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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Henry McCracken

The story of the life of Henry McCracken is inextricably fused with the history of eighteenth-century Belfast. Formed of stout Presbyterian stock, McCracken’s family were the founders of the Belfast Newsletter—the oldest English-language newspaper still in circulation, published since 1737—and also worked as textile merchants, rope-makers, and philanthropists. Where the McCrackens and Joys exemplified the economic dynamism and vibrant civic culture of eighteenth-century Belfast, Henry would come to typify Irish republican values as a founding member of the Society of the United Irishmen and a military leader in the Battle of Antrim in 1798. Immersed in the political turbulence and polarization of 1790s Ireland, this biography by James Smyth charts the life and legacy of one of the most socially radical of the United Irishmen’s leaders. Tracing the force of this revolutionary’s presence throughout his youth, his time as a rebel, his term as a prisoner, and his ultimate end at the Cornmarket gallows in 1798, Smyth’s book honors the endurance of McCracken’s story and cements its importance in the popular imagination of the city he called home.

125 pages | none | 4 3/4 x 7 1/4

Life and Times New Series

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

The Joys and the McCrackens
State Prisoner
Commander in Chief
‘Faithful to the Last’
Remembering Henry Joy
Further Reading

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