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Macnally, Leonard

MACNALLY, LEONARD (1752-1820), Irish informer, was born in Dublin, the son of a merchant. In 1776 he was called to the Irish, and in 1783 to the English bar. He supported himself for some time in London by writing plays and editing the Public Ledger. Returning to Dublin, he entered upon a systematic course of informing against the members of the revolutionary party, for whom his house had become the resort. He also betrayed to the government prosecutors political clients whom he defended eloquently in the courts. He made a fine defence for Robert Emmet and cheered him in his last hours, although before appearing in court he had sold, for 200, the contents of his brief to the lawyers for the Crown. After living a professed Protestant all his life, he received absolution on his deathbed from a Roman Catholic priest. He died on the 13th of February 1820.

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

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