Christopher Temple Emmet

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Christopher Temple Emmet (1761–1788) was an Irish barrister and poet.


Emmet, eldest son of Robert Emmet, M.D., and elder brother of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet, was born at Cork in 1761. He entered the University of Dublin in 1775, and obtained a scholarship there in 1778. He was called to the bar in Ireland in 1781, and in that year he married Anne Western Temple, daughter of Robert Temple, an American loyalist who had settled in Ireland. Emmet attained eminence as an advocate; he possessed a highly poetical imagination, remarkably retentive memory, and a vast amount of acquired knowledge of law, divinity, and literature. Under the chancellorship of Lord Lifford, Emmet was advanced to the rank of King's Counsel in 1787.

His death occurred in February 1788, while he was on circuit in the south of Ireland, and his widow died in the following November.


Emmet's only known writings are a short poem on the myrtle and other trees, and an allegory of thirty-two stanzas of four lines each, entitled The Decree. The latter was written during the administration of, and inscribed to, the Earl of Buckinghamshire, viceroy of Ireland from 1777 to 1780. In these verses Emmet predicted that England's future eminence would be endangered unless she acted justly towards Ireland by annulling harsh laws, and by removing the enactments prohibiting commerce between the Irish and America, which he styled ‘the growing western world.’


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Emmet, Christopher Temple". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.