Richard Robert Madden (1798-1886)


Life
[Dr. R. R. Madden;] b. 20 Aug., 9 Wormwood Gate, Dublin; priv. ed.; apprentice to Dr. Woods, Athboy; studied in Paris, London, Naples; travelled to the Near East, 1824-27; served in Jamaica as Special Magistrate, acting to abolish slavery there, 1833; resigned 1834; held posts in Havana, 1836-40, and in West Coast Africa, 1841-43; secured captives’ release in the infamous 1839 case of the slave-ship Amistad, 1834, and ‘did much to alleviate the lot of the Negro’; acted in correspondent Morning Chronicle, Lisbon, 1843-47; appt. colonial sec. West Australia; served as Sec. to Loan Fund Board, Dublin, 1850-80;
 
the great literary work of his life was The United Irishmen, Their Lives and Times (7 vols. 1842-46), followed by Literary Remains of The United Irishmen (1846), which, though an adulatory rather than a scholarly monument of the leaders, established the nationalist tradition in relation to the Rebellion of 1798; issued Irish Periodical Literature, 2 vols. (1847), intending a third; assisted Anne Devlin, whom he found in poverty in the Liberties in Dublin, and saw to her reinterrment in 1851, after her death and buried as a pauper in his absence from the country;
 
d. 3 Vernon Terrace, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, 5 Feb., aetat 88; manuscript materials for his Irish Periodical Literature held in Pearse St. Library, Dublin; those for his history of the United Irishmen, held in TCD [gift of T. W. Moody]; the ‘Manuscripts of Dr R. R. Madden’ are held in the Sir John Gilbert Collection, Dublin City Library, Pearse St., Dublin, as MSS Nos. 263-285; copyright of The Mussulman expired in 1893. JMC DIB DIW DIH RAF OCIL

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Works
  • Life and Times of Robert Emmet (1840; James Duffy 1847), 343pp.;
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times ... With numerous original portraits. Second series. In two volumes [2 vols.] (London: J. Madden & Co., Leadenhall-Street, 1843) [printed by Tyler & Reed, Bolt-court, London]; Do. [var. edns.] 1846; 1858; 1887 [available as 9 Chadwyck-Healey microfiches, 1997].
  • The Infirmities of Genius (1833);
  • A 12 Months Residence in the West Indies (1835);
  • An Address on Slavery in Cuba (1840);
  • Egypt and Mohammed Ali (1841);
  • The Connexion between Kingdom of Ireland and the Crown of England (1845);
  • History of Irish Periodical Literature from the end of the XVIIth to the middle of the XIXth century, 2 vols. (London: T. C. Newby 1847), Vol. I, v+338pp.; Vol. II, 531pp., and Do., 2 vols. [rep. edn.] (NY: Johnson Rep. Corp. 1968);
  • Address to the People of England on the Orange regime in Ireland, ... reprinted from “The United Irishmen, their lives and times,” with ... additional memoirs, &c] (London 1861), 28pp.; 8°.
  • Historical Notice of the Penal Laws against Roman Catholics (1847), and Do. rep. as History of the Penal Laws, 1865);
  • The Island of Cuba (1849);
  • Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington (1855);
  • Galileo and the Inquisition (1863);
  • The Memoirs of R. R. Madden - chiefly autobiographical, from 1798 to 1886 (1891);
  • Antrim and Down in 98 : the lives of Henry Joy McCracken, James Hope, William Putnam McCabe, Rev. James Porter, Henry Munro, by Dr. Madden. (Glasgow: Cameron & Ferguson; London: Burns Oates & Washburne Ltd. [1898]), 247 [1]pp. [18.1cm.; extract from The United Irishmen: Their lives, and times].

See also material for a “History of the Rising of 1798”, later edited by J. Bowles Daly as Ireland in ‘98 [n.d.].

