The Partial Diary of "Honest" John Martin, Young Irelander, 1812-1875 Co. Down, Ireland

TIME LINE of the life of "Honest" John Martin taken from the 1893 book by P. A. Sillard entitled "The Life and Letters of John Martin".

"The name of John Martin ought not be forgotten." (Preface)

"Uncompromisingly honest he gave no quarter and took none—not even when the unasked-for "pardon" reached him in Van Diemen's Land would he seek to have it made unconditional that he might visit home and kindred in Ireland, because, in his opinion, that would be a tacit admission of the right of England to govern Ireland,—a right which he denied to the last. He took part in it [political life] simply for the benefit of his fellow-countrymen." (p. vi)

[in doing this biography] "I met with the warmest encouragement from his honoured widow and her sister-in-law (Mrs. John Mitchel)....[and] Miss Thomson." [he wrote Miss Thomson political letters over his lifetime—wonder who she was?] (p vii)

"In the whole record of his life there was (as those who knew him will not need to be told) nothing to conceal, nothing to be condoned, nothing that he said or did that might not be blazoned forth to the world. Nor did he ever—although he had great cause—allow himself to say anything harsh or uncharitable of those who forgot their professions of patriotism and deserted Ireland in her hour of need." (p viii)


8 Sept 1812—birth in Loughorne (although another reference says 28th Sept at Ringbane)

age 12—1824—began school in Newry at Dr. David Henderson's school. Met John Mitchel there. Walked frequently to Loughorne (5 miles) together. Suffered from Asthma.

age 17—1829 (Emancipation year?) —left Dr. Henderson's school

age 18—1830—Entered Trinity College in Dublin, as did John Mitchel. Did not reside at the college but at Loughorne. Came to Dublin to attend quarterly examinations.

age 19—1831—his father, Samuel, dies. Leaving a widowed mother with 7 children under age 17 (youngest age 1). Jane (older sister) had already eloped from college with Donald Frazer in 1830 over her father's protests—he refused to speak to her after that even when the first child was named after him, and they eventually went to Canada. John was the oldest child at home.

age 20—1832—passed all exams and took out degree in Arts.

age 21—1833—took up residence in Dublin (free from asthma attacks there) and since independent monitarily took up study of medicine.

age 23—1835—Uncle John's death—inherited his property including Loughorne House and £400 a year. Became small landlord and proprietor of own lands. Treated tenants and poor free of charge medically.

age 27—1839—visited America and Canada. Visited Jane Frazer, NY, Northern States, Toronto, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, Pittsburgh. Gone one year.

age 28—1840—came back to Ireland, took brief continental tour at end of year to Belgium Italy & Germany.

age 29—1841—(Young Ireland Party formed) In Loughorne. John Mitchel in Banbridge as a solicitor. They walked together.

age 30—1842—(The Nation newspaper began) John Mitchel writing for it.

age 31—1843—John Martin joins Repeal Association. (Mitchel already a member) Spoke twice that year for the organization

age 33-1845—Irish famine begins.

age 34—1846—Repeal Association falls apart. John Martin to Dublin & began writing for "Freeman" newspaper but was denied publishing. Ended association with Repeaters. Writes for the "Nation" newspaper, Mitchel's paper.

age 35—1847—1-lis mother dies. Living in Loughorne. James Martin (does the biographer mean Robert?) was living in Kilbroney. Sister, Mary Simpson, lived in Dublin, as did Mitchel. Irish Confederation begins with Martin as member. Martin frequently to Confederation Club meetings in Dublin. Abundant harvest but famine continues. Martin holds chair (unanimously) in Dublin at Conciliation Hall on hearings on famine.

age 36—1848—First "United Irishman" newspaper appears with article from Martin written from Loughorne. Mitchel accused of treason in March for writings in "United Irishman," his paper. In May Mitchel arrested and imprisoned in Newgate. Martin writes for newspaper & it is disbanded by government. John Mitchel sentenced to treason. Martin settles affairs in Loughorne and moves permanently to Dublin. Begins the newspaper "The Irish Felon"—only lasted 5 weeks—written by Martin—basis for his accusation of treason. Also began the "Felon Club"—semi-military organization. Habeas Corpus Act suspended by England. Warrant about 1 July? 8 July surrendered (to avoid having sitting Commission act on warrant—anti-Irish.) In Newgate Prison til 15 Aug when trial began. Aug 17 verdict of guilty. Aug 18 sentenced to transportation for 10 years to Van Dieman's Land. James Martin challenges foreman & is sentenced to a month's time in prison. John Martin to Richmond Prison until departure on ship: Elphinstone in late December. (actually didn’t leave til June 1849)

age 37-1849-November—arrives in Van Dieman's Land (actually October.) Lived in Bothwell near Hobart Town.

age 38—1850—April—Mitchel arrives in Van Dieman's Land and they live together.

age 39—I 851—summer—Mitchel's family arrives. He is no longer w/Martin.

age 41—1853—Smyth arrives to help Mitchel escape to America in Jan. Mitchel in America in October.

