[Archibald] Hamilton Rowan

Life
1751-1834; b. 12 May, Rathbone Place, London, son of Gawin Hamilton, and inherited the wealth of the Rowan [maternal] grandfather in whose home, Killyleagh Castle [var. Killileagh; Killileigh] he was raise [var. born]; ed. Westminster School and Cambridge; m. 1781, settled at Rathcoffey, Co. Kildare, 1784; joined Volunteer Convention, 1782; attended Dublin Convention 1874; brought case against Mrs. Llewellan, who pimped Mary Neil (aged 14) for Lord Carhampton, resulting in a death-sentence from which the woman was reprieved [see under John Magee]; fnd-member Northern Whig club, 1790; joined United Irishmen, 1791; tried for sedition and defended by Curran, 1974; 2-year sentence; imprisoned in Newgate but escaped to France; friendship with Mary Wollestonecraft; joined by Tone and Napper Tandy in Wilmington, Delaware, USA; disgusted by atrocities of French revolution [terror]; pardoned in 1803; settled on his estate at Killyleagh Castle, Co. Down; supported Catholic Emancipation and subscribed to the Catholic Association; d. 1 Nov., in his Dublin home in Holles Street, being predeceased by his wife in spring of that year. DIB ODNB

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Criticism
William Drummond [ed.], Autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan Esq. (Dublin 1840), with adds. and ills. [Cathach Bks 12]; Harold Nicholson, The Desire to Please: A Story of Hamilton Rowan and the United Irishmen (Constable 1943) [fiction], ill.; see also Oliver Knox, Rebels and Informers: Stirrings of Irish Independence (London: John Murray 1997).

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Commentary
C. J. Woods
, ed., Journals and Memoirs of Thomas Russell (IAP 1991), ‘Hamilton Rowan’s pamphlet caused a stir’ (See Dublin Evening Post, 20 Dec. 1792); to which ed. ftn., ‘very probably the declaration “Citizen-soldiers, to arms!”, issued by the Dublin Society of United Irishmen, under the names of Drennan and Rowan, chairman and secretary respectively; argued for a revival of volunteering as preferable to a militia, and advocated holding a convention of the Protestant people on 15 Feb., to complement the Catholic convention just ended.’

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References
Dictionary of National Biography: son of Gawin Hamilton; adopted name of Rowan for his grandfather, d. c.1767; ed Queen’s College, Cambridge; served as lietuenant col. in Portugal; lived in Paris 1781-84; removed to Ireland 1784; brought notice on himself by publication of Investigation of the Sufferings of Mary Neal; whose seduction by a person of high station had been allowed to go unpunished; arrested on unfounded charges of distributing seditious pamphlet, 1792; found guilty though ably defended by Curran; &c.

Patricia Hutchins gives an account of Harold Nicholson’s visit to James Joyce in Paris, and their brief discussion of Hamilton Rowan: ‘the point was never cleared [up] for Joyce spoke gently, “in his lovely Anna Livia voice” [...]’ (James Joyce's World, Methuen 1957, p.176).

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Notes
Kith & Kin: His son Gawin William Rowan Hamilton (1783-1834), served in the navy from 1801-1824, retiring after posting on S. American station, with ill-health. Sir William Hamilton Rowan, the mathematician [q.v.], was his grand-nephew and godson.

Home sweet home: Killileagh - now called Killyleagh - Castle, Co. Down, was formerly the home of the James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Clanbrassil, son of Viscount Clandeboye. Clanbrassil supported Charles I in the Civil War, fled a bombardment of the castle, leaving his wife and children and was fined by Parliament for the return of the property. The castle was the the home Archibald Hamilton Rowan between 1803 and 1834 and subsequently passed through marriage to members of the Blackwood family associated with the Clandeboye title. It currently belongs to a Gawn [sic] Rowan-Hamilton. There is a Clanbrassil Street in Dublin. (See Wikipedia - online; accessed 17.02.2018.)

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