15 November 2008

Irish Anglicans and the Greek War of Independence

Saint Paul’s Anglican Church ... plaques and windows first raised questions about the Irish identity of Sir Richard Church and other Philhellenes (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford


Many of us are familiar with the Philhellenes – those foreigners who devoted their lives to Greece at the beginning of the 19th century. But few of us, I imagine, are aware of the many Irishmen who fought in the Greek War of Independence, their roles as Philhellenes, or their intimate connections with the Church of Ireland. Reading many British historians,[1] it is easy to believe that all the Philhellenes were British romantics, the most noble and enthusiastic of them being Lord Byron. There may have been a smattering of Americans, but the French among them were portrayed as rogues and knaves, and other nationalities, particularly Russians, as susceptible. This typecasting was so Anglo-centric that both Byron and the eccentric Lord Cochrane are no longer Scots but honorary Englishmen. So too with the Irish Philhellenes.

I first became interested in the forgotten Irish Philhellenes during one working visit to Athens in the 1990s. Some of you may be familiar with Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, close to Syntagma Square. There are a number of memorials there to Sir Richard Church (1784-1873) including a plaque that claims he won the affection of the people of Greece “for himself and for England.” Yet from the moment I saw these memorials I was sure he was Irish; I soon found out that Church was the leading Irish Philhellene – indeed, he has been described as the “liege lord of all true Philhellenes.”[2] And there were many more Irish heroes who filled those ranks – most, like Church, members of the Church of Ireland.

Sir Richard Church (1784-1873) as portrayed on his grave in the First Cemetery in Athens (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The first Irish Philhellenes

The Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century and the capture of the Ionian Islands brought the first future Irish Philhellenes to Greece, including Sir Hudson Lowe (1769–1844) from Galway. Lowe is often remembered as Napoleon’s jailer, but his campaign for the abolition of slavery is forgotten. He was second-in-command in the expedition to the Ionian Islands, was present at the capture of Kephalonia, Ithaki and Lefkhada, and he later framed a provisional administration for the islands. The Greek population appreciated him so much that they presented him with a sword of honour on his reluctant departure.

Lowe was accompanied by Richard Church, who was born into a prominent Quaker merchant family in Cork. When the young Richard Church ran away to join the army, he brought disgrace on his Quaker parents who were disowned or excommunicated for buying him a commission and so became Anglicans. As a 16-year-old ensign in 1800, he visited Greece for the first time and wrote home: “The Greeks, who are slaves to the Turks and are Christians, are ... a brave, honest, open generous people, continually making us presents of fruit.”[3] After the British capture of the Ionian Islands in 1809, Church quickly raised a Greek regiment of light infantry, and within six weeks had Greek troops involved in the fighting. He conducted the landing on Zakynthos, and went on to distinguish himself at the capture of Ithaki and Kythera.

On Zakynthos, Church began providing military training for the Greeks, including Theodoros Kolokotronis, who fought with distinction alongside Church and Lowe at Lefkhada and became a captain in the new regiment. When Church’s arm was shattered at the storming of the bastion, he went on sick leave, visiting Athens, travelling through northern Greece, and reporting to the British embassy at Constantinople. Back on Zakynthos, he recruited more Greeks, and soon reported that 6,000 to 8,000 Greeks could have been recruited, so overwhelming was the interest. One Greek leader promised Church that if he could train his men they would win for him the fame of Miltiades, Leonidas and Themistocles. In 1812, Church went to London seeking permission to raise a second regiment. As he left, he was presented with one memorial describing him as “illustrious chief” and another asking for British assistance in liberating Greece. But, although Church was raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was given sanction to raise a second regiment of Greeks, he did not win the political support he hoped for.

On his return, Church’s Greek troops captured Paxos and the town of Parga on the mainland. He later left Zakynthos for Naples, where he assisted in the negotiations for the surrender of Corfu. By then he was, in the words of St Clair, “more Greek than the Greeks.”[4] He argued unsuccessfully behind the scenes at the Congress of Vienna for an independent, sovereign Greek state. Instead, he was ordered to disband his Greek regiments, the Ionian Islands became a British fiefdom, and in an act of treacherous betrayal, Parga was sold to Ali Pasha. Disappointed, Church left Greece for a military career that took him to Austria and Italy.

Irish Philhellenes join the struggle

Meanwhile, a new wave of Irish radicals became interested in Greece, including two members of the Church of Ireland: Edward Blaquière (died 1832), a romantic Dublin seaman of Huguenot descent, and Charles James Napier (1782–1853) from Celbridge, Co Kildare, a first cousin of Lord Edward FitzGerald. Blaquière first came into contact with the Greek revolutionaries when he met John Louriotis, who was raising funds in Spain and Portugal. Blaquière’s suggestion that London was a better place for fundraising led to the formation of the London Greek Committee, marking a crucial stage in the Greek cause. Early Irish members of the committee included the poet Thomas Moore, and a future Governor of the Ionian Islands, Lord Nugent.

Blaquière soon headed for Greece, stopping in Genoa to visit Byron, who was planning to travel to Latin America. Blaquière persuaded him to return to Greece, advising Byron to go first to Zakynthos. Instead, Byron sailed for Kephalonia, where the British governor or resident was Napier from Celbridge. Byron first stayed as a guest of Napier, who later found him a villa at Metaxata, south of Argostoli. There Byron wrote: “Colonel Napier and myself are as decided for the cause of Greece as any.”[5]

Among Byron’s friends at Metaxata was the regimental Irish doctor, Dr James Kennedy, who taught him demotic Greek, and the Philhellenes who visited Byron there included the Belfast journalist James Emerson (1804–1869).

An Irish aristocrat, Lord Strangford, known to Byron as “Hibernian Strangford,” was the British Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Sublime Porte in these crucial years leading up to the Greek War of Independence, from 1820 to 1824. His presence there was crucial to Byron’s plans to move from Kephallonia to mainland Greece. During Strangford’s posting in Constantinople, George Canning officially maintained a policy of British neutrality which, to a point, was an advantage to the Greeks; he informed Strangford of his connivance at the activities of the Philhellenes, and told him he would not prevent Byron from going to Greece.[6]

However, faced with continual opposition from British administrators in Corfu, Napier was worried that Byron’s presence on the island and the visitors he was receiving threatened his own position. Byron left Kephalonia on 30 December 1823, and arrived at Missolonghi on 5 January 1824, hoping he would soon be joined by Napier as commander-in-chief of the Greek army. But Byron died there on Easter Sunday, 18 April 1824; the day before he had said: “I wish Napier … [was] here, we would soon settle this business.” Three days after Byron’s death, Blaquière arrived back in Zakynthos with the first instalment of a British loan; within days, Byron’s coffin began its journey back to England on board the Florida, the ship that brought Blaquière back to Greece. Blaquière now tried to recruit either of two Irishmen, Church’s friend Count Laval Nugent or Napier, as commander of the army.

