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Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan

DUFFY, SIR CHARLES GAVAN (1816-1903), Irish and colonial politician, was born in Monaghan, Ireland, on the 12th of April 1816. At an early age he became connected with the press, and was one of the founders (1842) of the Nation, a Dublin weekly which was remarkable for its talent, for its seditious tendencies, and for the fire and spirit of its political poetry. In 1844 Duffy was included in the same indictment with O'Connell, and shared his conviction in Dublin and his acquittal by the House of Lords upon a point of law. His ideas, nevertheless, were too revolutionary for O'Connell; a schism took place in 1846, and Duffy united himself to the "Young Ireland" party. He was tried for treason-felony in 1848, but the jury were unable to agree. Duffy continued to agitate in the press and in parliament, to which he was elected in 1852, but his failure to bring about an alliance between Catholics and Protestants upon the land question determined him in 1856 to emigrate to Victoria. There he became in 1857 minister of public works, and after an active political career, in the course of which he was prime minister from 1871 to 1873, when he was knighted, he was elected speaker of the House of Assembly in 1877, being made K.C.M.G. in the same year. In 1880 he resigned and returned to Europe, residing mostly in the south of France. He published The Ballad Poetry of Ireland (1845), several works on Irish history, Conversations with Carlyle (1892), Memoirs (1898), etc. In 1891 he became first president of the Irish Literary Society. He was married three times, his third wife dying in 1889. He died on the 9th of February 1903.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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