1771-1826 [var. 1815]; b. Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow, uncle of Sarah Curran; United Irishman; evaded British forces for five years after his participation in 1798 Rising; supported Emmets Rising; held out in Wicklow Mts., and continued anti-government action, with colleagues and kinsmen Hugh (Vesty) Byrne and Arthur Devlin; surrendered 17 Dec. after continued resistance; sentenced to transportation rather than death because of his record for acts of humanity; reached Botany Bay and was sent on by Capt. Bligh to Norfolk Island, and thence to Van Diemans Land; returned to Sydney on removal of Bligh; opened public house; served as special constable; became High Constable of Sydney, 1815; d. Sydney; his nearly coeval wife Mary living on to 1861; his burial place at Waverley Cemetery, Sydney, was made the site of an Irish national monument in 1898, to which the names of Irish nationalists including Bobby Sands and other dead in the Hunger Strike have been added in 1981. ODNB IF DIB DIH
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Brother Luke Cullen, The Life of Michael Dwyer (q.d.); Charles Dickson, The Life of Michael Dwyer: With Some Account of His Companions (Browne & Nolan 1944, 1945), 420pp., ill. [front. port. of Dwyer from the Portrait drawn and engraved by Petrie]; Bob Reece, Irish Convict Lives (Darlinghurst Australia: Crossing Press 1995), 282pp.; Kieran Sheedy, The Tellicherry Five: The Transportation of Michael Dwyer and the Wicklow Rebels (Woodfield Press 1998), 190pp.; Chris Lawlor, In Search of Michael Dwyer (Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow: 2003), 119pp., ill. [ports.]; Chris Lawlor, The Longest Rebellion: The Dunlavin Massacre, Michael Dwyer and West Wicklow 1797-1803 (Dublin: Small World Media 2008).
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J. T. Campion, Michael Dwyer, the Insurgent Captain (Gill, rep. n.d., v. cheap edn.), a novel giving events from 1798 to 1805, in anecdotes as handed down by Wicklow peasantry, not arranged in any special order; turgid and highflown [Brown].
Dictionary of National Biography: took part in 1798 and 1803 insurrections but disapproved of Emmets attempt upon dublin; surrendered, sentenced; dying, according to Grattan, before leaving Britain though according to Ross he was high constable of Sydney for eleven years subsequently.
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Portrait: There is a sketch of Michael Dwyer by James Petrie [d. 1819], drawn and engraved, in Helen Landreth, The Pursuit of Robert Emmet (Dublin: Browne & Nolan, 1949), facing p.144 [presum. from Dickson].
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