Sir Charles James Napier ((1782-1853), from a portrait in Argostoli, Kephalonia

Napier had first arrived in the Ionian Islands in 1819. On a confidential mission from Corfu to Ali Pasha, he was converted to the Greek cause, and when the war of independence began on 25 March 1821 he started supplying military intelligence to the Greeks and publishing pamphlets in English supporting the struggle. Despite his reputation as a radical and a Philhellene, Napier was appointed British resident of Kephalonia, where he was an “enlightened despot,” providing roads, bridges and public buildings, assisted by his Director of Public Works, John Pitt Kennedy (1796–1879), the son of a Church of Ireland rector from the Diocese of Raphoe.

There were two Irishmen named Kennedy on Napier’s staff: John Pitt Kennedy, who is credited with paving the roads of Kephallonia, and the devout and pious army doctor, James Kennedy. The poet Byron distinguished between these two Irish Kennedys on Kephalonia by referring to them as the Saint and the Sinner, although Woodhouse points out that John Pitt Kennedy “was certainly no sinner,” and he lists him among the Irish Philhellenes.[7] He was the fourth son of the Revd John Pitt Kennedy (ca 1760-1811), Rector of Carndonagh (1791-1808) and later Rector of Balteagh (1808-1811), Co Donegal.

Napier and Kennedy erected the elegant, circular Doric lighthouse at Aghios Theodoros, along with market places, a marine parade, quays, courthouses, prisons, hospitals, and schools. They criss-crossed the once-impassable island with a network of roads and bridges, laid out broad streets and wide squares in Argostoli and Lixouri, and provided a tree-lined avenue to the Monastery of Aghios Gerassimos. Napier also broke the feudal privileges of the island aristocracy, putting agriculture on a firm footing. Another Irish Anglican, John Augustus Toole (ca. 1792–1829) – who came to Kephalonia as a member of Napier’s staff – worked closely with Kennedy on building the roads and bridges. By the winter of 1826 and 1827, he was among the supporters of Kapodistrias who organised their activities from Corfu under the cover of a charitable committee.

Napier’s time in Kephalonia “was probably the happiest in his life.”[8] There he fell in love with a Greek woman, Anastasia, who became the mother of his two daughters. Long after Byron’s death, Napier continued to hope he would become the Greek commander-in-chief, hopes harboured too by his friends among the Greek leadership, including Kapodistrias and Mavrokordatos. But the appointment never came and Blaquière and Kolokotronis then offered the command to Church. Napier eventually left Kephalonia, leaving his Greek-born daughters behind. He returned occasionally to Ireland, visiting his friend Kennedy, the rector’s son from Donegal, at Glasnevin, but eventually made his name as the Conqueror of Sind in India.

Church returns to Greece

When the War of Independence broke out in 1821, Church expressed the hope that he might become involved once again in the Greek cause. Blaquière worked hard politically to have Church invited back to Greece to lead the armed forces, but while he waited on Zakynthos for Church’s return, his hopes appeared to be in vain. Then, two weeks after Church’s marriage to Elizabeth Augusta Wilmot, sister-in-law of the Earl of Kenmare and distantly related by marriage to Byron, and two weeks after the fall of Athens to the Turks, the Greek government finally invited Church to assume command.

During this period of waiting, his old friend Kolokotronis had written to Church asking: ‘What are you doing? Where are you to be found? My soul has never been absent from you – We your old comrades in arms ... are fighting for our country – Greece so dear to you! – that we may obtain our rights as men and as people and our liberty – How has your soul been able to allow you to remain away from us, and to withhold you from combating with us? I expected you here before other Philhellenes ... Come! Come! and take arms for Greece: or assist her with your talents, your virtues, and your abilities, that you may claim her eternal gratitude ...”[9]

However, when he heard of rifts within the Greek government, Church abandoned his plans to sail to the Ionian Islands and headed for England in the hope of making a personal plea to Canning on behalf of Greece. Blaquière waited on Zakynthos expecting Church’s arrival; eventually invitations were issued to Kapodistrias to become President, to Church to command the army, and to Cochrane to command the navy. And so, less than three years after Byron’s death, on 9 March 1827, Church returned to Greece after an absence of 12 years and landed in the eastern Peloponnese.

He received a hero’s welcome from his former comrades in the Ionian regiments as Kolokotronis told them: “Our father is at last come! We have only to obey him and our liberty is assured!”[10]

Church took with him an Irish aide-de-camp, Captain Charles O’Fallon, and a second Irish sea captain, Francis Castle. Later in the day, Church, Kolokotronis, Blaquière and other leading figures in the struggle, dined on board the Cambrian with the frigate’s commander, Commodore Gawin William Rowan Hamilton (1784–1834). Hamilton had been stationed in Greek waters for seven years, using his position to support the Greek cause. He too was a member of the Church of Ireland; he was the son of the United Irish leader, Archibald Hamilton Rowan (1751–1834), and son-in-law of Sir George Cockburn (1763–1847) of Shanganagh Castle.[11]

Cochrane, who had sailed from Bantry Bay with his Irish secretary, William Bennet Stevenson (ca 1787-post 1830) – who is credited with introducing the potato to Greece – arrived in the Aegean a week after Church, on Saint Patrick’s Day 1827, on the French brig Saveur, captained by an Irish naval officer, George Thomas. At Aegina, Church and Cochrane refused to accept their appointments while the Greek factions continued to squabble, and Church’s patient mediation was chiefly responsible for the reconciliation of the rival factions. When Church and Blaquière threw in their lot behind the election of Kapodistrias, Church’s voice proved to be the deciding factor, and on Easter Sunday, 15 April 1827, Church took his oath of office.

An attempt to end the Turkish siege of the Greek garrison on the Acropolis became the first disastrous military engagement for Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

One of Church’s first actions was a disastrous attempt to drive off the Turkish force besieging the tiny Greek garrison in the Acropolis in Athens. As Cochrane vacillated, the Greek force of 10,000 was thrown into disarray, and in a Turkish onslaught the Greeks were cut to pieces. Church, O’Fallon and the men closest to them scrambled on to one of the small boats offshore, but 700 others were killed, including 22 Philhellenes. One of the first to rush to Church’s defence was his Irish friend Blaquière. Church soon rallied his forces at Aegina and crossed the Gulf of Corinth to establish new headquarters at Akrocorinth and to plan a campaign across the northern Peloponnese to stir a fresh rebellion. Once more, Cochrane’s actions threatened Church’s plans, but Church carried on hoping to extend the war into Albania in the hope of encouraging a revolt there too.

