1798 – Theobald Wolfe Tone dies

Theobald Wolfe Tone dies from a stab wound to his neck which he inflicted upon himself on November 12; his attempted suicide is the result of being refused a soldier’s execution by firing squad and being sentenced to death by hanging.

Irish nationalist Wolfe Tone dies in jail from an apparently self-inflicted wound. Tone had been condemned to death for sedition by the British authorities. On the morning of his mooted execution, November 12th, he attempted to kill himself with a pen knife.

On being condemned, Tone stated from the dock:

I have laboured to abolish the infernal spirit of religious persecution, by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters. To the former I owe more than ever can be repaid. The service I was so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently; but they did more: when the public cry was raised against me—when the friends of my youth swarmed off and left me alone—the Catholics did not desert me; they had the virtue even to sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honour; they refused, though strongly urged, to disgrace a man who, whatever his conduct towards the Government might have been, had faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty towards them; and in so doing, though it was in my own case, I will say they showed an instance of public virtue of which I know not whether there exists another example.

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