Historyrant's Blog

Sarah Curran…famous daughter of Newmarket!

Posted in Uncategorized by historyrant on November 9, 2009

SDC10054Sarah Curran, was born in Rathfarnham, Dublin to the famous barrister and politician, John Philpott Curran.  She grew up in both Newmarket and Rathfarnham but the family moved permanently to Dublin after her sister Gertrude threw herself out of the window of their house in Priory, Newmarket.  Philpott Curran had been born and raised in Newmarket, and eventually attended Trinity University to read law.  He would become one the most famous Irish orators of the time.  So famous that both Byron and Shelley wrote of his amazing wit, and poetic language.  He was also known to have defended those arrested of membership of the United Irishmen.  It is through this link that Sarah Curran became famous.  She met, and became the secret fiancee of Robert Emmet.  When he was arrested in 1801, it was her father that defended him.  Emmet had passed love letters for Sarah to one of the prison guards he felt he could trust (was he mistaken on that!!), and the letters were given to the prosecution.  He was interrogated as to who the lady in question was but refused for quite some time to reveal her name.  The Curran family home was subsequently searched, but Sarah escaped conviction, possibly due to the quick thinking of one of her sisters who burnt the love letters from Emmet, and possibly because of who her father was.  Emmet was eventually sentenced to death.  Some years later, she married Captain Sturgeon, and was buried in Newmarket Protestant graveyard at her request.

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