GORDON, Rev. James Bentley. History of the Rebellion in Ireland, in the year 1798, &c. : Containing an Impartial Account of the Proceedings of the Irish Revolutionists, from the year 1782, till the Suppression of the Rebellion.


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With an appendix to illustrate some facts. By the Rev. James Gordon, Rector of Killegny, in the Diocese of Ferns and of Cannaway in the Diocese of Cork. Author of Terraquea, or a new system of geography and modern history. Twenty-five years an inhabitant of the county of Wexford. Dublin: Printed by William Porter, 69 Grafton Street, 1801. pp. [2], 302, 94, [12 (Index)]. Contemporary half green morocco on marbled boards, title in gilt on brown morocco label on rebacked spine. All edges sprinkled. Ex lib with neat stamps. A very good copy. Extremely rare.
COPAC with 4 locations only..
James Bentley Gordon (1750-1819), historian, was son of the Rev. James Gordon of Neeve Hall, Londonderry, by his wife, a daughter of Thomas Neeve, the nephew of Richard Bentley, the famous scholar. Gordon entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1769, and graduated B.A. 1773. On leaving college he took holy orders, and in 1776 became tutor to the sons of Lord Courtown. In 1779 he undertook the management of a boarding-school at Marlfield in Wexford, but was not very successful, owing probably to lack of worldly prudence. In 1796 he was presented to the living of Cannaway in Cork, and in 1799 to that of Killegney in Wexford, both of which he retained till his death. He married a daughter of Richard Bookey of Wicklow, by whom he had several children.
Gordon was a zealous student of history and geography and wrote this account of the 1798 Rebellion “a party work abounding in misrepresentations” (Lowndes, p. 914). It covers the risings in both County Antrim and in the south east, where Wexford was held by the rebels, and also the French invasion, under General Humbert, in the west, which, despite their victory at Castlebar, ultimately led to the French capitulation. It is valuable for its contemporary viewpoint, which is, although that of a Protestant clergyman, aware of the summary execution of fellow ministers by the rebels, not unmindful that ‘many acts of cruelty were committed by Protestants on their Romanist countrymen, with little attention to personal guilt or innocence’. In the appendix are a list of the Protestant prisoners held in Wexford and lists of those massacred, mostly by the rebels, but also by government soldiers ‘as an illustration of the atrocious practices of that calamitous period.’


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