Robert Emmet’s Rising of 1803

Table Of Contents:
1 Overview
1.1 How It Started - Harley G.
1.2 Major Battles/Events - Bianca I.
1.3 The End Result - Chaulong N.
2 Robert Emmet - Bianca I.
2.1 Background
2.2 Photo
2.3 Audio
2.4 Speech at the Docks
3 Anne Devlin - Harley G.
3.1 Background
3.2 Photo
3.3 Audio/Lyrics
4 Sarrah Curran - Chaulong N.
4.1 Background
4.2 Photo
4.3 Audio/Lyrics
Relevant Links
Works Cited


1.1 How It Started - Harley G.
Robert Emmet is one of the heroes looked up to in Ireland. In the beginning, he was really impressed and influenced by the rebellious acts of America and France and followed in their footsteps (Robert Emmet: Biography). After seeing the acts of France he probably thought they could help them against the English. Emmet was a young man who fought for his country's independence after the Act of Union was passed (Robert Emmet: Biography) which combined both the Kingdom of Britain and Ireland together in January 1, 1801 (Act of Union of 1800). Like Emmet, many other people felt like Ireland was not their own independent country and due to the Act of Union, Emmet's anger, bravery, and courage led him to a decision to lead a rebellion (Robert Emmet: Biography). He led a revolt after establishing an alliance with the French (Robert Emmet: Biography) especially having "hopes of aid from Napoleon" (Robert Emmet's Insurrection). This plan Emmet put together was a great one because to both Ireland and France they are friends and against the English, but probably the main cause of this rebellion was miscommunication. His leadership skills were perhaps not as effective as it should be, but overall he made this rebellion happen.

1.2 Major Events - Bianca I.
The rising of 1803 began prematurely due to an explosion of one of Emmett's weapon stores exploded (Higgins). The date for beginning the rebellion was forwarded to July 23, 1803 (Robert Emmett Ireland). However, the rebellion only lasted a few hours after failing to capture Dublin Castle and murdering an elderly man (Rober Emmett Ireland). Emmett had lost control of his men, and went from being an organized army to a mob (Robert Emmett Ireland). This perhaps was due to the fact the rising was started ahead of time, therefore Emmett probably didn't have the time necessary to organize men, but rather merely the time to arm them. Not only were the men disorganized, but since the rebellion started earlier than planned Emmett was short of weapons, and many who came to fight turned back when they arrived to a battle without guns (O'Donnell).

1.3 The End Result - Chaulong N.
Robert Emmet's Execution in Thomas Street, Dublin
Robert Emmet had fired a flare to break up the disorganized rebellion, but Dublin remained riotous (“Robert Emmet”). Hoping for the aid of an invasion from the French, Emmet fled to Wicklow Mountains (“Robert Emmet”). There, he realized that there would be no invasion, and made the big mistake of leaving his hideaway to try to see Sarah Curran (“Robert Emmet”). He got caught because he was out in the open. Robert Emmet was arrested on August 25, 1803, and was executed on September 20, 1803 in Thomas Street (“rebellion”). The Rebellion of 1803 may have been the shortest and most unsuccessful revolt in Irish History, but it was a shock to the British (“rebellion”). It was a surprise because Robert Emmet’s rebellion was different from the others preceding his. Emmet’s rebellion directly aimed at overthrowing the established government in Dublin, whereas the earlier rebellions just wanted to achieve political reform (“rebellion”). The lasting impact of this rebellion, leads to future events and makes history. Robert Emmet’s rising was the beginning of Irish Republicanism, an attribute the leaders of the later Easter Rising had (“rebellion”).

Robert Emmet:
Robert Emmet
Robert Emmet

In 1778, Robert Emmet was born March 4th in Sam's Cross in West Cork in Dublin, Ireland ( He was born into a quite an upper class Irish family, considering that his father was a surgeon to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and even to the royal family of the British (Peters). Emmet attended college at Trinity University until he joined the political party the Society of United Irishmen ( Despite the fact that Emmet was protestant, he along with other political activists in Society of United Irishmen campaigned to end disctimination against Catholics ( Perhaps he viewed freedom from the British more important than which religion was dominant.

Emmet fought in the rebellion of 1798; but after the rebellion was ended by the British, Emmet and other fled to France where he "joined an Irish delegation to Napoleon asking for help" ( In May of 1803, Emmet returned to Ireland and prepared to begin another rebellion against the British, and created weapons and explosives without detection, untill an accident in which a bomb exploded and killed a man, causing Emmet to start the rebellion July 23, 1803 to avoid authorities tracing the bomb back to him ( As he led his two hundred men through the Dublin, he also declared a document he wrote based largely on the Declariation of Independence called Proclamation to the Irish People (Peters). However, Emmet ended the rebellion only a few hours later after watching a group of rebels pike the Lord Chief Justice Lord Kilwarden to death (Peters). In a violent rebellion, however, it is expected for people to die and Emmet was probably unprepared to watch people die. Emmet went into hiding in the Wicklow Mountains and believed that the French would keep their promise and invade Ireland (Peters). By the beginning of August Emmet realized the French weren't comming, and he decided to leave the saftey of the mountains to visit his sweet heart Sarah Curran (Peters) but was captured August 25th, and hung, quartered (Peters) and beheaded on September 20th, 1803 in Dublin, Ireland after giving a final speech on the docks ( Following Emmet's death, his friend from college Thomas Moore wrote several poems and songs in his dedication including the poem "The Minstrel Boy" as well as the song "Bold Robert Emmet" (Peters).

