The United Irish Patriots of 1798

The United Irish Patriots of 1798, after Unknown artist, 1798 or after - NPG D10700 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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The United Irish Patriots of 1798

after Unknown artist
coloured lithograph, 1798 or after
21 1/4 in. x 27 3/8 in. (541 mm x 695 mm) paper size
Reference Collection
NPG D10700

Artistback to top

Sittersback to top

This portraitback to top

The Society of United Irishmen was founded in Belfast in 1791. Its aim was to unite Irishmen, regardless of religion, in pursuit of political reform. It was initially an open and constitutional society but in the backlash against Radicalism that followed the French Revolution, it was formally suppressed in 1794. This provoked a more militant republicanism which began to ally itself with growing rural unrest. A rebellion erupted in the summer of 1798, timed to coincide with a French invasion on the west coast, but it was unsuccessful. Many of the patriots pictured here, including the Romantic hero Robert Emmett, were found guilty of treason or forced to flee abroad.

Events of 1798back to top

Current affairs

To meet war costs, William Pitt introduces a Finance Bill which levies income tax for the first time.

Art and science

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads; a key publication for the romantic movement in poetry. Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner opens the volume.
Publisher and printseller Rudolph Ackermann establishes his popular 'Repository of the Arts' shop, gallery, library and social centre on the Strand.


Uprising of the United Irishmen: a republican rebellion which attempted to achieve Ireland's total independence by force with the aid of a French invasion. It was only narrowly defeated.
Battle of the Nile. Napoleon's visionary Egyptian campaign offers British first major victory as Nelson destroys the French fleet.

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Maureen Watson

29 December 2017, 12:21

Hi, We have one of these in a blackthorne ( I think ) frame. GGGG Grandmother had married into Fitzgerald family. All I know is it left Ireland just after 1855, GG Grandfather was at Sebastpol 1855 - injured and all belongings and wife moved to South Africa - with the picture. Not sure of its value we either have hung or it is stored. Family originally from Kildare and other half from Clogherhead/Drogheda area. (Harmon/- or ORourkes (whom the Kildare GG Grandmother married in to.

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