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Related documents
  • Catalogue of the extensive & valuable library of the late Dr. R. R. Madden, ... to be sold by auction, at the literary saleroom, 6 Upper Ormond Quay, on ... 6th December, 1886: and the following days ... (Dublin: Messrs. Bennett & Son ... [1886]), [4], 114p., ill. [lithographs by W. M. Morison - 2 pls., ports.; 20.8cm.] - incls. ‘Irish newspapers ... periodicals ... rare state papers, manuscripts ... O’Donovan’s autograph transcript of the Annals of Ireland, the Blessington papers ... set of post-mortem casts of ... Tone, ... Emmet, ... Rev. Dr. Doyle, ... Petrie ...; antiquities, portraits ...’ [t.p.]. Note: The contents appear to have been substantially or entirely acquired by the Pearse St. Public Library.
  • Dr. R.R. Madden’s collection of papers relating to the history of the United Irishmen [two portfolios of papers held at TCD Library as MS 873; microfilm.]

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Editions of The United Irishmen
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times [1st series], 2 vols. (London: J. Madden & Co., Leadenhall-Street 1842), xvii, [3], 452; [4], 451, [1]pp., 12°.
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times [2nd series], 2 vols. (London: J. Madden 1843), Vol. I: c, [73]-440; Vol. II: [4], 538, [2]pp., ill. [16 pls.]; 8°.
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times [3rd series], 3 vols. (London: J. Madden & Co. 1846); Do., 3 vols. (Dublin: James Duffy, 10, Wellington Quay, 1846), xi, [1], 418; vii, [1], 318; [4], 350pp., ill. [11 pls.], 8°.
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times [4th series; 3 vols. in 7] (London: J. Madden 1842-46), ill., ports. 12° [20cm.]; Do., re-issued in 4 vols. (London: Madden MDCCCLVIII [1858]), with an author’s preface signed 1857;  
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times, 3 vols. (Dublin: J. Duffy 1846), ill., ports. [20cm.], and Do. [facs. rep. by Humanities Preservation Project, Illinois UL at Urbana-Champaign., q.d.];
  • The United Irishmen, their lives and times : with numerous original portraits, and additional authentic documents; the whole matter newly arranged and revised [2nd edn.], 4 vols. (Dublin: James Duffy 1857-60), ill., ports. [23cm.] Note: Vols. 1 & 2 [1 ser.] (Duffy 1957); Vols. 3 & 4 [2nd & 3rd ser.] (London: Catholic Publishing and Bookselling Co.);
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times, with several additional memoirs and authentic documents, heretofore unpublished;the whole matter newly arranged and revised [3rd Series; 2nd edn.] (London: Catholic Publishing and Bookselling Co. Ltd., 1860), 693pp. [var. 616];
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times, with several additional memoirs and authentic documents, heretofore unpublished;the whole matter newly arranged and revised [2nd edn.], 4 vols. (Dublin: James Duffy 1887), incl. [as Vol. 4] as Literary Remains of the United Irishmen of 1798, and selections from other popular lyrics of their times, with an essay on the authorship of “The Exile of Erin” [of Thomas Campbell]. Collected and edited by R. R. Madden (Dublin: J. Duffy & Sons, 1887), xix, 360pp., 8° (1887), xix, 360pp.;
  • The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times, ed. ed. & annot. by Vincent Fleming O’Reilly [Shamrock Edn.] (NY Catholic Publication Society of America, 1916), 1-12 vols.
  • J. J. O’Neill, ed., The United Irishmen : their lives and times : with several additional memoirs, & authentic documents, heretofore unpublished / the whole matter newly arranged and revised by R.R. Madden, 3 vols. (Dublin: Martin Lester Ltd. [1920]), 22cm.

Synopsis: The United Irishmen, Their Lives and Times, 1st series in 2 vols (London 1842); 2nd series in 2 vols. (London 1843); 3rd series in 3 vols. (Dublin 1846); revised ed. in 4 vols. (Dublin 1857-60) [thus cited in C. J. Woods, ed., Journals and Memoirs of Thomas Russell, 1791-1795, Dublin: IAP 1991].

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Criticism

  • Leon Ó Broin, ‘R. R. Madden, Historian of the United Irishmen,’ in Irish University Review (Spring 1972), pp.20-33;
  • Nini Rodgers, ‘Richard Robert Madden: an Irish Anti-slavery Activist in the Americas’, in Ireland Abroad, Politics and Professions in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Oonagh Walsh (Dublin: 2003), q.pp.;
  • Leon Ó Broin, The Irish Abolitionist: Richard Madden and the Subversion of Empire, trans. & ed. by Micheál Ó hAodha (Kindle Edn. 2014), 438pp.

