Catholic Emancipation and O'Connell

Justin McCarthy
Chapter X

AFTER the extinction of the Irish Parliament and the catastrophe of Robert Emmet, Grattan was prevailed upon by Lord Fitzwilliam and Charles James Fox to accept a seat in the English House of Commons. Here he found a strong party growing up in support of Catholic Emancipation, and to that party he devoted his eloquence and influence. He was always consistent in his political creed. He stood up for the religious equality of all citizens and for a union of Great Britain and Ireland, with separate Parliaments under the one constitution. One of his dying utterances to the friends around him was a renewed appeal to them to maintain those principles as their guide in seeking the prosperity and the true union of England and Ireland. He died in London, whither he had come with the hope of being able once more to advocate in the House of Commons the cause of Catholic Emancipation. The long journey from Dublin and the fatigue of travel proved too much for Grattan's sinking health, and he was not able to make his appearance in the House. He died on June 4, 1820, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.