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James Napper Tandy.

Famous Irish People.

James Napper Tandy.

(1740- 24th August 1803)

Tandy the son of a Dublin ironmonger was born in Dublin, he together with Henry Joy McCracken, Wolf Tone and several others founded the United Irishmen. He supported Henry Grattan in his campaign to win autonomy for Ireland, and he acquired popularity with his proposal to boycott British goods in response to restrictions imposed by the British on Irish commerce.

The French Revolution struck a cord with with both the Presbyterians and Catholics in Ireland. At a meeting in Belfast in July 1791 attended by some 6,000 people it was voted that a congratulatory message should be sent to the French people. The following year Napper tandy took a pivitol role in organizing a new military association modelled on the French National Guard.

Tandy attempted to bring together the Defenders a Roman Catholic organization who had been engaged in political violence for some years, and the United Irishmen. He took the oath of the defenders which led him into conflict with the authorities, as a result of which he was forced to flee to America, wher he stayed until February 1798 when he went to Paris where he met with Wolfe Tone and others attempting to persuade the French to invade Ireland

In France Tandy met Napoleon and was given command of a naval corvette, the Anacreon, he sailed from Dunkirk accompanied by a few United Irishmen, a small number of men and a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition intended for the rebellion in Ireland. He arrived off the Donegal coast and landed on the island of Rutland on September 16, 1798.

Going ashore Tandy found the locals were not overly entheustic about joining with him, he and his party took posession of the village of Rutland, where he hoisted the Irish flag and issued a procolamation. On hearing of the defeat of General Humbert, and that the rebellion in Connaught was crushed, Tandy realised he was in a futile situation he decided to make his way around the north of Scotland to avoid the English fleet

Somewhere along this journey he met and captured an English ship which he took with him to Bergen. From there he and a few other made their way to Hamburg

He reached Bergen in safety having brought with him an English ship captured along the way. Tandy then made his way with three or four companions to the free port of Hamburg but a peremptory demand from the English government to detain the fugitives was acceded to despite a counter-threat from the French Directory.

He was tried and condemned to death in Ireland, but was eventually reprieved through representations made by Napoleon at the Treaty of Amiens (1802). He then settled in Bordeaux, France. Tandy is also remembered as the hero of the popular Irish ballad “The Wearing of the Green”.

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