Victory at Navarino

A major turning point in the War of Independence came at the Battle of Navarino, the last sea battle of the age of sail. Thanks largely to the actions of Rowan Hamilton and Richard Church, a large Turkish naval force was confined to the Bay of Navarino for a month; then, in a four-hour battle on 20 October 1827, the allies annihilated the Turkish-Egyptian fleet. Turkey’s naval power was broken and Greek independence was imminent. Church rejoiced at what he called “this signal interposition of Divine Providence,” and in a letter to all Greek commanders he spoke of his “extreme delight of hearing the thunder of the battle.”[12] Soon after Navarino, Hamilton was court-martialled after scuttling the Cambrian off the coast of Crete – he had been suspected of waging his own wars against the Turkish fleet against British orders from Constantinople, but was honourably acquitted and returned to Ireland.

After Navarino, Church’s hopes that the allies would impose a settlement on the Turks were dashed. Kapodistrias arrived in Greece as President on 18 January 1828, and for six months delayed Church’s plans as he promised but failed to deliver more troops and a flotilla. Church was left waiting and then faced open mutiny among his men, who blamed him for the effect of the capricious orders from Kapodistrias.

Church found it increasingly difficult to work with the President, who suggested that if Church disliked the new regime he was free to resign. But Church soldiered on with a guerrilla campaign that was so successful had Kapodistrias afforded him even moderate support the Irish general could have captured Thessaly and much of Epiros. However, Kapodistrias promoted his brother Agostino over both Church and Ypsilantis and jeopardised Church’s victory at Vonitsa. To add insult to injury, the President sent his tiresome brother at the head of an army that had never fired a shot in western Greece to receive the surrender of cities that should have fallen to Church. When Church arrived in Missolonghi on 19 May 1829, he found the garrison had capitulated the previous day to Agostino. But he was still anxious to see the house where Byron had died, and when he entered the city the next day the troops gave him a loud, spontaneous welcome. Finally, on the island of Aegina in June, Church informed Kapodistrias he could no longer serve under the existing government. He had received what has been described as “an uncommonly bad deal” and left Greece within days.[13]

Return to politics

Church’s campaign in western Greece established the Greek claim to a frontier in the strategic area of the Gulf of Makrinoros. However, he was angry when he heard Kapodistrias was willing to accept proposals that would confine the new Greek state to the Morea and exclude both the western provinces, which he had helped liberate, and the islands of Crete and Samos. He returned to the fray, and in February 1830, in a hastily-written pamphlet, claimed that to re-impose the Turkish yoke on a people recently liberated was a crime against a nation and a crime against humanity. His brother-in-law, Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton (1784–1841), presented the draft pamphlet to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who was hoping to become King of Greece; within two days, Leopold formally withdrew his name, stating his case in words that paraphrased Church’s pamphlet. Leopold later became King of Belgium; Church for his part returned to Greece permanently to resume an active military and political career. In 1833, Otho of Bavaria arrived as the new Greek monarch.

A year later, when Athens became the Greek capital, only seven of the many Philhellenes who had once fought for Greece remained in the new state, and of these seven, two were Irish: FitzGibbon and Church. Rowan Hamilton died that year at Killyleagh Castle, Co Down; Napier was in Normandy, writing poetry and historical novels; and Blaquière drowned the previous year in a leaky ship fighting for the liberal cause in Portugal.

Church had become a Greek citizen, and in 1834 he and his wife moved into No 5 Odos Scholeiou, a house belonging to the Scottish historian, George Finlay, off Adrianou in the Plaka and beneath the Acropolis.

Church ended his days in the Plaka, in a house off Adrianou beneath the slops of the Acropolis (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

There were rumours that Church would be given the command of the army once again. This never materialised, but the new king restored Church to the rank of general. Church was also made a councillor of state, military governor of Roumeli, and, in 1836, became Inspector-General of the army. Otho proved to be a despot, and Church played a conspicuous role in the coup d’état of September 1843. A paper bearing demands for reform was carried to the palace by Church and two other rebel leaders, giving the king a choice of conceding reforms or abdicating – but for Church’s role, Otho would have been given no choice at all. Otho survived and later took his revenge on Church, dismissing him as Inspector-General. However, the Greek press went out of its way to apologise to Church for the treatment he received. Church remained a senator for life and a Greek citizen, and on the outbreak of the Crimean war Otho recalled him as a general, a rank conferred on no other foreigner. A popular revolt in 1862 finally forced Otho to leave Greece.

Church continued to live in Athens throughout his retirement. It is said he spent £10,000 from his own pocket in support of the Greek cause, but he said of himself: “I do not regret having sacrificed everything to the cause I embraced ... Notwithstanding what has happened, were it to be done again, I should voluntarily undertake the same difficulties and dangers, and even with anticipation of ruin to my domestic fortunes.”[14]

Church died in his ninetieth year on 27 March 1873. He was honoured with a public funeral and was buried in the First Cemetery of Athens, close to Kolokotronis and the heroes of the War of Independence. In his funeral oration, the Greek Ambassador to London, Ioannis Gennadios (1844-1932), described Church as “the truest Hellene, the most steadfast and most affectionate of the sons of Greece.”[15] Even Finlay was moved to make amends for an earlier breach in their friendship, declaring: “There could not be a nobler heart, and I think he was a perfect model of what he considered a perfect knight.”[16]

Abiding affection

Meanwhile, in his later years, Charles Napier made no secret that he still harboured hopes of being appointed Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. “If the Ionian Isles were offered it would be agreeable, because good could be done there,” he declared. His affection for the Greek people continued to grow in his final years and endured until the end. In a letter to Count Metaxa in August 1851, he wrote: “I always think of my second country, the (to me) dear island of Cephalonia. I have almost cried with vexation to hear of all that goes on there ... I think it would be better to give the islands to Greece.”[17] To his dying day, he held on to Koutoupi, his house and small plot of land in Argostoli. He explained in a letter to Metaxa: “I keep Cutupi because I love Cephalonia; were I younger I would go and live among you a private gentleman; but I am seventy, and the night closes fast upon me.”[18]

The monument to Sir Charles Napier in Trafalgar Square, London (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Napier died in Portsmouth on 29 August 1853. His dying thoughts were of the “blue hills and woods and waters of Celbridge, and the sun-baked rocks of Cephalonia with its wild thyme and asphodel.”[19] He was buried in the small churchyard of the garrison chapel in Portsmouth. A marble statue of him by G.G. Adams stands at the north side of the entrance to the north transept of Saint Paul’s Cathedal. A better known memorial by Adams is his bronze statue in London’s Trafalgar Square, erected by public subscription; as the inscription records, “the most numerous contributors being private soldiers,” who remembered him with affection and pride.

