18 th Century United Irishman Leader

James Napper Tandy 1740 - 1803

Controversial United Irishman But Committed To Ireland's Liberty

 

An Irishman of the 18th century revered in song, James Napper Tandy was born in Dublin in 1740. A prominent personality of Dublin City politics during the 1780s and 1790s, James was never silent on Irelands occupation by England.

 

He was a Jacobin enthusiast and also an officer of the Volunteer Artillery Corps, who were national leaders to promote the concept of Catholic Volunteer recruits.

 

As the founding Chairman of the Dublin Society of United Irishmen in November 1791, James Napper Tandy was regularly in conflict with the authorities when he condemned atrocities and made numerous anti government statements. 

 

In 1792 he again made headlines, along with many more men of similar persuasion. As one of several United Irish Leaders, James swore an oath of allegiance to the Revolutionary defenders at Castlebellingham, Co. Louth.

 

The consequences sent James on the run, initially to Philadelphia and later to Paris in 1798.

In France he joined the national army and made great impression on his military superiors.

Tandy was soon promoted to the rank of a French Army General and travelled to Rutland Island,

Co. Donegal, in September 1798. In Donegal he discovered that Humbert’s Irish expedition had been defeated at Ballinamuck, and he swiftly made his way back to mainland Europe.

 

He then settled in Hamburg, Germany, but was discovered in October 1799 and the British authorities soon arranged his illegal extradition to England from Germany.

 

On arrival on English soil, Tandy was taken to Ireland for trial and sentenced to death four months later. 

His death sentence was later commuted when the French authorities put a pre-condition for the release of Tandy before signing the Peace Of Amiens in March 1802.

 

James Napper Tandy was then deported by England to Bordeaux, France, and he lived there until his death in 1803, aged sixty three years.