Published in Issue 5 (September/October 2022), Letters, Volume 30

Sir,—Apropos John M. Regan’s review of Ronan McGreevy’s Great Hatred (HI 30.3, May/June 2022). ‘I am an Irishman, born in County Longford’ stated Henry Wilson during the course of a speech given at Caxton Hall in London in May 1922 (Northern Whig, 10 May 1922). Wilson stated this throughout his life and to the best of my knowledge anything biographical written about him since his death has repeated this as fact.

Henry Wilson was born on 5 May 1864 to James Wilson and Grace Martha Wilson (née Hughes). However a quick check of the free online records at irishgenealogy.ie shows he was not born in County Longford but at Longford Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, as was his sister Florence in 1865 and his brother Arthur in 1867. The record for his brother, Arthur, gives the house number as 25 Longford Terrace. Wilson’s bother Cecil was born at ‘Frascati’, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, in 1870, as was his sister Ada in 1872 where her father James’ rank/profession was given as ‘Deputy Lieutenant, Co. Longford’. Wilson’s sister Florence died on 16 December 1869 aged just four years old and was buried in Dean’s Grange Cemetery near the Protestant church in plot number 18/L/South, the records for which can also be viewed online free of charge at dlrcc.discovereverafter.com.

In an ironic twist of history, the two IRA Volunteers, Joseph O’Sullivan and Reginald Dunne, who were hung for the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson are buried in the nearby Republican Plot in the same cemetery.—Yours etc.,   

Dún Laoghaire


Copyright © 2024 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568