Wolftones - "Bold Robert Emmet" song

Robert Emmet's Speech at the Docks

Anne Devlin:

Anne Devlin
Anne Devlin was born in 1780 at Cronebreg which is near Rathdrum, Co Wicklow (White). She was the second child out of seven and a few years after she was born the family decided to move to Corballis ("Anne Devlin." Home). This is where they were committed in farming 30 acres of land and their landlord, Thomas Darby, was benevolent and reasonable (White). The Devlin family was known as nationalists and her father was known for his perspectives which he stated to the public, but was not a good idea to do back then because of the English controlling Ireland (White). "Despite their nationalistic views the Devlins raised their family to respect the law and they in turn were respected by all who knew them" (White). Michael Dwyer and Arthur Devlin are two of her famous rebellious cousins who "took part in the 1798 Rising and were subsequently imprisoned for two and a half years" ("Anne Devlin."). Besides Michael Dwyer and Arthur Devlin there were other numerous cousins who were rebellious like the O’ Byrnes and O’ Dwyers. In 1798 Anne Devlin’s father was arrested and put in Wicklow Jail after the 1798 Rebellion took place (White). He was imprisoned for two years and during this time the family was always invaded because of her cousins' rebellious acts (White). Anne Devlin's family stayed strong no matter what happened even though the Dwyers and Brynes were the main cause because the family sticked to what they believed in and were extremely resistant to any wrong doings like what their country was facing. The Devlin family went through unbearable punishments and at the end they were still head strong which shows the whole family being full of independence and bravery.

Arthur Devlin was the one who introduced Anne Devlin to Robert Emmet and became a housekeeper while being active in the 1803 Rising ("Anne Devlin."). Unfortunately Emmet's rebellion failed, but was able to escape which caused many English soldiers to hunt him down and one place they looked was his home (Anne Devlin Story). The English barged in his home, but the only person they found was Anne Devlin (Anne Devlin Story). They threatened, shouted, and at the same time asked her where Emmet was hiding and about the rebellion, but “I’ll tell nothing” were the only words coming from her mouth which severely angered the English (Anne Devlin Story). To stick up to the English was brave, but had a dangerous outcome. Before being hanged she said “
A Thiqhearna. iosa, dean trócaire orm!” (Anne Devlin Story) which means “Oh Lord Jesus, have mercy on me” (Brash). Luckily she was only unconscious (Anne Devlin Story), but soon after she was brought to Record Tower at Dublin Castle and later Kilmainham (“Robert Emmet.” Home). Emmet concealed himself in the Dublin Mountains while Anne Devlin was receiving horrible treatment in jail along with her family (“Robert Emmet.” Home). Her family was imprisoned for three long years and during those harsh years seven of her family members died due to poor living conditions and illness (“Anne Devlin.”). Three years in prison messed up her life because of numerous events being thrown at her family and herself like being interegated, treated like nothing, and tortured nonstop about the Rising, but for the most part her family and Anne Devlin survived those three years of suffering (Anne Devlin Story). The hardest event she probably has encountered besides the fact seven family members died was the execution of Robert Emmet in September 20, 1803 ("Anne Devlin"). Anne Devlin probably suffered more then anyone before her or even today because she sacrificed everything for Robert Emmet and nothing could break her persevering spirit. Her huge, gentle, and true heart brought much attention to countless number of people and still remembered to this day as the loyal housekeeper. She probably was the first woman to prove the Irish women's capabilities, strengths, and that women are more then just mere housekeepers. After her imprisonment years, she continued on with her life of unhappiness, but she married a man named Cambell and became a mother of two children (White). A few years after Mr. Cambell passed away, she became friends with R. R. Madden and Brother Luke Cullen who wrote her experiences in first person like a memoir (“Devlin, Anne”). On September 16, 1851 Anne Devlin died in an area called Liberties due to poverty and perhaps sickness when she was imprisoned (White). She was certainly like a faithful warrior fighting to protect his/her leader from others who against him/her.

