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Malachy Delany, Esq., of the County of Kildare, who was tried and acquitted at the last assizes of the County, and arrested on Friday last, in consequence of information given to Major Sirr, and committed to Kilmainham jail.”
The reader is furnished with all the information which I am able to lay before him respecting the person referred to, as I presume, by Leonard, and in the publications above cited.
There was a gentleman of the name of Carty, or Carthy, arrested soon after the outbreak in July, of whom Mr. Hone of the state prisoners, made mention to me, in an account of some of the persons in confinement whom he had previously met at Mr. Long's, in Crow-street. This gentleman informed me, that some time previous to the 23d of July, he had
supped at Philip Long's with Emmet, Cloney, Carthy, Allen, Gray, and Hughes. Carthy had been engaged in the former rebellion ; he was a sort of a gentleman. Trevor, in Kilmainham, when in jail, one day was, in conversation with Mr. H
, very desirous of getting an admission from him of his knowledge of the parties engaged in Emmet's business. Mr. H
was protesting his ignorance of the plans of the former when Trevor, in a whisper said, “ With whom did you sup at Long's on such a night ?”—naming the particular occasion above referred to. Mr. H was astonished, and well might be so. Carthy was then kept in confinement in a house where informers used to be domiciled in 1798 ; but in 1803 many persons of a very different kind had been confined there : this place was called the “Stag House ;" it was opposite to Kilmainham jail. Carty, however, was not suspected, but another individual was, who was then confined in the jail. A convict of the name of Darby used to wait on the state prisoners ; this man told some of them that a certain person in the jail, on a particular day, had been writing a statement for Dr. Trevor, containing information respecting the insurrection. The person was invited into their rooms, and Nicholas Gray, after the punch had circulated freely, took the paper from his pocket!
Mr. Leonard M Nally, the barrister, is said by some others -on what grounds I know not—to be the person from whom the information of Emmet's place of concealment was obtained. In times like those which are referred to, when treason in all its motley forms is in active operation, it necessarily happens
that men, bewildered by the proofs of perfidy which are constantly brought before them, without knowing from what quarter the treachery proceeds, in proportion as they have been credulous, become distrustful, and fly from one extreme to another. Hence, their suspicions are often groundless, and the parties who have violated confidence often remain not only undiscovered, but unsuspected, while those who have continued faithful and only solicitous about the consciousness of their fidelity are looked upon with doubt, and not unfrequently with something more. It may
tend to turn those ill-founded suspicions to a quarter where perfidy, duly recognized and recompensed, is officially recorded, to show who were the parties who were receivers of secret-service money in 1802–3. The following are some of the items in the secret-service money list :
February 6, 1802, Major Sirr, for John Beckett,
three others, and Dan Car—in full of their
£328 8 9 February 20, 1802, Major Sirr, for Mrs. O'Brien
John Neile, Francis Devlin, and two others
300 0 0 May 2, 1803, Mr. Marsden, for Quigley, 40 0 0 June 13, 1803, Major Sirr, for Heyden,
22 15 0 August 25, 1803, Mr. Pollock, for L. M., 110 0 0 September 14, 1803, Mr. Marsden, for L. M., 100 0 0 October 13, 1803, Dr, Trevor, for Ryan and Mahaffey,
100 0 0 October 15, Major Sirr, for informer for Howley and Condon,
56 17 6 November 1, Finlay and Co., account of Richard Jones,
1000 0 0
The last-mentioned item, there can be little doubt, was the reward for the apprehension of Robert Emmet, paid into Finlay's Bank to the account of the person named, Richard Jones, to be handed over by him to the informer. The circumstance of lodging the money in this case in the hands of a banker leads to the conclusion that the informer was not a person in an humble rank of life. There are persons who would be able to state who the gentleman was, of the name of
Richard Jones, who had an account open in Finlay's Bank, in 1803. Who the informer was, remains unknown. The only object in desiring that the name of the informer should be known is, that the names of persons suspected unjustly should be rescued from that unfounded suspicion.
Previous to the trial of Robert Emmet, an attempt was made to effect his escape from prison. Arrangements had been made, in the event of the success of this attempt, to have been conveyed on board a vessel called the Erin, from which he was to have been landed at some continental port.
