Major Henry Charles Sirr

Sirr, Henry Charles, Town-Major of Dublin, was a prominent actor in Irish affairs for many years. He was born about 1756, became a wine merchant, and in 1796 received the appointment of Town Major of Dublin, in which capacity he rendered important services to the Government, as the seizure of the Press newspaper, and the capture of Lord Edward FitzGerald in 1798, and Robert Emmet in 1803.

He was a man of undaunted bravery, overbearing in his manners, and was equally feared and hated by the people at large.

Lord Castlereagh thus eulogizes him:

“The services Major Sirr has rendered to the King’s Government since I have been in office are such as to make me feel it an incumbent duty to bear testimony, in the strongest terms, to his merits. … He has been constantly employed confidentially by Government on every occasion which called for great personal exertions, discretion, and courage. … The metropolis was peculiarly indebted for its tranquillity to the unceasing activity of Major Sirr.”

He latterly held the post of police magistrate.

He was a connoisseur in the fine arts.

Major Sirr died 11th January 1841, and was buried in St. Werburgh’s churchyard, Dublin, near the vault where rest the remains of Lord Edward FitzGerald, whom he had made prisoner and mortally wounded forty-two years previously.

His papers, which contain much valuable information relating to the events of the times in which he lived, are preserved in the Library of Trinity College.


72. Castlereagh, Viscount: Memoirs and Correspondence, edited by the Marquis of Londonderry. 12 vols. London, 1848–’53.

146. Gentleman’s Magazine. London, 1731–1868.
Gilbert, John T., see Nos. 110, 335.

331. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 4 vols. London, 1858–’60.