Author Topic: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast  (Read 784 times)

Francis Higgins

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« on: July 02, 2020, 12:38:16 PM »
Hello, I am currently researching materials for a book on the Brown's Square area in Belfast in relation to the United Irishmen who met and lived there 1791-1847.  Any information on Jemmy Hope's cottage or James Alexander's house on Peter's Hill would be much appreciated and acknowledged in any published work. The was also a assassination cell at Brown's Square called the 'Brown's Square Brothers' who may have been involved in the killing of the informer Friar Phillips and the shooting dead of another on Peter's Hill. Any info or links gratefully appreciated.

allymac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 01:11:34 PM »
Fr Phillips was killed when he was found to be spying for the authorities He is buried in the old Shankill Graveyard,the records of which were destroyed by their holder.
Support all our servicemen and women either at home or abroad.

Francis Higgins

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 01:35:46 PM »
Many thanks, I think I discovered the history of the raid on John Alexander's house on Peter's Hill in the Biggar Paper's but can't get into the library because of the virus. He was identified by an informer and escaped out the back of this house with the lists of the United Irishmen and minutes of meetings. He burnt them on Divis mountain.

Dale1980

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 08:04:05 PM »
Interesting question, Francis Higgins (Sham Squire?).
The informer William Bird, aka John Smith, made reference to the "Brown Square Boys" in one of 1796 communications. He fled to Liverpool because he believed his activities had been rumbled and he feared for his safety. While James Hope lived in the area for a time, I think that Alexander's was a meeting place for United Irishmen from different parts of the town. Hope denied all rumours of a United Irish assassination committee, as did the State Prisoners who gave evidence before the Secrecy Committees of the Irish Lords and Commons. Hope also said that leading members of the Society disapproved. Evidence would suggest otherwise, although I suspect it was not a proactive policy of assassination, rather the elimination of those who threatened to undermine the United Irishmen by becoming informers.
Friar Phillips is a case in point and his death in January 1796 marked the start of a number of killings and attempted assassinations. The most interesting are the murder of Joseph Connell (Connolly) of the Limerick City Militia and the attempted killing of Sgt John Lee who worked under Captain MacNevin based in Carrickfegus.
Bigger is an interesting source of evidence, if a bit hit and miss. This is a fascinating topic - good luck with your research.

allymac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 11:55:15 PM »
You should get in touch with the Belfast History Project in Henry St Belfast.Phone them on ,02890322289.
Support all our servicemen and women either at home or abroad.

Lost Login

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 473
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 10:29:46 AM »
Get in touch with the Ulster Museum. The death mask of James "Jemmy" Hope who died at Brown Square should still be on display, along with his portrait.
Not available in Northern Ireland.

St.Anthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1622
Re: United Irishmen at Brown Square, Belfast
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 05:38:36 PM »
I was chatting to Francis during the week,  His book is expected to be published this week.