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William Sampson

Ireland & New York

"Sampson, William.—One of the most prominent of the United Irishmen, born in Derry, January 17, 1764. Entered T.C.D., but did not graduate there. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn, and returnd to Belfast, espoused the cause of the United Irishmen. Wrote for The Press, the organ of his society, over the signature of 'Fortescue.' Poems of his may be found in Madden's 'Literary Remains of the United Irishmen,' pp. 122, 177, 179, and in Watty Cox's Irish Magazine for 1811. He was arrested for complicity in the rebellion, and in July, 1806, went to America, where he was very successful as a lawyer. He wrote several excellent books, including his 'Memoirs' (1807), and died in New York on December 28, 1830. He published anonymously, 'A Faithful Report of the Trial of Hurdy-Gurdy at the bar of the Court of King's Bench,' etc., a parody, Belfast, 1794 . . . reprinted in Dublin in the same year."

[Source: D. J. O'Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of Irish Writers of English Verse 414 (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co.; London: Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1912)(Gale Research Co., reprint 1968)] [O'Donoghue records Sampson's death in 1830, other sources place it in 1836]

William Sampson

A Portrait of Counsellor William Sampson
Lisburn Historical Society


William Sampson, Memoirs of William Sampson including particulars of his adventures in various parts of Europe, his confinement in the dungeons of the inquisition in Lisbon, &c., &c., several original letters, being his correspondence with the ministers of state in Great-Britain and Portugal, a short sketch of the history of Ireland, particularly as it respects the spirit of British domination in that country, and a few observations on the state om manners, &c., in America (New York: Printed for the author by George Forman, 1807)(Leesburg, Virgina: Samuel E.T. Caldwell, 1817) [online text] [online text]

[Memoirs of William Sampson: An Irish Exile (London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Arnot, 1832)]

_____________, The Catholic question in America : ... Whether a Roman Catholic Clergyman be in any case compellable to disclose the secrets of Auricular Confession ... (New York: Edward Gillespy, 1813) [online text]