The New Student's Reference Work/Emmet, Robert
Em'met, Robert, an ill-fated Irish patriot, was born at Dublin in 1778. At fifteen he entered Trinity College, where Moore, the poet, was his fellow-student, but soon left to join the United Irishmen. He next traveled in Europe, talked with Napoleon and Talleyrand in 1802 on behalf of the Irish cause, and came back the next year to expend $15,000 of his own fortune for muskets and pikes. With a small band he designed a plot to seize Dublin Castle and make a prisoner of the viceroy. The rising utterly failed, and Emmet, who had clothed himself for the occasion in a green coat, white breeches and cocked hat, saw nothing result from the enterprise but a few ruffianly murders. He escaped, but coming back for a last leave-taking from his sweetheart, Sarah Curran, the daughter of the great Irish orator, he was arrested, put on trial Sept. 20, 1803, condemned to death, and hanged on the following day. Just before receiving sentence he made a speech which still thrills the reader by its noble and pathetic eloquence. See Madden's Lives of the United Irishmen.