Reilly, Hugh (DNB00)

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REILLY, or more properly REILY, HUGH (d. 1695?), political writer, was born in co. Cavan, and became master in chancery and clerk of the council in Ireland in James II's reign. He went to France with James II, and is said to have been appointed lord chancellor of Ireland at the exiled king's court at St. Germains. In 1695 Reilly published ‘Ireland's Case briefly stated’ (12mo, 2pts.), without place on the title-page; another edition, also without place, appeared in 1720. It gives an account of the conduct and misfortunes of the Roman catholics in Ireland from the reign of Elizabeth to that of James II, and complains of the neglect they suffered under Charles II. The statements throughout are general, and few dates or particular facts are given. The last speech of Oliver Plunket [q. v.] is added. It is said that James II, offended by the tone of Reilly's book, dismissed him from his service. He is believed to have died in the year 1695.

The ‘Impartial History of Ireland’ (London, 1754) is a reprint of Reilly's ‘Ireland's Case,’ and it was again issued under the same title at Dublin in 1787, and as the ‘Genuine History of Ireland’ at Dublin in 1799 and in 1837. Burke's speech at the Bristol election of 1780 is printed with the edition of 1787, and a memoir of Daniel O'Connell with that of 1837. The form, paper, and type show that it was intended for the populace in Ireland; it was long almost the only printed argument in favour of Irish Roman catholics.

[Sir James Ware's Works, ed. Harris, Dublin, 1764; Reilly's Ireland's Case. ]

N. M.