Henry Howley, Irish insurgent, was a protestant, and worked as a carpenter in his native place, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. He took part in the rebellion of 1798 and in Robert Emmet's insurrection. While engaged in the latter plot he was the ostensible proprietor of the store in Thomas Street, and to him was assigned the task of bringing up the coaches by means of which Emmet designed to effect his entrance into Dublin Castle. While engaged, however, in carrying out this part of the programme, and as he was passing along Bridgefoot Street, Howley stopped to interfere in a common street brawl, which unfortunately ended by his shooting Colonel Lyde Brown. Compelled thereupon to consult his own safety, Howley left the coaches to their fate and fled. To this untoward accident Emmet chiefly ascribed the failure of his plot. Howley's hiding-place was subsequently betrayed by a fellow-workman, Anthony Finnerty, to Major Sirr. In the scuffle to arrest him Howley shot one of the major's men, and escaped into a hayloft in Pool Street, but was soon captured. He was condemned to death by special commission on 27 Sept. 1803, confessed to having killed Colonel Brown, and met his fate with fortitude.
[Madden's United Irishmen, 3rd ser. iii. 141; Saunders's News-Letter, 28 Sept. 1803.]
There is another peculiar Roscrea twist to the tale. In an article first published in the Roscrea People of 1999, Brendan Carmody (RIP) writing an article on a local Roscrea walk known as The Norbury Round mentions how he learned of a residency at Inane (Roscrea) belonging to Robert Curtis that was once rented by John Toler, 1st Earl of Norbury, who became known as Lord Norbury between 1800-1827 and nicknamed “The Hanging Judge”. This was the judge that sentenced Henry Howley to death.
Howley's importance in the eyes of the authorities is shown that he was next into the dock after Emmet at Green Street Courthouse on September 27, and was executed the following day. Like his birthplace, his burial place is not certain, but probably Bully’s Acre – Kilmainham, Dublin’s oldest graveyard.
|Date of Birth||1774 (circa)|
|Date of Death||28th Sep 1803||VIEW SOURCE|