His portrait, painted by Romney, is in the possession of his great-grandson, Charles Stuart Pringle. It has been engraved by James Walker and Thornthwaite. In 1778 Irwin married Honor, daughter of the Rev. William Brooke of Dromavana and of Firmount, co. Longford, and first cousin once removed of Henry Brooke (1703?–1783) [q.v.] , the author of ‘The Fool of Quality.’ By her he had three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, James Brooke Irwin, a captain in the 103rd regiment, was killed in the assault on Fort Erie in August 1814.
Irwin was the author of the following works: 1. ‘Saint Thomas's Mount; a Poem. Written by a Gentleman in India,’ London, 1774, 4to. 2. ‘Bedukah, or the Self-devoted, an Indian Pastoral,’ London, 1776, 4to. 3. ‘An Epistle to … George, Lord Pigot, on the Anniversary of the Raising of the Siege of Madras. Written during his Lordship's Confinement at St. Thomas's Mount’ [in verse], anon., London, 1778, 4to. 4. ‘Eastern Eclogues; written during a Tour through Arabia, Egypt … in the year mdcclxxvii,’ &c., anon., London, 1780, 4to. 5. ‘A Series of Adventures, in the course of a Voyage up the Red Sea, on the coasts of Arabia and Egypt, and of a Route through the Desarts of Thebais … in the year mdcclxxvii. … Illustrated with Maps,’ &c., London, 1780, 4to; 2nd edit., London, 1780, 4to; 3rd edit., ‘with a Supplement of a Voyage from Venice to Latichea, and of a Route through the Desarts of Arabia, by Aleppo, Bagdad, and the Tigris, to Busrah, in the years 1780 and 1781,’ &c., London, 1787, 8vo, 2 vols. Translated from the third edition into French by J. P. Parraud, Paris, 1792, 8vo, 2 tom. 6. ‘Occasional Epistles, written during a Journey from London to Busrah … in the years 1780 and 1781’ [in verse], London, 1783, 4to. 7. ‘Ode to Robert Brooke, Esq., occasioned by the death of Hyder Ally,’ London, 1784, 4to. 8. ‘The Triumph of Innocence; an Ode, written on the Deliverance of Maria Theresa Charlotte, Princess Royal of France, from the Prison of the Temple,’ London, 1796, 4to. 9. ‘An Enquiry into the Feasibility of the supposed Expedition of Buonaparté to the East,’ London, 1798, 8vo. 10. ‘Buonaparte in Egypt, or an Appendix to the Enquiry into his supposed Expedition to the East,’ Dublin, 1798, 8vo. 11. ‘Nilus, an Elegy. Occasioned by the Victory of Admiral Nelson over the French Fleet on August 1,1798,’ London, 1798, 4to. 12. ‘The Failure of the French Crusade, or the Advantages to be derived by Great Britain from the restoration of Egypt to the Turks,’ London, 1799, 8vo. 13. ‘The Bedouins, or Arabs of the Desert. A Comic Opera in three Acts [prose and verse]. With Corrections and Additions,’ Dublin, 1802, 12mo. 14. ‘Ode to Iberia’ London, 1808, 4to. 15. ‘The Fall of Saragossa, an Elegy,’ 1808, 4to. 16. ‘Napoleon, or the Vanity of Human Wishes,’ 1814, 4to, 2 pts. 17. ‘An Elegy to the Memory of Captain James Brooke Irwin, who perished … in the Assault of Fort Erie, Upper Canada, on the fifteenth of August, 1814,’ London, 1814, 4to, privately printed. 18. ‘An Essay on the Origin of the Game of Chess,’ prefixed to ‘The incomparable Game of Chess developed after a new Method … translated from the Italian of Dr. Ercole dal Rio [or rather D. Ponziani]. By J. S. Bingham,’ London, 1820, 8vo. This essay is an extract from a letter written by Irwin while at Canton, dated 14 March 1793, and communicated by the Earl of Charlemont to the Royal Irish Academy (see Transactions, vol. v. ‘Antiquities,’ pp. 53–63).
[Annual Biog. and Obit. 1818, ii. 221–36; European Mag. 1789 xv. 179–81 (with portrait), 1817 lxxii. 277; Gent. Mag. 1792 vol. lxii. pt. i. p. 276, 1817 vol. lxxxvii. pt. ii. p. 376, 1818 vol. lxxxviii. pt. i. pp. 93–4; Asiatic Journal, 1817, iv. 425; A Collection of Letters, chiefly between the Madras Government and Eyles Irwin, in the years 1781–5 (1888); Colonel William Fullarton's View of the English Interests in India, 1788; Bishop Caldwell's Political and General History of the District of Tinnevelly, 1881, pp. 82, 143–57; Georgian Era, 1834, iii. 465–6; Baker's Biog. Dramatica, 1812, vol. i. pt. i. pp. 390–3; Prinsep's Record of Services of Madras Civilians, 1885, p. 80; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1882, i. 199–200; Foster's Peerage, 1883, s.n. ‘Charlemont;’ Dictionary of Living Authors, 1816, p. 174; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. xi. 34; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
IRWIN, Sir JOHN (1728–1788), general, born in Dublin in 1728, was son of General Alexander Irwin, who entered the army in 1689, and was colonel of the 5th foot from 1737 until his death in 1752, holding important commands on the Irish establishment. While still very young John attracted the notice of Lionel, duke of Dorset, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, who appointed him page of honour about 1735 or 1736. Owing to his patron's interest and his father's rank in the army, he was given a company in his father's regiment (the 5th foot) while still a schoolboy. His commission as ensign bears the date 8 July 1736, and on 14 Jan. 1737 he became a lieutenant. At the close of 1748 his father granted him a year's furlough so that he might travel on the conti-