Francis Arthur 1758 - 1824


Francis Arthur Patrick’s son played as big a part in the development of Limerick in his time as did his father, in fact he worked with his father to develop to develop the city and to further the Arthur family fortune. Officially Francis was Patrick’s only son as to date no record of any other son has been found but as is explained in the piece about Patrick of Ennistymon himself (he was born in 1743 before there are any birth records for Limerick). It seems possible that Patrick could have had two wives and therefore two families with the children of the first wife being written out of history to protect the succession of the children of the second wife. There was a Patrick Arthur born in 1743 (which would be correct for a first family) whose descendants were always told that they were directly descended from Patrick Arthur. Now if he was Patrick's son it would make sense as he followed the family tradition of Patrick being the name of the first male child. This Patrick died in 1841 at the age of 98. The times when Patrick had the children we know about would leave plenty of time for him to have had a first wife as it was not at all unusual for men at that time to have several wives and indeed for women to have several husbands. As mentioned in the last chapter a document has come to light in the registry of deeds that mentions a Patrick Fitz Patrick whish is Patrick the son of Patrick is this Francis elder half brother.

Francis was born about the year 1758 and as he grew up he showed himself to be a clever, sensible businessman. He got married and soon became a partner in his fathers business and like his father he was a merchant in the city. He soon came to possess large estates made up of both land and houses. He was a man with a social conscience and he always took a deep interest in the welfare and upkeep of Limerick. He was one of the leading Catholic citizens in the city of Limerick and in the year 1796 he raised a corps of Yeomanry Artillery at his own expense to help the Government of the day, against the French forces on the Shannon. For this he obtained the rank of Captain, a feat in the penal days, as Francis was a Catholic. (no Catholic was allowed to hold a military rank above sergeant) On the 15th. May 1798 the corps was disbanded.

Then the Catholics began to be ground down again and they decided to summon a great meeting in order to appeal to the King of England for redress. The delegates were to meet in Dublin in early 1798, but the protestant ascendancy feeling threatened by this did all they could to stop the meeting and intimidate the delegates. However in spite of their best efforts, the delegates did meet and they sent their petition to the King. As a result of this petition many of the restrictions on Catholics were lifted. The Earl of Clare (Fitzgibbon) was a leading member of the group that opposed any lifting of the restrictions on Catholics and he was one of those responsible for calling a meeting of magistrates and freeholders in Limerick. Francis Arthur engaged a counselor, Mr. Powell, to attend this meeting and to plead the cause of the Catholics. Although counselor Powell was there at great personal risk, he did all he could to plead the case of the Catholics, but his efforts were in vain. An anti Catholic resolution was passed and it was published in the public press of the day in large type. The Catholics met again with Francis Arthur as chairman of the meeting. They drew up another statement in opposition to the Protestant resolution and Francis signed it as their chairman. It was then sent to and published by the press.

It is said that the Earl of Clare, who was also the Lord High Chancellor was wild with rage and anger that Francis Arthur a mere Papist should dare to act so. Stephen Roche, an agent of the Earl of Clare and Sir Christopher Knight came to Francis to point out the enormity of his “ crime” and to tell him how he had angered the Earl of Clare. They also warned him to be careful in the future, as the Earl of Clare had learned many things about him that could be seen as disloyal to the crown. Francis simply declared his innocence. Matters became much worse for Francis when shortly afterwards he proposed a Mr. Maunsell for election as M.P. in the coming general election. This action only served to make his enemies even more determined to deal with this upstart and some who previously had no strong opinion on the matter begun to turn against him.

On Thursday May 12th. Francis was speaking to a friend in the presence of a British officer when the latter remarked “ On Tuesday next everyone will be surprised at some of the arrests that will be made”. On Tuesday May 29th. While Francis was at breakfast with his family, a number of British officers entered the dining room and told him that they wanted to speak privately with him. He was immediately informed that he was under arrest and he was ordered to give up his keys. The officers next approached his wife, took her keys and ordered the family to quit the house there and then. Mrs. Arthur protested to the British officers but to no avail and she and the children had to leave and seek shelter at her fathers home. Francis was then handed over to Sheriff Lloyd, just as Major General Morrison arrived at the scene. Francis told Morrison that he would hold him personally responsible for a thousand guineas in gold and a quantity of valuables and papers that were in the house. The military placed seals on the doors and presses of the house and Francis was removed to prison in Mary Street. He was placed in a foul and stuffy cell. He petitioned for air and his old father Patrick, then 81 years of age came to see him. He too asked that air might be allowed to his son with the result that the jailor broke two panes of glass in the window. Francis then demanded to be told of the charges against that were being brought against him but the only answer he got was that he was being arrested by order of the Government. His wife applied to have a doctor sent to her husband but her application was refused. She then sent some food and refreshments to Francis but the jailer and sergeant assaulted the messenger and he returned covered in blood.

 On June 22nd. While Francis lay ill he was told that he would be tried the next day. He asked about having a legal council but he was refused permission to have any legal representation.


On the following day the court martial sat and the Judge Advocate read out the charges against Frances. What The Judge Advocate read out “ Francis Arthur you stand charged with having aided and assisted in the present rebellion.”  He was also charged with:- [1]  having offered money to Lord Edward Fitzgerald for rebellious purposes [2] for having employed one Figgin’s for  raising men in the west and [3] with having firearms and pikes hidden in hogs head’s. 

The only witness the prosecution had was a Mr. William Maum a man had long been a notorious vagabond, had been convicted of treasonable practices, and was then under sentence of transportation for life. He was on his way to Waterford to be shipped off with other convicts for Botany Bay, when he was stopped by order of Government at Clonmel. How he was tampered with there, it is impossible to be certain other than that the names of Hargrove and Arthur were there suggested to him, either one of whom it would appear he had not the least knowledge of or ever met.  . Francis was now on trial for his life.  It appears also, that some assurance was given to him by the High Sheriff of the County of Tipperary (Thomas Fitzgerald) or so he told Hare, which made him     (Maum) see he had an interest in convicting some people he did not know, by describing them as his accomplices. Maum was a character so blasted and under legally incapable of giving testimony in a court of Justice (because he was a convicted and unpardoned felon). This was the man called up to accuse of high treason, a respectable gentleman, whose loyalty to the crown he had proved many times, and had always enjoyed an unimpeachable reputation.

The accusation being made against Francis was obviously upon the face of it a wild and absurd fabrication. Maum said that on the day Peter Finnerty was set in the pillory in Dublin, he met Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Counselor Sampson in Dame-street, and walked with them to the Printing Office of a Newspaper called The Press, where Lord Edward gave him two letters directed to Francis Arthur at Limerick, one a circular letter, and open, merely notifying, that there would be an insurrection in March, to supersede the present Government, and elect another Government more on the principles of liberty. The other sealed and in manuscript, which spoke of money, or contracts for money, for the use of the Rebels or United Irishmen. He left Dublin shortly afterwards on the two day couch to Limerick, where he put up at one Andersons, and from there he went to Ward's a Silversmith on Balls-bridge, to purchase some articles. In the course of conversation, Maum enquired of him, where Mr. Arthur lived, and Anderson showed him the house, he then left Anderson to fetch a bundle he had left at the mail coach office, and on his return knocked at Mr. Arthur's door, which was opened by a manservant, who told him his master was at home. A person came to the door, received the letters, read them, and when Maum said he knew the contents, he promised to comply with them, and asked Maum to call again in the morning. The next morning Maum went to the same house, and asking for Mr. Arthur, was told, that Mr. Arthur was at the review with his artillery corps. Maum, together with Ward, went to the review, and after his return from there to Limerick he immediately set out for county Cork, without calling on Mr. Arthur. Sometime after, however, he received a letter by the post at Charleville, signed, Francis Arthur, in which he was offered any sum of money he might want for Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

 At this stage the prosecution realized that the date Maum had given for being in Dublin did not include the day on which Peter Finnerty was in the pillory in Dublin and the days and dates he was in Limerick and Cork did not match the evidence he had given. If Maum’s evidence of where he was and when he was there were investigated it would be simple to prove that he had been lying as while he had been in those places he had not been there when he said he was. When Maum was asked whether Mr. Arthur's were a corner or a middle house, or one that he could find again; be answered, that he could not tell, nor could he find the house again, for it was dark when he called there, and he had never been in Limerick before or since till he was brought there to testify for the prosecution. When he was asked if he called at Mr. Arthur's house more than once, he distinctly said, that he had not.

