John Philpot Curran
- Extended Catalogue Entry
John Philpot Curran
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1807
29 1/4 in. x 24 1/4 in. (743 mm x 616 mm)
This portraitback to top
Curran was known as one of the finest orators of his day. He was elected to the Irish Parliament in 1783 where he was a passionate advocate of Catholic emancipation. During the 1790s, he acted as defence counsel in almost all the trials of leading radicals from the Society of United Irishmen, including Archibald Rowan in 1792, Wolfe Tone in 1798 and James Napper Tandy in 1800. His daughter was secretly engaged to their Radical colleague Robert Emmett; an arrangement Curran thoroughly disapproved of. He endured threats from his reactionary opponents throughout his career and fought five duels, including one with the Lord Chancellor, Fitzgibbon.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1807back to top
Current affairsAct is passed abolishing the British slave trade after vigorous campaigning by hundreds of thousands of people led by Thomas Clarkson and championed in parliament by reformer William Wilberforce.
Resignation of 'Ministry of all the Talents'. Whig politician William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of Portland, succeeds as Prime Minister.
Art and scienceThomas Hope publishes Household Furniture and Interior Decoration; influential in promoting Greek and especially Egyptian models as the epitome of fashionable style.
InternationalFrench invasion of Spain and Portugal.
Britain occupies Copenhagen and captures the Danish fleet.
Napoleon begins to wage an economic battle against Britain, recognising the impossibility of victory at sea because of Britain's superior naval power. He aims to close the entire European coastline to British trade.
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