See also Thomas Bartlett, et al., The 1798 Rebellion: A Bicentennial Perspective (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2003).

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Commentary
C. J. Woods, ed., Journals and Memoirs of Thomas Russell 1791-5 (IAP 1991). Woods refers to Madden with muted admiration as an enthusiastic collector of matters relating to the United Irishmen. The explanation for this lies in the fact that Madden did not available of the nigh-indecipherable manuscript notebooks (recently lodged in TCD as the Sirr Collection), reporting that they were accessible only to ‘favoured officers’ of the university. Bibl incls. R. R. Madden, The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times, 1st series in 2 vols. (London 1842); 2nd series in 2 vols. (London 1843); 3rd series in 3 vols. (Dublin 1846); revised edn. in 4 vols. (Dublin 1857-60).

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D. F. Moore, ‘Croppies Acre’, in The Irish Times ([June] 1967):

It is surprising, to say the least of it, that within the limits of Dublin city there has existed, for the past one hundred and sixty years, the last resting-place of many dead patriots, unmarked by even a simple plaque. Monuments, it may be argued, are scant consolation for loss, and benefit to the dead not at all. They teach, however, the inestimable value of the freedom so lightly held and and unthinkingly accepted.
 The Rising of 1798 was marked by the severest repression and the greatest barbarity that the Irish nation had ever experienced. In the vicinity of Dublin, yeomen and military hunted mercilessly for participants, and in their lust for blood, cared little for their victims’ guilt or and less for justice.
 Information on the. atrocities committed is not confined to prejudiced or traditional accounts, for Lord Cornwallis, in his correspondence, bluntly stated that any man in a brown coat found within several miles of the field of action was butchere without discrimination.
 The mutilated remains, piled high in carts, were paraded through the city streets and laid out in the yard of Dublin Castle, while prisoners were executed without trail, frequently being hung from lamp posts in the public thoroughfare. A piece of waste ground close to the river was utilised the speedy disposal of their bodies, and into hurriedly dug trenches in this slobland were tossed the pathetic remains of the victims of the terror.
 Among those consigned to this rude plot, known to sueceding generations as the Croppies Acre, were the brother of Sir Thomas Esmonde, Dr. Esmonde, who was hanged on Carlisle Bridge; Bartholomew Teeling, who sailed with Humbert’s expedition from France and was executed at Arbour Hill; Ledwich, brother of the Parish Prieset of Rathfarnham, who was hanged on Queen Street Bridge; Wade, Fox, Raymond, Bacon, Kelly, Byrne, Adam and Carroll all of whom were publicly hanged in different parts of the city.
 Croppies’ Acre lies on the side of the river in front of Collins Barracks. It extends from a point midway between the between the barracks boundary wall, and Wolfe Tone Quay, eastwards and down to the water, for in 1798 the Liffey had yet to be embanked and the waste plot bordered the river.
 “The day will come”, wrote Dr. Madden the historian of the United Irishmen, over one hundred years ago, “when that desecrated spot will be hallowed ground … decorated by funeral trophies in honour of the dead whose bones lie there in graves that are now neglected and unhonoured.” The day has indeed been long in coming.

[Cutting in papers of Sybil Le Brocquy; accompanied by correspondence with Máire Comerford, St. Nessan, Sandyford, 22.6.1967.]

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C. L. Falkiner writes: ‘The dissent which Dr. Madden’s exaggerated apologetics tend to provoke even in those whose approval of the aims and ideals of the men of ‘98 is cordially and unreserved appears plainly enough in Mr O’Donoghue’s attempt to give an unrhetorical account of the life of Robert Emmet.’ (Falkiner, Papers relating to Ireland, 1909, p.40.)

