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RYAN, DANIEL FREDERICK (1762?–1798), Irish loyalist, born about 1762, was the son of Dr. Ryan of Wexford and Mary, daughter of William Morton of Ballinaclash, co. Wexford. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and afterwards entered the army as surgeon in the 103rd regiment, commanded by Sir Ralph Abercromby [q. v.] On the reduction of that regiment in 1784 he married Catherine Bishopp of Kinsale, co. Cork, and obtained an appointment as editor of the ‘Dublin Journal,’ one of the chief government papers, of which his uncle by marriage, John Giffard, was proprietor. In this way he was brought into close relations with Lord Castlereagh and under-secretary Edward Cooke [q. v.] He was soon noted for his loyalty, and, having raised the St. Sepulchre's yeomanry corps, of which he was captain, he was frequently employed in assisting town-majors Henry Charles Sirr [q. v.] and Swan in the execution of their police duties (cf. Castlereagh Corresp. i. 464). He was instrumental in capturing William Putnam m'Cabe [q. v.] (cf. Auckland Corresp. iii. 413), and at Cooke's request he consented to help Sirr and Swan on 19 May 1798 in arresting Lord Edward Fitzgerald [q. v.] Arrived at Murphy's house in Thomas Street, where Fitzgerald lay in hiding, Major Sirr, with eight men, remained below with his men to guard the exits and to prevent a rescue, while Ryan and Swan searched the house. It was Swan who first entered the apartment where Fitzgerald lay, but the details of the conflict that ensued are rather confused, some claiming for Swan an equal if not a greater share than Ryan in the capture of Fitzgerald, while others attribute his capture solely to the bravery of Ryan. On a careful comparison of the authorities, and with due regard to the testimony of Ryan's family, it would appear that Swan, having been slightly, but, as he believed, mortally, wounded by Fitzgerald, hastily retired to seek assistance, leaving Ryan, who entered at that moment, alone with Fitzgerald. Though possessing no more formidable weapon than a sword-cane, which bent harmlessly against him, Ryan at once grappled with him, while Fitzgerald, enraged at finding his escape thus barred, inflicted on him fourteen severe wounds with his dagger. When Sirr appeared, and with a shot from his pistol wounded Fitzgerald in the right arm, and thus terminated the unequal struggle, Ryan presented a pitiable spectacle. He was at once removed to a neighbouring house, and, though at first hopes were given of his recovery (ib. iii. 415), he expired of his wounds on 30 May 1798. Before his death he gave an account of the scene to a relative, who committed it to writing, and it is still in the possession of his descendants. He was buried on 2 June, his funeral being attended by a large concourse of citizens, including his own yeomanry corps. He left a wife and three young children. His widow received a pension from government of 200l. per annum for herself and her two daughters, while her son, Daniel Frederick Ryan, became a barrister at Dublin, an assistant secretary in the excise office, London, and subsequently found a friend and patron in Sir Robert Peel.

[Madden's United Irishmen, 2nd edit. 2nd ser. pp. 433–7; Gent. Mag. 1798, i. 539, ii. 720; Lecky's Hist. of England, viii. 42–3; Fitzpatrick's Secret Service under Pitt, with Swan's own account from the Express of 26 May 1798; Castlereagh Corresp. i. 458–68; Moore's Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, ii. 82–90; Auckland Corresp. iii. 413–18; Reynolds's Life of Thomas Reynolds, ii. 230–6; Froude's English in Ireland, ed. 1881, iii. 393; information furnished by Ryan's grandson, Daniel Bishopp Ryan, esq., of Glen Elgin, New South Wales, and Mrs. Eleanor D. Coffey, Ryan's granddaughter.]

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