IRELAND – UPRISING OF 1798. Autograph letter signed ("Hervey deM: Morres") by the United Irishman Hervey Montmorency Morres, 1797
Lot 234
IRELAND – UPRISING OF 1798. Autograph letter signed ("Hervey deM: Morres") by the United Irishman Hervey Montmorency Morres, 1797
Sold for £2,250 (US$ 3,654) inc. premium

Lot Details
IRELAND – UPRISING OF 1798
Autograph letter signed ("Hervey deM: Morres") by the United Irishman Hervey Montmorency Morres, to Baron Gemmingen in Anspach, Franconia, describing the dire state of Ireland in the wake of Wolfe Tone's abortive Bantry Bay invasion of December 1796: "our coasts were at first visited by the fleets and armey's of France; when the Elements alone rescued us from those misery's the landing of such an enemy would inevitably have inflicted upon our country, however the consequences... are severely felt... trade is destroyed, publick confidence totally lost... prices of every kind of grain, of cattle, &c is lower than before the commencement of the war; paper money is distributeing instead of cash: and the Banks are totally drained of specie. The universal cry is peace, and a change of ministers, -- a reform in Parliament, and universal toleration of religion. The North of Ireland (the Province of Ulster) is in a state of open Rebellion, while the South (Munster) is peaceable and Loyal to a degree"; and attributing Northern dissatisfaction to the destruction of the linen trade, while until the latest developments, the war favoured the South; the remaining part of the letter discusses legal business undertaken for his mother-in-law which has been delayed due to "the very Attorney's, and Lawyers becoming soldiers, and enrolling themselves for the defence of the Nation"; with address panel and directions that it should be sent to Anspach by way of London, Hamburg and Frankfurt, postmarked, 3 pages, seal and seal-tear, small tears at centre where formerly bound, 4to, Knockalton (Co. Tipperary), 4 April 1797

Footnotes

  • Morres was a professional soldier who had served in the Austrian army. Hearing of the expected French invasion of Ireland, he had accepted a commission as ADC to General Dundas in May 1796, but disgust at the measures being adopted by the government induced him to join the United Irishmen in November 1796. He became county representative for Tipperary in May 1797 and colonel of the Nenagh Infantry, joining the General Military Committee of the United Irishmen in February 1798, serving as Adjutant-General for the Munster Region and appointed to head the final assault on Dublin. In the event, he was to see no action, and fled the country after Humbert's defeat in August 1798, taking refuge in Hamburg with the widow of his friend Lord Edward Fitzgerald. That this letter reads like a dispassionate report rather than rallying cry is not perhaps very surprising; for being sent by the public posts, the chances of its being intercepted and read must have seemed very high.

    Included in the lot is an autograph letter signed by Samuel Madden, written from Kilkenny on 27 June 1798, to Lieut-Col Cumming Gordon of Leith: "yesterday morning, about two O'Clock, the troops here, march'd into the C: of Carlow against the grand body of the rebels, who had fled from the different engagements in the C: of Wexford. We were join'd by the Downshire Militia, who drove them into the mouth of our troops: the slaughter, above one thousand, was great indeed: all their ammunition, 12 canon, provisions, & plundering, taken; even Lady Ormonds Plate, taken out of Castle Comer house. My son Charles, in charging with the Cavalry, got a contusion in his knee... they were headed by two priests; Lady Asgill wears one of their crucifixes". Also included is an autograph letter by J.W. Belsches written from Edinburgh to his uncle at Dublin Barracks on 19 January 1797, referring to the French defeat.
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