The principal agent through whom the negotiations were carried on in Kilmainham, was Mr. St. John Mason, the cousin of Robert Emmet. From this gentleman I received the following information of that attempt and its failure. The documents which are subjoined to his account, disclose the whole proceedings of the persons who were parties to the proposed attempt. One of these documents, bearing the signature of “ Verax," there can be no impropriety now in stating, was written by Mr. St. John Mason. It is needless to offer any comment on the barbarity of the conduct of those persons who suffered the hopes of the unfortunate prisoner to be raised, and when they had been wound up to the highest pitch of expectation, dashed them to the ground, and claimed the merit of a faithful adherence to their duty. Where could this wickedness have been perpetrated and rewarded, except in Ireland ?
“Mr. St. John Mason informs me, that he received a note from Robert Emmet, stating, that he wished him to offer George Dunn, a sum of money, from £500 to £1000, on the condition of his favouring and effecting his (Robert Emmet's) escape.
“Mason made a communication to G. Dunn, to which the latter agreed. The idea originated with Trevor and George Dunn, and by some -(by the means of the turn
key M'Sally, I am informed by another of the state prisoners)
- were communicated to Emmet. Mason wrote to Robert Emmet to recommend him to have the money not given at once to Dunn, but to have it secured to him, and not to think of Dunn's accompanying him. The project fell to the ground; all the letters of Mason were sent to the Secretary of State."
Extract from “ The Times,” December 9, 1841 :
ROBERT EMMET AND THE GAOLER OF KILMAINHAM.
To the Editor of the Times.
Paris, December 2d. “SIR—The London newspapers which arrived here on Monday, contained the following article :
"Extract of a letter from Dublin, November 27. Mr. G. Dunn, the Governor of Kilmainham Prison, Dublin, for the last forty years, expired on Thursday, leaving a numerous family behind him. When Emmet was under his charge for high treason, an immense sum of money, by way of bribe, with an offer of a free passage to America, was made him, if he al lowed his prisoner to go free ; but the honesty of Mr. Dunn spurned the bribe.
“Mr. George Dunn, the person above-mentioned, had not been the Governor of Kilmainham Prison, Dublin, for the last forty years. The rest about Robert Emmet is pure invention. The facts which suggested this posthumous praise of George Dunn are these :
“Robert Emmet was taken from the bar of the Courthouse, Green-street, Dublin, to the prison of Newgate, at (if I remember rightly) about nine o'clock at night, of the —- of Oetober, 1803, after having been sentenced to death. Immediately on his entrance within the walls of the prison, the then governor (Gregg) either from precaution, excess of zeal, or stimulated by a brutal disposition, loaded him with irons, and, I believe, placed bim in a cell. At half-past twelve o'clock, however, an order arrived from the Secretary of State (the late Mr. Wickham) that the prisoner be removed to Kilmainham jail, ostensibly to bring him nearer to the intended place of execution (Thomas-street, opposite Bridgefoot-street), but in reality for safe keeping.
“The governor of Kilmainham prison at that day, was a person named Dunn, uncle of him mentioned in the above extract, who was then only a turnkey. Dunn, the governor, was a man apparently rough and savage, but at bottom, humane and kind. Robert Emmet had scarcely been committed to his custody, when his eyes
the fetters with which the prisoner (a slight young man) was loaded. The tears burst from his
eyes ; for he saw that the irons had cut through the silk. stockings worn by Emmet, and to the bone—his ancles were bathed with blood.
"Dunn's kindness did not stop here. He ordered refreshments for his ill-fated, but deeply-interesting charge, of which he stood much in need, after a trial of eleven hours, during the whole of which time he stood, and not having, from an early hour in the morning that preceded it, tasted food. He ordered him to be placed in one of the best rooms of the prison, and directed that every comfort he desired should be supplied him, and continued his kindness up to the moment when the prisoner, thanking him for his humanity, left the prison for the scaffold.
“I wish not to refer to certain incidents in the after life of George Dunn, now so indiscreetly brought before the public. It will be enough for me to remind your readers, that his name occurred in the proceedings against Brock and Pelham in the first Mayoralty or Shrievalty of Alderman Matthew Wood, of London. The alleged offer of a bribe to that or any other person, to connive at the prisoner's escape, is obviously an untruth. In the first place, Emmet was removed unexpectedly and after midnight from Newgate to the custody of Dunn the elder, and brought out for execution only ten hours afterwards. (Justice was promptly executed in those days.) No time remained, therefore, for tampering with the jailer after the fact of the prisoner's removal to Kilmainham could have become known to his friends ; and in reality, the nearest friends and connexions of Robert Emmet (Mr. H the barrister, Mr. P—, and others) capable of making that effort, were themselves inmates of Kilmainham jail, on suspicion of guilty knowledge of the conspiracy which burst forth into insurrection on the 23d of July previously..... “I have the honor to be, Sir, &c.,
“ B. W."