Richard Pigott (1835-1889) was an Irish nationalist journalist most famous for his role in forging private correspondence purporting to be of Charles Stewart Parnell approving of the Phoenix Park Murders. Born in County Meath, Pigott worked for The Nation and The Tablet before being hired as editor of the Belfast-based newspaper The Ulsterman, which he would later rename The Irishman. Sympathetic to Fenianism and physical force Irish republicanism, The Irishman had a peak circulation of 50,000 per week during 1865-69, which would later dwindle throughout the years. In 1882, he would publish Recollections of an Irish National Journalist, a seminal and authoritative work in 19th-century Irish nationalist literature. His career would spectacularly go up in flames when as part of the Parnell Commission, he was implicated in the forgery of letters claimed to have been written by Parnell, then the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party linking him to the Phoenix Park Murders. Pigott would admit having forged the letters whilst under cross-examination, before fleeing to Spain where he would commit suicide in a Madrid hotel room.


The Pigott Forgeries