Freeman’s Journal, The

1763-1924 [var. 1926]; owned at different periods by Charles Lucas, Francis Higgins, Philip Whitfield Harvey, Michael Staunton; John Gray and his son Edmund Dwyer Gray (who turned it into a public company in 1887), Michael John O’Sullivan, et al.; buildings destroyed by IRA, 29-30 march 1922, and soon after expunged; Thomas Sexton, Parnellite MP, was proprietor in 1909 when James Joyce visited the paper. DIH

Felix M. Larkin, ‘“A Great Daily Organ”: the Freeman’s Journal, 1763-1924’, in History Ireland (May-June 2006), pp.44-49. See also The Public Register: Freeman’s Journal: Irish Newspapers in Dublin Libraries, vol. 2 (Ann Arbor: Mich. Univ. Microfilms 1958).

Maureen Wall, Catholic Ireland in the eighteenth Century (1989) gives index references to Freeman and Lucas.

Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, ed. Seamus Deane et al. (1991), Vol. 1: The Freeman’s Journal [sic], one of the major political organs of 18th c. Ireland, fnd. by Charles Lucas and others in 1763, mirrored ‘independent interest’ as opposed to oligarchy; enemy of riot but watchdog of liberty, champion of parliamentary democracy, scourge of anarchy; FDA1 reprints an essay on liberty and lawlessness from the first issue, an essay which addresses the Whiteboys, Oakboys, and Liberty-boys (of Dublin), quoting to good effect Julius Caesar III,i, 271-5 (‘.. Cry Havock ..’) [912-14]; biog. Charles Lucas, wrote regularly for, [956]; Henry Grattan and others wrote for The Freeman’s Journal a series of political articles later issued as Baratariana (1773) 957; [Flood, along with Grattan and Langrishe, published pseudonymous letters in Freeman’s Journal relation to recent political matters, issued as Baratariana (1772 [sic]) 958]; [Freeman’s Journal follows French Revolution, noting that ‘the order of Monks is in a tottering state in France at this moment’, [McCormack, ed., 1072].

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991), Vol. 2,; defection of FJ from Parnell: ‘young’ Edward Dwyer Gray, ed. in succession to his father, deserted Parnell under clerical pressure; thereafter amalgamated with Tim Healy’s National Press; the reorganisation of the board a squalid affair lasting till 1893 [319-20]; founded in Dublin in 1763, in favour of Home Rule and Land League; opposed by Tim Healy in the Parnell crisis [329]; its supine reviewing of pulp novels disparaged by WP Ryan [365]; ‘an epigram from Curran, or Lysaght’: Lady Morgan [870]; [allusion in Le Fanu, ‘House by the Churchyard’, [888]; founded 1763, later identified with Nationalist Party; praised Gaelic League [998].

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, Vol 1, 1980: Note: The Freeman’s Journal, NY (1840), fnd. James and John E White, nephews of G Griffin, merged with The Catholic Register in 1841. [p.215.]

Chris Morash, The Hungry Voice, 1989, p.130: J. C. Mangan’s refers to the Freeman in a self-parody, ‘A vision of Connaught in the 19th century’, a famine poem ending: ‘It was reading the Freeman -/An’s page sublime,/That opiate speeches made me doze;and I dreamed this dream /Of the terrible time/Of Randolph Roth, of the wine-red nose.’ Under translation-epigraph, ‘Et moi, j’ai aussi aux enfer/And I, I too, have been in the West of Ireland’. Also: When the soap invented by the Reform club chef Alex Benoit Soyer, as costing £1 per hundred galls, was introduced at the Phoenix Park, the Freeman exlaimed on 6 April 1847: ‘Dublin society pasy 5 shillings each to see paupers feed on Soyer’s soup. five shillings each to watch the burning blush of shame chasing pallidness from poverty’s wan cheek! When the animals in the Zoological Gardens can be inspected at feeding time for sixpence!’ Called pro-O’Connell newspaper (Notes, Morash, The Hungry Voice, 1989 p.282.)

The question is posed why the Church (later Cathedral) of the Holy Trinity also had the name Christ Church. The Freeman’s Journal, 27 April 1847, contains an article suggesting that it was formed from the word christ, said to be Norse for head or large. Little concludes, different, that the Holy Trinity superceded an earlier foundation. [CITED in George A Little, Dublin Before the Vikings, 1957, p.104-05]

James Fairhall, James Joyce and The Question of History (CUP 1993), 132pp.: ‘When the hierarchy and the English Liberals marked time, the most influential nationalist daily in Ireland, The Freeman’s Journal, responded to Parnell’s declaration to its London correspondent that he had no intention of relinquishing his position. Its editorial of 18 Nov. articulated the two essential arguments of parnellite loyalists; first, his leadership was a political, not a moral question; and second, the question should be resolved by the Irish rather than the English people.’ Fairhall also cites from R. Barry O’Brien’s biography of Parnell: ‘In June he married Mrs. O’Shea, and a few weeks later ‘young’ Mr Gray, of the Freeman’s Journal, seized upon the marriage as a pretext for going over to the eneme, because it was against the law of the Catholic Church to marry a divorced woman.’

There is an account of the Freeman’s Journal and in particular Thomas Sexton’s feud with Archbishop Walsh in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965 Edn., p.297. Ellmann writes that the journal ‘was to survived a fire in 1916 aot to last until 1926.’

For substantial references to the Freeman’s Journal, see Pat Walsh, The Rise and Fall of Imperial Ireland: Redmondism in the Context of Britain’s Conquestion of South Africa and its Great War on Germany 1899-1916 (Belfast: Athol Books 2003), 594pp.

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