Contrary Voices

  • Stuart Andrews


In his sustained campaign against Francis Plowden’s Historical survey of the state of Ireland (1803), Sir Richard Musgrave fired salvoes at two pamphlets published in the same year as Plowden. They are Edward Hay’s History of the insurrection of the county of Wexford and James Gordon’s History of the rebellion in Ireland.1 Musgrave thought Hay’s account ‘as strongly under the influence of Popish bigotry as that of Mr Plowden’, and equally ‘libellous of the government, the magistrates and the king’s troops’. Gordon, although a clergyman of the Established Church, is thought by Musgrave ‘to be imbued with republican principles, and the tenor of his book strengthens the suspicion’. Gordon kept a school in County Wexford ‘in such a state of obscurity and retirement, that it is universally well known he was ignorant of the events which passed within a short distance of his residence’. This isolation, adds Musgrave, led Gordon to collect his information about the Rebellion ‘from the hearsay evidence of low obscure people, who it is presumed were disaffected, as his book contains many gross perversions of the truth’.2


Dublin Journal Habeas Corpus Irish Nation Pastoral Letter Catholic Clergy 
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  1. 1.
    E. Hay, History of the insurrection of the county of Wexford, A.D. 1798 including an account of transactions preceding that event, with an appendix (Dublin, 1803).Google Scholar
  2. Rev. J. Gordon, History of the rebellion in Ireland in the year 1798, 2nd edn (1803).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    [Sir R. Musgrave], ‘Important considerations’ [3.62] in AJR 19 (Dec. 1804) pp. 364–5.Google Scholar
  4. See also [R. Musgrave], Observations on the Remonstrance of the Rev. Peter O’Neill, parish priest of Ballymacoda in the County of Cork (1801) p. iv.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    [J. Stock, Bishop of Killala], Narrative of what passed at Killala in the county of Mayo and the parts adjacent, during the French invasion in the summer of 1798 (Dublin, 1800) p. 98.Google Scholar

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© Stuart Andrews 2006

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  • Stuart Andrews

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