The Court asked Maum, is the prisoner the person, to whom you delivered the letter?  He answered without hesitation, yes, that is he but asked again, "are you sure?" he reduced his positive answer to the more cautious reply of, "why it was dark, I cannot be sure." Maum having sworn, that Mr. Arthur had promised to comply with the request contained in Lord Edward Fitzgerald's letter, if Maum would call upon him "the next morning, it was natural to suppose, that some important reason could be given by Maum for omitting, when he came back from the review, to call upon Mr. Arthur, and proceeding without the money to County Cork the Court therefore asked Maum to explain this conduct. His answer was, I was in a hurry to get to County Cork, where I expected larger sums, than from Mr. Arthur. He was then asked what it was he expected from Mr. Arthur and he replied twenty guineas. Twenty guineas, ejaculated the President in a tone of surprise and dissatisfaction.

 There were also two others who came forward and all they had to add was that they said that they had heard the story from others.  William Ward a silversmith where Maum was supposed to have bought some Items but he had no record of him having been there. Joseph Anderson was the man with whom Maum was supposed to have stayed while in Limerick and to have shown him Francis Arthur’s house, Anderson said that he had not shown Maum Mr. Arthur’s house, however Colonel Cockell and Captain Brand said that Anderson had told them that he had pointed out Mr. Arthur’s house to Maum.

Here the first charge closed. In support of the two remaining charges, viz. raising men and concealing arms, the only witness produced was Edward Sheehy, who had been master of a country school, and was then a prisoner in custody to be tried by the Court martial for treasonable practices. Sheehy said, "that he had heard from a man called Hogan, that someone called Higgins had been employed by a Mr. Arthur to raise men in the West. Farther, that one Cassidy of the Longford militia, also told him, that one McMahon of the Artillery had informed Cassidy that a Mr. Arthur had guns and pikes concealed in hogsheads. When asked about Mr. Arthur, Sheedy replied I can’t tell, I don’t know him and with this the interrogation of Sheehy ceased.

Two other witnesses were produced on the part of the prosecution, not to one or other of the charges specifically, but to give such corroborating testimony in general, as they could furnish. One was called Saunders, the other was called Shee, and both were from Charleville when they were sworn in they each gave the same answer, “that they did not know the prisoner or any thing about him." This drew an expression of surprise from the court, and the President said significantly, "they were both friends of Maum" it was now beginning to become clear, that, according to the proverb, what was every body's business has been a little neglected; and that the organization of the evidence had not been as well arranged, as was expected. The president now declared the prosecution closed. Mr. Arthur was ordered to be ready with his defense for Monday the 25th June. Then it seems that although Francis was ordered to prepare his defense they did all they could to prevent him preparing it. This they did by denying him the means to prepare it, even though he was locked up before, from now on he had two additional guards placed at his door, and access was denied to every person, even to his guard and turnkey. On the next day, Sunday, Colonel Cockell called upon Mr. Arthur, with the printed proclamation of martial law, by the Lord Lieutenant, and pointed out that part, which directed trials to be conducted in a most summary way, adding, that the General was very angry the court had not closed the business on Saturday. Note this court marshal started before martial law was declared giving it some legitimacy and the case should have been taken in the civil court.

You could ask why Sheedy’s evidence was brought up in court as what Sheehy could say, must have been known before the trial, and indeed there are grounds for believing that Sheehy evidence had been previously investigated by Colonel Cockell. McMahon and Cassidy were described as" being in the King's service, consequently could have been brought forward, and it would seem that Hogan and, Higgins could also have been produced. What they could have told must have been known, and its quality may be judged by their evidence not being introduced into Court.

Now in order to prepare his defense Francis gave Colonel Cockell a list of the witnesses he wanted to be summoned, in order to prove his absence from Limerick at the period fixed by Maum. "They will be of no use to you replied Colonel Cockell," as we know from the Mail Coach-book, that you were absent from the 5th to the 23d of February. You will find the time very different to-morrow. Francis then asked what time would now be fixed for his supposed interview with Maum, that he might prepare his defense accordingly. Yet even this was refused him even though this information would have been of little use to him as he was prevented from communicating with anyone except the Colonel himself. Francis persevered, in saying, that the attendance of those witnesses was necessary for him, particularly Cassidy, McMahon, Hogan and Higgins. The answer he received from the Colonel was, “We have no' power to compel the attendance of any witness”. Surely replied Mr. Arthur, Cassidy and McMahon at least may be obliged to attend. On that point the Colonel said we have enquired, and we find that there is not, nor has there been a man of the name of McMahon in the detachment quartered here. The city and district being under martial law, it is very clear, that the professed inability to compel the attendance of witnesses was a cruel excuse.

Eventually Colonel Cockell consented to transmit the list of witnesses to Mrs. Arthur. On Saturday evening, after the Court had adjourned, Mrs. Arthur, by accident, heard that Maum, had been an usher under the Rev. William Dunn, master of the public school in Charleville. When she got this information she sent Mr. Peter Arthur to Charleville, when he returned on Sunday with a written document, stating, that Maum was in Charleville at the time, when he said he came from Dublin to Limerick. He also got information about a number of other things relative to Maum, which would satisfactorily refute many parts of Maum's evidence. He brought a promise, that many respectable persons would attend on Tuesday, if the trial could be put off till that day, as they had to go to the at Spancil-hill fair on Monday (a meeting where the principal people of the country negotiate their affairs, and where they cannot without suffering great loss should they fail to appear) this prevented their voluntary attendance on Monday. Since Colonel Cockell refused to summon them, Mr. Arthur did not have the power to compel them to attend. Mrs. Arthur spoke to the President of the Court, and petitioned for one day's delay; his answer was, that it depended not on him, but that General Morrison was the person, to whom the application should be made. Having failed in this application, Mrs. Arthur went to the Bishop of Limerick, Doctor Bernard, who agreed to deliver her petition to the General, and to testify as to the truth of the representation respecting the occupation of the witnesses at the fair. Still the General remained inflexible. Early on Monday morning Mrs. Arthur again went to see him and he sent his Aid-de-camp, Captain Brand, to tell her, that he could not see her as it would not be consistent with his duty. She replied, that the favor she asked was in writing, and she would rely on his humanity to comply with the contents. The Aid-de-camp replied that duty, alas, must take place of humanity and the General could not grant her request as Mr. Arthur had been charged as a rebel, and this obliterated all other considerations.

Before the defense opened, John Creagh, Esq. a gentleman and a lawyer by profession as well as being an alderman of Limerick and the oldest magistrate of the County, expressed a wish to assist Mr. Arthur in his defense. Mr. Sheriff Lloyd told him that if he were a friend of Mr. Arthur he had no business there. The Sheriff then planted himself opposite the prisoner to see, that nobody should communicate with him, and soon after made a formal complaint to the Court, that Mr. Arthur's father had delivered to the prisoner, the names of Peppard, Hare and Shee, with those of other witnesses. It was under these circumstances that the Court opened. The President began by declaring that Maum, having had time to recollect himself, was cooler, and could now better ascertain the time of delivering the letters. It should be remembered how, according to Colonel Cockell's acknowledgment, the Court had been told how Maum's needed to correct his dates, and we should not be astonished that the President of the court wanted to bring this change of evidence before the Court, because if Maum’s original evidence stood it was clear that Maum had sworn falsely.  It was clear; that in the correction he was about to make, he would perjure himself again in changing the times he had first given. The president of the court continually intervened in Maum’s second deposition to help him to remember the evidence he was supposed to give although this was not his job as he should have been impartial.

