[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 house he was 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. 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).

Notes
Kith & Kin: Gawin William Rowan Hamilton, his son (1783-1834), served in the navy from 1801-1824, retiring after posting on S. American station, with ill-health.

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