View Full Version : Mad, bad....and Irish

10th June 2004, 04:15
Lola Montez


Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert was born in Limerick 1818. Her father was an officer in the British army and her mother a local girl who was supposedly aged 13 at the time. In later life she would claim that her father was Lord Byron, the poet, or alternatively a Spanish bullfighter.

The family moved to India where Lt Gilbert succumbed to cholera in 1825. Her mother soon remarried, unfortunately for Rosanna, to a strict Presbyterian, who shipped his stepdaughter back to his parents’ home in Scotland. She didn’t last long there before being sent to a boarding school in Paris. No doubt her Calvinist guardians were shocked by her habit of parading naked in the streets near their home.

At age 19 Rosanna eloped with a Lieutenant Thomas James, to stave off an arranged marriage to a 60 year old judge. Thomas was on his way to Bombay but Rosanna had seen enough of India, and besides she seems to have had problems with commitment. Rosanna and Thomas went their separate ways after five years.

Rosanna now decided to go on the stage as a Spanish dancer named Lola Montez. Her first London performance in June 1843 was a fiasco because someone in the audience, quite possibly a jilted lover, denounced Mrs. James as a fraud. So Lola took her dance act on a European tour.

In 1846 Lola appeared in Munich, where she danced in front of Ludwig I of Bavaria, who was so besotted by her beauty that he took her on as a mistress.He lavished a castle on her as well as titles, Baroness Rosenthal and the Countess of Lansfeld, being just two. Lola meanwhile more or less took over running the country. Unfortunately she was no better an Empress than she was a dancer and in 1848 a revolution forced Ludwig to abdicate and Lola legged it out of Munich a step ahead of a lynch mob.

1849 found Lola back in London where she married yet another army officer, one Lieutenant George Heald, without the formality of divorcing her first husband. It didn’t matter anyway since the marriage didn’t last.

Lola was, apparently, a rather demanding lover. She horse whipped one lad in the street and another, who must have failed the physica,l had to flee trouserless down the street as she took pot-shots at him with a pistol. Amongst those who did satisfy were Franz Liszt the composer, Alexandre Dumas and Czar Nicholas I of Russia, who coughed up 1000 roubles for a one night stand. She almost wore out poor Liszt though. He had to escape her clutches by locking her in their hotel room while she slept. He left money at reception for the furniture she broke when she woke up. Another lover disappeared under mysterious circumstances off a ship in Fiji.

Lola moved to the United States in 1851 where she toured for two years. Either her dancing head improved or the gentlemen of the Wild West were not too discriminating. In 1853 she got married again (still no divorce), this time to Patrick Hull, a newspaper owner in San Francisco. This marriage lasted two years, which Lola spent in idle luxury in California, running a saloon in a gold rush boomtown. Tiring of Paddy, she threw him out and moved to Australia on another unsuccessful dancing tour. Though she did find religion of a sort, developing great faith in astrology.

Returning to the US Lola settled in New York City where she tried to start a career lecturing on fashion and beauty. But her health was failing and she ended up on the streets. Lola Montez, mistress of kings died on January 17, 1861 in a cheap boarding house in New York, aged just 42.

Definitely mad, a little bit bad ……and Irish. :D

10th June 2004, 04:26
Reminds me of a girl I know.

10th June 2004, 04:47

10th June 2004, 05:18
Sounds like some of the female members of this board :D

I'd best start running from them now

10th June 2004, 06:35

11th June 2004, 02:59
I came in at the end of all this. I've been absent for a while, (From the discussion board). What's the story with Ms Montez? Also did you know that AWOL stands for Absent Without Official Leave?

11th June 2004, 04:44
yes we did and shes an ugly bitch!

11th June 2004, 04:47
She doesn't take good oil paintings.

11th June 2004, 16:10
What's the story with Ms Montez?

I have started this thread in an effort to shine a light into the less-explored corners of Irish history. Anybody with an account of some Irish eccentric, the madder and badder the better, feel free to post.

shes an ugly bitch

Looks alright to me.:D

12th June 2004, 00:42
Thomas Judkin FitzGerald was High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1798.He must have been a prophetic choice for the post in the year of the Rebellion when the activities that gave him his nickname were commonplace.However the Sheriff carried out his duties with such dedication as to make them remarkable in a brutal phase of Irish history.

