John Martin (d.1875)

Life
1812-1875, b. Loughorne, nr. Newry, Co.. Down; at school with John Mitchel, whom he later assisted on The United Irishman; ed. TCD; joined Repeal Association; Young Irelander prominent in meetings of Irish confederation; co-fnd with James Fintan Lalor, The Irish Felon, named in honour of Mitchel, at suppression of United Irishman, June-July 1848; produced issues from hiding with assistance of with Devin Reilly; imprisoned, and exhorted people to retain arms from Newgate, 1848; convicted of treason-felony and transported to Van Diemen’s Land, 1849-54, sharing a cottage in the central massive with Mitchel; returned 1856; m. Henrietta Mitchel, s. of Mitchel; supported Tenant Right but opposed IRB extremists; prosecuted for ‘violent speech’ in honour of Manchester Martyrs, Glasnevin, 1867; lectured successfully in America, 1869-71; Home Rule MP, Co. Meath, 1871-75; and fnd.-mbr of Butt’s Home Government Association; Sec. Home Rule League, known as ‘Honest John Martin’; sickened and died 9 days after Mitchel; d. Dromolane House, nr. Newry; always sickly, he was called by Charles Gavan Duffy ‘as unfit to play the part in a revolution as in a pantomine’. ODNB DIB DIH.

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Commentary
Thomas Keneally, The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New (London: Chatto & Windus 1998), p.153 et passim.

 

Notes
John Mitchel wrote: ‘Sitting on the green grass by the banks of a clear, brawling stream of fresh water ... It is forty-six miles form Hobart Towan fromt he Neptune and the sea, and high among the central mountains of Van Diemen’s Land. Opposite sits John martin, sometime of Loughorne, smoking placidly, and gazing curiously at me with his mild eyes.’ Further, ‘Yet here’s one glorious tableau for you. Imagine mrtin and me, after a glorious ride of twenty miles through noble old woods, lying on the bank of a fine lake, deep in the central mountains. ... [&c., recounting the arrival of T. F. Meagher and his newly-wedded wife] (Cited in Francis MacManus, ed., M. J. MacManus, Adventures of an Irish Bookman, Talbot Press 1952, pp.4-5; 9-10.)

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