What drives a man to become a rebel?
This is a true story about a protestant man of English descent
who ends up becoming The Commander in Chief of The
United Irishmen in 1798.
The rebellion of 1798 was one of the largest rebellions ever
in Irish history when Irishmen and women fought to gain
independence from England. It is estimated that over 30,000
people (on both sides) lost their lives in the rebellion that only
lasted about 6 months.
The rebellion was carried out by The United Irishmen which
were the forerunners to other Irish organisations that
followed, for a period of over 100 years, in the pursuit of
independence from English rule. Independence was achieved
for 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland in 1921.
This story is based on the memoirs of Joseph Holt (General
Holt). He tells the story mostly in his own words how he
ended up rebelling against the establishment that he used to
be a part of.
To some he was a hero, to others he was a traitor. You the
reader can decide for yourself!
Table of Contents
Foreword Notes about this book
I am a distant relative of General Joseph Holt, on my mother’s side.
Relatively speaking, few know about Joe Holt and his place in Irish and
Australian history. This is the first book of two.
This book covers a period in Irish history during 1798, which was one of
the major turning points in Ireland gaining independence from English
rule. This eventually happened in 1921. The title of this volume asks the
question “Hero or Traitor?” you the reader can decide for yourself.
The second book will deal with Joe’s time and influence in Australia
between 1800 and 1814.
The stories told in Hero or Traitor? Book 1 and Book 2, have been
edited and updated by the author. The books are based on the original
hand written memoirs of Joseph Holt which are located at The State
Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
I wanted to re-tell Joe’s story in a modern contemporary way that the
reader could understand and relate to while using the actual words he
spoke as much as possible. I wanted to be true to his memoirs by using
as much as possible the language used at that time.
My goal in writing these books are that I can tell Joe’s story, mostly in
his own words from that period in time, and that I can present his story
as an historical document that can be verified by facts from other books
and reference documents.
I feel privileged to be a distant relative of Joseph Holt and to have had
stories passed down to me from my mother, father, and Holt relatives. I
feel blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up in the area in Ireland
where this book is based. I have had the opportunity to walk on the
ground that Joe walked on, in my research and preparation for this book
which has taken me 17 years to complete.
Michael Patrick Joseph Pierce.