John Martin Diary and Journal

Diary of the Young Irelander, John Martin (1812-1875) prior to transportation to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania), Oct-Nov.,1848 and containing a journal of his voyage from Ireland on the convict ship 'Mountstuart Elphinstone' to Australia,1849-1850. Born in Loughorne, near Newry, County Down, John Martin was a leading Irish Nationalist during the 19th Century. A medical graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Martin joined the Young Ireland movement, which grew out of Daniel O'Connell's campaign for Repeal of the Act of Union, after travelling abroad. He became a leading contributor to John Mitchel's "United Irishman" and took a prominent part in the meetings of the Irish Confederation which was formed in 1847 when the group eventually split from O'Connell's Repeal Association. Following the failure of Mitchel’s Young Ireland rebellion in 1848, Martin was found guilty of sedition for publishing "The Irish Felon" (as a successor to the "United Irishman") and was sentenced to transportation for 10 years. In 1858 he was pardoned and, after spending some time in Paris, described in parts 5 and 6 of the journal, he returned to Ireland and continued to play a large part in nationalist political life, becoming MP for Meath in 1871. He married in 1868 Henrietta, daughter of the Rev. John Mitchel, Presbyterian minister at Newry, and sister of John Mitchel.


Content, range and detail from the pen of one of the leading Irish Nationalists of the 19th century render it a major source for students of Irish political history.

Physical characteristics

The Martin items consist of six parts, written on notepaper and school-exercise books covering nearly 145 pages and varying in size from roughly 7 ins by 4 ins to 9 ins by 7 ins. They date from Oct. 1848 to Nov. 1858.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/560 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018