1766-1797; United Irishman; b. Farranshane, Co. Antrim, of Presbyterian
farming and linen-producing (bleachery) family; advocated moderate views
at Carrickfergus meetings; arrested on charge of administering illegal
United Irishmeens oath to two soldiers, 1796; unsuccessfully defended
against charge of treason by Curran, sentenced and hanged at Carrickfergus,
14 Oct. 1797; his execution aroused great popular indignation and became
the subject of a celebrated elegy-ballad by William Drennan. ODNB DIB
The Northern Leaders of 98 - No 1: William Orr
(Dublin: Maunsel & Co 1906).
[ top ]
Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 10 vols.
(Washington: University of America 1904), Vol. 3, selects The Wake
of William Orr by William Drennan (p.925); rep. also in Brendan
Kennelly, ed. & intro., Penguin Book of Irish Verse (Harmondsworth:
Penguin 1970), pp.126-27. See further under Drennan [supra].