John Edward Pigot

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John Edward Pigot (1822–1871) was an Irish music collector and lawyer, who played a key role in the foundation of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Pigot was born in Kilworth, Co. Cork, the eldest son of the Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, David Richard Pigot and his wife Catherine Page.[1] He became friendly with Thomas Davis and Charles Gavan Duffy of the Young Ireland movement. They published advertisements in The Nation asking those who had Irish tunes to send them in. This started the Pigot Collection. He studied for the Bar in London and while there met Patrick McDowel. He was an avid collector and gave Pigot many tunes which he added to among the Irish in London.

While in London, Pigot and Duffy paid a call on Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane Carlyle in April of 1845 in order to defend the Irish and Irish Nationalism against Carlyle's attacks in On Chartism and other works. In his 1892 Conversations with Carlyle, Duffy recounts this initial meeting and quotes from Jane Carlyle's half-burnt diary that had been rescued from a general fire meant to destroy all of her personal memoirs. Here Jane commented on meeting for the first time "real hot and hot live Irishmen" such as she had "never seen before" (J. Carlyle qtd. in Duffy, 1892, p. 1). Jane decides that Pigot, whom she found to be unusually handsome, was destined to be an Irish revolutionary martyr: "Mr. Pigot will rise to be a Robespierre of some sort; will cause many heads to be removed from the shoulders they belong to; and will 'eventually' have his own head removed . . . . Nature has written on that handsome but fatal-looking countenance of his, quite legibly to my prophetic eye, 'Go and get thyself beheaded, but not before having lent a hand towards the great work of immortal smash'" (ibid., pp. 3-4).

Jane Carlyle describes Pigot as: "a handsome youth of the romantic cast, pale-faced, with dark eyes and hair, and an 'Emancipation of Species' melancholy spread over him" (ibid., p. 2).

Pigot went to Bombay and practised at the Indian Bar returning to Ireland due to ill health in 1871. In all, Pigot collected over 2,000 airs. The collection was held by Dublin doctor Robert Lyons. Pigot's collection was included in the 1908 publication Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, by P.W. Joyce [1].

A memorandum written by Pigot in 1853 played a crucial role in the foundation of the National Gallery of Ireland, and he was appointed one of the its first Governors.[2]

Books By Young Irelanders (Irish Confederation)[edit]

