In the Young Ireland movement of 1848, the following nine men were captured, tried, and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, the Queen of England, and were sentenced to death: John Mitchell, Morris Lyne, Patrick Donohue, Thomas McGee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O’Gorman, Terence McManus and Michael Ireland.
Before passing sentence, the Judge asked if there was anything that anyone wished to say. Meagher, speaking for all said, “My Lord, this is our first offence, but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise on our word as gentlemen to try and do better next time. And next time – we won’t be fools enough to get caught”
Thereupon the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead, and drawn and quartered. Passionate protest from all the world influenced Queen Victoria to commute the sentence to transportation for life to far – ‘wild Australia’.
In 1874 word reached the astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir Charles Duffy who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia was the same Charles Duffy who had been transported 25 years before.
On the Queen’s demand, the records of the rest of the transported men be revealed, and this is what was uncovered: Thomas Francis Meagher, Governon of Montana; Terence McManus, Brigadier General, United States Army; Patrick Donohue, Brigadier General, United States Army; Richard O’Gorman, Governon General of Newfoundland; Morris Lyne, Attorney General of Australia; Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Member of Parliament, Montreal; Minister for Agriculture and President of Council, Dominion of Canada; Michael Ireland, Attorney General of Australia (succeeding M.Lyne); John Mitchell, Prominent New York politician and father of John Purroy Mitchell, Mayor of New York at the outbreak of World War I.