Press, The

NOTE: (1797-98), organ of United Irishman’s society in Dublin; ed. Arthur O’Connor, x-ref John Sheares; see Rafroidi. Also, Beauties of the Press, and More Beauties of the Press (1800 and 1802).

DIB: under Peter Finnerty: in 1797 he published The Press, a nationalist newspaper, an was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment for seditious libel for printing a letter on the execution of William Orr.

See Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, Vol 1 (1980): Beauties of the Press (1800); Extracts from the Press (1802). The latter carries an open letter to the King: ‘On your accession to the throne, Sire, your subjects possessed the privelige of trial by jury. There was a government of laws. They are now allowed no trial by jury, but are put to death by military execution .. [PARA] House burning, on your accession to the throne, was a felony; it is now the jest of your officers, and the pastime of your soldiers .. [PARA] sire, open your eyes to the real stiuation of your yet kingdom of ireland; look over the country in every directino, and you will see nothing but confusion and horros .. You will see scenes in every quarter, committed under colour of your authority .. The only consolation left to your peple in whole districts is, that there is another tribunal in which man is no judge.’ signed ‘Sarsfield’, dated 30 Sept., 1797 (No. 2, p.6). The issue of Oct 26 1797 accuses the Lord Lieutenant in connection with the trial and execution of William Orr: ‘Perjury, accompanied with terror, as terror has marked every step of your government.’

NOTE Rx, Peter Finnerty [DIW DIB: Irish journalist, who was imprisoned 1797-99 for editing The Press, in which appeared a letter protesting the execution of William Orr; later author of reports critical of Walecheren Expedition in the Morning Chronicle, 1809; forced to return on an English warship; first active war correspondent; sentenced to 18 months for libelling Castlereagh; received public subscription of 2,000; issued The Case of Peter Finnerty (1811), which ran to four eds. DNB: defended by Curran.

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