The Kephallonian historian, Helen Cosmatatos, says: “The magnitude of Charles James Napier’s achievements ... remains an amazing feat which has passed unknown among European engineers.”[20] As Ferriman says, “few who bore the name Philhellene deserved it so well.”[21]

Some other Philhellenes

In the appendix, I list a total of 31 people of Irish birth or with an Irish identity who played a public role in Greek political life during the struggle for the independence and consolidation of the modern Greek state, of whom I surmise 23 (74%) were Anglicans; of those 31, 24 can be counted among the Philhellenes, and once again I surmise that 18 (75%) were Anglicans; in other words, a disproportionate number of the Irish people involved in Greek life at the time, including Philhellenes, were members of the Church of Ireland (see Appendix). Prominent among them were the brothers-in-law, James Emerson, later James Emerson Tennent (1804–1869), and Robert James Tennent (1803–1880), who doubled as war correspondents for the London press as they fought for Greece.

Apart from Hamilton and Blaquière, other Irish naval officers fought in the War of Independence, including George Thomas who fitted out the French brig Saveur (or Soter) for Cochrane and later sank seven Turkish vessels in the Gulf of Patras. And there were key administrators from Ireland on the Ionian Islands with openly Philhellenic sympathies, including Lord Nugent from Westmeath, Viscount Kirkwall from Co Tipperary, Sir John Young from Co Cavan, and a countess who found her way from Tipperary to Zakynthos.

The Irish general and poet, Lord Nugent (George Nugent Grenville), a Philhellene and an early member of the London Greek Committee, was among the British governors of the Ionian Islands. As Lord High Commissioner from 1832 to 1835, Nugent entertained a visiting King Otho in the Solomos villa in Zakynthos, and it may have been there that Nugent introduced Eliza-Dorothea Tuite, from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, to Count Giovanni Salomos or Solomos of Zakynthos. They were married in 1838, giving the Irish Philhellenes an interesting family connection with Dionysios Solomos, author of Hymn to Liberty, the Greek national anthem. Eliza and Giovanni finally settled in the Greater Athens area, and were buried from Saint Paul’s Anglican Church.

Sir George FitzMaurice (1827–1889), known for much of his career as Viscount Kirkwall and later sixth Earl of Orkney, was one of the important Irish figures in Greece immediately after independence. He spent four years as a civil servant in the Ionian Islands in the 1850s, and left an extensive account of life on the islands before reunion with Greece.

Sir John Young (1807–1876), from Bailieborough, Co Cavan, who came to the Ionian Islands in 1855, was a benign if bumbling reformer. In 1857, he freed prominent patriots, radicals and journalists from Kephalonia who had been jailed or exiled. However, in a dispatch to the British colonial secretary, Young recommended that Corfu and Paxos should be converted into full British colonies. When the dispatch was leaked, Young’s position became untenable and he was replaced by Gladstone. However, Young’s intemperate proposals hastened the inevitable, and the Ionian Islands were united to Greece in 1864, realising the hopes Church and Napier once cherished for Zakynthos and Kephalonia. Young, who later became Lord Lisgar, is commemorated in stained glass windows in the Church of Ireland parish church in his native Bailieborough.

Although he was a Roman Catholic, I should also mention Sir Thomas Wyse (1791–1862) from Waterford, who played a key role in the decades immediately after Greek independence. He first visited Athens, the Greek islands and Constantinople in 1818. After an unhappy marriage to Napoleon’s niece and some time as MP for Tipperary and Waterford, he returned to Athens in 1849 as the British minister or ambassador. He became embroiled in the Don Pacifico affair in 1850, and in engineering a joint occupation of Piraeus by Britain and France during the Crimean war.[22] Among the British naval casualties in the occupation of Piraeus was a young, 26-year-old Irish aristocrat, Sir Henry Blackwood (1828-1854), a lieutenant on board the HMS Leander and a kinsman of Rowan Hamilton, Blackwood was hastily buried in Piraeus, [23] but was later exhumed and re-interred in Athens after a full funeral service in Saint Paul’s Anglican Church in 1857.[24]

Wyse devoted the rest of his life to helping Greek artistic, literary and educational 12 projects, and caused scandal, as a Roman Catholic, by his regular attendance at Saint Paul’s Anglican Church in Athens.[25] He died in office in Athens and despite their deep political differences, King Otho ordered a public funeral and with Queen Amalia he stood on the balcony of the Palace as the cortege passed through the city. Wyse had never returned to his native Waterford, and is buried in the First Cemetery in Athens, close to Richard Church.[26]

Within months, Otho was forced to abdicate. Then, as the Great Powers debated who should be the next king, an extraordinary proposal came from France: fifty members of the “Felibrige” movement published a letter saying: “As descendants of a Provençal-born Queen of Greece we claim the right to nominate a successor ... he is a poet, as handsome as Adonis and capable of restoring to Greece the century of Pericles.” This would-be King of Greece was Wyse’s Waterford-born son, William Charles Bonaparte Wyse (1826–1892).

The Irish attraction?

Unlike Byron, few of the Irish Philhellenes were romantics: their motivations were more political, and often religious. Some had close ties to the radical United Irishmen of the 1798 Rising, including Rowan Hamilton, who was the son of Archibald Hamilton Rowan. Charles Napier, a first cousin of Lord Edward FitzGerald, once wrote: “The Greeks are more like the Irish than any other people, so like, even to the oppression they suffer, that as I could not do good to Ireland the next pleasure was to serve men groaning under similar tyranny.”[27] He maintained a lifelong, tender friendship with FitzGerald’s daughter, Pamela, one of the last people to visit him on his deathbed. James Emerson, later Sir James Emerson Tennent, and Robert James Tennent were related to two of the leading Belfast United Irishmen, William Tennent, and Henry Joy McCracken.

Church, Napier and many of the Irish Philhellenes were heirs to the Radical Whigs rather than Irish nationalists. In 1825, while Napier was in London, Lowe tried to visit him, but Napier refused the call, explaining: “It is not my intention to conspire with gaolers.”[28] Other Radical Whigs included Lord Nugent, an advocate of Catholic Emancipation and the abolition of slavery and capital punishment.

These Irish Philhellenes also shared a simple and genuine love of Greece. Church wrote to his sister: “The Greeks, who are slaves to the Turks and are Christians, are as opposite a people as possible – a brave, honest, open generous people.”[29] For Blaquière, Greece was, in Biblical terms, a land flowing with milk and honey, and Crete was “the most prolific and beautiful spot on earth.”[30]

Napier compared the Greeks with his own people: “The merry Greeks ... are worth all other nations put together. I like to hear them; I like their fun, their good humour, their Paddy ways, for they are very like Irishmen. All their bad habits are Venetian; their wit, their eloquence, their good nature their own.”[31] He also once declared: “I am a Greek down to the nails of toes and the marrow of my bones.”[32]

Blaquière is castigated by St Clair as a “naive and superficial busybody” and “a liar and a trickster” who never understood the underlying causes of the Greek struggle.[33] But no-one can question his genuine love of Greece; for him, the cause of Greece was “by far the most glorious that ever graced the page of history [and] should not be sacrificed at the unhallowed shrine of avarice, envy or gratitude.”[34]

A later generation of Philhellenes

The involvement of Sir Edward Fitzgerald Law (1846–1908) in the struggle for Greek independence comes long after most of these Philhellenes. I might have passed by Law’s contribution to making Greece an independent, modern state, except I came across his name by accident on two, successive occasions: reading a description of a visit to Athens by his cousin, Archbishop John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, and researching the biographical details of his father’s cousin, the Revd Patrick Comerford Law (1797-1869) of KIllaloe.