  • An Apology for the British Government in Ireland, John Mitchel, O'Donoghue & Company 1905, 96 pages
  • Jail Journal: Commenced on Board the "Shearwater" Steamer, in Dublin Bay ..., John Mitchel, M. H. Gill & Sons, Ltd 1914, 463 pages
  • Jail Journal: with continuation in New York & Paris, John Mitchel, M. H. Gill & Son, Ltd
  • The Crusade of the Period, John Mitchel, Lynch, Cole & Meehan 1873
  • History of Ireland, from the Treaty of Limerick to the Present Time, John Mitchel, Cameron & Ferguson
  • History of Ireland, from the Treaty of Limerick to the Present Time (2 vols.), John Mitchel, James Duffy 1869
  • Life of Hugh O'Neil John Mitchel, P. M. Haverty 1868
  • The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps), John Mitchel (Glasgow, 1876 – reprinted University College Dublin Press, 2005, ISBN 9781904558361)
  • The Felon's Track, Michael Doheny, M. H. Gill & Sons, Ltd 1951 (Text at Project Gutenberg)
  • The Volunteers of 1782, Thomas Mac Nevin, James Duffy & Sons. Centenary Edition
  • Thomas Davis, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, Ltd 1890
  • My Life In Two Hemispheres (2 vols.), Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, T. Fisher Unwin. 1898
  • Young Ireland, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co 1880
  • Four Years of Irish History 1845–1849, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1888
  • A Popular History of Ireland: From the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Cameron & Ferguson (Text at Project Gutenberg)
  • The Patriot Parliament of 1689 (Third Edition), Thomas Davis, T. Fisher Unwin, MDCCCXCIII
  • Charles Gavan Duffy: Conversations with Carlyle (1892)
  • Davis, Poem’s and Essays Complete, introduction by John Mitchel, P. M. Haverty, P.J. Kenedy, 9/5 Barclay St. New York, 1876.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Politics of Irish Literature: from Thomas Davis to W.B. Yeats, Malcolm Brown, Allen & Unwin, 1973.
  • John Mitchel, A Cause Too Many, Aidan Hegarty, Camlane Press 2005.
  • Thomas Davis, The Thinker and Teacher, Arthur Griffith, M.H. Gill & Son 1922.
  • Brigadier-General Thomas Francis Meagher His Political and Military Career,Capt. W. F. Lyons, Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited 1869
  • Young Ireland and 1848, Dennis Gwynn, Cork University Press 1949.
  • Daniel O'Connell The Irish Liberator, Dennis Gwynn, Hutchinson & Co, Ltd.
  • O'Connell Davis and the Colleges Bill, Dennis Gwynn, Cork University Press 1948.
  • Smith O’Brien And The “Secession”, Dennis Gwynn,Cork University Press
  • Meagher of The Sword, Edited By Arthur Griffith, M. H. Gill & Son, Ltd. 1916.
  • Young Irelander Abroad The Diary of Charles Hart, Edited by Brendan O'Cathaoir, University Press.
  • John Mitchel First Felon for Ireland, Edited By Brian O'Higgins, Brian O'Higgins 1947.
  • Rossa's Recollections 1838 to 1898, Intro by Sean O'Luing, The Lyons Press 2004.
  • Labour in Ireland, James Connolly, Fleet Street 1910.
  • The Re-Conquest of Ireland, James Connolly, Fleet Street 1915.
  • John Mitchel Noted Irish Lives, Louis J. Walsh, The Talbot Press Ltd 1934.
  • Thomas Davis: Essays and Poems, Centenary Memoir, M. H Gill, M.H. Gill & Son, Ltd MCMXLV.
  • Life of John Martin, P. A. Sillard, James Duffy & Co., Ltd 1901.
  • Life of John Mitchel, P. A. Sillard, James Duffy and Co., Ltd 1908.
  • John Mitchel, P. S. O'Hegarty, Maunsel & Company, Ltd 1917.
  • The Fenians in Context Irish Politics & Society 1848-82, R. V. Comerford, Wolfhound Press 1998
  • William Smith O'Brien and the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848, Robert Sloan, Four Courts Press 2000
  • Irish Mitchel, Seamus MacCall, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd 1938.
  • Ireland Her Own, T. A. Jackson, Lawrence & Wishart Ltd 1976.
  • Life and Times of Daniel O'Connell, T. C. Luby, Cameron & Ferguson.
  • Young Ireland, T. F. O'Sullivan, The Kerryman Ltd. 1945.
  • Irish Rebel John Devoy and America's Fight for Irish Freedom, Terry Golway, St. Martin's Griffin 1998.
  • Paddy's Lament Ireland 1846-1847 Prelude to Hatred, Thomas Gallagher, Poolbeg 1994.
  • The Great Shame, Thomas Keneally, Anchor Books 1999.
  • James Fintan Lalor, Thomas, P. O'Neill, Golden Publications 2003.
  • Charles Gavan Duffy: Conversations With Carlyle (1892), with Introduction, Stray Thoughts On Young Ireland, by Brendan Clifford, Athol Books, Belfast, ISBN 0-85034-114-0. (Pg. 32 Titled, Foster’s account Of Young Ireland.)
  • Envoi, Taking Leave Of Roy Foster, by Brendan Clifford and Julianne Herlihy, Aubane Historical Society, Cork.
  • The Falcon Family, or, Young Ireland, by M. W. Savage, London, 1845. (An Gorta Mor)Quinnipiac University


  1. ^ Hart, Charles (2003). Young Irelander Abroad. Cork University Press. p. 91. ISBN 9781859183601.
  2. ^ National Gallery of Ireland Act 1854 section 7.