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R. F. Foster, ‘Remembering 1798’, in The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland (Penguin 2001): ‘[Some] materials were gathered in R. R. Madden’s great seven-volume collection about the United Irishmen, published from 1842 to 1846, which fixed the men of ‘98 in the mould of heroic nationalism, nineteenth-century style. […] Madden’s first volume had stated a case generally followed until very recently, regarding the relationship between the Wexford Rising and the rest of the island. It was “sufficiently established by the universal acknowledgement of all the inhabitants of the county of Wexford”, he wrote, “officers and men, who bore a part in this insurrection, that there was no concert between this rising and the plan of a general insurrection in and about Dublin, and that it was no more than a tumultuary and momentary exertion of popular resistance to a state of things found or considered insupportable, the sole object of which was an attempt to get rid of oppression, and to retaliate with equal violence what they had been for some time experiencing”; this was not, in other words, an ideologically inspired United Irishman revolution, and there was in fact only a sketchy United Irish organization in the county.’ (Quoted Anna Kinsella, ‘The Nineteenth-century Interpretation of 1798’ UCD M.Litt 1992; Foster p.215.)

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Quotations
See various quotations and remarks under Robert Emmet, Francis Joy, Thomas Devin Reilly, &c., &c. [all q.v.]

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912), lists Poems by a Slave in the Island of Cuba recently liberated from Spanish [Rule] (London 1841); Breathings of Prayer [priv.; 20 copies] (Havana 1838); ed., The Easter Offering (1850; rep. Dublin 1888); ‘A Hudibrastic Poem’ [unpublished]; also Lives of the United Irishmen (7 vols. 1842-46); Life of Lady Blessington (3 vols); History of the Penal Laws (1847); Literary Remains of the United Irishmen (1888); and History of Irish Periodical Literature (2 vols, 1867); contrib. to The nation as ‘Ierne’, and to The Citizen as RRM, 1842-43; his verse appears mainly in Literary Remains of the United Irishmen and his Memoirs (1891), ed. by his son, a well-known dublin physician; poetry includes ‘the Bishop of Ross’.

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives extracts from Memoirs of the Countess of Blessington. See also Irish Book Lover 4, 6, 13, 17.

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), calls him an ‘indefatiguable defender of the oppressed’.

Henry Boylan, A Dictionary of Irish Biography [rev. edn.] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1988) and Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985), both cite United Irishmen, Their Lives and Times, 7 vols. (1843-46) and cf. the more commonly cited dates 1842-46.

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English Novels 1830-36: A Bibliography of British Fiction (Cardiff) lists The Musselman: By R. R. Madden, Esq. Author of “Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine.” In Three Volumes. ( London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, 1830), I: 348pp.; II: 308pp.; III: 340pp., 12°. boards [31s. 6d.; first notice May 1830; 19 libs.]. Notes: Dedication (1pp.): ‘To the Memory of that Being to whose unalterable love in every stage of life I owe a dept of boundless gratitude’, signed ‘R. R. M.’ and dated ‘London, Feb. 11, 1830. 22, Curzon Street, May Fair’. Colophons in Vols. 1 and 3 of Samuel Bentley, Dorset Street, Fleet Street, and in Vol. 2 of Ibotson and Palmer, Savoy Street, Strand; however, printer’s marks in all vols. (on versos of t.ps.) contain Bentley’s details. Other edns. ([1831]); (Philadelphia 1830); German trans. (1833). [See English Novels 1800-30 online.]

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Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds MADDEN (Richard R), The United Irishmen Their Lives And Times, First Series 2nd Edn. (Dublin 1857), Second Series 2nd Edn. (Dublin 1858); Third Series 2nd Edn. (Dublin 1860); Fourth Series 2nd Edn. (Dublin 1860); also The United Irishmen, Third Series in 3 vols. (Vol 1, Dublin 1846, Vol II 1846, Vol III [missing]).

Belfast Linenhall Library lists United Irishmen, 6 vols. (1842-46; 2nd ed., Series 1-4, 1857-60); also, separately 2nd ed., 1st Series (Duffy, Dublin 1857), 2nd Series (Duffy, Dublin 1858), 3rd series (London: Catholic Publishers & Booksellers 1860), and 4th Series (London: Catholic Publishers & Booksellers 1860).

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