Samuel Neilson (1761 - 1803):
Samuel Neilson was born at Ballyroney, County Down, and was educated locally. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a woolen draper and at twenty-four established his own business. He abandoned business for politics, joined the Volunteers and in 1791 suggested to Henry Joy McCracken the idea of a political society of Irishmen of every religious persuasion. He and Wolfe Tone established the United Irishmen in Belfast. The Northern Star was founded by Neilson in 1792, and he became its editor. In 1796 he was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin, being released in 1798. He was captured trying to devise a release plan for Lord Edward FitzGerald at Newgate Jail. He was detained in Scotland until 1802, when he was deported to the Netherlands. He made his way to America and died there.
From: The Dictionary of Ulster Biography, Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, Kate Newmann (ed), 1993
|Died:||29 August 1803|
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