Edward Law was born on 12 November 1846 in Rostrevor House, Co Down, the third son among the nine children of Michael Law, the senior partner of Law and Finlay’s Bank, Dublin, and afterwards a director of the Bank of Ireland, and his wife Sarah-Ann, daughter of Crofton FitzGerald.[35] The Law family was a long-established clerical family in the Church of Ireland: his great-grandfather, the Revd William Samuel Law (died 1760), was the first of four successive generations of distinguished clergy: the Revd Robert law (1730-1789), the Revd Francis Law (1768-1807), who married Bellinda Isabella Comerford from Cork, and the Revd Patrick Comerford Law (1797-1869).[36]

After a brief military career in the Royal Artillery, Law became the British consul at St Petersburg, and then travelled the world as a financial diplomat, an adventurer, failed entrepreneur, railway pioneer, and – I am sure – spy, working in Russia, Sudan, India, China and North America, before moving to Constantinople, and going on to work in Greece, Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkans.

In the 1880s and 1890s, he presided over the finances of Greece, restructuring the Greek debt and the nation’s economy, to the lasting advantage of Greece. On 18 October 1893 he married Catherine (Kaity), only daughter of Nicholas Hatzopulo, of an old Byzantine family, and settled in Athens.[37] Reading through his papers, it appears obvious that he used his position in Athens and travelling through the Balkans to supply crucial information to the Greeks involved in the struggle on the island of Crete for autonomy; this struggle began in 1897 and resulted first in an autonomous Cretan state headed by Prince George of Greece in 1898, and eventual unification with Greece in 1908.[38]

Although he was knighted in the British honours system in 1898, he refused all honours offered to him by the Greek monarchy and state. He died in Paris on 2 November 1908, and was buried in Athens almost three weeks later on 21 November. Crown Prince Constantine (later King Constantine I) and the entire Greek cabinet attended the funeral service in Saint Paul’s Anglican Church. His coffin was covered with the Greek national flag, and he received a state funeral with all the honours for someone decorated with the Grand Cross of the Saviour, an honour he had declined. The graveside eulogy in the First Cemetery was delivered by the Finance Minister and future Prime Minister, Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos. [39]

It was reported that “… when the soldiers fired the last salute over his Athenian grave, his wife knew that the desire of his life had not been denied him.” One Greek newspaper, Neon Asti, commented: “… he loved Greece with the devotion of a son … he was a Greek at heart. As he felt for Greece, more than a Greek, he watched over her, advised her and warned her …”[40]

A year after his death, the city council agreed unanimously to name a street in central Athens after him.[41] His memory was still honoured when Archbishop Gregg visited Athens in 1951; when told of the archbishop’s kinship with Law, the Mayor of Athens invited Gregg to return as the guest of the municipality – “an offer which I fear I cannot hope to take advantage of.”[42]

A final diversion:

As a final diversion on the Irish love for Greece, can I tell you that I was long fascinated by the identity of “the Irish lass” who had a bitter-sweet and brief affair with Nikos Kazantzakis, the author of Zorba the Greek – a story which the writer describes in detail in Chapter 14 of his semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical Report to Greco. I searched for clues to this woman’s identity for many years, during several visits to Crete, and through family connections had a lengthy interview with one family member, the late Costas Chrysakis of Iraklion. He had grown up knowing Kazantzakis as his uncle, and shared many of his family photographs with me as I was writing a contribution to a series in The Irish Times, “Literary Landmarks.”

Costas knew of “the Irish girl” who had this affair with this distinguished Greek writer in 1902: Niko was then 19 and she would have been 26. However, he told me no-one in the family knew her name, her identity, or what had happened to her afterwards, although he was sure there was no child. Other family members believed she was the daughter of a navy chaplain. But in recent years I have been able to identify her as Kathleen Forde (1876-1973), a daughter of the Revd Canon Dr Hugh Forde (1847-1929), Rector of Tamlaghfinlagan in the Diocese of Derry. She left Ireland at the age of 22 and spent four to eight years in Crete, working as an English-language teacher in Iraklion, where her students included a younger Kazantzakis. Later she moved to British Columbia, and died in California. She was twice married but had no children, and her story and her identity have only come to light in recent years.

The faith of the Philhellenes

It is worth insisting that Blaquière, Church and others were also moved by their deep Christian faith. Church, who often travelled with nothing more than his Bible and his sword, believed the Greek struggle was a holy war and he saw himself as a crusader.

Many of these Irish Philhellenes saw the cause of Greece as the cause of a Christian people oppressed and persecuted. In the case of Sir Richard Church, this connection between faith and action is best seen in Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Athens, where a memorial to Church was unveiled by Gladstone.

The interior of Saint Paul’s and the memorial windows commemorating Sir Richard Church

The two sets of windows to the memory of Church in Saint Paul’s use Old Testament imagery to represent the Greeks as the chosen people and Greece as the Promised Land, while Church is represented as Caleb who helps them capture the land from the Gentiles, or as David who, despite his stature, defeats the mighty Philistines. The inference is that the Turks were akin to the Amalekites or the Philistines who deprived the Chosen People of the Promised Land. The two-light north windows portray Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 34: 19; Joshua 15: 13 ff.); the brass tablet below has an inscription composed by Gladstone:

“This window is dedicated by the British Government to the memory of Sir Richard Church, who, after distinguished service in the British Army on the shores of the Mediterranean, devoted himself to the Cause of Greece as a Soldier and a Citizen, and won, by example of a long and noble life, the affection of her people for himself and for England – 1873.”

The south windows, presented in 1875 by the Church family, show Gideon who refused the crown after liberating the Israelites from the Midianites, and David holding the severed head of Goliath. Below Gideon is a representation of the story of the dew and the fleece (Judges 6: 38), a reference to Church’s demands that Greece should have the most extensive borders possible; below David is a representation of him slaying Goliath, an allusion to the fact that Church was small in stature but defeated the Ottoman might.

Church’s overgrown grave is marked by a tall slender column with his carved profile, and topped with a Greek cross and a wreath. A simple inscription reads: “Richard Church General who having given himself and all that he had to rescue a Christian race from oppression and to make Greece a nation lived for her service and died amongst her people rests here in peace and faith.”