Soon after the Court met to hear Mr. Arthur's defense, Joseph Andersen, one of the witnesses for the Crown appeared standing on the Pillory close to the Exchange and opposite to the Council Chamber, where the Court Martial sat. He appeared to be placed there as a Scarecrow to intimidate any witnesses, who might appear against the prosecution. It was now observed by the Court, that frequent notes were from time to time delivered to the prisoner, to enable him to cross examine Maum, and on enquiry by the President, where Mr. Arthur could obtain his information.

 A note was passed to the President of the court, which said that a revolutionary committee was sitting in the adjoining tavern. This revolutionary committee consisted of Mr. Arthur's witnesses, who were about ten in number, all respectable inhabitants of Limerick. They were not allowed to be in Court during the examination of other witnesses, and could not remain in the street, which was kept clear by the military, who, on pretense of attending the punishment of Anderson, surrounded the Court in great numbers on every side, they were waiting therefore at an hotel near the court, till they should be respectively called to give their testimony.

 Because of the note the trial was stopped, the Judge Advocate was sent to secure those persons  (Francis witnesses) , for which purpose he placed guards at the front and rear of the hotel, with orders to let none of them out, before the breaking up of the Court, and he also seized all the documents and papers, which Mr. Arthur's friends had been able to collect in the short interval since Saturday, when the nature of the charge first become known to them. Among others he seized the authenticated papers brought from Charleville by Mr. Peter Arthur, who was himself one of those witnesses so detained, which documents were intended to be used in the prisoner's defense: but the Judge Advocate would not now suffer them to be used, retaining them in his possession, on his return to the Court. This contempt of justice, which they barely tried to hide, shows in, part the state of Ireland at that time. Francis now found himself without the information and evidence his friends had worked so hard to gather in such a short time, but problems did not end there here. Mr. Sheriff Lloyd, who had planted himself opposite to the prisoner during the trial, actually complained to the Court, that the aged father of Mr. Arthur had communicated to his son, the names of Hare, Peppard and Shee with some others, who were capable of bearing important testimony, and who fortunately had not been with those, who were just taken into custody. The Court again strictly forbad any communication with the prisoner, and ordered, that no document or paper should be handed to him, without having been first submitted to the perusal of the Court.

From the steps, that had been taken it seemed little was left in Francis power to produce in his defense yet less than little appeared sufficient, for nothing seemed necessary to destroy the credit of such a confused and contradictory narrative, as Maum had offered, especially when the recorded infamy of that witness was entirely known to the Court. Still the wisdom and solicitude of Mr. Arthur's friends made them deem it advisable, not to leave the prosecution a semblance of probability to shelter itself under; from this wish, rather than from any apprehensions of his own, he called the witnesses, which had been indicated to him.

Mathew Hare, permanent Sergeant of the Clanwilliam Cavalry, swore, that he received Maum into his custody at Clonmel from the High Sheriff of the County of Tipperary, Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald, and his orders were to treat Maum well, and with indulgence, as a person, who would give material information to Government. At General Morison’s lodgings in Limerick, Maum wrote a letter to Mr. Richard Peppard, which he gave to the witness (Matthew Hare), who read part of it, and then forwarded it; here the letter was produced to the Court. Maum being questioned, if it was his hand writing, acknowledged it, and said in great confusion to the President, "you know, Sir, that it was but lately, that I gave information against Mr. Arthur, and that I did not wish to do it." It was of great importance, that the meaning of the word lately should be defined, and that Maum should explain how he was compelled or induced against his wish to give his testimony on this occasion. If you think about it, it does not seem likely, that Maum could have had scruples about working out his own pardon by criminating any other person. So that his reluctance to accuse Mr. Arthur seem to have rested solely on his realization, that his lack of knowledge of anything, relating to Francis would leave his tale so liable to detection, as that it could, not be borne through with any chance of success. Cross-examination might have found this out.


Maum wrote a letter from his detention in Limerick to a Mr. Richard Peppard,

The letter was as follows.


Dear Sir,

I had not an opportunity this morning of informing you of the circumstances, which brought me from Waterford to this town, they are as follows, I was remanded to Limerick by an order from Government, my name being found on Lord Edward Fitzgerald's roll, and intimating, that I was to hold a very excellent command in the Counties of Cork and Limerick. I cannot conjecture what is now to be done with me. 1 was asked if I knew Mr. Hargrove, I declared I never spoke to him in my life, much less to Mr. Arthur, who it seems was likewise nominated in his Lordship's muster. 1 hope 1 may be sent to Cork, that I may have a second interview with the lads of Charleville.


W. Maum.

Maum was asked, when, and why he wrote that letter, his answer was, I wrote it at the General's lodgings. This letter probably saved Francis from a sentence of death, as it made clear that Maum did not know Mr. Arthur.



Sylvester Shee, a prisoner then in custody, and to be tried by the Court Martial, was now called for by Mr. Arthur, at which the Court seemed very much surprised, and Major Carlisle, addressing himself to the prisoner, asked him to what point he meant to call Shee. Francis replied to prove the infamous character of the witness Maum, the Major answered that the Court was already fully informed in this matter, you need not take any trouble to confirm it. Mr. Arthur, however, persisted and Sylvester Shee was produced and sworn. He said, that he had lodged information against Maum, which was then in General Morison’s hand. This was strong proof, that Maum could not be an unbiased witness. It is scarcely credible, that such information, which must have gone to protect Maum's life, he being already under sentence of transportation could be made use of to intimidate him to come forward as prosecutor of Mr. Arthur, yet it would be difficult to account otherwise for his expressions to the President, You know, Sir, it is but lately I gave information against Mr. Arthur and I did not wish to do. Mr. Arthur was proceeding with his cross examination, when Major Carlisle again solemnly assured Mr. Arthur it was totally unnecessary for him to proceed, as the Court were fully apprised of the infamous character of Maum. Francis naturally believing, that the Court were satisfied on this material point, relinquished the farther examination of the witness Shee.

Two servants of Mr. Arthur said, that Mr. Arthur slept after dinner, when he bad no company, never allowing himself to be disturbed at that time, and that he was not called out to any person whatever during any evening of the last winter or spring. This was-confirmed by Mrs. Arthur, who added, that Mr. Arthur had always talked of Lord Edward Fitzgerald as a madman, who wanted to excite a rebellion in the kingdom. The rest of Mr. Arthur's witnesses being in custody, and he not having had the means of learning what facts they meant to substantiate, no other defense could be offered.

 While Francis was cross-examining Maum the president of the court addressed Francis and said you yourself admitted on Saturday, that Maum did call at your house an accusation that was not true but since Francis had not been allowed top keep notes of the proceedings he could not immediately recall if he had ever said such a thing. This was intended to make Mr. Arthur look guilty and Mr. Arthur’s attempts to answer the question were continually interrupted by the judge advocate and a different interpretation put upon his replies, which he had to give in writing. It was now clear to Francis that no matter what the truth of the matter was the court marshal was determined to find him guilty.

