William Sampson, United Irishman

Sampson, William, a distinguished United Irishman, the son of a Presbyterian clergyman, was born in Londonderry, 17th January 1764. When eighteen, he held a commission in a Volunteer corps; and shortly afterwards entered Trinity College. In 1790 he married, and removed to London to complete his terms at Lincoln's Inn. Returning to Belfast, he entered warmly into politics, and became a United Irishman and a contributor to the Northern Star. He more than once acted as counsel for members of the brotherhood, when brought to trial. His name was included in the list of those marked for arrest on 12th March 1798.

He escaped to England, was arrested at Whitehaven, and sent to Carlisle jail, whence he was returned to Ireland. He was eventually permitted to retire to the Continent, and in July 1806 removed to the United States, where he was called to the Bar, was joined by his wife and family in 1810, and rose to considerable eminence. The latter part of his life was largely devoted to literature. He edited American reprints of Curran's Life by his Son, and Taylor's History of the Irish Civil Wars. He published his Memoirs in 1807, and a work on the Catholic Question in America in 1813. He died in New York, 28th December 1836, aged 72. His daughter married a son of Wolfe Tone.


37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.

329. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Second Series: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 2 vols. London, 1843.