent leaders the conduct of the national movement. Grattan was a reformer and a patriot without a tincture of democratic ideas; Wolfe Tone was a revolutionary whose principles were drawn from the French Convention. Grattan's political philosophy was allied to that of Edmund Burke; Tone was a disciple of Danton and Thomas Paine.

Democratic principles were gaining ground among the Roman Catholics as well as the Presbyterians. A quarrel between the moderate and the more advanced sections of the Roman Catholic Committee led, in December 17 9 1, to the secession of sixty-eight of the former, led by Lord Kenmare; and the direction of the committee then passed to more violent leaders, of whom the most prominent was John Keogh, a Dublin tradesman. The active participation of the Roman Catholics in the movement of the United Irishmen was strengthened by the appointment of Tone as paid secretary of the Roman Catholic Committee in the spring of 1792. When the legality of the Roman Catholic Convention in 1792 was called in question by the government, Tone drew up for the committee a statement of the case on which a favourable opinion of counsel was obtained; and a sum of I 5 'oo with a gold medal was voted to Tone by the Convention when it dissolved itself in April 1793. Burke and Grattan were anxious that provision should be made for the education of Irish Roman Catholic priests at home, to preserve them from the contagion of Jacobinism in France; Wolfe Tone, "with an incomparably juster forecast," as Lecky observes, "advocated the same measure for exactly opposite reasons." He rejoiced that the breaking up of the French schools by the revolution had rendered necessary the foundation of Maynooth College, which he foresaw would draw the sympathies of the clergy into more democratic channels. In 17 9 4 the United Irishmen, persuaded that their scheme of universal suffrage and equal electoral districts was not likely to be accepted by any party in the Irish parliament, began to found their hopes on a French invasion. An English clergyman named William Jackson, a man of infamous notoriety who had long lived in France, where he had imbibed revolutionary opinions, came to Ireland to nogotiate between the French committee of public safety and the United Irishmen. For this emissary Tone drew up a memorandum on the state of Ireland, which he described as ripe for revolution; the paper was betrayed to the government by an attorney named Cockayne to whom Jackson had imprudently disclosed his mission; and in April 1794 Jackson was arrested on a charge of treason. Several of the leading United Irishmen, including Reynolds and Hamilton Rowan, immediately fled the country; the papers of the United Irishmen were seized; and for a time the organization was broken up. Tone, who had not attended meetings of the society since May 1793, remained in Ireland till after the trial and suicide of Jackson in April 179. Having friends among the government party, including members of the Beresford family, he was enabled to make terms with the government, and in return for information as to what had passed between Jackson, Iowan and himself he was permitted to emigrate to America, where he arrived in May 179 5. Taking up his residence at Philadelphia, he wrote a few months later to Thomas Russell expressing unqualified dislike of the American people, whom he was disappointed to find no more truly democratic in sentiment and no less attached to order and authority than the English; he described George Washington as a "high-flying aristocrat," and he found the aristocracy of money in America still less to his liking than the European aristocracy of birth.