He was removed from the court and sent back to prison where all his belongings were taken from him including the contents of his pockets. At 9 o’clock in the night the Assistant Adjutant General Cockell brought to him the sentence of the court martial. The sentence was as follows. "You are to be transported to Botany Bay for life; to be sent off to-morrow morning; and you are to pay a fine of £5,000 plus 1000 guineas that was held in Francis house to the King forthwith, or your entire property will be confiscated. Immediately after the trial closed, those witnesses for Mr. Arthur, who had been kept under a strong guard during the trial, were ordered into court, the President, telling them, he regarded them as a revolutionary committee, assembled to overawe the court, menaced them for having dared to harbor so traitorous a purpose, and then after much insulting language, and boasting of his own leniency in not subjecting them to punishment, he finally dismissed them.

Mrs. Arthur was permitted to see her husband in Goal, provided it should be in the presence of the General's Aid de Camp, Captain Brand, and on the express condition, that she should not attempt to give her husband the any information about any steps, that had been taken, in attempting to get his sentence reversed, or to give him any hope of being pardoned or released. In order to be allowed to see her husband she had to agree to these restrictions. Captain Brand sat between her and her husband all the time of her visit in the prison, and Francis was kept in the cruelest suspense till the moment of his final liberation.

It seems, that the prosecutors were aware of the possibility that Lord Cornwallis might interrupt their proceedings. They had reason to suspect, that representations would be instantly made to his Excellency about the course they were pursuing. Mr. Gorman, the prisoner’s nephew, was present at the trial on Saturday, and fearing, from the violence of the proceedings, how it might finish, set off for Dublin and arrived there early on Sunday morning. He presented a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, stating, that Mr. Arthur was an eminent merchant of Limerick, father of a large family, and a man of independent property, who had made great exertions for Government, when the enemy appeared on the Coast, and whose loyalty was never impeached, except by one Maum, a convict for his treasonable practices, and under sentence of transportation. That the prosecution had been closed on Saturday, and the defense ordered to be ready for Monday, and therefore (praying, that, even if the prisoner was sentenced, the execution of it might be delayed, until his Excellency should see the minutes of the Court Martial. In answer, his Excellency was pleased to inform Mr. Gorman (a nephew of Francis from Co. Clare), though the medium of Mr. Cooke (the under Secretary of State) " that the prayer of his petition was granted, and that a King's messenger had been dispatched that moment for the purpose to Major General Morrison. The messenger arrived in Limerick at 5 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday the 26th of      June, and immediately delivered the orders for suspending the execution of any sentence on Mr. Arthur, and to transmit the minutes of the Court Martial. This order came in time to prevent Mr. Arthur's being sent off that morning at for transportation.

But notwithstanding the express direction of the Lord Lieutenant, that the execution of the sentence should be delayed, until he saw the minutes of the Court Martial, General Morrison levied the fine of five thousand pounds, as previously imposed by the Court. Mr. Gorman returned on Tuesday, and on hearing of the General's determination to levy the fine, he went to him, to remonstrate against this demand, so contrary to his Excellency's orders. To which the General replied, " I have received Lord Castlereagh's letter respecting Mr. Arthur, and shall use my discretion for the contents. I order the money to be paid. Colonel Cockell, attended by the Collector of his Majesty's Revenue, George Maunsell, Esq. who left his station in the Custom-house for this purpose, came to Mr. Arthur's house, took out of his desk a bag containing 1,000 guineas (the economic power of which in 2015 would be £6,826,000.00 ), and then sent for Mr. Arthur's father who was obliged to give another £5,000 (the economic power of which in 2015 would be £31,030,000.00). It would appear that since General Morrison was going to be prevented from exiling Francis to Botany Bay (Mr. Maum’s inconsistent evidence prevented his execution) he would at least extract the fine from him 

The General transmitted the minutes of the Court Marshal to Government by the King's messenger, to Lord Castlereagh. The Chief Secretary of Ireland in his answer to the General's letter conveying the minutes, wrote: “I am directed by his Excellency, to acquaint you, that his Excellency desires, that the sentence of the Court Martial held upon Mr. Arthur of Limerick be remitted; and desires, that you will take security for his quitting Ireland, and not returning until the present troubles have subsided, and he receives license for that purpose”.

Soon after this letter Lord Castlereagh wrote another, from which the following is an extract:  “Upon further enquiry from Major General Morrison, His Excellency desires "the fine paid may be returned, and that Mr. Arthur may "be allowed to go to Great Britain, or any other part at "peace with his Majesty." The above note is underwritten, by order of Major General Morrison.

Henry Brand, Aid de Camp.


This change or commutation of sentence of transportation to Botany Bay to that of general and indefinite banishment, especially in the case of an eminent Merchant, with a large family, from the place of his birth, his residence, his friends, and extensive commercial concerns appears to import, that the full minutes of the Court Martial had not been fairly transmitted-to Government, otherwise such sentences could not have been inflicted on any innocent and oppressed man.


Dublin Castle, 30th June 1798.


Mr. Arthur received through Mr. Gorman the above extracts from General Morrison as the final order of Government for his quitting Ireland. On Tuesday the 3rd. July, Mrs. Arthur sent a petition to his Excellency, praying either a reversal of the sentence, or such farther enquiry as might enable her husband to prove his innocence, upon a full dispassionate and cool investigation of his case. In support of this petition, she enclosed a short abstract of the trial, and some few general and obvious remarks together with the affidavits, copies of which are subjoined, confirming the several facts stated in her petition.

Though Mrs. Arthur had been led to expect, from the strength of these affidavits, either a reversal of her husband's sentence, or a re-investigation of his case, no answer was given by his Excellency. But on Friday, the 6th of July, five days after, General Morrison received his Excellency's order for liberating Mr. Arthur. Colonel Cockell gave Mr. Arthur the first indication of any disposition in Government to relieve him from suspense by informing him, that Government directed, that he was to be liberated, and his fine to be returned, on giving security for quitting Ireland, and not returning until the present troubles had subsided, or that he received license for so doing.

Therefore was Mr. Arthur not only closely confined, and all intercourse with him strictly forbidden for five days, contrary to the order of Government, but his mind was kept on the rack during this period by the uncertainty of his fate. Colonel Cockell then added, you must not stir out of your house, and in twenty-four hours you must quit Limerick. Francis left Limerick accordingly, and on his arrival in Dublin waited on Mr. Cooke, the under Secretary of state, who asked him to remain in Dublin, as he intended making farther enquiries, and that he would send down for Maum.

 On the 16th of September, Mr. Arthur wrote to Mr. Cooke, praying, that as Maum was now brought up, the investigation might take place, and offering at the same time to prosecute him for a conspiracy against his life. To this letter Mr. Cooke did not honor Mr. Arthur with an answer and Francis therefore took the liberty of representing his situation by letter to the Lord Lieutenant; humbly praying, something might be done, as his wish was to go to England on the reversal of the sentence against him.

Hubert Taylor, Esq. private Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, informed Mr. Arthur the next day that his Excellency would speak to Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Cook about Mr. Arthur, and Mr. Taylor was pleased to add, that he considered his case a very difficult one Francis feeling himself disappointed, at last, on the 28th of September, presented a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, acknowledging the remission of his sentence on the condition of his quitting Ireland with liberty to reside in any other at peace with his Majesty.

 But as Maum was now brought up from Cork by Mr. Cook's order, and Mr. Arthur by the same order was restrained from going to England, pursuant to his sentence, he therefore prayed a complete reversal of the sentence, or an investigation of the particulars of the trial, with liberty to prosecute Maum for perjury. To this petition Mr. Arthur annexed copies of Mrs. Arthur's petition, and the affidavits laid before his Excellency, on the 4th July, together with copies of his letter to Mr. Secretary Cooke, requesting investigation.


On the 3d October, Mr. Arthur received the following letter from Mr. Secretary Taylor.

Sir, Dublin Castle, 3d October 1798,

“Having laid before the Lord Lieutenant your memorial and the enclosures, I am directed to acquaint you that his Excellency's opinion, with respect to the nature of Maum's evidence against you, has already sufficiently appeared from his decision in your cause; nor does he consider, that any further advantage can result from the prosecution of a man actually sentenced to be transported to Botany Bay, independent of which, as such prosecution must necessarily be carried on before a civil Court of Judicature, the delay of attending it would ill agree with your wish to proceed as soon as possible to England.