Charles Napier was brought up in a family that was aristocratic but impoverished, radical but pious. Shortly before his father, Colonel George ‘Donny’ Napier, died, he wrote a letter charging his sons to prove their piety to God and their affection towards their parents. While he once joked that “the only things that bore me are church and convent affairs,” Napier’s journals testify to his religious convictions.

Napier pointed out that technically he was “head of the church” in Kephalonia, and he was conscientious in securing “an excellent pious man” as Bishop of Kephalonia. The new bishop was comforted to find he had twice the colonel’s pay, although Napier’s sense of humour would not allow him to resist claiming that the new prelate had “formerly lived by sheep-stealing, which he now calls his pastoral life.”[43]

He believed the great estates belonging to the monasteries and convents on the island should be handed over to the poor, pointing out that 26 convents on the island owned about one-sixth of the island’s fertile land, which was worked by families who lived in the convents, and Napier argued that these extensive estates had been acquired not to enrich the monastic communities but as legacies for the use of the poor.

During Byron’s sojourn on Kephalonia, Napier was amused rather than shocked by the poet’s scepticism, and the quietly religious Napier addressed the poet as “your atheistship.” Defending his faith in the course of those arguments, Napier told his guest he “never feared a parson, except when expecting long sermons in a cold church.”[44]

Napier also played host to that extraordinary missionary, the Revd Joseph Wolff (1795-1862), who had been shipwrecked off Kephalonia and who became Napier’s guest in Government House in Argostoli. Wolff, who had been born the son of a German rabbi, had converted to Christianity, and many years later, back in Ireland in 1838, was ordained a priest in the Church of Ireland by Richard Mant, Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore.[45]

Napier was vigorous in his promotion of religious tolerance. He reported to his mother at one stage that he had rescued the Jews of Kephalonia from a massacre by local fanatics, “all for the love of Jesus! The Greeks have in consequence called me the King of Jews, and say the latter gave me twelve thousand dollars for protection. Would that it were true.”[46]

Perhaps Napier was not sensitive enough to Greek Orthodox feelings to realise how much the Orthodox priests and people resented his settlement of Roman Catholics from Malta in Poros. But any mistakes he made in this project were more than compensated for by his endowment of monasteries and convents on the island. He planted a long avenue of trees up to the church and monastery of Aghios Gerasimos, a mile long and 60 feet wide. There he joined in the festival to mark the saint’s day on 16 August, and gave money to the upkeep of the convent. The Greeks assured him that he would be under the protection of the saint, to which he responded: “I sure hope he will treat me as a gentleman should.” His brother Henry later noted that the island’s patron saint “has, it seems, taken my brother under his immediate and personal protection, as the good people believe; so implicit a credit is given to this by the peasantry that some of them kneel to him for a blessing as he passes!”[47]

The identity of Napier’s Greek mistress, Anastasia, who was mother to his daughters, has never been established with certainty. Priscilla Napier speculates that she had been bought from her father or redeemed from slavery by Charles – at “the going price of about £11.17.6.” But his continuing contacts after their separation with Anastasia and her family, and her daughters’ lifelong pride in their mother makes this very unlikely. Perhaps, instead, she was the beautiful young girl who at the age of 16 he had rescued from a convent where she had once been forced to become a nun by her aunt, the abbess. Charles once wrote, “The only things that bore me are the church and convent affairs, excepting a beautiful nun of sixteen who dislikes being one very much, and I have blowed up her old devil of an aunt, the abbess, for making her one. Nay more! I told the girl’s friends that if she would run away with a handsome young Greek, I would, as head of the church, stand between them and all harm.”[48]

Napier’s engineer on Kephalonia, John Pitt Kennedy, came from a family with many members who served as senior clergy in the Church of Ireland: his father was Rector Carndonagh; his uncle was the Revd Maxwell Kennedy (died 1782); he was a cousin of both the Very Revd William Skipton (1833-1903), Dean of Killala, and the Revd Thomas Skipton (1850-1930), Rector of Kiltennel, Co Wexford (1891-1901); and he was also an uncle by marriage of the Very Revd Hercules Henry Dickenson (1827-1905), Vicar of Saint Ann’s and Dean of the Chapel Royal, Dublin.[49]

Kennedy’s Irish companion on Kephallonia, Dr James Kennedy, had no doubts about Byron’s sincerity, and later wrote his Conversations on Religion with Lord Byron to clear the poet of “that obloquy which is attached to his name in the minds of most Christian.” Later, Kennedy sent Byron a Bible in modern Greek printed in Malta.

Blaquière combined Hellenic and Christian motives when he told the Greeks that he was helping them because he was “enthusiastically favoured to Grecian freedom, not less from a sense of religion than a sense of gratitude to their ancestors.”[50]

If this Irish adventurer displayed any faults it was his anti-Semitism and his over-enthusiastic descriptions of Greece and its potential. At one time he accused Rothschild of co-operating with Turks and Jews in an anti-Greek conspiracy. On another occasion, he spoke of Greece in Biblical terms as a land flowing with milk and honey, and described Crete as “the most prolific and beautiful spot on the earth for its extent.” But there is no doubting his deep and abiding love for Greece. For him, the cause of Greece was “by far the most glorious that ever graced the page of history [and] should not be sacrificed at the unhallowed shrine of avarice, envy or gratitude.”[51]

Strangford, the British ambassador to Constantinople at a crucial time (11820-1824), was the son of the Revd Lionel Smythe (1753-1801), fifth Viscount Strangford and Rector of Kilbrew, Co Meath (1788-1801), and grandson of the disgraced Philip Smythe (1715-1787), fourth Viscount Strangford, Dean of Derry (1752-1769) and Archdeacon of Derry (1769-1774), one of the most corrupt peers and clergymen in Ireland at the end of the 18th century, accused of pocketing tithes and defrauding the people, and barred for life from the Irish House of Lords after seeking bribes for his vote.[52] But Strangford too expressed his views on Greek independence in the language of his Christian faith. He urged on the Porte the necessity of pursuing a more conciliatory policy towards Russia, which saw itself as the great protector and ally of the emerging Greek state, and urged the Ottoman powers to make concessions to its Christian subjects then in open revolt both in Greece and in the Danubian principalities.[53]

Strangford’s youngest son, Percy Ellen Frederick Smythe (1825-1869), acquired his unusual second name because of his father’s Philhellenic sympathies. He eventually became eighth Viscount Strangford, and returned to live in Constantinople in 1861, but spent his final days on the Bosphorus living the life of a dervish.[54]

Legacies without memorials

Unlike Byron and Cochrane, the memory of Church and Ireland’s other Philhellenes has been sadly neglected in the land of their birth. There are statues to Napier in Trafalgar Square and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London, but apart from the full-length portrait of James Emerson Tennent, in Belfast City Hall, the Irish Philhellenes are without any public monuments at home.