Tone did not feel himself bound in honour by his compact with the government at home to abstain from further conspiracy; and finding himself at Philadelphia in the congenial company of Reynolds, Rowan and Napper Tandy, he undertook a mission to Paris to persuade the French government to send an expedition to invade Ireland. In February 17 9 6 he arrived in Paris and had interviews with De La Croix and L. N. M. Carnot, who were greatly impressed by his energy, sincerity and ability. A commission was given him as adjutant-general in the French army, which he hoped might protect him from the penalty of treason in the event of capture by the English; though he himself claimed the authorship of a proclamation said to have been issued by the United Irishmen, enjoining that all Irishmen taken with arms in their hands in the British service should be instantly shot; and he supported a project for landing a thousand criminals in England, who were to be commissioned to burn Bristol and commit any other atrocity in their power. He drew up two memorials representing that the landing of a considerable French force in Ireland would be followed by a general rising of the people, and giving a detailed account of the condition of the country. The French directory, which possessed information from Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Arthur O'Connor confirming Tone, prepared to despatch an expedition under Hoche. On the 15th of December 1796 the expedition, consisting of forty-three sail and carrying about 15,000 men with a large supply of war material for distribution in Ireland, sailed from Brest. Tone, who accompanied it as "Adjutant-general Smith," had the greatest contempt for the seamanship of the French sailors, which was amply justified by the disastrous result of the invasion. Returning to France without having effected anything, Tone served for some months in the French army under Hoche; and in June 17 9 7 he took part in preparations for a Dutch expedition to Ireland, which was to be supported by the French. But the Dutch fleet was detained in the Texel for many weeks by unfavourable weather, and before it eventually put to sea in October, only to be crushed by Duncan in the battle of Camperdown, Tone had returned to Paris; and Hoche, the chief hope of the United Irishmen, was dead. Bonaparte, with whom Tone had several interviews about this time, was much less disposed than Hoche had been to undertake in earnest an Irish expedition; and when the rebellion broke out in Ireland in 17 9 8 he had started for Egypt. When, therefore, Tone urged the directory to send effective assistance to the Irish rebels, all that could be promised was a number of small raids to descend simultaneously on different points of the Irish coast. One of these under Humbert succeeded in landing a force in Killala Bay, and gained some success in Connaught before it was subdued by Lake and Cornwallis, Wolfe Tone's brother Matthew being captured, tried by court-martial, and hanged; a second, accompanied by Napper Tandy (q.v.), came to disaster on the coast of Donegal; while Wolfe Tone took part in a third, under Admiral Bompard, with General Hardy in command of a force of about 3000 men, which encountered an English squadron near Lough Swilly on the 12th of October 1798. Tone, who was on board the "Hoche," refused Bompard's offer of escape in a frigate before the action, and was taken prisoner when the "Hoche" was forced to surrender. When the prisoners were landed a fortnight later Sir George Hill recognized Tone in the French adjutant-general's uniform. At his trial by court-martial in Dublin, Tone made a manly straightforward speech, avowing his determined hostility to England and his design "by fair and open war to procure the separation of the two countries," and pleading in virtue of his status as a French officer to die by the musket instead of the rope. He was, however, sentenced to be hanged on the 12th of November; but on the nth he cut his throat with a penknife, and on the 19th of November 17 9 8 he died of the wound.

Although Wolfe Tone had none of the attributes of greatness, "he rises," says Lecky, "far above the dreary level of commonplace which Irish conspiracy in general presents. The tawdry and exaggerated rhetoric; the petty vanity and jealousies; the weak sentimentalism; the utter incapacity for proportioning means to ends, and for grasping the stern realities of things, which so commonly disfigure the lives and conduct even of the more honest members of his class, were wholly alien to his nature. His judgment of men and things was keen, lucid and masculine, and he was alike prompt in decision and brave in action." In his later years he overcame the drunkenness that was habitual to him in youth; he developed seriousness of character and unselfish devotion to what lie believed was the cause of patriotism; and he won the respect of men of high character and capacity in France and Holland. His journals, which were written for his family and intimate friends, give a singularly interesting and vivid picture of life in Paris in the time of the directory. They were published after his death by his son, William Theobald Wolfe Tone (1791-1828), who was educated by the French government and served with some distinction in the armies of Napoleon, emigrating after Waterloo to America, where he died, in New York City, on the 10th of October 1828.

See Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone by himself, continued by his son, with his political writings, edited by W. T. Wolfe Tone (2 vols., Washington, 1826), another edition of which is entitled Autobiography of Theobald Wolfe Tone, edited with introduction by R. Barry O'Brien (2 vols., London, 1893); R. R. Madden, Lives of the United Irishmen (7 vols., London, 1842); Alfred Webb, Compendium of Irish Biography (Dublin, 1878); W. E. H. Lecky, History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vols. iii., iv., v. (cabinet ed., 5 vols., London, 1892). (R. J. M.)


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