I have the honor to be, &c.

H. Taylor.


Francis decided to address the Lord Lieutenant by letter, stating, that from the tenor of Mr. Secretary Taylor's letter, he was induced to think, his Excellency must have alluded to a total reversal of the sentence against him, though such had not been communicated to him. He, therefore, requested his Excellency to direct that an authentic copy of his Excellency's decision would be given to him. Mr. Taylor informed Francis the next day, that his Excellency could do no more, than he had already done in his case, and referred him to Mr. Secretary Cooke. Francis applied to Mr. Secretary Cooke for a copy of the Lord Lieutenant's decision, who told him his Excellency’s decision was verbally given, and not in writing. Thus Mr. Arthur could obtain no satisfaction on this very important point. At length, after many applications, Mr. Arthur was honored with the following letter.


Sir, Dublin Castle, 10th October 1798,

I have examined William Maum, whose evidence, I am clear is false. He will be sent off and transported, and there cannot be any objections to your going whither you think most eligible. As far as 1 can give testimony to your character, I shall ever do it by saying, that I think it by no means implicated from any lying asserted by Maum, and I certainly never heard any aspersion upon you from any one else.

I have the honor to be, &c. To Francis Arthur, Esq. E. Cooke.


For, though according to Mr. Secretary Cook's letter Maum were to be sent off and transported; yet soon after Mr. Arthur's sailing for England, Maum was set at liberty, and publicly walking the streets of Cork, where he continued till the middle of January 1799. At that time he was again arrested, not, apparently because of his former sentence of transportation, but for having advertised his intention of publishing an account of Mr. Arthur's trial, yet even under this arrest, he was only sent to the guard house, and kept in the Officers sitting room, with orders to be treated civilly, and there he was frequently visited by the late High Sheriff of the County of Tipperary, Colonel Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald. Maum was at last sent on board the transport ship Minerva, Captain Joseph Salkeld, and sailed with other convicts for Botany Bay on the 24th August, 1799.

Francis was very distressed because the government would not allow a new investigation of his case, and prosecute Maum for perjury, or to obtain a public reversal of his own sentence. He decided to make a final effort toward a public exculpation, and he again took the liberty of addressing both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Cooke by letter, asking that he be allowed to insert in the Dublin Newspapers copies of Mr. Secretary Taylor's and Cooke's letters to him. Mr. Taylor did not honor him with an answer, but he received the following letter from Mr. Cooke.


Sir, Dublin Castle, 18th October 1798.

To Francis Arthur, Esq.


I have received the honor of your letter. I should rather wish, under the present circumstances, that no publication should appear. 1 thing a time more eligible than the present may arrive for any publication, and I shall be willing on a future day to assist your wishes. As you have been so good to defer to my opinion, 1 have taken the liberty to give it you, without specifying all my reasons.

I have the honor to be E. Cooke.


Francis realizing that Government was determined to shut up every avenue for his justification for the moment, and to leave him under the impression, that he was liable to be arrested, if he remained in Ireland, obtained the necessary passport and embarked for England with his family, on the 25th October, 1798. In 1799 a letter was received in Limerick, by Thomas Francis Wilkinson, Esq. by the regular post from Cobh, near Cork which in effect said that Mr. Maum wished to make a full confession of his part in the persecution of Mr. Francis Arthur. As a result of this letter Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Martin Arthur, and Mr. Peter Arthur, left Limerick, post haste, for the Cobh of Cork, on the way they were joined by Kilner Brasier, Esq. late High Sheriff of the County of Cork, and Thomas Holmes of said County, Esq. and these gentlemen received from Wm. Maum the promised confession hereunto annexed, directed to Mr. Wilkinson, near the Exchange, Limerick.


Here is the text of the letter received by Thomas Francis Wilkinson from Maum.


Sir, Minerva, Cove, 5th August, 1799,


I suppose you will be surprised at receiving a letter from me. I desire you, if you value the interest of your friend, Mr. Arthur, to come off instantly to Captain Salkeld here, who will give some information, which will not only surprise you, but the entire kingdom, I have fully delineated every matter, which contributed to his arrest, his trial, and the conduct of every officer, who has been concerned, and the villainous manner I have been compelled to be concerned on that trial, carried on by every species of dishonor. When you have every part of the proceeding, your mind will be immersed in astonishment and you will likewise assert, that Maum was not a villain, no, Mr. Arthur owes life to him, notwithstanding the different opinions to the contrary, when you see my account of the business, you will look on some of the gentlemen, in Charleville, with these associates in Limerick, with merited detestation; as Mr. Arthur owes all  his unmerited confinement and temporary embarrassment, to their little suspected villainy.

  You may imagine I was concerned in Mr. Arthur's arrest; I assert the contrary, he was arrested by reason of his acquaintance with Mr. Hargrove, and on no other charge. I stood firm against all their intrigues, until the 17th of June, and you will be surprised at the manner they then compelled me, to accede to Anderson's oath, which I made him retract afterwards by a conversation I had with him in the council chamber, which saved Mr. Arthur's life. Come to me, therefore, or write to Captain Salkeld, or to me, and you shall receive the entire proceedings, they are of the greatest importance to Mr. Arthur, and I request you, or some friend of his, will come off without delay, you will find, that Maum, instead of being an object of detestation, by reason of that villainy, should be rather an object of surprise, as you will, when you see the proceedings readily acknowledge, you will in my account find an accurate account- of the conduct of every officer, and private gentlemen in Limerick, who (to my knowledge) were concerned in this trial, expecting your speedy arrival.


I am, Sir,

Your obedient humble servant,

Wm. Maum.

P. S. I wish my account of the business may be published before I leave this kingdom, as I defy any of the officers, or Gentlemen mentioned, to contradict any assertions from me, I should have no objection to your publishing this letter.

Admitted to be his letter, in presence of us, on board the Minerva, in the Cobh of Cork, the 12th day of August 1799,

Joseph Salkeld,

Kilner Brasier,

Thomas Holmes.


 Francis sent the following letter to Marquis Cornwallis along with a copy of Maum’s declaration of Mr. Arthur’s innocence.


To the most Noble Charles, Marquis Cornwallis, Lord lieutenant General and General Governor of Ireland, &c.

May it please your Excellency, Having had the honor of so lately laying before your Excellency my petition, stating, in a plain impartial manner, the particulars of my late unjust prosecution, and praying to be either again examined touching all the parts of the charges exhibited against me, or permitted to return to my native country, with honor, and reputation; I should have waited with becoming resignation the result of your Excellency's determination,, did not a fresh corroboration of my innocence providentially start up, totally unexpected or solicited by me, or my friends, in the voluntary confession of Wm. Maum, my late principal prosecutor; who, stung, as I suppose by the reproaches of his own conscience, has now done all in his power, to make me amends, by his voluntary confession not only of his own guilt, but of the means by which he was seduced to attempt my life and character;—the confession I therefore take the liberty of laying before you, in order that your excellency might receive this additional proof of the several affidavits, a correct copy of which I have also the honor to enclose, stating the several facts relative to my trial, how unjustly and premeditatedly I have been singled out as a victim of private and public malice, trusting to the nobleness of your Excellency's nature, who,I am confident must feel for the oppressions and disgraces heaped upon the head of an unoffending man, I commit the record to your perusal, waiting with all becoming loyalty and expectation for that period, when your Excellency, in your wisdom and humanity, shall think proper finally to reinstate me in my former situation of life.


I have the honor to be,

With the most profound respect, Your Excellency's most obliged, And most grateful humble servant, London, 15th May, 1800. Francis Arthur.