Church’s papers remain in the British Museum largely unpublished, and he has never been the subject of a major study or biography. His once-charming house in the Plaka was long abandoned and covered in graffiti. Tzortz Street, close to Omonia and the Polytechnic in Athens, was named after him, using a transliteration of his name as he spelt it in Greek. The spelling Tzortz remains on the nameplates in Greek at each end of the street, but on most pillars and maps Tzortz is badly transliterated from Greek into English as “George” rather than “Church.”

Similarly, Sir Edward Law’s only memorial in Athens is a street named after him. But this is usually transliterated into English from the Greek as “Eduardo Lo” – making it impossible for most pedestrians and passers-by to identify him.

The Aghios Theodoros Lighthouse, built by Napier and Kennedy in Kephalonia

The lasting memorials to Napier and Kennedy are their roads and bridges in Kephalonia, and the lighthouse at Aghios Theodoros. Napier’s Gardens were given to Argostoli by his Greek-born daughter in 1906. In recent years, the gardens have been restored by the Argostoli Demos, and furnished with an old restored bust of Napier. Perhaps the lasting monument to these Irish Philhellenes is that Greece is free; but they deserve more generous public acknowledgments of their contributions to the liberty we enjoy in both Greece and in Ireland, and more recognition within the Church of Ireland too.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Director of Spiritual Formation, the Church of Ireland Theological College, where he also teaches Church History. This paper was delivered at the Winter Conference of the Church of Ireland Historical Society in the Chapter Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Saturday 15 November 2008.

APPENDIX: Irish figures with roles in the Greek War of Independence:

1, (Captain) Edward Blaquiere* (died 1832), persuaded Byron to join the Greek struggle.
2, Sir Richard Church* (1784-1873), commander-in-chief of the Greek army, life senator.
3, (Captain) Francis T. Castle,* Irish sea captain and Philhellene.
4, (Captain) Gibbon FitzGibbon (1802-1837), gunnery officer and lieutenant on the Karteria; lived on in Greece after the war of independence, and along with Church was one of only seven Philhellenes still living in the new kingdom when Otho arrived in Athens as king in 1833.
5, Sir George FitzMaurice* (1827-1889), 6th Earl of Orkney and Viscount Kirkwall, spent four years as a civil servant in the Ionian Islands in the 1850s, left an extensive account of life there prior to reunion with Greece; decorated by the King of Greece as a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Saviour.
6, Kathleen Ford* … had an affair with Kazantzakis during Crete’s struggle to be incorporated in the Greek state.
7, George Nugent Grenville, Lord Nugent* (1788-1862), Philhellene, Governor of the Ionian Islands (1832-1835).
8, (Commodore) Gawin William Rowan Hamilton* (1783-1834), British naval officer who was placed on trial for acting in Greece’s interests in the War of Independence.
9, Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1903), poet in Japan, born into a Waterford family on the island of Lefkhada. Descended from the Venerable Daniel Hearn (1693-1766), Archdeacon of Cashel, but his mother was Greek and he was baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church as Patricio Lafcadio Tessima Carlos Hearn.
10, Charles Horatio Kennedy* (1810-1862), visited Kephalonia to support his brother’s role in Greek politics.
11, (Dr) James Kennedy, army doctor who supported Napier and befriended Byron.
12, (Captain) John Pitt Kennedy* (1796-1879), Napier’s engineer on Kephalonia and Ithaka.
13, (Sir) Edward FitzGerald Law* (1846-1908), reformed the Greek economy and helped the insurgents in Crete.
14, Sir Edmund Lyons* (1790-1858), later Lord Lyons, of Irish descent, British ambassador in Athens at the end of the War of Independence (1834-1849).
15, (Sir) Charles James Napier* (1782-1853), used his official position in Kephalonia to assist the independence struggle, and hoped to become commander of the Greek army.
16, Henry Edward Napier*, came to Greece to support his brother Charles
17, (Count) Laval Nugent (1777-1862), Irish Philhellene, offered the command of the Greek army, which he declined.
18, (Captain) Charles O’Fallon, aide-de-camp to Sir Richard Church.
19, James Ryan: among the Irish Philhellenes counted by Woodhouse, although he is sometimes listed among the “British volunteers”.
20, (Lieutenant) William Scanlan (died 1827), first mate on the Karteria and lieutenant on the Soter, killed in naval battle in the Gulf of Patras.
21, Percy Clinton Sydney Smythe* (1780-1855), 6th Viscount Strangford, British Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Sublime Porte (1820-1824).
22, William Bennet Stevenson* (ca 1787-post 1830), secretary to Cochrane, commander of the Greek navy.
23, (Sir) James Emerson Tennent* (1804-1869), Belfast-born Philhellene.
24, Robert James Tennent* (1803–1880), Belfast-born Philhellene.
25, (Captain) George Thomas*, born in Bath but regarded himself as Irish; commanded the Soter.
26, John Augustus Toole* (1792-1829), member of Napier’s staff on Kephalonia and supporter of Kapodistrias.
27, Eliza-Dorothea Tuite*, Countess Solomos.
28, Arthur Gower Winter* (died 1824), fought at Messolongi, Salona, and in later went to Athens, where he died by suicide.
29, Sir Thomas Wyse (1791-1862), British Ambassador in Athens, buried as a Philhellene.
30, William Charles Bonaparte Wyse (1826-1892), born in Waterford, once suggested as King of Greece.
31, Sir John Young*, later Lord Lisgar (1807-1876), Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands (1855-1859).

Names of Philhellenes in bold typeface; Anglicans marked with an asterisk

Footnotes and references:

