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Robert Emmet

Robert Emmet (1778-1803) was an Irish nationalist. He led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured and executed.

Emmet was born in Cork into a respected family. His education at Trinity College, Dublin was cut short when he joined the patriotic United Irishmen[?]. When the rising under Theobald Wolfe Tone was crushed in May, 1798 Emmet and others sought exile in France, joining the groups of emigre revolutionaries in Paris. In 1802 during a brief lull in the Napoleonic Wars Emmet joined a Irish delegation to Napoleon asking for support. When European conflict was renewed in May 1803 Emmet and other revolutionaries were shipped to Ireland to head a rebellion. The uprising began prematurely on July 23, 1803 in Dublin but did not get much further than an failed attempt to take Dublin Castle which collapsed into general rioting. Emmet fled into hiding but was captured on August 25 near Harold's Cross. He was tried for treason on September 19 and on September 20 he was executed by hanging in Dublin. The remains were then secretly buried. During his trial, after he had been sentenced Emmet delivered a rousing speech, the Speech from the Dock, which secured his posthumous fame. "Let no man write my epitaph... When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then shall my character be vindicated,then may my epitaph be written".



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