Henry Joy McCracken (1767-1798) was one of the leading members of the United Irishmen in Ulster. Born to a wealthy Presbyterian family in Belfast, McCracken was formally sworn in to the society in 1795, and as the society began to shift from parliamentary reform agitation to revolutionary and republican activity, McCracken was arrested in late 1796 and lodged in Kilmainham Jail before being released a year later due to serious ill health. Despite this, McCracken recovered and in 1798, was the rebel commander at the Battle of Antrim. Following the rebels’ defeat and a brief period on the run, McCracken was captured and hanged in Belfast. His letters from Kilmainham as well as his commands and letters before and after the Battle of Antrim are available here, taken from Antrim and Down in ’98, by R. R. Madden.


Letter to Henry Joy, 7th November 1796

Letter to His Brother John, 13th December 1796

Letter to His Sister, 10th January 1797

Letter to His Sister, 8th April 1797

Letter to His Sister, 24th April 1797

From The State Prisoners to Their Friends, 11th May 1797

Letter to His Sister, 9th June 1797

Letter to His Sister, 19th November 1797

Command to the Army of Ulster, 6th June 1798

Letter to His Sister, 18th June 1798

The Social Thistle and Shamrock