FitzGerald was from Co.Cork but resided near Cashel in Co.Tipperary.When appointed Sheriff he took it as his mission to purge the county of rebellion,though in truth there was little evidence of a populace ready to rise.In fact a small group of United Irishmen were planning to attack the town of Clonmel in July of 1798 but the plan was betrayed by an informer and the leaders arrested.

Despite the fact that he was supposed to be an instrument of the law not much guilt or proof of it was required to fall foul of the Sheriff.In modern terms he was a dangerous psychopath who was known to have men flogged for not taking off their hats as he rode by or merely because they looked like croppies to him.What was worse he was a law unto himself-judge,jury and executioner.

His practice was to ride into a town or village with an escort of soldiers and “purify” the town.So in the village of Clogheen the inhabitants were forced to kneel in deference to the Sheriff while the local innkeeper, Jeremiah McGrath,was flogged. In Clonmel town anybody suspected of being a rebel was arrested and on market days tied to the back of a cart,which was then pulled the length of the main street, from the Main Guard (a building in the town center) to the West Gate of the town.Two soldiers flogged the unfortunate man as he was pulled along.Peasant or gentleman made no difference to Fitz. Bernard Wright was a teacher of French who almost died from a flogging. Happily he later sued the Sheriff and was awarded £500 in damages.

Flogging Fitz visited the town of Carrick on Suir on June 22nd 1798,the day after the Battle of Vinegar Hill,though nobody in town had yet heard of the battle.On the evidence of a prisoner from Clonmel Jail,Stephen Devany,who was,ironically enough,serving a sentence for perjury twelve men of the town were arrested.They included the Parish priest,a Protestant merchant named Matthew Scott,Daniel and Patrick Boyle who were cloth merchants and Francis White another prominent merchant,David Wells and Francis Doyle a 27 year old draper.Despite the intervention of Rev James Smyth,the local Protestant Clergyman,Captain Laurence Jephson of the local yeomanry and Charles Wall a prominent landowner,four of the prisoners were summarily flogged in the market place.Francis Doyle seems to have suffered the most brutal treatment.He was tied to a ladder and given 50 lashes on the back while FitzGerald harangued the townspeople.Fainting under the lash he was revived and given another 50 lashes to the lower body after his trousers were cut off.Not unnaturally Doyle sued FitzGerald.

The case was heard in Clonmel Assizes,opening before Lord Avonmore on the 9th of April 1801.Having already been sued by Bernard Wright and with other cases pending,FitzGerald had petitioned Parliament to push through an Act of Parliament granting him legal immunity for any act committed in suppressing the rebellion.No doubt throughout the country there were many more like Tipperary’s High Sheriff because the outcome was the Indemnity Act which,despite the sympathy of Judge and Jury,ensured that Doyle lost his case.To add insult to injury he had to pay double the costs to the defendant as well as his own legal bill.In all he had to pay £700.In order to vindicate his name Doyle had the transcripts of the trial published privately in 1808.His friends in Carrick on Suir helped with subscriptions but the family financial situation was probably always desperate as his only son Peter died a pauper in 1845.

In contrast, Flogging Fitz was created a Baronet and awarded a pension. He died in 1810.

Howling mad and very, very bad.

15th June 2004, 20:02

George Plant was born on January 5th 1904 in St.Johnstown, Co.Tipperary,the second child in a family of nine. Three of the children died in infancy and George’s father having developed an alcohol problem left the family and returned to his native Co.Wicklow. Catherine,his wife was left to raise the children and run an eighty acre farm alone. Not surprisingly the family had little time for politics. George attended primary school and then left to work the family farm full time. His conversion to the Republicanism came at the hands of the Royal Irish Constabulary one Sunday in 1916. George and his brother Jimmy were arrested and beaten by the police after attending church in the village of Fethard. Apparently they had been seen in conversation with a local Republican, Sean Hayes.The police wanted information on Hayes and on Dan Breen. The two boys developed a hatred of the police and joined the Irish Republican Army in their late teens towards the end of the War of Independence. They were unusual members, and probably unique in Tipperary at least, in that they were Protestants and should have leaned towards the Unionist end of the political spectrum. George was in the habit of attending church with a revolver stuck in his belt, scandalising his fellow parishioners.

