Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/251

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Lawless
Lawless
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cipation,’ &c., London, 1825. 4. ‘The Speech delivered by J. Lawless … at a great Public Meeting held in the Chapel of Athboy’ (on the subject of the withdrawal of the Roman catholic children from the Glore school).

[Gent. Mag. 1837, ii. 317–18; Fitzpatrick's Life and Times of Lord Cloncurry and Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell; Wyse's Historical Sketch of the late Catholic Association; Fagan's Life of Daniel O'Connell; Morning Chronicle, August 1837; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography.]

R. D.


LAWLESS, MATTHEW JAMES (1837–1861), artist, a son of Barry Lawless, solicitor, of Dublin, was born near that city in 1837. He was sent to school at Prior Pack College, near Bath; but his education was interrupted by deafness and ill-health. On his parents coming to live near London he attended several drawing schools, and was for a time a pupil of Henry O'Neil, R.A. His first published drawing appeared in 'Once a Week' (i. 505), and he continued for some years to draw illustrations for that periodical, and afterwards for the 'Cornhill Magazine,' 'Punch,' 'London Society,' and for Dr. Formby's 'Life of St. Francis.' He exhibited one or two oil-paintings at the Royal Academy when only twenty years old. The last and best known of his pictures was 'The Sick Call' (1863); this was reproduced in the 'Illustrated London News' as one of the gems of the Academy exhibition in that year. He died of consumption at his father's residence in Pembridge Crescent, Bayswater, London, 6 Aug. 1864, and was buried in the Roman catholic cemetery at Kensal Green.

[Personal knowledge.]

E. W.


LAWLESS, VALENTINE BROWNE, Lord Cloncurry (1773–1853), only surviving son of Nicholas, first lord Cloncurry, and Margaret, only child and heiress of Valentine Browne of Mount Browne, co. Limerick, a wealthy Roman catholic brewer of Dublin, was born in Merrion Square, Dublin, on 19 Aug. 1773. He was educated successively at a boarding-school at Portarlington in Queen's County, where he contracted a scrofulous complaint which left a permanent mark upon his face; at Prospect School, in the neighbourhood of Maretimo, his father's residence, where he remained for two years; and at the King's school at Chester, where he resided in the family of William Cleaver [q.v.], bishop of St. Asaph, afterwords master of Brasenose College, Oxford. He subsequently entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in 1792. The two following years were spent on the continent, chiefly in Switzerland. Returning to Ireland in 1795, at the moment of Lord Fitzwilliam's recall, he threw himself with enthusiasm into Irish politics, and in the summer of that year was sworn a united Irishman, just at the time when the society was being reconstructed on a new basis with distinctly republican aims, though, according to his own account (Personal Recollections, p. 33), the oath he took was the original one, unaccompanied by any obligation to secrecy. At the same time he became an officer in the yeomanry, a body commanded almost entirely by what was called the independent interest, and an active promoter of a voluntary police organisation known as the Rathdown Association. Being destined for the bar, he in 1795 entered the Middle Temple, and during the next two years spent a considerable part of his time in London. On one occasion, probably in the spiing of 1797, he happened to dine in company with Pitt, and from him first learned the intention of government in regard to a union between the two countries. Acting on this information he immediately wrote and published his 'Thoughts on the Projected Union between Great Britain and Ireland,' Dublin, 1797, the first of a long succession of pamphlets on the subject. He was also a regular contributor to the 'Press' newspaper, at that time the accredited organ of Irish independence; and on the dissolution of parliament in 1797 he wrote the addresses of Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Mr. Henry of Strafian, who declined to offer themselves as candidates for the representation of Kildare. He took a prominent part in fronting the Kildare petition, and in July 1797 presided at the aggregate meeting held in the Royal Exchange to protest against the union. In October he attended for the first and only time a meeting of the executive directory of the United Irish Society. It is difficult altogether to credit his own statement that it was without his wish, and even knowledge, that he was elected a member of the directory. Of this fact government soon became cognisant, and a friendly warning having reached his father. Lawless was obliged to return to his studies at the Middle Temple. On 7 Nov. 1797 Pelham wrote to the home office: 'Mr. Lawless, Lord Cloncurry's eldest son, is going to England this night charged with an answer to a message lately received from France' (FitzPatrick, Secret Service, p. 3.)). It is doubtful whether there was any truth in the latter part of this statement, but it is certain that until the time of his arrest Lawless was under strict government surveillance. His conduct in London, the society he kept, his acquaintance with Arthur O'Connor