Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Curran, John Philpot (1750-1817), was born in Cork, and by his talent attracted the attention of a clergyman, who forwarded his education and was the means of his entry at Trinity College, Dublin. Curran himself tells us how, when a successful barrister, he came home and found the clergyman sitting by his fire, and of the somewhat theatrical reception he gave his benefactor. From Dublin Curran came to London, and figured largely at debating societies, where his Irish eloquence produced a great effect. He married, and in 1775 was called to the bar. His early nervousness was cured by an insult from the presiding judge at a trial in which he was concerned, and very soon his success in cases and his readiness to back his opinions in a duel made him a popular advocate. In 1782 he became a King's Counsel, and next year entered Parliament. He was greatly opposed to the Act of Union, and at first thought of abandoning his career and going to America. However, he changed his mind upon this point. He won great renown in several State trials, and made a very effective speech in a celebrated elopement case. His later years were not without clouds, for his wife eloped, and his daughter - who was attached to the rebel Emmet - died of a broken heart, and he himself was suspected of complicity in the rebellion. In 1806 he was made Privy Councillor and Master of the Rolls, a post which he held for eight years. He then retired, and spent his remaining years in London, where he enjoyed the companionship of Sheridan, Moore, Erskine, and Godwin.