Dr William Drennan
(1754-1820)

patriot, radical, and Doctor of Medicine (from 1778)

Died aged c. 66

William Drennan (23 May 1754 – 5 February 1820) was an Irish physician and writer who moved the formation in Belfast and Dublin of the Society of United Irishmen. He was author of the Society's original "test" which, in the cause of representative government, committed "Irishmen of every religious persuasion" to a "brotherhood of affection". Drennan had been active in the Irish Volunteer movement and achieved renown with addresses to the public as his "fellow slaves" and to the British Viceroy urging "full and final" Catholic emancipation. After the suppression of the 1798 Rebellion, he sought to advance democratic reform through his continued journalism and through education. With other United Irish veterans, Drennan founded the Belfast [later the Royal Belfast] Academical Institution. As a poet, he is remembered for his eve-of-rebellion When Erin First Rose (1795) with its reference to Ireland as the "Emerald Isle"

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Dr. William Drennan 1754-1820 patriot & radical born in the Manse on this site

Rosemary Street, Belfast, United Kingdom where they was born (1754)