Teeling (Bartholomew), United Irishman, executed 1798. An important collection of personal items and documents, as follows: a) A pair of short cloth and metal braces and a tricolour silk ribbon (in two parts), with a manuscript note stating ‘Braces & ribbon worn by Bartholomew Teeling who was executed on the charge of high treason on 24th September 1798. The braces are marked with his blood, the result of a wound received in (it is believed) the battle of Ballinamuck. The braces were broken in his death struggle on the scaffold.’ The handwriting is the same as in the manuscript Memoir below (b), evidently by a family member. The braces are each about 9" x 1 ¾", stoutly made, apparently of green linen backed by canvas, stitched over metal springs, each with a tapering end including a button-hole; at the other end they appear to have been attached to something like a buckle. The tricolour ribbon is in two pieces each about 21" long, 2" wide, the three colours being a dark green, a central strip of white, and a light pink-yellow colour. Probably the two pieces were originally attached, forming a sash. It is worn and fragile, please handle with care. b) A manuscript memoir concerning Bartholomew’s nephew Charles George Teeling [1806-75], 10 pp oblong foolscap, folded, in a neat hand, unsigned, evidently written by a close family member, possibly his daughter. It outlines the family’s history of patriotism, Charles’ life as a soldier, his contacts with European figures including Lafayette and Murat, his service in Spain and Egypt, his family life, his devout Catholicism. In brown wrappers, stitched, on paper watermarked 1874. A small portion cut from top of first leaf, possibly to remove the author’s name. Apparently unpublished. Charles George Teeling was a son of Charles Hamilton Teeling [1778-1850], younger brother of Bartholomew Teeling. c) Memoir of Said Bey by his Aide-de-Camp, Charles George Teeling (Lieutenant of Artillery.) 1840. 14 pp, buff printed wrappers. No place, no printer, probably printed for the author. No copy listed in COPAC. Said Bey was a son of the great modernising Egyptian Pasha, Mehmet Ali. Teeling was Said’s aide-de-camp and tutor. Items b) and c) help to authenticate item a), indicating that these articles were in the custody of members of the Teeling family until at least 1875. Bartholomew Teeling was born in 1774 in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, the son of a Catholic linen-draper. His mother was a Taaffe from Smarmore Castle in Louth (Catholic gentry). He was educated at the school set up by Rev. Dr. Dubourdieu, a French Huguenot emigré, where he may have learned French, and possibly some French ideas. He joined the United Irishmen before he was twenty. His father Luke was an associate of the Catholic Committee and was imprisoned without charge from 1798 to 1802. His younger brother Charles Hamilton Teeling was also a United Irishman. In 1796-7 Bartholomew went to France to avoid arrest, and to help Wolfe Tone to seek French military assistance for Ireland. He secured a French commission, and served with Tone in Hoche’s expedition to Bantry Bay, which returned to France without landing. Again in 1798, this time with Matthew Tone (brother of Wolfe), he embarked with the small French force that landed at Killala, while Wolfe Tone stayed in France to await a larger expedition. Teeling served as aide-de-camp to the French commander General Humbert. He is said to have shown notable courage, capturing an artillery piece single-handed at Carrignagat. It is also said he helped to protect the local Protestant gentry from reprisals by Humbert’s Irish supporters. After Humbert routed General Lake’s militia at Castlebar, Lord Cornwallis sent a larger force to stop the French before they could set the country alight. Humbert was forced to meet them at Ballinamuck, Co. Longford, where he faced greatly superior forces, and after some hours he agreed to surrender ‘on terms’. The terms included the safety of his own force, but his Irish supporters were slaughtered without mercy. Teeling and Matthew Tone held French commissions and should have been exempt, but they were seized and brought to Dublin, where they were separately tried by court-martial for high treason and hanged. An eye-witness said Teeling died ‘with the greatest philosophy, declaring that he suffered for his principles.’ The manuscript note (a) herewith states that the accompanying items of clothing were part of Teeling’s dress at his arrest and execution. The ribbon or sash may have been intended to distinguish the wearer from other French officers as an Irishman. Bartholomew Teeling was only 20 when he followed Wolfe Tone to France. He was still only 24 when he was hanged at Arbour Hill Barracks in Dublin on 24 September 1798, 224 years ago, as a rebellious subject of King George. As a collection, w.a.f. (1) Provenance: Purchased at a Dublin auction some years ago, said to be from the estate of a deceased solicitor and collector of memorabilia.
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