Saint Catherines church, Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland.
Robert Emmett was born 4 March 1778 at 109 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. He was the youngest of his family & had 18 siblings, his father was the State physician. While studying at Trinity College Dublin he joined the College Historical Society which was a
debating society. When he later became involved with the United Irish society
he was expelled from Trinity. Following the 1798 rising he became involved with
re-organising the society & the British Authorities subsequently issued a warrant for his arrest. Emmett escaped & travelled abroad seeking military aid for a
rebellion & returned to Ireland in October 1802. On July 23rd 1803 Robert Emmett launched a minor rising in Dublin which was quashed
within a short time by British military forces with a loss of fifty rebels & 20 Crown forces.
Following the ill-fated rising, on 19 September Emmet was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death.
During his brief trial Emmett made a memorable speech from the dock which includes the immortal lines -
"Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them. let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written."
Emmett was hung & beheaded outside Saint Catherine's Church on September 20th 1803 aged 25.