The two brothers took the anti-treaty,Republican side in the Civil war though information is sketchy on their activities. They did however take part in an ambush which is locally famous as the Ambush on the Grey Ghost. The Grey Ghost was a name given to a Lancia armoured car which the National Army had fitted with railway wheels and used to patrol the railway line between the towns of Clonmel and Thurles. He is also reputed to have been the “executioner” of 7th Bn of the IRA. I take this to mean he was a Security or Intelligence Officer. After the Civil War (1923) the brothers fled Ireland for Canada and later the USA. Though they did return Ireland to conduct such missions as the IRA saw fit. In 1928 they were involved in a bank robbery in Tipperary town for which they were imprisoned. George returned to America on his release and finally returned home for good in 1938. He was still an active member of the IRA.

In the summer of 1940 an IRA man from Maudlinstown,Co.Wexford by the name of Michael Devereux, was arrested by the Garda Siochana and, after questioning, was released without charge. Shortly afterwards some IRA arms dumps were discovered by the Gardai, and Devereux was suspected of revealing their locations. IRA HQ in Dublin ordered that he be executed, in September 1940. Devereux’s Divisional Commander selected three men for the job, Michael Walsh from Kilmacow Co.Kilkenny, Paddy Davern from Grangemockler, Co.Tipperary and George Plant.

The plan to kill Devereux could have been written in Hollywood. Called to a meeting with his Battalion Commander, Tom Cullimore, in Wexford, on the 19th of September, Devereux arrived to find Plant and Walsh waiting with the news that Cullimore had been killed and that the three of them had better leave Wexford immediately. Devereux drove into the night with his executioners towards Walsh’s home in Kilmacow. From there they moved on toward Grangemockler, arriving on the morning of the 24th.On the journey they convinced Devereux that he would be blamed for Cullimore’s death and that all three of them should go on the run after disposing of the motor car which would have been a rare commodity in 1940s Ireland. To this end they sheltered in the area for the next three days. Devereux must have been very naïve to fall for this deception and not to have suspected something in the week that his companions spent planning his execution.
On the night of the 27th Plant, Davern and Devereux moved safe houses again, crossing the mountain of Slievenamon on foot. Not far up the side of the hill Plant accused Devereux of being an informer. Devereux just had time to protest his innocence, Plant drew a pistol and shot him in the head. Devereux’s body was buried in a nearby pit and the grave camouflaged. The car was hidden in a hay stack on the farm of a William Phelan until the following March. When the Gardai broadcast an appeal for information on the whereabouts of Devereux the car was buried on the farm and an onion bed planted on top of it. Unfortunately the farmer decided to keep the seats of the car in his house for a bit of furniture, where they would be found by the Gardai later.

Devereux’s disappearance might have remained a mystery but for another suspected informer. This time it was no less than Stephen Hayes, the IRA’s Chief of Staff. In the Spring of 1941 Hayes was arrested in Dublin and held in custody by members of the IRA’s Northern Command. After being court martialled and sentenced to death, Hayes confessed and agreed to write out the details of his activities in a bid to prolong his life.It was well worth the effort because he managed to escape and made immediately for Rathmines Garda station and turned himself in. It now seemed that Hayes was indeed an informer and was probably responsible for the acts for which Michael Devereux paid with his life. Hayes was a former Commanding Officer in Wexford and had ordered the execution of Devereux personally. Whether he was an informer or not George Plant was arrested shortly after Hayes handing himself in to the Gardai.

The trial of George Plant for the murder of Michael Devereux opened in the Special Criminal Court on the 9th of December 1941.Sean McBride SC appeared for the accused.The case collapsed on the 11th because Plant’s companions refused to testify against him. Plant was acquitted but re-arrested under an Emergency Powers order issued on 30th December. Davern and Walsh were also arrested and all three were tried and sentenced to death by Military Tribunal. The sentences handed down to Davern and Walsh were later commuted to life imprisonment. In fact they were released in early 1946 after four years in prison.

