Famous Suicides Wolfe Tone

About the famous Irish revolutionist Wolfe Tone, history and biography of the man who committted suicide.

WOLFE TONE (1763-1798)

Life: Irish revolutionist Wolfe Tone was the founder of the United Irishmen, a political group whose purpose was to reform the Irish Parliament--then a stronghold of Protestant aristocrats--so that Irishmen, regardless of their status or religion, could be admitted. The peaceful movement, also called the "brotherhood of affection," turned reactionary after war between Great Britain and France broke out in 1793. Political pressure caused Tone to emigrate to America. Subsequently, he went to France to seek military aid and convinced the French Government to dispatch a naval expedition to invade Ireland. The mission would have succeeded, but the fleet, when close to the Irish shore, was hit by a storm and could not land. Tone said that "England had not had such an escape since the Armada."

Death: Captured at sea while commandeering a French ship, Tone was brought to trial in Dublin. He confessed his crimes and asked that he be allowed a soldier's death before a firing squad. The request was denied and he was sentenced to be hanged. Refusing to submit to such an "indignity," Tone cut his throat with a razor.

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