age 42—1854—"conditional pardon" given Martin. Sails for Europe (cannot visit Ireland) via Melbourne to Ceylon. Martin then goes overland via Aden, Cairo, Alexandria, Malta, Marseilles to Paris. Arrives Oct 1854.

age 44—1856—"unconditional pardon" Goes to Ireland to see family. Stayed a few months only. Back to Paris. (voluntary exile)

age 45—1857—Sister, Anna, died of consumption in Paris.

age 46—1858—Summer—took quiet tour of Ireland to see changes—received as hero. October- Robert & Millicent Martin die. Moves to Kilbroney to care for orphaned nephews and nieces.

age 47—1859—October—Martin goes to Paris to meet w/Mitchel. Returns to Kilbroney in November.

age 48-1 860—Martin and 3 others largely influence Irish national politics until 1865 by writing for "the Nation" newspaper.

age 49—1861—Mitchel & sons light for Confederacy in US Civil War until 1865.

age 52—1864—January—forms National League with others. Opposed to Fenian movement.

age 53—1865—April—Mitchel loses 2 sons in Civil War. Mitchel imprisoned by North at Fort Monroe from June to Oct. Fenians arrested.

age 54—1866—presiding officer of National League. January went to Paris to see Mitchel. Again in September to Paris to see Mitchel.

age 55—1867—Fenian movement terminated in disaster. National League also ceased to exist due to apathy of Irish people. Fenian insurrection quelled. Living in Kilbroney. August-tour of month to Continent (Paris, Rhine, Bohemia.) September— returns home to Kilbroney. Fenian arrests. November-Manchester Martyrs. December-Martin leads funeral committee and public demonstration. 4 days later he is again arrested!

age 56—1868--in Kilbroney—February (without counsel or attorney) defends himself at Green Street Court House, Dublin. All charges dropped. March - June—in Kilbroney. NOTE: Robert Martin's sons were so well taken care of by John Martin that one of them took first honours in science in Trinity College, and passed his other examinations brilliantly!? November- married Henrietta Mitchel (John's sister) in Hampstead, London. Went to Eastbourne for honeymoon, then London with her brother William, and then to Kilbroney for Christmas.

age 57—1869--January—Kilbroney. In Dublin in March to May. September—they sail for New York to visit family & Mitchel. Stay 8 months. Twice to Canada to see Jane Frazer. Lectured in Boston. Mitchel in Brooklyn. In Washington DC in December. In December honored by Celtic Association of Philadelphia at banquet at Lapierre House. While gone, Longford County proposed Martin as their MP candidate. Defeated.

age 58—1870—January—honored at banquet at Delmonico's in N.Y. with Horace Greeley as chair of event. Gave many speeches. Feb—visited Boston. Addressed "Irishmen & sons of Irishmen" social reunion at Music Hall. Entertained by Boston Irish society. March—addressed "Young Men's Catholic Association YMCA, Newark New Jersey. April—sailed for Ireland. May—"The Home Government Association of Ireland" established in Dublin. Martin attended. Vacancy occurs in Meath County for Member of Parliament. Martin’s name nominated.

age 59—1871—January—Martin triumphantly elected MP for "Royal Meath" by 2 to I vote. (one of the most Catholic constituencies in Ireland.) May—first Parliamentary speech by Martin on Coercion Bill. April—living in Seaview, Warrenpoint. Many trips of a few weeks to London to attend to Parliament. October—lecture on Home Government Association in Dundalk.

age 60—1872—Aug--delivers speech in Parliament exposing "notorious Galway election of Feb." Nov—at Warrenpoint.

age 61—1873-April—at Warrenpoint. Have to leave rental house for lack of funds. Can go to Loughorne Cottage but wife objects. May—go to London, then to Cork and Bantry and by September are at Waterford giving many speeches. September— back to Dublin. Active in Home Rule Association. On to Dromolane House in Newry. November—attended meeting of "The Irish Home Rule League" in Dublin. Becomes Secretary of League with ½ pay (at his request.)

age 62—1874—January—Parliament dissolved by Prime Minister Gladstone—elections in September resulted in 60 Home Rule seats won! Martin re-elected by overwhelming majority. Resigned as paid Secretary of League but remained as honorary secretary. July- September—Mitchel visits Ireland for first time since exile. November—in Dublin (41 Lower Mount Street)— mentions dining with Dr. Kidd.

age 62 1/2—1875—Feb—in London at Parliament. Mitchel back in Ireland to run for Parliament for Tipperary. Mr. Disraeli is Prime Minister. Gives 2nd to last speech at Parliament on Disraeli's attempt to prevent Mitchel from being elected to Parliament since he hadn’t served his full felon term. 2nd election for Mitchel complete triumph. March—Martin very ill—retired from London to Dromolane. Spoke at Newcastle, last public speech. Next day back to London. Next day learns Mitchel is dead. Sails for Dublin & then took train to Dromolane. Gave speech at his funeral. Fainted afterwards and was taken back to Dromolane and went to bed. Died 29 March, 1875, Easter Monday, of asthma, at Dromolane House 9 days after Mitchel died in same house. Buried at Donoughmore in father's grave. "Funeral procession large & impressive, all shades of opinion, both political and religious, being represented, as well as every public body in Ireland;... for "Honest John Martin."