The letter above, was laid before His Excellency, together with the following declaration from Mr. Maum.


Voluntary declaration of William Maum, an accurate account of the trial of Francis Arthur, Esq. and the cause of his confinement prior to his being arraigned—many opinions being in circulation relative to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Arthur, I think it incumbent upon me to give the following account of the iniquitous proceedings practiced against him, in which, I have been in the most unprecedented manner compelled to be concerned. I was escorted from Donerail, (on I believe the 25th of May) to Clonmel by a detachment of yeomanry commanded by Captain Evans, whom I told that on that day there was an insurrection in some part of the kingdom, on my arrival in Clonmel my prediction was verified, upon which every person entertained great ideas of the importance of the contents of my mind, by reason of the priority of my knowledge to that of the public relative to the intended insurrection, I had a conversation with Colonel Fitzgerald, then High Sheriff of the County Tipperary at the house of Mr. Ryall, and another at the inn, he told me, that if I informed him, or General St. John, of the plans I had formed, that he and the General would exert themselves in favor of me and my friends, whom he found by my examination were peculiarly dear to me.

 I desired some time to consider, and the next day informed him of my accession to his offer; the principal matter required of me was, to give an accurate account of my last conversation with Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which I did, in no part of which was Mr. Arthur's name mentioned, as may appear by the same in the possession of General Morrison, Colonel Fitzgerald then sent me to Limerick, that I might inform the General there, how he should order relative to the King's stores in Charleville, and likewise as some parts of my conversation with Lord Edward relative to some parts of his district. I had the honor of dining with Colonel Foster in Tipperary, he gave me an unsealed letter to General Morrison, which I gave him the next morning in Limerick.

 In my conversation with Lord Edward the name of Mr. Hargrove happened to be mentioned, indeed, with diffidence, Mr. Hargrove was arrested and Mr. Arthur, by reason of his acquaintance with him. When Mr. Arthur was arrested, there was no charge whatsoever against him, save his acquaintance with Mr. Hargrove. After his arrest General Morrison, Assistant Adjutant General Colonel Cockell, and Colonel Darby came to me to the General's lodgings, and asked me if I could possibly bring any charge against Mr. Arthur, I firmly asserted it was not in my power in the smallest instance to traduce the character of that gentleman. I met that morning Richard Peppard in the coffee-room, who I imagined might form a bad opinion of me by reason of the arrest of Mr. Arthur.  

I then wrote a letter, mentioning the questions put by the General, and my answers; I was then given in charge to Colonel Darby, who conducted me to his barracks, where I received an officer's apartment. From thence, I reported in a letter, which I addressed to General Morrison, the entire of my conversation with Lord Edward, in no part of which was Mr. Arthur's name mentioned. Colonel Garden came to me frequently and said that the General was very angry because he should liberate Mr. Arthur, and asked me if I could not bring a charge against him; I affirmed positively in the negative. He then asked me, if nothing more could be brought against Hargrove; I asserted not, as his name was always mentioned with diffidence. After this I received some rest, but on the 4th of June, Lieutenant Louis, of the 54th Regiment, brought me a letter from Colonel Darby, purporting his and the General's.

This was but a silly pretext to arrest Mr. Arthur. He had no intercourse, connection or conversation whatever with Mr. Hargrove, for more than twelve months previous to his arrest, at the same time it will but justice here to observe, that respectable man was put on his trial in June, 1798, before the same Court-martial, and honorably acquitted. Is it not to be supposed, that General Morrison, knowing, that Government had interfered in Mr. Arthur's case, and that he had not just grounds for detaining Mr. Hargrove in prison, was induced thereby to bring him forward, and by a verdict of acquittal restore him to society.

Knowledge of my being possessed of information, the importance of which they were assured of; which if I gave, I should receive a still greater share of their patronage. This letter I answered, in which Mr. Arthur's name was not mentioned. On Sunday, the 17th June, Colonel Darby brought me a letter from General Morrison requiring information from me against I. Barry, Joseph Littes, Dennis Linehan, and two gentlemen of my acquaintance in Charleville. I answered his letter directly saying, that I thought it a dishonorable infringement on my condition to injure my friends, who owed their liberties to my exertions, and that he could not by any means influence me to my friend's injury.

The same day, Colonel Darby came to me with another letter, viz. "to whom were the papers sent, and what did they contain, which were brought privately by you into this town about six months ago; a direct answer is required." Colonel Darby desired me to consider my situation; I informed him 1 was fully acquainted with it. I answered the General's letter, peremptorily denying any papers being brought by me to any person in that town, but that I was in possession of papers, which Mr. Robert's negligence, when I was arrested, gave me an opportunity of destroying. The General wrote me them letters on account of the following information, Saunders, in Charleville, swore, in the presence of a gentleman of the same name in Charleville, and other prejudiced gentlemen there, that I, in his presence, wrote letters to Mr. Arthur, which John Barry was to deliver. Anderson, an Inn-keeper in Limerick, swore, that I came to his house in a Nenagh chaise, and that he conducted me to Mr. Arthur's house and saw me deliver a letter. After dinner, the above mentioned day, Lieutenant Louis same to me, and told me, it was the General's "wish I should remove from my present apartment; they then placed me in a tent, under a sentinel; he informed me of the arrest of my friends, and read me a letter from the General, desiring him to send me to goal, and confine me to a cell, that I might be whipped the next day, and that I should likewise witness the execution of my friend Barry, who I since learned was never arrested. Captain Brand, Aid-de-camp to General Morrison, came to me, and took me back to my former apartment, and desired me to leave the decision of the fate of my friends to the General's humanity, and acknowledge to the letters sworn to by Anderson.

My wits were then put to the rack. I, after many endeavors to send Richard Peppard a letter, paid the waiter three guineas for carrying a letter from me to Richard Peppard, with instructions for Mr. Arthur's conduct on his defense, particularly about Saunders testimony, and that of Anderson, which I found afterwards was never delivered, and I suppose, intercepted. On the 23d of June, Captain brand came to me and told me, that Mr. Arthur was put on his trial, and that I should be subject to the severest punishment, if I did not stand firm. He had me brought to Assistant Adjutant General Colonel Cockell, to the Council Chamber, when the General made me repeat what I had to say, to refresh my memory, I there saw Saunders and Anderson, whom I told I would injure, for immersing me in such an abyss of trouble.  

I said I would entirely disavow every thing they had to say. I was called to the Court, and asked relative for the above-mentioned letter, and no question relative to Saunders and Anderson, as the President and the other officers fully knew what I would say. When I came out, I told Saunders and Anderson, that I fully did away their evidence; upon which, when they were examined, they totally disavowed their former oaths, for which they suffered accordingly. I assert, that had it not been for my conduct in that respect, Mr. Arthur would have been hung at his own door, according to premeditation.

 The principal cause of the dislike the officers in Limerick conceived against Mr. Arthur originated from some reports which General Sir James Duft" heard in 1796, purporting Mr. Arthur's political principles, and his determination of injuring the General. This information was frequently conveyed to the General in anonymous letters, and 1 believe those reports contributed to his being superseded in his commission. This information I derived from the President, Colonel Darby, enquired of Maum in the course of the trial, whether he had sent a letter by the servant to Richard Peppard, Maum replied he had done so and paid him three guineas to deliver it. 

This seems to account for the pillorying of Anderson; the flimsy pretext of prevarication in his known evidence appears (if we may credit Maum) to have been merely to cover the real cause, and it also seems to account for the President's evident surprise, when, on Saunders being sworn, he declared he did not know the prisoner or any thing about him.

