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Jonathan Swift.

Famous Irish People.

Jonathan Swift.


Swift was born in Dublin at 7 Hoey's Close on 30th November 1667, it is thought his father was Sir John Temple, master of the rolls. Swift was educated at Kilkenny College and Trinity College Dublin. After leaving Trinity in 1689 he became private secretary to Sir William Temple (John Temples father)

He returned to Ireland in 1694, taking holy orders in 1695 becoming curate of Kilroot near Larne County Antrim. The following year he returned to England to Moore Park in Surrey, the home of Sir William Temple where he became tutor to Esther Johnston, the Stella of his later writings, Esther was possibly a daughter of Temple.

After Temple's death in 1699, Swift was appointed chaplain to The Earl of Berkley, them Lord Justice of Ireland. at this time he was also chaplain of Lanacor County Meath. Berkley was recalled in 1701, after which Swift spent most of his time in England.

It was during this period Swift's reputation as a writer and wit flowered, he published 'A Tale of a Tub' and 'The Battle of The Books' in 1704. His 'Journal to Stella' relating to the politics and gossip of London society was written between 1710-13. About this time Swift met Esther Vanhomrigh who was to become the 'Vanessa' in his poem 'Cadenus and Vanessa' (1713)

In 1713 Swift was back in Dublin and appointed Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, and obviously a man opposed to social injustice he turned the attention of his writings to English misrule. He famously advocated 'Burn everything that comes from England except the coal', in 1729 'A Modest Proposal' was published, his reference in it to feeding impoverished children to the rich was perhaps misinterpreted at the time. His most famous work 'Gulliver's Travels' was published in 1726.

In his twilight years Swift suffered from Meniere's disease, unhappy during this time he described himself as 'Deaf, giddy, helpless and alone' He died on 19th October 1745 and was buried in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin In his will he left £8,000 to build St Patricks hospital for the insane.

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