Cane, Robert (DNB00)

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CANE, ROBERT, M.D. (1807–1858), Irish naturalist, was born at Kilkenny in 1807. After acting for some time as a pharmaceutical assistant, he found the means of attending the College of Surgeons, Dublin, and during a severe cholera epidemic distinguished himself by his devoted attendance on the patients in the cholera hospitals. He was also equally known for his patriotic real, and acted as chairman at democratic meetings of the medical students and alumni of Trinity College. He graduated M.D. in 1836, and, having settled in his native city, soon acquired a lucrative practice. He took a prominent part in public and political matters. He organised a banquet for O'Connell in Kilkenny in 1840, acted as steward on the occasion, and also was the chief promoter of the repeal movement in the city. In 1844 he was elected mayor of Kilkenny. He never altogether sympathised with the aims of the Young Ireland party. He had no share in the insurrection of 1848, but was arrested on 29 July, and for some time remained in prison. In 1853 he originated the Celtic Union, a semi-political and semiliterary society, one of the purposes of which was the publication of works relating to the history of Ireland. In connection with the society he edited a magazine, the ' Celt,' the first number of which appeared on 1 Aug. 1857. He also wrote in the series of works published by the society, 'History of the Williamite and Jacobite Wars of Ireland from their origin to the capture of Athlone,' 1859. He died of consumption on 16 Aug. 1858.

[Irish Quarterly Review, viii. 1004-96.]

T. F. H.