THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER.
- Irish Exile to Van Diemen's Land -
- By well known Tasmanian writer, REG. A. WATSON.
Distributed by The Anglo-Keltic Society.
Thomas Francis Meagher, (bn 1821) was an Irishman who was exiled for his illegal political activities, to the penal settlement of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). His father, was the first Catholic Mayor of Waterford for two hundred years. Whilst on the island, Thomas was allotted a district in which he was allowed relative freedom. He married a beautiful Tasmanian girl, Catherine (Bennie) Bennett. Meagher, restless to carry on the fight for his political goals, escaped from the island (1852) to seek refuge in the United States. He left Bennie, who later joined her husband after the sad death of their infant son (3 months). Bennie died in Ireland at the young age of 22 years. She is buried there. Their son lies buried in the grounds of St Johns Catholic Church, Richmond, Tasmania. Meagher had many adventures in the USA. He remarried and became a General in the American Civil War and finally as Governor of the then Territory of Montana. He died while in that capacity, the author of this work believing he was possibly murdered. Meagher was aged but 46 years.
This amazing story comes alive in Reg. A. Watson's work, "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER" which deals with his early Irish and political career; his exile in Van Diemens Land and his many activities in the USA. Mr Watson also reveals the existence and destiny of Meagher's second son, who died in the Philippines.
The latest edition* (published in 2002) carries several important historic photographs and is available within Australia for $22. (Inclusive of GST and postage). Overseas orders $22 Australian, which will include airmail postage. Trade discounts for 5 or over. (*100 pages. A5 size, soft cover.)
Please inquire: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Meagher Festival
Annually there is a Meagher talk-fest which will held in Helena, Montana. On each occasion, Reg.A. Watson sends a letter of greeting to all attending the festival. Reg Watson did address the Australian Civil War Rountable group in March 2008 in Melbourne on Meagher.
Meagher Statue in Helena Montana
Reg. A. Watson, a fifth generation Tasmanian and sixth generation Australian, felt moved to research Thomas Francis Meagher in greater detail after viewing the grave of his son in Richmond, Tasmania, some years ago. Originally being commissioned by the Anglo-Saxon Keltic Society for its Bicentennial project (1988) the book, on one of the seven Irish exiles to Tasmania, has proven to be a successful addition to his collection of published works.
Mr Watson has had many articles published in newspapers and magazines on Meagher, world-wide and the other exiles such as Smith O'Brien and John Mitchel.
This edition is compact, purely written for the enjoyment of ordinary folk.
Mr Watson says, "It will give the general reader a good understanding of Thomas Meagher and the times and environment in which he lived.
"Much of it, naturally, deals with his life in Van Diemen's Land and for non-Tasmanian readers this aspect will be informative, interesting and educational," said Mr Watson.
Exiles to Van Diemen's Land fascinates Mr Watson. He has also researched and has had published material on the large number of Canadian/American political exiles to his home state; another intriguing episode in the isle's history.
Write: Reg. A. Watson. PO Box 146 Lindisfarne. Tasmania. 7015
Tombstone of Thomas Meagher's Son Richamond Tasmania