Thomas Russell

(1767—1803) Irish nationalist

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(1767–1803), radical. Born in Co. Cork, the son of an army officer, Russell served with the army in India 1783–1786/7. Back in Ireland he became a close friend of Tone during 1790. His military duties then took him to Belfast (1790–1), where he formed links with other radicals, allowing him to play an important part in the formation of the United Irish movement in both Belfast and Dublin. After a period as a minor legal official and justice of the peace in Co. Tyrone (1791–2), Russell became librarian of the Linen Hall Library (1794). Throughout this period he travelled widely in north Leinster and south Ulster, playing a poorly documented but possibly important role as organizer and emissary for the United Irish movement. He was detained without trial 1796–1801, then released on condition that he left the country. In 1803 he tried unsuccessfully to organize support for Robert Emmet's insurrection in former United Irish circles in Ulster. After Emmet's capture, Russell went to Dublin in the hope of arranging his rescue, but was himself arrested and hanged at Downpatrick.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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