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Thread: The assassination of Lord Leitrim 2 April 1878

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    Default The assassination of Lord Leitrim 2 April 1878

    2 April 1878: The assassination of Lord Leitrim on this day. William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim was born in Dublin 1806. He had a successful career as an Officer in the British Army. On his father's death in 1854, Clements succeeded him as 3rd Earl and he retired from the Military in 1855. Over the next two decades, his overbearing behaviour as a landlord brought him much hatred from his tenants. He personally took on many of the legal cases of Eviction against his tenants and was a very hard taskmaster. His oppression of his tenants and his rumoured seduction of some of the local girls made him a marked man in the eyes of many of the local people. He had already survived a number of attempts on his life before his luck ran out.

    He was finally shot dead in an ambush at Cratlagh Wood while making his way to Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. His clerk and driver were killed along with him so there would be no witnesses.

    It was reported that there was:

    an open encounter, in which the assassins closed with their victims and deliberately put them to death. That there was a struggle the appearance of the ground seems to establish. Besides, Lord Leitrim's head has been shockingly battered, both his arms are broken, and the shattered stock of a gun was found close to his body. We are also told that one of his two attendants was shot through the mouth.

    Manchester Guardian, April 4 1878

    His assassins, Michael Hegarty, Michael McElwee and Neil Shields all escaped detection by the British. Leitrim’s death was a prelude to the Land war, which broke out one year later.

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    This thing of seducing local girls is a myth. He was a puritan in that regard. Droit De Signeur is always said about landlords, but in his case there is no substance for it.
    You'd think Kenny committed Treason and brought in IMF. Cowen had all in stitches in Galway at 3.30a.m.but he was "not impaired" -DD Power. FF=Publican páirtí an IMF.

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    There is no biography (that I can see) in the DNB.

    There is a note on him by Fiona Slevin, as an adjunct to her book on Lough Rynn.

  4. #4

    Default Another Clements legacy

    For what it's worth, the father of the first Earl of Leitrim was the Rt. Hon. Nathaniel Clements (died 1777). He held (among other posts) the office of Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland. As Ranger he built the Lodge in Phoenix Park. In 1782 the Lodge was acquired by the Castle authorities as the residence for the Viceroy. It continued as the official residence of the Governor General until 1938, when it became Áras an Uachtaráin.

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    Malcolm,

    APW Malcolmson has recently published a book on him, claiming that he wasn't as bad as is often said.

    Four Courts Press : Virtues of a Wicked Earl

    Malcolmson also wrote a book on Nathaniel Clements.

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    TG4 did a documentary on him about 10 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa View Post
    2 April 1878: The assassination of Lord Leitrim on this day. William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim was born in Dublin 1806. He had a successful career as an Officer in the British Army. On his father's death in 1854, Clements succeeded him as 3rd Earl and he retired from the Military in 1855. Over the next two decades, his overbearing behaviour as a landlord brought him much hatred from his tenants. He personally took on many of the legal cases of Eviction against his tenants and was a very hard taskmaster. His oppression of his tenants and his rumoured seduction of some of the local girls made him a marked man in the eyes of many of the local people. He had already survived a number of attempts on his life before his luck ran out.

    He was finally shot dead in an ambush at Cratlagh Wood while making his way to Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. His clerk and driver were killed along with him so there would be no witnesses.

    It was reported that there was:

    an open encounter, in which the assassins closed with their victims and deliberately put them to death. That there was a struggle the appearance of the ground seems to establish. Besides, Lord Leitrim's head has been shockingly battered, both his arms are broken, and the shattered stock of a gun was found close to his body. We are also told that one of his two attendants was shot through the mouth.

    Manchester Guardian, April 4 1878

    His assassins, Michael Hegarty, Michael McElwee and Neil Shields all escaped detection by the British. Leitrim’s death was a prelude to the Land war, which broke out one year later.
    Murder is murder. Always has been. Typically political killers always try to portray their victim in the worst possiblle light. IRA handbook.

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    i remember being told that story many years ago, but the murder took place
    `On the shores of Mulroy Bay' Was that a different landlord?

    Also, that as the `outrage' was being debated in the House of Commons,
    that an Irish MP related the events leading up to the murder, which was
    not reported in Hansard.

    According to the man who told me the story, and we would live well away from
    leitrim's estate, Leitrim was a bullying monster. No Loss, even the local
    police didn't try hard to find out who killed him.

    I would also say that the process of breaking up the big estates
    is only starting now in Scotland, with the usual braying noises from the
    Lairds.. Then the crofters had more rights to their farms (at least since 1900 or so)
    than the Irish.

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    Politics.ie Member Estragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa View Post
    2 April 1878: The assassination of Lord Leitrim on this day. William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim was born in Dublin 1806. He had a successful career as an Officer in the British Army. On his father's death in 1854, Clements succeeded him as 3rd Earl and he retired from the Military in 1855. Over the next two decades, his overbearing behaviour as a landlord brought him much hatred from his tenants. He personally took on many of the legal cases of Eviction against his tenants and was a very hard taskmaster. His oppression of his tenants and his rumoured seduction of some of the local girls made him a marked man in the eyes of many of the local people. He had already survived a number of attempts on his life before his luck ran out.

    He was finally shot dead in an ambush at Cratlagh Wood while making his way to Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. His clerk and driver were killed along with him so there would be no witnesses.

    It was reported that there was:

    an open encounter, in which the assassins closed with their victims and deliberately put them to death. That there was a struggle the appearance of the ground seems to establish. Besides, Lord Leitrim's head has been shockingly battered, both his arms are broken, and the shattered stock of a gun was found close to his body. We are also told that one of his two attendants was shot through the mouth.

    Manchester Guardian, April 4 1878

    His assassins, Michael Hegarty, Michael McElwee and Neil Shields all escaped detection by the British. Leitrim’s death was a prelude to the Land war, which broke out one year later.
    Well done those men.
    We are all born mad. Some remain so.

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    Politics.ie Member democrat's Avatar
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    "Well done those men"? Unless that comment was made as a joke (are you a fresher in UCD perhaps?), what a disgusting comment on the day before Easter!

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