William Saurin

1757?-1839; son of vicar of Belfast; his grandfather a noted Huguenot exile pastor; ed. TCD, m. widow of Sir Richard Cox; Lincoln’s Inn, and Irish bar, 1780; opposed union, 1798; MP Blessington, 1799; Attorney General, 1807-22 [var. Solicitor-Gen. DIH]; removed by Wellesley as promoting an anti-Catholic agitation; refused peerage and returned to law practice; promoter of Brunswick Club. ODNB DIB DIH FDA

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Dictionary of National Biography: he did and could use his position to promote anti-catholic agitation, he discovered in his famous letter to Lord Norbury, urging him to influence grand juries on circuit ... His appearance at the Rotunda was hailed with rapture by the Orange party. There is an uncritically eulogistic biog. in James Wills’s Irish Nation.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, reprints Daniel O’Connell’s speech in defence of William [recte John] Magee, against whom Attorney General Saurin brought a libel charge, 1812-13 [941].

Belfast Public Library holds Question of a Legislative Union with Great Britain (1800).

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