Captain Vallency, of the Tyrone Regiment. Likewise there was absolutely a faction raised against him in Limerick, by some of the gentlemen in that town, particularly such as had acquaintances in Charleville, as may be well inferred from Saunders's testimony before some of the Magistrates in that town, which I assert to be false in every instance, and I rest assured, that the same gentleman excited that unfortunate man to swear against Mr. Arthur, when Colonel Garden showed me his testimony, written by Mr. Saunders, a Magistrate there. I informed him of the falsity of it, and the circumstance, which excited Saunders to swear in that manner. In my memorial to Mr. Cooke, I mentioned particularly every part of the officer's conduct in Limerick towards Mr. Arthur, which I gave General Meyers; and in another memorial to his Excellency, which 1 showed to Captain Judge of the Westmeath Regiment.

To conclude, 1 assert, that Mr. Arthur's destruction, by every circumstance, which can appear to me, was premeditated, and that the methods adopted were villainous in every particular, and 1 likewise assert, that had it not been for my conduct on his trial, respecting the evidence of Saunders and Anderson, he would have inevitably been hanged. Sir Christopher Knight contributed to Mr. Arthur's embarrassment; he made use of his Charleville acquaintance in procuring Saunders's testimony. I also assert, that, when my eyes were looking about for Mr. Arthur, Colonel Darby very positively pointed him out to me.

On the 17th of June, the day above alluded to, Colonels Darby; Cockell and Garden dined with the General, who I am confident, with the gentlemen in Limerick, who had Charleville acquaintances, on that day settled Mr. Arthur's trial, and also his death. On my going to the trial, Lieutenant Louis informed me, after asking me some questions about his person and age, "that he was a very well looking man, and of a florid complexion." On the evening of the 17th of June, when Captain Brand came to me, and took me back to my former apartment, he found, that I could not on that evening bring any charge against Mr. Arthur, he told me, he would ask me no more questions until morning, and said it was nearly contrary to the General's orders, but to confine me together with Barry. Colonel Garden, after coming from the General's, came to my room, and asked me, if I could not give a positive charge against Mr. Arthur.

 After many hesitations, he said, that I was perfectly able, by reason of the abilities I possessed, to bring a decisive charge against him, and that my friends should be saved. And what is a stranger to you when compared to your own friends? He the next morning brought me the bundle of English Newspapers, which the mess had, and a part opened, wherein Perigord's address to the French Directory, relative to England, was published, which I suppose he was reading that morning, and laid it before me, from which I derived the charge of the circular letter to Mr. Arthur. In consequence of such materials, and the regard I had for the lives of my friends, I drew out the letter from them papers brought and left open by Colonel Garden, As Captain Roberts, when he came to me in company with Colonel Garden, likewise told me, that my friends were all in arrest, and particularly mentioned Shee and Barry.

On the Sunday preceding his defense, Colonel Darby and Garden came to me, and told me, that Arthur was preparing his defense, and intended to prove an alibi, which we prevented by writing to the General about the review, and Colonel Garden desired me to mention the orderly book of Jocelyn's dragoons to be produced on the trial, which would totally counteract the alibi. My memory being strong, and having read about it, I fully recollected the time of Finnerty's pillory, from Lord Edward's activity on that business, which should be a favor-able time for his circulating seditious papers.


That circumstance occasioned me to mention that time in particular.

The morning of his trial, Captain Brand, after the threats, which he brought me from the General, desired me take down notes of the leading points in the information, which I did not, by reason of my good memory, I was not shown the information the day of the trial, but I believe I would, had I not repeated to Colonel Cockell the lie.

It will be recollected, that Maum in his direct evidence said he enquired for Mr. Arthur at his house, and was there informed, he was gone to the review with his corps, where he certainly was on the 9th January, and had borrowed Cornet Lidwell of Jocelyn's horse-furniture, his own not being made, but this date was widely different from the middle of February.

I assert, that nothing, whatever, could induce me to injure Mr. Arthur, but the great intimidations made use of and the earnest desire I had of saving my friends, who, I was led to imagine, were to be executed, and am now with a clear conscience ready to leave this kingdom, after disclosing the iniquitous proceedings practiced against this innocent, devoted, and truly injured gentleman, and I, with readiness, and happy for having the favorable opportunity most willingly subscribe my name to it.


On board the Minerva, Cove of Cork, and 12th.August 1799

This delivered as the voluntary declaration of William Maum, not biased, I am confident, by any motive, save his wish to repair the injury done Mr. Arthur. Blaster of the Ship Minerva, Joseph Salkeld,

Kilner Brasier.

Kilner Brasier, Esq. High Sheriff of the County of Cork in the year of 1795, makes an oath upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, and says that the foregoing, contains a true and faithful extract of an original declaration, voluntarily made and delivered by William Maum, on board the Transport Ship Minerva, in the Cobh of Cork, bearing date the 12th day of August, 1799, and entitled an accurate account of the trial of Francis Arthur, Esq. and the cause of his confinement, prior to his being arraigned, with which said original declaration, now unto him this deponent produced, he hath carefully examined, and compared the said foregoing extract, and found the same to agree, and this deponent further deposes, and says, that he, this deponent, and Joseph Salkeld, Master, Henry Harrison, first mate of said transport Minerva, Thomas Holmes of the County of Cork, aforesaid, Esq. Thomas' Francis Wilkinson, Martin Arthur and Peter Arthur, of the City of Limerick, Merchants, were present, and did see the said William Maum sign and deliver the said original declaration, and the names Joseph Salkeld, Kilner Brasier, Thomas Holmes, Henry Harrison, Thomas Francis Wilkinson, Martin Arthur, Peter Arthur, thereunto likewise set and subscribed, are the respective signatures, and of the proper handwriting of the said William Maum, Joseph Salkeld, Thomas Holmes, Henry Harrison, Thomas Francis Wilkinson, Martin Arthur, Peter Arthur, and him

this deponent. Sworn the 8th day of May, before me, in London.

Kilner Brasier. H. C. Coombe, Mayor.



I John Mitchell, of London, notary public, by royal, authority duly admitted and sworn, do hereby certify and attest unto whomsoever it may concern, that the signature, H. C. Coombe, Mayor, set and subscribed to the Jurat’s at foot of the above affidavit, is the true signature, and of the proper handwriting, of the Right Honorable Harvey Christian Coombe, Lord Mayor, and one of His Majesty's justices of the peace for this City of London, who, on the day of the date thereof administered oath according to due form of law, (in presence of me notary) unto Kilner Brasier the deponent in the said affidavit named, and thereupon signed the same in conformity, in manner as thereon appears, whereof an act being required of me, I have granted these presents, under my notaries firm and seal of office, to serve where needful, thus done and passed in London, the 8th day of May, 1800.

Intestimonium veritatis,

John Mitchell, Notary Public.

Notaries Seal.

We the under named, do hereby certify, that Mr. John Mitchell, whose firm is foregoing, is a sworn notary public, practicing in this City lawful and of trust, and to all acts and writings, by him signed, faith is given in court and there out Witness our hands, London the 8th of May, 1800.

David Gillonneaa, Notary Public.

Robert Gibson, Notary Public.


Now why have I devoted so much time to the trial of Francis Arthur the reason quite simply is that I believe that this trial and the reasons why it happened at all are at the root the beginning of the decline in the fortunes of the Arthur family. At a meeting of the Aristocratic Club in Limerick of which he was a member, it was resolved that Francis be expelled from the club be expelled for taking part in the rebellion and resolved that his name be erased from the list of subscribers to the house by order of Maurice Crosby Chairman.

Francis went to London when he finally gave up on being totally vindicated by the Lord Lieutenant although he was told that he could return to Limerick when the troubles of 1798 were finished. In London he purchased a large property where Piccadilly now stands. He went to France where he died at Dunkirk in June 1824.

Daughters of Francis Arthur son of Patrick Arthur of Limerick:

Catherine Helen Arthur:

Catherine was born on 20th March 1780 and died on 27th July 1867. She became Mother M. Xavier a Benedictine nun at Princethorp Abbey in England.


