#OTD in 1795 – Death of Reverend William Jackson of the United Irishmen.

Reverend William Jackson returns from France, unaware that his travelling companion, John Cockayne, is a spy; Jackson is arrested and found guilty of high treason; he commits suicide in the dock by taking poison.

Jackson had liaised between France and United Irishmen leaders in an effort to get support for an Irish rebellion. Betrayed by a colleague, Jackson was arrested and tried for sedition in Dublin. On this date in 1795, just prior to an inevitable sentence of treason, he ingested poison and died in the dock. His death, prior to sentence meant that his possessions could not be seized by the state.

His remains were followed to St. Michan’s (where his tombstone may now be seen).

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