David Warden

David Bailie Warden was born into a farming community on the Ards Peninsula in 1772.

He began his education locally and later was sent to school in Newry – his only connection with our district.  In fact he didn’t enjoy his time here, as he recalled.  His University studies were pursued in Scotland.  He studied medicine and also studied for the Presbyterian Ministery. 

Warden returned to County Down in 1797 to play a full part in the planning and execution of the United Ireland Rebellion. 

After its failure he was arrested and expelled from the Presbyterian ministery and jailed for months on a prison hulk in Belfast Lough (a favoured short-term prison method of the English over the centuries for Irish rebels!).  On release he was exiled for life to the United States. 

Warden immediately on landing became involved in local politics in New York.  He worked as a college lecturer and made a reputation as a public speaker and a newspaper columnist.  He was recruited as a family tutor by a leading General, commanding the Revolutionary forces against the English. 

Eventually in 1807 this General Armstrong became the new United States ambassador to Revolutionary Paris.  Warden, by this time an American citizen, went to France with him.  David Warden briefly became US Consul in Paris before he fell out with his political masters and was sacked. 

Despite this, Warden stayed in Paris for the next thirty years and became well-known as a writer and cultural ambassador between his two adopted countries of United States and France. 

Regarded then as an ‘American in Paris’, there were still traces of his Irish hospitality.  One grateful recipient of this hospitality was John Martin of Loughorne, Irish patriot and friend and relation of John Mitchel. 

Warden died in Paris aged 73, in 1845, the year of the outbreak of the Great Irish Hunger.

… slaughter at Ballyholland …

.. more … 

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