Edward Tyrrell

Life
?-1713; son-in-law of historian Roderic O’Flaherty, educated on the Continent as a Catholic, embarked on career of priest-hunter supplying copious information of Jacobite plots and popish rebellions to the Castle, from 1710; travelled during 1712 to Louth, Monaghan, King’s County, Wicklow, Tipperary, Cork, Wexford, et al. in a commission and with orders to magistrates for assistance and military escort; supplied wildly exaggerated reports of enormous numbers of Catholic clergy; arrested and charge with bigamy before the end of 1712; petitioned for freedom so that he could give evidence against priests, complaining, ‘the very papishes come out of the street into the gaol to abuse me in my confinement’ and adds, ‘what misery I am in for serving Her Majesty’s Government’. He alleged that the charge against him was ‘the invention and malice of several Irish papists.’ Lord Chancellor Phipps and Protestant Archbishop Vesey of Tuam, a Lord Justice, reported that of all his information against priests ‘we could never get the fact proved by any other testimony than his own’, and that they ‘could never find any other effect from his service than to get money from us.’ He was convicted of bigamy and executed in May 1713. [26] The other leading priest-hunter was Garzia, who arrested Edward Byrne, soon after acquitted. See Gerard O’Brien, ed., Catholic Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, collected Essays of Maureen Wall (1989) [26]

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