A child who was baptized on 27th March 1781. No name in recorded.

Ellen Arthur:

Ellen was born on 24 October 1784 and she died 14 August 1785. Francis had another daughter whom he called Ellen in 1793. 

Eliza (Alicia) Arthur:

Eliza was born on 24th. November 1786 she married Jeremiah Scully of Mt. William, Co. Tipperary at Middle Gardiner St. Dublin on 7 January 1809. Alicia became a Carmelite nun when Jeremiah died in 1840. She died at Darlington in 1859 and had no children.

Miss Margaret Jane Arthur  

Married Patrick Green at her father Francis Arthur’s house Middle Gardiner St. on the 26 Sept 1806. He was Patrick Greene Esq. of Greene Abbey and in1813 Patrick Greene Esq. died at Greene Abbey Co. Tipperary. Margaret was born on the 31st. august 1789. On the 20th. November 1818 Margaret was married for the second time by most Rev. Dr. Troy to Daniel Leahy of Shanakiel, Co. Cork in the house of John Scully, Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin. The Scully and Leahy families had legal and clerical connections as had the Arthur's note that Margaret was married by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Troy.


Ellen Frances Arthur:

Was born on 1st. July 1793 and was the youngest daughter of Francis Arthur. At the age of 27 against her father’s wishes she entered a convent in on September 2nd. 1819, she took the habit at York in May 1820 and she was professed in Dublin on October 15th. 1821. She died at Rathfarnham Dublin on the 5th. January 1842. She was one of the nuns who helped establish the Loreto order in Ireland.




Son of Francis Arthur son of Patrick Arthur of Limerick:

Patrick Edmund Arthur:

1783 – 1814: was baptised on 26 February 1783 at St. Michaels in Limerick. He was admitted to Kings Inns in 1811 from where he qualified as a Barrister he also spent some time in Stonyhurst College in England when he was younger. Patrick Edmund married Susannah Grainger the daughter of John Grainger of. Causetown, Co. Meath on the 22 June 1812 in the Pro Cathedral, Dublin. They had a daughter in 1813 and another daughter was born in 1814 after Patrick Edmund had died on Wednesday 26th October 1814 at his house in Dublin and around the same time at her husband Francis Arthur’s house in Dublin Patrick Edmund’s mother died on the previous Monday of a fever. His Daughter was Mary Jane Arthur (Mother Mary Theresa Arthur) who became a nun at Princethorp Abbey in England where her Aunt Mother M Xavier was a nun.

On The 29th.  Sept 1813 in Lower Mount St. Patrick Arthur’s daughter was born and she was called was called Mary Jane Arthur.

On 2nd. Nov 1814 the widow of the late Patrick Edmund Arthur had a daughter

called Ellen who became a Loreto nun in Rathfarnham.



An account book in the Special Collections section of the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick gives details of rents received from Francis Arthur's ownership of property in Limerick city, mainly dating to the 1820s. His property included 149 acres at Coonagh in the North Liberties of the city, property at Arthur's Quay and many other city locations. Copies of 18th century deeds show his title to these properties. Details of Francis Arthur in account with such persons as Thomas William Roche, Lord Glentworth, Patrick Greene of Abbey, the executors of P.E. Arthur, Luke Callaghan of Paris and many others are also recorded. Arrears rentals for Arthur's Quay and other Limerick premises, 1821, statements of yearly outgoings, copies of deeds in connection with a conveyance Francis Arthur, Ellen Arthur and Daniel Leahy are also included.

David Leahy of Shanakiel, near Cork city, married Catherine O'Sullivan and had two sons Daniel and John. Daniel married as his second wife Margaret daughter of Francis Arthur of Limerick. Their son David inherited the Arthur estate in Limerick and took the additional name of Arthur. The Leahy estate passed to the second son Francis Robert in 1855 and later to his brother Daniel Francis. John and Daniel Leahy held land in the parishes of Clonfert and Knocktemple, barony of Duhallow at the time of Griffith's Valuation. In the 1870s Daniel Francis Leahy of Shanakiel was the owner of over 2300 acres in county Cork and Mrs Leahy of Shanakiel owned 675 acres

So between Francis leaving Limerick and relying on others to administer his estates and his enemies making it as difficult as they could to do business some damage was done to the family fortune.

The following are newspaper extracts about Maria Arthur the daughter of Francis Arthur.


Ennis Chronicle, Wednesday 1 Oct 1806,

Married at her father’s house in Dublin, Patrick Greene of Greene Abbey, co.

Tipperary, to Miss Maria Arthur daughter of Francis Arthur of Limerick.


Limerick Chronicle, Wednesday 16 June 1813,

Died on Friday at his seat Greene Abbey, co. Tipperary after a few days illness

of fever, Patrick Green, son-in-law of Francis Arthur of this city.


Limerick Evening Post, Wednesday 14 July 1813,

Birth, Saturday last in Ellen Street, the lady of the late Patrick Greene, Green

Abbey, co. Tipperary, of a daughter.

Clonmel Advertiser, Wednesday 21 Jan 1818,

Advert: - Francis Arthur - v - Maria M Greene, widow and administrix of

Patrick Greene, deceased and others. Chancery sale of Patrick Greene’s

interest in Clonoulty and West Pierstown.

Francis may have been back in Dublin from England by 1808 at latest as his daughter Alicia was married to Jeremiah Scully of Mt. William, Tipperary on 7 Jan. 1809.  at the house of her father Francis in Middle Gardiner St.


Here is a list of the properties held by Daniel Leahy who took the name Arthur because his wife was Francis Arthur’s daughter who had inherited much of Francis’ wealth. This list is dated 1850 and comes from Griffith’s valuation.


Surname Forename              Street                                   No.  Parish      Description Notes

Arthur      David L. esq.  Ellen Street 7              St. Michael's    House & yard        (lodgers)

Arthur      David L. esq.  Ellen Street 5              St. Michael's    House & yard        (lodgers)

Arthur      David L. esq.  Ellen Street 6              St. Michael's    House & yard        (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            9 St. Michael's House, office         (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            16 St. Michael's House                  (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            15 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            13 St. Michael's House, office       (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            12 St. Michael's House, office       (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            2 St. Michael's House                    (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            10 St. Michael's House, office       (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            8 St. Michael's House, office         (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            5  St. Michael's House

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            4 St. Michael's House & yard        (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Arthur’s Quay            11 St. Michael's House, office       (lodgers)

                                                                         & Yard

Arthur      David L., esq.     Denmark                 32            St. Michael's       House          (lodgers)

                                 Street, Lower

Arthur      David L., esq.     Denmark                 9              St. Michael's       House          (lodgers)

                                 Street, Lower

Arthur      David L., esq. Francis Street              17          St. Michael's House & yard

Arthur      David L., esq. Francis Street              14 St. Michael's House                  (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., esq. Francis Street              13 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., esq. Francis Street              12 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)

Arthur      David L., Esq. Hackett’s                   7 St. Michael's House                    (lodgers)

                                 Lane (off

Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             20 St. Michael's House                  (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             22 St. Michael's House                  (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             8 St. Michael's House & yard        (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             12 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             15 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             16 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             17 St. Michael's House & yard      (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., Esq. Market Alley,             21 St. Michael's House                  (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., esq. Mary Street 24            St. Mary's House, offices & yard  (lodgers)


Arthur      David L., esq. Sheep Street 16            St. Mary's Building-ground


Arthur      David L. Esq. Coonagh East             1  Killeely Land


Arthur      David L. esq. Coonagh East               1  Killeely Embankment & marsh


Arthur      David L. Esq. Coonagh West            1  Killeely        Land (incl. embankment


          Arthur          David L Esq. Market Alley,       30 St. Michael's Denmark St.



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