Sarah Curran:
Sarah Curran

Sarah Curran, born in Priory, Newmarket, was Robert Emmet’s greatest love (“”). Her father, John Philpot Curran, did not approve of their romance, so their feelings were shown in secrecy through letters and meetings (“”). How Emmet and Curran met was rather cute and innocent. Richard, Sarah’s brother, knew Emmet well because they both attended Trinity College (Kelly). Robert frequently visited Sarah’s family, and referred to their relationship as “tender ties” in a letter to a friend (Kelly). It’s sweet that this romance blossomed during this time of British rule, and Emmet’s planning of the revolt. Sarah Curran was supportive of Emmet as well. She was enthusiastic about all Robert’s rebellion plans, and her patriotism, youth and charm made her likeable among other members in the activist’s circle (Kelly). 40 years after the uprising, Ann Devlin said: “You could not see Miss Curran and not help liking her…her look was the mildest, and the softest, and the sweetest look you ever saw.” (Kelly). On September 8th, 1803, Emmet wrote a letter from jail to Miss Sarah Curran, that he trusted a prison ward to deliver; but instead he turned it in to government officials, and this nearly cost Sarah’s life (Kelly).
Robert Emmet's Letter to Miss Sarah Curran


After Robert Emmet’s execution, Sarah Curran went mad and would not eat for a long time (Drumm). His execution must’ve been a horrible heartache, for Emmet was secretly engaged to Curran. Without the support of her family, she moved to Cork to live with friends (Kelly). It was there that after repeated proposals, she met and married Captain Robert Sturgeon on November 24, 1805 (Drumm). The fact that she had declined his proposal several times beforehand, goes to show her love she still had for Robert Emmet. Never fully recovered from her grief, Sarah Curran fell ill with tuberculosis and died May 5th, 1808 (“”). Her body was brought back to Newmarket to be buried (Drumm). This is such a tragedy for Sarah to die so young. Her story inspired Thomas Moore, an Irish poet, to write the sentimental ballad, She is Far from the Land; as this ensured her a place in popular Irish culture (Kelly).

She is Far From the Land Lyrics

She is Far From the Land - John McCormack. YouTube link

Relevant Links:
"Anne Devlin." Genealogy of the Devlin, Boyle, Mackrell and related families. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <>.

"Anne Devlin." Home . Web. 02 Dec. 2009. < >.

"Anne Devlin." Irish Songs Lyrics And Guitar Chords by Martin Dardis . Web. 23 Oct. 2009. < >.

Anne Devlin Story . Web. 23 Oct. 2009. < ?/a> >.

Brash, Dr. Edward. Personal interview. 18 Nov. 2009

Brash, Dr. Edward. "Translation." E-mail interview. 25 Oct. 2009.

//Brave Anne Devlin// . Photograph. //Anne Devlin Story// . By Joe Graham. 2005. Web. 23 Oct. 2009. < >.

"Devlin, Anne." The Oxford Companion to Irish History. Oxford University Press. 2007. 15 Dec. 2009 <>.

Drumm, Darren. "Sarah Curran." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

Heath, James. Robert Emmett . The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Story Of Ireland . Emily Lawless, 5 May 2004. Web. 18 Nov. 2009.
< >.

Http:// . Net Industries, 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. < >.

John McCormack - She is Far from the Land." YouTube . Web. 18 Nov 2009. < >.

Kelly, Kevin M. "Robert Emmet's Letter to Sarah Curran ." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

Kelly, Kevin M. "Robert Emmet and Sarah Curran ." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

Peters, Vincent J. "Triskelle - Irish history: Robert Emmet." Triskelle - Spending Time In Ireland - Irish History, Music, Lyrics and Tourism . 02 Dec. 2007. Web. 02 Dec. 2009. < >.

Robert Emmet, Irish Orator and Patriot (1778-1803). Ed. Kevin M. Kelly. Web. 02 Dec. 2009. <>.

"Sarah Curran." Web. 18 Nov 2009. < >.

"Sarah Curran." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

"Sarah Curran." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

"Sarah Curran." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.

"She is Far from the Land." Triskelle. Dec.-Jan. 2002. Web. 16 Dec. 2009. <>.

White, Willie. Carlow Nationalist | Carlow News | Carlow Sport. Web. 23 Oct. 2009. <>.

Works Cited:

"Act of Union 1800: Encyclopedia - Act of Union 1800." Enlightenment - The Experience Festival . Web. 12 Nov. 2009. < >.

Higgins, Noreen. "IRISH REBELLION 1803." Conflicts in Ireland. May 2001. Web. 15 Dec. 2009.

O'Donnell, Ruan. "Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803 by Ruan O' Donnell- Irish Academic Press." Pierre J. Proudhon Memorial Computer. Nov. 2003. Web. 16 Dec. 2009.
"rebellion of 1803." triskelle. 01-12-2007. Vincent J. Peters, Web. 16 Dec 2009.>

Robert Emmet: Biography from" Wiki Q&A combined with free online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedias . Web. 12 Nov. 2009. < >.

"Robert Emmet's Execution in Thomas Street." Web. 16 Dec 2009. <>.
"Robert Emmet's Insurrection (1800-1803)." Library Ireland: Irish History and Culture . Web. 31 Oct. 2009. < >.

"Robert Emmet Ireland 1803 Dublin Irish Rebellion Ruan O'donnell." Business, Economy, Market Research, Finance, Income Tax Informations. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <>.

"robert emmet." triskelle. 02-12-2007. Vincent J. Peters, Web. 16 Dec 2009.>