Wolfe Tone

















































Theobald Wolfe Tone 1763-1798

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Born in Dublin. He was the father of Irish Republicanism, but of a kind that sought to bring together Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. He organised the Back Lane Parliament. He was wearing the uniform of a French colonel when he was captured and sentenced to tone4.jpg (50415 bytes)death. He died in prison before the execution was carried out. His writings include Review of The Conduct of the Administration, Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, his journals published in various editions and under different titles, his letters and an early novel Belmont Castle. tone2.jpg (29666 bytes)

            He is buried in the graveyard at Bodenstown, County Kildare. 

            His grave was almost forgotten until Thomas Davis got the local blacksmith to clear the weed-covered grave. Davis commissioned a simple black marble slab for the grave. The inscription read: Theobald Wolfe/ Tone/ Born 20th June 1763/ Died 19th November 1798/ For/ Ireland.

            This stone was taken to Bodenstown but was not erected and was eventually damaged. Another stone was erected in 1873. A line drawing of it appears in Molony’s biography of Thomas Davis. The inscription read: The Original Slab/ Been Accidentally Broken/ The Members Of The Dublin/ Wolfe Tone Band/ In Respect To The Memory Of Their/ Noble Patron/ Erected This Slab 14 Sept 1873/ God Save Irelandtone5.jpg (51126 bytes)

        A vertical stone over the grave had the inscription: This Burial Place Belongs To/ Wm Tone And His Family. Here/ Lieth The Body Of The Above/ Who Departed This Life 24th/ April 1766 Aged 60 Years/ Also Three Of His Children

        Another stone is presently located inside the church behind the railings. The inscription reads: Theobald Wolfe Tone/ Born 20th June 1763/Died 19th Novr 1798/ For Ireland/ This Stone/ Has Been Erected By The Members Of The/ Kildare Gaelic Association/ In Memory Of/ Theobald Wolfe Tone/ To Replace A Former Monument Erected By/ The Wolfe Tone Band/ Which As Well As The Original Stone/ Has Fallen Into Decay.

            This stone was damaged in an explosion in 1969.tone sign.jpg (46874 bytes)

            The quotation on the plaque on the wall of the church above the grave is taken from Pearse: Ní Síocháin Gan Saoirse/ Thinker And Doer/ Dreamer Of The Immortal/ Dream And Doer Of The/ Immortal Deed. We Owe To/ This Dead Man More Than/ We Can Ever Repay Him./ To His Teaching We Owe It/ That There Is Such A Thing/ As Irish Nationalism and To The Memory Of The Deed/ He Nerved His Generation/ To Do, To The Memory Of/ ’98 We Owe It That There/ Is Any Manhood Left In/ Ireland. P.H Pearse

            One of the stones in the surround quotes from Tone:

Our Independence Must Be Had At All Hazards. If The Men Of Property Will Not Support Us They Must Fall. We Can Support Ourselves By The Aid Of That Numerous And Respectable Class Of The Community The Men Of No Property.

            The National Graves Association took over the care of Bodenstown and are presently still repairing and upgrading the site.

            Matilda, wife of Wolfe Tone, is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in the Bronx, New York. A commemoration is held each year at the grave.

Further information, location and directions to the grave are to be found in "The End - An Illustrated Guide to the Graves of Irish Writers".  Click here to order a copy of this book