[1] see D. Dakin, British and American Philhellenes during the Greek War of Independence, 1821–1833 (Thessaloniki, 1955); D. Dakin, The Unification of Greece 1770–1923 (London, 1972); CM Woodhouse, The Philhellenes (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1969); W. St Clair, That Greece might still be free: the Philhellenes in the War of Independence (Oxford and London: OUP, 1972).
[2] Woodhouse, p. 157.
[3] ZD Ferriman, Some English Philhellenes (London, 1917), 112; Woodhouse 1969, 20.
[4] St Clair (1972), p. 320.
[5] Woodhouse (1969), p. 102.
[6] DNB liii, p. 196; Dakin (1955), p. 97; White (ed), p. 361-363.
[7] Woodhouse, pp 64, 165; Cosmetatos, p. 93.
[8] DNB xiv, p. 46
[9] Dakin (1955), pp 137, 141–2; St Clair (1972), p. 321.
[10] Dakin (1955), pp. 141–3; Dakin 1972, p. 56; Woodhouse (1969), pp. 121, 137; St Clair (1972), p. 325.
[11] see R. Astbury, “Sir George Cockburn: An Irish traveller and collector,” Classics Ireland 3 (1996), 1–17.
[12] Woodhouse (1969), pp. 140–1.
[13] Dakin (1955), 181–4; Dakin (1972), 60.
[14] Dakin (1955), 219–20; Woodhouse (1969), 159; Dakin (1972), 159.
[15] Dakin (1955), 220.
[16] Dakin (1955), 219–20; Woodhouse (1969), 159.
[17] Ferriman, pp 45-47.
[18] Ferriman, p. 47.
[19] DNB xl, p. 47; Ferriman, p. 40; RN Lawrence, Charles Napier, Friend and Fighter, 1782–1853 (London: Murray, 1952), p. 225.
[20] Cosmatatos, p. 45.
[21] Ferriman, p. 45.
[22] DNB xxi, p 1190; Finlay, History of the Greek Revolution ii, pp 209-214; Clogg (1986), p 79; Woodhouse, p. 164.
[23] Burke’s Peerage, various editions, s.v. Blackwood (1814) and Dufferin and Ava (1871); Saint Paul’s, Register of Burials, 1857.
[24] Saint Paul’s Register of Burials, 1857.
[25] Saint Paul’s Church, Register of Burials.
[26] DNB xxi, p 1190; Finlay ii, pp 268-269; Woodhouse, p 169; Burke’s Irish Family Records, pp 1232-1233.
[27] Lawrence (1952), p. 65.
[28] Ferriman (1917), 27.
[29] Ferriman (1917), 112; Woodhouse (1969), p. 20.
[30] E. Blaquière, The Greek Revolution, its origins and program (London, 1824), pp. 301–2.
[31] Lawrence 1952, p. 62.
[32] O Fortou, “I am a Greek down to the nails of toes and the marrow of my bones,” pp 66–69 in Odyssey: Kephalonia-Ithaka (Argostoli, 2000), pp. 66–69.
[33] St Clair 1972, pp. 144, 146, 208.
[34] E. Blaquière, Narrative of a second visit to Greece (London, (1825), p. xiv.
[35] F.H. Brown, ‘Law, Sir Edward Fitzgerald (1846–1908),’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), vol 32, pp 752-754.
[36] Burke’s Irish Family Records, ed Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd (London: Burke’s Peerage, 1976), s.v. Law, p. 697; Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland (London, 1958), ‘Law of Rosnaree,’ pp 426-428.
[37] Brown (2004), loc cit.
[38] T. Morrison and G.T. Hutchinson, The Life of Sir Edward Fitzgerald Law (Edinburgh and London, 1911), passim.
[39] ibid, pp. 390-394; Saint Paul’s Parish Register, Athens.
[40] Morrison and Hutchinson, pp. 390-394.
[41] ibid, p. 394.
[42] George Seaver, John Allen FitzGerald Gregg, Archbishop (Leighton Buzzard, 1963), p. 286.
[43] Lawrence, p. 72, 83; P. Napier, pp 58-59.
[44] Ferriman, p. 30; Dakin (1955), p. 47; St Clair, pp 167-168; Lawrence, pp 71, 226-227; Brewer, p. 200; P. Napier, p. 43; Harris, p. 148.
[45] DNB xiv, p. 47; DNB xxi, p. 777; Lawrence, pp 72-74.
[46] Lawrence, pp 70-71, 83; P. Napier, p. 55.
[47] P. Napier, pp 55, 97, 113.
[48] Lawrence, p. 83; P. Napier, pp 32, 55.
[49] Burke’s Irish Family Records, s.v. Kennedy-Skipton, p. 1021, ff; Leslie, Derry Clergy, pp 116, 310; Wallace (ed), Clergy of Dublin, pp 575-576, 1058; Cosmetatos, p. 52.
[50] Dimaras, in Clogg (1973), p. 202; Edward Blaquiere, Narrative of a Second Visit to Greece (London, 1825), p. 116.
[51] Blaquiere (1825), p. xiv; Blaquiere (1824), pp. 301-302.
[52] G.H. White (ed), The Complete Peerage, vol xii part 1, London: 1953, pp 360-363; DNB liii, p. 195.
[53] DNB liii, p. 196; Dakin (1955), p. 97; White (ed), p. 361-363.
[54] DNB liii, p. 197; White (ed), p. 364.


Patty Apostolides, PhD said...

I wanted to thank you for this informative article. I am in the process of writing a novel that takes place during the Greek War of Independence and the facts and names you write about are very useful. Thank you very much!

Damian Mac Con Uladh said...

Very informative article.

Would you know anything about a William Stephenson, an Irishman (and possibly Anglican)who is supposed to have introduced the potato to Greece in 1828. According to Richard Clogg, Stephenson set up a model farm on Aegina on the request of Capodistria.

Anonymous said...

Very informative article.

Would you know anything about a William Stephenson, an Irishman (and possibly Anglican)who is supposed to have introduced the potato to Greece in 1828. According to Richard Clogg, Stephenson set up a model farm on Aegina on the request of Capodistria.

Patrick Comerford said...

Thanks Damien,

I've mentioned Stevenson in the paper, and am sneding you more information on him by email.

Happy Christmas to you and all my freinds in Athens,


LucyAnn said...

Hi Patrick - interesting article, but allow me to correct you on one matter. Charles Napier did not leave his daughters, Emily Cefalonia and Susan Sarah behind permanently on Cefalonia. He had taken his first wife Elizabeth (my 5X great aunt) who was very unwell back to England. When it became apparent that Napier was not going to be able to return to Cefalonia as Resident because of political infighting, he instructed my great great grandfather Edward Curling and his Maltese Wife Rosa (nee Mallia) to bring the girls to England. Edward had been appointed Director of the Maltese Colony in Pronos, Cefalonia, by Napier who had set up the colony as a model farm to introduce modern British farming methods to the Greek community. Sadly, politics put an end to the experiment as Napier fell out with Sir Frederick Adam, the governor of the Ionian Islands who was Napier's boss. There are many letters between Edward Curling and Napier in the British Library, as well as a journal of the colony, all of which I have transcribed. I have also transcribed some of the letters betweenthe girls and Napier, and Elizabeth is included in that correspondence. Elizabeth treated them as her own children and when she knew she was dying, wrote a book called the Nursery Governess to help Napier find someone to care for them after her death. Napier took an active interest in their education, teaching them geography and maths as well as languages.

Penelope said...

Dear Canon Patrick,
Thank your for this informative blog. I wrote an entry on William Bennet Stevenson in the _Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies, 1530-1900_, Vol III: pp 656-659, edited by Joanne Pillsbury and published in 2008 by University of Oklahoma Press. I have updated the entry for a forthcoming edition in the Spanish language. If you would like to provide contact details, I would be pleased to send you and Damomac copies of the entry.

joyism said...

Are there any records available on James Enerson visiting the Dodecanese Island of Megiste or by its other appellations: Kastellorizo/ Castellorizo / Castello Rosso?