George Plant was not so lucky. On the morning of March 5th 1942 he was escorted from Arbour Hill prison in Dublin to Portlaois Prison by military Escort. There he was executed by firing squad, He was philosophical about his fate. Before his execution he remarked to a prison warden that those who live by the gun, die by the gun. And he gave his sweater to another prisoner with the comment that it wouldn’t keep him warm much longer. His body was interred in the prison grounds. His family received no notification of his impending execution and the news was broadcast on national radio before they were officially informed.

George Plant was re-interred in St. Johnstown churchyard, near his family home, in 1948.

During the Second World War six IRA men were executed by the Irish Government. They were;

Thomas Harte. Lurgan, Co. Armagh. 6th Sept 1940.
Patrick McGrath. Dublin. 6th Sept 1940.
Richard Goss. Dundalk. 9th Aug 1941
George Plant. Fethard, Co. Tipperary. 5th Mar 1942.
Maurice O'Neill. Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry. 12th Nov 1942
Charles Kerins, Tralee. Co. Kerry. 1st Dec 1944

10th February 2005, 23:49
Colonel Thomas Blood

Tom Blood was born in Co. Meath (or Co. Clare) in 1618, the son of a blacksmith. However he came from a good family, his grandfather, who lived in Kilnaboy Castle, was an MP. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

When the English Civil War broke out in 1642 Thomas was in England where he joined the Royalist army of Charles I. Later he changed sides and joined the Parlaimentarians. He was granted land and made a Justice of the peace in 1653 but he lost all when the monarchy was resored in 1660. Blood fled to Ireland with his wife and son. Along with other disinherited Cromwellians he attempted to kidnap the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Ormonde. The plot failed an Blood fled to Holland one step ahead of the militia. His brother in law was less lucky, being captured and executed. <o:p></o:p>

Holland was then at war with England and Blod was suspected of spying for the English so he soon returned to England where he was suspected of spying for the Dutch. He didn’t help maters by attempting the rescue of an old comrade named Mason from custody in York and in 1770 where he organised another failed attempt to kidnap Ormonde., He then decided to steal the Crown Jewels. As you do.<o:p></o:p>

The Jewels were kept in a vault under the Tower of London, in the custody of one Talbot Edwards, the Keeper of the Jewels. Talbot and his family lived in the Tower. In 1671, Blood went to the Tower, dressed as a Parson, went to view the Jewels, where he engaged Edwards in conversation. A few days later he and his wife again visited the Tower where Mrs Blood faked illness, necessitating the rendering of assistance by Mrs Edwards. In gratitude Blood sent Mrs Edwards a gift of four pairs of gloves. Blood was now “in” and he cultivated the Edwards as family friends to such an extent that he proposed a marriage between one of the Edwards girls and his wealthy nephew, who of course did not exist. <o:p></o:p>

On the 9th of May 1671, Blood arrived at the Tower at seven in the morning, nephew in tow to be introduced to his intended bride. Two other men were with them. While the nephew was getting to know Edward's daughter the others asked to see the Crown Jewels. Edwards led the way downstairs and unlocked the door to the room where they were ke, whereupon Blood knocked him unconscious with a mallet and stabbed him with a sword. The three thieves were lifting the jewels when Talbot came back to life a yelled out. The trio fled with the Crown and Orb, but were stopped at the gate where Blood tried to shoot a guard.<o:p></o:p>

Arrested, Blood refused to talk to anyone bar King Charles II. So he was brought before the King and other Royals, including the Duke of York, who also had a strong Irish connection, becoming King James II of Battle of the Boyne fame. Blood exerted all his Blarney, charm and lovable roguery and got a pardon plus a grant of land in Ireland. Ormonde was disgusted.<o:p></o:p>

Blood decided to go straight and beame a popular public figure in London under the patronage of the Duke of Buckingham, who was suspected of being behind the attempted abductions of Ormonde, although they quarrelled later on. Blood died on August 24<SUP>th</SUP> 1679, as mad and as bad as they come.<o:p></o:p>

herr flick
25th February 2005, 21:00
Keep it up Groundhog, keep it up. I think Flogging Fitz may have been a distant relation!!!!!! My ancestory is of dubious nature after the 4th generation.

25th February 2005, 22:01
Keep it up Groundhog, keep it up. I think Flogging Fitz may have been a distant relation!!!!!! My ancestory is of dubious nature after the 4th generation.

The present generation is no great shakes either:biggrin: