1 September 1864|
Sandycove, Dublin, Ireland
|Died||3 August 1916
Pentonville Prison, London, England
|Monuments||Casement Monument at Banna Strand|
|Organization||Irish Volunteers, British Foreign Office|
|Movement||Irish nationalism, Anti-Imperialism|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (from 3 August 1916).|
Roger David Casement (Irish: Ruairí Dáithí Mac Easmainn; 1 September 1864 – 3 August 1916) – known as Sir Roger Casement CMG between 1911 and shortly before his execution for treason, when he was stripped of his knighthood – was an Anglo-Irish diplomat for the United Kingdom, a humanitarian activist, Irish nationalist and a poet. Described as the "father of twentieth-century human rights investigations," he was awarded honours in 1905 for the Casement Report on the Congo and knighted in 1911 for his important investigations of human rights abuses in Peru. He then made efforts during World War I to gain German military aid for the 1916 Easter Rising which sought to gain Irish independence.
In Africa as a young man, Casement first worked for commercial interests before joining the British Colonial Service. In 1891 he was appointed as a British consul, a profession he followed for more than 20 years. Influenced by the Boer War and his investigation into colonial atrocities against indigenous peoples, Casement developed anti-imperialist opinions. After retiring from the consular service in 1913, he became more involved with the Irish Republican and separatist movement. He sought to obtain German support and weapons for an armed rebellion in Ireland against British rule during the Great War. He was arrested, convicted and executed for treason.
Before the trial, the government circulated excerpts from his private journals, known as the Black Diaries, which detailed homosexual activities. Given prevailing views and existing laws on homosexuality, this material undermined support for clemency for Casement. Debates have continued about these diaries: a forensic study concluded in 2002 that Casement had written them, but interpretations differ as to their meaning in his life.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 The Congo and the Casement Report
- 3 Peru: Abuses against the Putumayo Indians
- 4 Irish revolutionary
- 5 Capture, trial and execution
- 6 The Black Diaries and Casement's sexuality
- 7 State funeral
- 8 Legacy
- 9 Footnotes
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Early life and education
Roger Casement was born near Dublin to an Anglo-Irish family, living in very early childhood at Doyle's Cottage, Lawson Terrace, Sandycove. His father, Captain Roger Casement of (The King’s Own) Regiment of Dragoons, was the son of a bankrupt Belfast shipping merchant (Hugh Casement), who later moved to Australia. Captain Casement had served in the 1842 Afghan campaign. He traveled to Europe to fight as a volunteer in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 but arrived after the Surrender at Világos. He had the children brought up as Protestants, as he and his wife were.
Roger's mother was Anne Jephson (or Jepson) of a Dublin Anglican family. After the family moved to England, she had the boy at the age of three secretly baptised as a Roman Catholic in Rhyl, Wales. According to an 1892 letter, Casement believed that his mother was descended from the Jephson family of Mallow, County Cork. However, the Jephson family's historian provides no evidence of this. The family lived in England in Worthing in a kind of genteel poverty; the mother Anne died when Roger was nine. They returned to Ireland, to County Antrim in Ulster to live near paternal relatives. By the time Casement was 13 years old, his father died, having ended his days in Ballymena dependent on the charity of relatives.
After his father's death, Roger and his brother Tom were looked after by paternal relatives in County Antrim, the Youngs of Galgorm Castle in Ballymena and the Casements of nearby Magherintemple House. He was educated at the Diocesan School, Ballymena (later the Ballymena Academy). He left school at the age of 16 and went to England for work. There he took a clerical job with Elder Dempster, a Liverpool shipping company headed by Alfred Lewis Jones.
The Congo and the Casement Report
Casement went to the Congo, where he was working for Henry Morton Stanley and the African International Association from 1884; it became known as a front for King Leopold II of Belgium in his takeover of the Congo Free State. Casement worked on a survey to improve communication and began to recruit and supervise labor for construction of a railroad to bypass the lower 220 miles of the Congo River, which is filled with cataracts, in order to improve transportation and trade to the Upper Congo. During his commercial work, he learned more than one African language.
In 1890 Casement met Joseph Conrad, who had come to the Congo to use a merchant ship, Le Roi des Belges, to recover a European from a trading post on the upper reaches of the Congo River. Each man had come inspired by the idea that "European colonization would bring moral and social progress to the continent and free its inhabitants “from slavery, paganism and other barbarities.” Each man would soon learn the gravity of his error." Conrad published his short novel, Heart of Darkness, in 1899. Casement would later take on a different kind of writing to expose the conditions he found in the Congo during his official investigation for the British government. In these formative years, he also met Herbert Ward, and they became nearly lifelong friends. Ward left Africa in 1889, and devoted his time to becoming an artist, but his experience there strongly influenced his work.
Casement next joined the Colonial Service, under the authority of the Colonial Office, first serving overseas as a clerk in British West Africa (later the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria), before in August 1901 transferring to the Foreign Office service as British consul in the eastern part of the French Congo. In 1903 the, British government commissioned Casement, then its consul at Boma in the Congo Free State, to investigate the human-rights situation in that colony of the Belgian king, Leopold II of the Belgians. Setting up a private army known as the Force Publique, Leopold had squeezed revenue out of the people of the territory, through a reign of terror in the harvesting and export of rubber and other resources. In trade, Belgium shipped guns, whips (cocote) and other materials to the Congo, used chiefly to suppress the native peoples. Casement travelled for weeks in the upper Congo Basin to interview people throughout the region, including workers, overseers, and mercenaries. He delivered a long, detailed eyewitness report to the Crown that exposed abuses: "the enslavement, mutilation, and torture of natives on the rubber plantations," becoming known as the Casement Report of 1904. King Leopold had held the Congo Free State since 1885, when the Berlin Conference of European powers and the United States effectively gave him free rein in the area.
Leopold had exploited the territory's natural resources (mostly rubber) as a private entrepreneur, not as king of the Belgians. Using violence and murder against men and their families, Leopold's private Force Publique had decimated many native villages in the course of forcing the men to gather rubber and abusing them to increase productivity. Casement's report provoked controversy, and some companies with a business interest in the Congo rejected its findings, as did Casement's former boss, Alfred Lewis Jones. In the longer term, Casement's report would prove instrumental in mobilizing the international pressure that forced Leopold in 1908 to relinquish his personal holdings in Africa.
When the report was made public, opponents of Leopold formed interest groups, such as the Congo Reform Association, founded by E. D. Morel with Casement's support, and demanded action to relieve the situation of the natives. Other European nations followed suit, as did the United States; and the British Parliament demanded a meeting of the 14 signatory powers to review the 1885 Berlin Agreement defining interests in Africa. The Belgian Parliament, pushed by Socialist leader Emile Vandervelde and other critics of the king's Congolese policy, forced Léopold to set up an independent commission of inquiry. In 1905, despite Léopold's efforts, it confirmed the essentials of Casement's report. On 15 November 1908, the parliament of Belgium took over the Congo Free State from Léopold and organised its administration as the Belgian Congo.
Peru: Abuses against the Putumayo Indians
In 1906 the Foreign Office sent Casement to Brazil: first as consul in Pará, then transferred to Santos, and lastly promoted to consul-general in Rio de Janeiro. He was attached as a consular representative to a commission investigating murderous rubber slavery by the Peruvian Amazon Company (PAC), which had been registered in Britain in 1908 and had a British board of directors and numerous stockholders. In September 1909 journalist Sidney Paternoster wrote in Truth, a British muckraking magazine, of abuses against PAC workers and competing Colombians in the disputed region of the Peruvian Amazon. In addition, the British consul at Iquitos had said that Barbadians, considered British subjects as part of the empire, had been ill-treated while working for PAC, which gave the government a reason to intervene. Ordinarily it could not investigate the internal affairs of another country. American civil engineer Walter Hardenburg had told Paternoster of witnessing a joint PAC and Peruvian military action against a Colombian rubber station, which they destroyed, stealing the rubber. He also saw Peruvian Indians whose backs were marked by severe whipping, in a pattern called the Mark of Arana (the head of the rubber company), and reported other abuses.
PAC, with its operational headquarters in Iquitos, dominated the city and the region. The area was separated from the main population of Peru by the Andes, and it was 1900 miles from the Amazon's mouth at Pará. The British-registered company was effectively controlled by the archetypal rubber baron Julio Cesar Arana and his brother. Born in Lima, Arana had wrested his way up from poverty to own and operate a company harvesting great quantities of rubber in the Peruvian Amazon, which was much in demand on the world market. The rubber boom had led to expansion in Iquitos as a trading center, as all the company rubber was shipped down the Amazon River from there to the Atlantic port. Numerous foreigners had flocked to the area seeking their fortunes in the rubber boom, or at least some piece of the business. The rough frontier city, both respectable businesses and the vice district, was highly dependent on the PAC.
Casement traveled to the Putumayo District, where the rubber was harvested deep in the Amazon Basin, and explored the treatment of the local Indians of Peru. The isolated area was outside the reach of the national government and near the border with Colombia, which periodically made incursions in competition for the rubber. For years, the Indians had been forced into unpaid labor by field staff of the PAC, who exerted absolute power over them and subjected them to near starvation, severe physical abuse, rape of women and girls by the managers and overseers, branding and casual murder. Casement found conditions as inhumane as those in the Congo. He interviewed both the Putumayo and men who had abused them, including three Barbadians who had also suffered from conditions of the company. When the report was publicized, there was public outrage in Britain over the abuses. Casement made two lengthy visits to the region, first in 1910 with a commission of investigators.
Casement's report has been described as a "brilliant piece of journalism", as he wove together first-person accounts by both "victims and perpetrators of atrocities." "Never before had distant colonial subjects been given such personal voices in an official document." After his report was made to the British government, the wealthy board members of the PAC were horrified by what they learned. Arana and the Peruvian government promised to make changes.
In 1911, the British government asked Casement to return to Iquitos and Putumayo to see if promised changes in treatment had occurred. In a report to the British foreign secretary, dated 17 March 1911, Casement detailed the rubber company's continued use of pillories to punish the Indians:
Men, women, and children were confined in them for days, weeks, and often months. ... Whole families ... were imprisoned—fathers, mothers, and children, and many cases were reported of parents dying thus, either from starvation or from wounds caused by flogging, while their offspring were attached alongside of them to watch in misery themselves the dying agonies of their parents.
After his return to Britain, Casement repeated his extra-consular campaigning work by organising Anti-Slavery Society and Catholic mission interventions in the region. Some of the company men exposed as killers in his 1910 report were charged by Peru, while most fled the region and were never captured. Some entrepreneurs had smuggled out cuttings from rubber plants and began cultivation in southeast Asia in colonies of the British Empire. The scandal of the PAC caused major losses in business to the company, and rubber demand began to be met by farmed rubber in other parts of the world. With the collapse of business for PAC, most foreigners left Iquitos and it quickly returned to its former status as an isolated backwater. For a period, the Putumayo Indians were largely left alone.
Arana was never prosecuted as head of the company. After having lived in London for years, he returned to Peru. Despite the scandal associated with Casement's report and international pressure on the Peruvian government to change conditions, Arana later had a successful political career. He was elected as a senator and died in Lima, Peru in 1952 at age eighty-eight.
Casement wrote extensively for his private record (as always) in those two years. During this period he continued to write in his diaries, and the one for 1911 was described as being unusually discursive. He kept them in London along with the 1903 diary and other papers of the period, presumably so they could be consulted in his continuing work as "Congo Casement" and as the saviour of the Putumayo Indians. In 1911 Casement received a knighthood for his efforts on behalf of the Amazonian Indians, having been reluctantly appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1905 for his Congo work.
In Ireland on leave from Africa in 1904-1905, in 1904 Casement joined the Gaelic League (established in 1893 to preserve the Irish language). He later tried to learn Gaelic but had difficulty, despite his command of several languages and gift for them. He also met with the leaders of the Home Rule Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) to lobby for his work in the Congo. He did not support those proposing Home Rule, as he felt that the House of Lords would always veto their efforts. He was more impressed by Arthur Griffith's new Sinn Féin party, which called for Irish independence by using a non-violent series of strikes and boycotts, modeled on the policy of Ferenc Deák in Hungary, and he joined it in 1905.
Increasingly committed to the cause of Irish independence, Casement retired from the British consular service in the summer of 1913. In November that year he helped form the Irish Volunteers with Eoin MacNeill, later the organisation's chief of staff. They co-wrote the Volunteers' manifesto. In July 1914 Casement journeyed to the United States to promote and raise money for the Volunteers among the large and numerous ethnic-Irish communities. Through his friendship with men such as Bulmer Hobson, a member both of the Volunteers and of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), Casement established connections with exiled Irish nationalists, particularly in Clan na Gael.
Elements of the Clan did not trust him completely, as he was not a member of the IRB and held views considered by many to be too moderate, although others such as John Quinn regarded him as extreme. John Devoy, initially hostile to Casement for his part in conceding control of the Irish Volunteers to Redmond, was won over in June, and the more extreme Clan leader Joseph McGarrity became and remained devoted to Casement. The Howth gun-running in late July 1914, which Casement had helped to organise and finance, further enhanced his reputation.
In August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Casement and John Devoy arranged a meeting in New York with the Western Hemisphere's top-ranking German diplomat, Count Bernstorff, to propose a mutually beneficial plan: if Germany would sell guns to the Irish rebels and provide military leaders, the rebels would stage a revolt against England, diverting troops and attention from the war on Germany. Bernstorff appeared sympathetic. Casement and Devoy decided to send an envoy, Clan na Gael president John Kenny, to present their plan personally. Kenny, unable to meet the German Emperor, received a warm reception from Flotow, the German ambassador to Italy, and from Prince von Bülow.
In October 1914 Casement secretly sailed for Germany via Norway - traveling in disguise and seeing himself as an ambassador of the Irish nation. While the journey was his idea, Clan na Gael financed the expedition. During their stop in Christiania, his companion Adler Christensen was taken to the British legation. According to him, a reward was offered if Casement was "knocked on the head".
The British minister, in contrast, advised London that Christensen had approached them and "implied that their relations were of an unnatural nature and that consequently he had great power over this man". This episode provided London with the first intimation that Casement was homosexual.
The Findlay Letter 1914. In the National Library of Ireland the original handwritten letter by Findlay is kept (P127/1 Boehm Papers). This letter is also viewable online. This letter—written on official notepaper by Minister Findlay at the British Legation in Oslo—offers to Christensen the sum of £5,000 plus immunity and free passage to the USA in return for information leading to the capture of Roger Casement. In today’s values the bribe offered is approximately half a million sterling. The British version claims that Christensen solicited this bribe. However, Christensen traveled into Germany with Casement very shortly after, therefore did not provide the information sought and therefore did not receive the bribe. These last facts cast doubt on the accuracy of the British version of all events in Oslo.
In November 1914, Casement negotiated a declaration by Germany which stated:
"The Imperial Government formally declares that under no circumstances would Germany invade Ireland with a view to its conquest or the overthrow of any native institutions in that country. Should the fortune of this Great War, that was not of Germany’s seeking, ever bring in its course German troops to the shores of Ireland, they would land there not as an army of invaders to pillage and destroy but as the forces of a Government that is inspired by goodwill towards a country and people for whom Germany desires only national prosperity and national freedom".
Casement spent most of his time in Germany seeking to recruit an "Irish Brigade" from among more than 2,000 Irish prisoners-of-war taken in the early months of the war and held in the prison camp of Limburg an der Lahn. His plan was that they would be trained to fight against Britain in the cause of Irish independence. On 27 December 1914, Casement signed an agreement in Berlin to this effect with Arthur Zimmermann in the German Foreign Office. Only 52 men volunteered for the Brigade. Contrary to German promises, they received no training in the use of machine guns, which at the time were relatively new and unknown weapons.
During the Great War, Casement is also known to have been involved in the Hindu–German Conspiracy, recommending Joseph McGarrity to Franz von Papen as an intermediary for the plot. The Indian nationalists may also have followed Casement's strategy in trying to recruit from among Indian prisoners of war to fight for Indian independence.
Both efforts proved unsuccessful. The Irish plan failed. All Irishmen fighting in the British army did so voluntarily. In addition to finding it difficult to ally with the Germans while held as prisoners, potential recruits to Casement's brigade knew they would be liable to the death penalty as traitors if Britain won the war. He abandoned this effort after much time and money were wasted. The Germans were skeptical of Casement but aware of the military advantage they could gain from an uprising in Ireland. In April 1916 they offered the Irish 20,000 Mosin–Nagant 1891 rifles, ten machine guns and accompanying ammunition, but no German officers; it was a fraction of the quantity of the arms Casement had hoped for, with no military support.
Casement did not learn about the Easter Rising until after the plan was fully developed. The IRB purposely kept him in the dark, and tried to replace him. Casement may never have learned that it was not the Volunteers who were planning the rising, but IRB members such as Patrick Pearse and Tom Clarke who were pulling the strings behind the scenes.
The German weapons never landed in Ireland. The Royal Navy intercepted the ship transporting them, a German cargo vessel called Libau, although it had been thoroughly disguised as a Norwegian vessel, Aud-Norge. All the crew were German sailors, but their clothes and effects, even the charts and books on the bridge, were Norwegian. The British had intercepted German communications coming from Washington and knew there was going to be an attempt to land arms at Ireland, even if the Royal Navy was not precisely aware of the location. The arms ship, under Captain Karl Spindler, was apprehended by HMS Bluebell on the late afternoon of Good Friday. About to be escorted into Queenstown (now Cobh, County Cork) on the morning of Saturday, 22 April, the Aud Norge surrendered to the British. They scuttled the ship by pre-set explosive charges. She lies at 40 metres depth. Her crew became prisoners-of-war.
Capture, trial and execution
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Casement confided his personal papers to Dr. Charles Curry, with whom he had stayed at Riederau on the Ammersee, before he left Germany. He departed with Robert Monteith and Sergeant Daniel Beverley (Bailey) of the Irish Brigade in a submarine, initially the SM U-20, which developed engine trouble, and then the SM U-19, shortly after the Aud sailed.
According to Monteith, Casement believed that the Germans were toying with him from the start and providing inadequate aid that would doom a rising to failure. He wanted to reach Ireland before the shipment of arms and convince Eoin MacNeill (whom he believed to be still in control) to cancel the rising. Casement sent John McGoey, a recently arrived Irish American, through Denmark to Dublin, ostensibly to advise of what military aid was coming from Germany and when, but with Casement's orders "to get the Heads in Ireland to call off the rising and merely try to land the arms and distribute them". McGoey did not reach Dublin, nor did his message. His fate was unknown until recently. He joined the Royal Navy in 1916, survived the war, and later returned to the United States. There he died in a 1925 building accident. Despite Monteith's view, Casement expected to be involved in the rising if it went ahead.
In the early hours of 21 April 1916, three days before the rising began, Casement was taken by a German submarine and was put ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee Bay, County Kerry. Too weak to travel, he was discovered at McKenna's Fort (an ancient ring fort now called Casement's Fort) in Rathoneen, Ardfert, and subsequently arrested on charges of treason, sabotage and espionage against the Crown. He was taken straight to the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. He sent word to Dublin about the inadequate German assistance. The Kerry Brigade of the Irish Volunteers might have tried to rescue him over the next three days, but was ordered by its leadership in Dublin to "do nothing".
At Casement's highly publicized trial for treason, the prosecution had trouble arguing its case. Casement's crimes had been carried out in Germany and the Treason Act 1351 seemed to apply only to activities carried out on English (or, arguably, British) soil. A close reading of the Act allowed for a broader interpretation: the court decided that a comma should be read in the unpunctuated original Norman-French text, crucially altering the sense so that "in the realm or elsewhere" referred to where acts were done and not just to where the "King's enemies" may be. This led to the claim[by whom?] that Casement was "hanged on a comma".
Before and during the trial and appeal, the government secretly circulated alleged excerpts of Casement's journals, which in a campaign to portray Casement as a sodomite and sexual degenerate included numerous explicit accounts of sexual activity. It was trying to raise opinions against him and influence those notables who might otherwise have tried to intervene. Given societal views and the illegality of homosexuality at the time, support for Casement declined among some readers. The journals became known as the Black Diaries,
Casement unsuccessfully appealed against the conviction and death sentence. Among the many people who pleaded for clemency were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was acquainted with Casement through the work of the Congo Reform Association, the Anglo-Irish poet W. B. Yeats, and the playwright George Bernard Shaw. Edmund Dene Morel could not visit Casement in prison, being under attack for his own pacifist position. On the other hand, the Polish writer Joseph Conrad could not forgive Casement for his attitude towards Britain, nor could Casement's longtime friend, the sculptor Herbert Ward, whose son Charles was killed in the war in 1916. Members of the Casement family in Antrim contributed discreetly to the defense fund, although they had sons in the British Army and Navy.. A U.S. Senate appeal against the death sentence was rejected by the British cabinet on the insistence of prosecutor F. E. Smith, avowed unionist enemy of Casement.
On the day of his execution, Casement was received into the Catholic Church at his request. He was attended by two Irish Catholic priests Dean Timothy Ring and Father James Carey, from the parish of St Mary and St Michael's, East London. The latter, also known as James McCarroll, said of Casement that he was "a saint ... we should be praying to him [Casement] instead of for him". Casement was hanged by John Ellis and his assistants at Pentonville Prison in London on 3 August 1916, at the age of 51.
The Black Diaries and Casement's sexuality
The Black Diaries are a set of diaries claimed by British officials to have been written by Casement and covering the years 1903, 1910 and 1911 (twice). Jeffrey Dudgeon said, "His homosexual life was almost entirely out of sight and disconnected from his career and political work," adding to the controversy in his last months and since his death. If genuine, the diaries revealed Casement as a homosexual who had many partners, had a fondness for young men and mostly paid for sex. In 1916 after Casement's conviction for treason, the British government circulated alleged photographs of pages of the diary to individuals who were urging commutation of Casement's death sentence. At a time of strong social conservatism, not least among Irish Catholics, publicizing of the Black Diaries and his alleged homosexuality undermined support for Casement.
The question of whether the diaries are genuine or forgeries has been much debated. The diaries were declassified for limited inspection (by persons approved by the Home Office) in August 1959. The original diaries may be seen at the British National Archives in Kew. Historians and biographers of Casement's life have taken opposing views. Roger McHugh (in 1976) and Angus Mitchell (in 2000 and later) have argued that the diaries were forged. In 2012, Mitchell wrote several revealing[how?] articles in the Field Day Review of Notre Dame University.
The Giles Report, a private report on the Black Diaries written in 2002 (and published in 2005 by The Royal Irish Academy, Dublin), was reviewed by two US forensic document examiners, who were both were critical of it. James Horan stated, "As editor of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and The Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, I would not recommend publication of the Giles Report because the report does not show how its conclusion was reached. To the question, 'Is the writing Roger Casement's?' on the basis of the Giles Report as it stands, my answer would have to be I cannot tell." Marcel Matley, a second document examiner, stated, "Even if every document examined were the authentic writing of Casement, this report does nothing to establish the fact."
No British government has ever openly stated that the Black Diaries are authentic nor has any British government ever openly endorsed any of the forensic tests, three of which were performed by private persons. The results of the 1959 Home Office test remain unpublished. Despite this official silence, authenticity has come to be perceived as ‘official’ truth. Yet, even as late as July 2015 the UK National Archives ambiguously described the Black Diaries as "attributed to Roger Casement", while at the same time unambiguously declaring their satisfaction with the result of the private Giles Report.
Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa presented a mixed account of Casement's sexuality in his 2010 novel, The Dream of the Celt, suggesting that the nationalist wrote partially fictional diaries of what he wished had taken place in homosexual encounters. Jeffrey Dudgeon, a leading unionist homosexual, suggests in a 2013 article that some Irish, including biographers, needed Casement to be "sexless" to fit his role as a Catholic martyr in the nationalist movement. He writes, "The evidence that Casement was a busy homosexual is in his own words and handwriting in the diaries, and is colossally convincing because of its detail and extent." Dudgeon relates the cult of a "sexless" Casement to an intense Irish Catholicism that was strong in the nation for 50 years. In addition, "he was not just a party to the founding of the state, he was himself a saintly martyred figure, a humanitarian who sacrificed himself for others, both in Ireland and beyond."
As was the custom for prisoners at the time, Casement's body was buried in quicklime in the prison cemetery at the rear of Pentonville Prison, where he was hanged.
During the decades after his execution, many formal requests for repatriation of Casement's remains were refused by British governments. Finally, in 1965 Casement's remains were repatriated to Ireland. Despite the withdrawal of his knighthood in 1916, the 1965 British Cabinet record of the repatriation decision refers to him as Sir Roger Casement. Casement's last wish, to be buried at Murlough Bay on the North Antrim coast, may never be satisfied. Prime Minister Harold Wilson's government released the remains only on condition that they could not be brought into Northern Ireland, as "the government feared that a reburial there could provoke Catholic celebrations and Protestant reactions."
Casement's remains lay in state at Arbour Hill in Dublin for five days, during which time an estimated half a million people filed past his coffin. After a state funeral, the remains were buried with full military honours in the Republican section with other national heroes in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. The President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, who in his mid-eighties was the last surviving leader of the Easter Rising, defied the advice of his doctors and attended the ceremony, along with an estimated 30,000 Irish citizens.
Self-government is our right, a thing born in us at birth; a thing no more to be doled out to us or withheld from us by another people than the right to life itself.
Landmarks, buildings and organisations
Many landmarks, buildings and organisations in Ireland are named after Casement including:
- Casement Park, the Gaelic Athletic Association ground on Andersonstown Road in west Belfast.
- Several Gaelic Athletic Association clubs, for instance the Roger Casements GAA Club in Coventry, England and the Roger Casements GAC in Portglenone, Northern Ireland.
- In Dundalk there is an estate named after him in Árd Easmuinn called "Casement Heights."
- Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel, the Irish Air Corps base near Dublin.
- Casement Rail AND Bus Station in Tralee, near the site of Casement's landing on Banna Strand. Operated by Iarnród Éireann and Córas Iompair Éireann
- In Cork, an estate is named Roger Casement Park after him in Glasheen, one of the west suburbs.
- A monument is located in County Kerry at Banna Strand; it is open to the public at all times.
- Many streets are named for him, particularly in the north-west Dublin suburb of Finglas. In the Loyalist heartland of Harryville, Ballymena, County Antrim, is a Casement street, named for his great-grandfather, who was a solicitor there. Casement Street in Darien, CT
Representation in culture
Casement has been the subject of ballads, poetry, novels, and TV series since his death, including:
- The ballad "Lonely Banna Strand" tells the story of Casement's role in the prelude to the Easter Rising, his arrest, and subsequent execution.
- Arthur Conan Doyle used Casement as an inspiration for the character of Lord John Roxton in the 1912 novel The Lost World.
- W. B. Yeats wrote a poem demanding the return of Casement's remains, with the refrain, "The ghost of Roger Casement/Is beating on the door".
- Roger Casement is featured in Giant's Causeway (1922) by French Academician Pierre Benoit, who portrays him as a noble martyr and scapegoat.
- Brendan Behan refers to the poem in his autobiographical novel Borstal Boy (1958), and speaks of the respect his family had for Casement, noting that his older brother Rory Behan had been named after him.
- Casement is the subject of the play Prisoner of the Crown, which was written by Richard Herd and Richard Stockton; it premiered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin on 15 February 1972.
- A German TV series, Sir Roger Casement (1968), was made about his time in Germany during the First World War.
- In 1973, BBC Radio aired a critically acclaimed radio play by David Rudkin about Casement's life, called Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin.
- Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa (2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature) published a novel, El sueño del celta (2010), or The Dream of the Celt (2012), based on Casement's life.
- American Noise Rock band ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead released an instrumental entitled "The Betrayal of Roger Casement & the Irish Brigade" on their 2008 Festival Thyme EP.
- Dying for Ireland (2012) is a biographical novel by Alan Lewis, which presents a "fictional reimagining" of Casement's prison memoirs, based on his writings, histories and biographies.
- The London Gazette: . 4 July 1916. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
- Dr Noel Kissane (2006). "The 1916 Rising: Personalities & Perspectives (an online exhibition)" (PDF). National Library of Ireland/Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
- Angus Mitchell, Casement, Haus Publishing, 2003 p.11.
- Brian Inglis (1974, op cit.) commented at p.115 that "..although she allowed the children to be brought up as Protestants, she had them baptised 'conditionally' when Roger was four years old."
- Sawyer R. Casement the Flawed Hero (Routledge, London 1984), quoted at pp. 4-5. ISBN 0-7102-0013-7
- Maurice Denham Jephson, An Anglo-Irish Miscellany, Allen Figgis, Dublin 1964
- Seamas O Siochain, Roger Casement, Imperialist, Rebel, Revolutionary, Lilliput Press, 2008, p.15. ISBN 978-1843510215
- Giles Foden, "'The Dream of the Celt' by Mario Vargas Llosa – review", The Guardian, 8 June 2012, accessed 22 October 2014
- Liesl Schillinger, "Traitor, Martyr, Liberator", New York Times, 22 June 2012, accessed 23 October 2014
- Fintan O'Toole, "The Multiple Hero", The New Republic, 2 August 2012, accessed 23 October 2014
- The London Gazette: . 13 September 1901.
- Jordan Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement: One Man's Battle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness (Google eBook), Macmillan, 2010, pp. 11-13
- Brian Inglis, Roger Casement; Harcourt Jovanovich, 1974; pp.118-20; 134-139
- Séamas Ó Síocháin, Roger Casement: Imperialist, Rebel, Revolutionary, p. 357-8.
- Inglis, p.263
- O Síocháin, Séamas, Roger Casement: Imperialist, Rebel, Revolutionary p. 382
- Mitchell, Angus, Casement, p. 99
- National Archives, Kew, PRO FO 95/776
- O Síocháin, Séamas, Roger Casement: Imperialist, Rebel, Revolutionary p. 394
- http://www.drb.ie/essays/casement-s-war, by Jeffrey Dudgeon, March 2013
- The Continental Times, 20 November 1914
- An anonymous but detailed account of Casement's unwelcome reception at the camp appears in The Literary Digest Vol 52, No. 1, 13 May 1916 (New York: Funk and Wagnall), pp. 1376-77 [NB, the PDF download is 358MB]
- Plowman, Matthew Erin. "Irish Republicans and the Indo-German Conspiracy of World War I," New Hibernia Review. 7.3 (2003) 81-105
- translated: Here lived in summer 1915 Sir Roger Casement, a martyr for Ireland's freedom, a magnanimous friend of Germany in grave times. He sealed the love of his country with his blood.
- Estimates of the weapons shipment hover around the 20,000 mark. The BBC gives the figure the German government originally agreed to ship as "25,000 captured Russian rifles, and one million rounds of ammunition". here "Easter Rising insurrection", BBC.
- Keith Jeffery (2007). 1916 The Long Revolution, The First World War and the Rising: Mode, Moment and Memory. G. Doherty & D. Keogh (editors). p. 93. ISBN 978-1-85635-545-2..
- Casement's diary entry for 27 March 1916, National Library of Ireland, MS 5244
- "Other Men: John McGoey", Irish Brigade
- see Charles Townshend, Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion, p. 127.
- Olwen Hedley, Her Majesty's Tower of London, p.19, Pitkin Pictorials Ltd., 1976.
- Memoir of Willie Mullins, quoted at a Casement commemoration in 1968; a subsequent internal inquiry attached "no blame whatsoever" to the local Volunteers. See the Irish Times, 29 July 1968.
- "Roger Casement's Appeal Fails". Birmingham Evening Dispatch. 18 July 1916. Retrieved 30 December 2014 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (. ))
- G. H. Knott, The trial of Sir Roger Casement, Canadian Law Book Co., Toronto, 1917, .
- A History of St Mary and St Michael's Parish, Commercial Road, East London
- "Execution of Roger Casement". Midland Daily Telegraph. 3 August 1916. Retrieved 1 January 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (. ))
- Sir Roger Casement: Life, Ricorso website
- Jeffrey Dudgeon, "Cult of the Sexless Casement with Special Reference to the Novel The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa (Nobel Prize Winner for Literature 2010)", Studi irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, n. 3 (2013), pp. 35-58
- Bill Mc Cormack (Spring 2001). "The Casement Diaries: A Suitable Case for Treatment". Research Hallmark, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
- The Times, "Authors Examine Casement Diaries", 11 August 1959
- National Archives, London, CAB/128/39
- s:Roger Casement's speech from the dock
- Keeler, William. Review of Prisoner of the Crown. Educational Theatre Journal, vol. 24, no. 3 (October 1972), pp. 327-328 The Johns Hopkins University Press
- Mario Vargas Llosa Publishes New Novel The Dream of the Celt
- Lewis, Alan. Dying for Ireland: The Prison Memoirs of Roger Casement, 2012. ISBN 9781494378776.
By Roger Casement:
- 1910. Roger Casement's Diaries: 1910. The Black and the White. Sawyer, Roger, ed. London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-7375-X
- 1911. The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement. Mitchell, Angus, ed. Anaconda Editions.
- 1914. The Crime against Ireland, and How the War May Right it. Berlin: no publisher.
- 1914. Ireland, Germany and Freedom of the Seas: A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914. New York & Philadelphia: The Irish Press Bureau. Reprinted 2005: ISBN 1-4219-4433-2
- 1915. The Crime against Europe. The Causes of the War and the Foundations of Peace. Berlin: The Continental Times.
- 1916. Gesammelte Schriften. Irland, Deutschland und die Freiheit der Meere und andere Aufsätze. Diessen vor München: Joseph Huber Verlag. Second expanded edition, 1917.
- 1918. Some Poems. London: The Talbot Press/T. Fisher Unwin.
Secondary Literature, and other materials cited in this entry:
- Daly, Mary E., ed. 2005. Roger Casement in Irish and World History, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy
- Doerries, Reinhard R., 2000. Prelude to the Easter Rising: Sir Roger Casement in Imperial Germany. London & Portland. Frank Cass.
- Dudgeon, Jeffrey, 2002. Roger Casement: The Black Diaries with a Study of his Background, Sexuality and Irish Political Life. Belfast Press. ISBN 0-9539287-2-1. (Includes first publication of 1911 diary).
- Goodman, Jordan, The Devil and Mr. Casement: One Man's Battle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness, 2010. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-13840-0
- Harris, Brian, "Injustice", Sutton Publishing. 2006. ISBN 0-7509-4021-2
- Hochschild, Adam, King Leopold's Ghost.
- Hyde, H. Montgomery, 1960. Trial of Roger Casement. London: William Hodge. Penguin edition 1964.
- Hyde, H. Montgomery, 1970. The Love That Dared not Speak its Name. Boston: Little, Brown (in UK The Other Love).
- Inglis, Brian, 1973. Roger Casement, London: Hodder and Stoughton. Republished 1993 by Blackstaff Belfast and by Penguin 2002. ISBN 0-14-139127-8.
- Lacey, Brian, 2008. Terrible Queer Creatures: Homosexuality in Irish History. Dublin: Wordwell Books.
- Mc Cormack, W.J., 2002. Roger Casement in Death or Haunting the Free State. Dublin: UCD Press.
- Minta, Stephen, 1993. Aguirre: The Re-creation of a Sixteenth-Century Journey Across South America. Henry Holt & Co. ISBN 0-8050-3103-0.
- Mitchell, Angus, 2003. Casement (Life & Times Series). Haus Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-904341-41-1.
- Ó Síocháin, Séamas and Michael O’Sullivan, eds., 2004. The Eyes of Another Race: Roger Casement's Congo Report and 1903 Diary. University College Dublin Press. ISBN 1-900621-99-1.
- Ó Síocháin, Séamas, 2008. Roger Casement: Imperialist, Rebel, Revolutionary. Dublin: Lilliput Press.
- Reid, B.L., 1987. The Lives of Roger Casement. London: The Yale Press. ISBN 0-300-01801-0.
- Sawyer, Roger, 1984. Casement: The Flawed Hero. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
- Singleton-Gates, Peter, & Maurice Girodias, 1959. The Black Diaries. An Account of Roger Casement's Life and Times with a Collection of His Diaries and Public Writings. Paris: The Olympia Press. First edition of the Black Diaries.
- Thomson, Basil, 1922. Queer People (chapters 7 & 8) An account of the Easter Uprising and Casement's involvement from the head of Scotland Yard at the time. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
- Clayton, Xander: Aud, Plymouth 2007.
- Wolf, Karin, 1972. Sir Roger Casement und die deutsch-irischen Beziehungen. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. ISBN 3-428-02709-4.
- Eberspächer, Cord/Wiechmann, Gerhard. "Erfolg Revolution kann Krieg entscheiden". Der Einsatz von S.M.H. Libau im irischen Osteraufstand 1916 ("Success revolution may decide war". The use of S.M.H. Libau in the Easter Rising 1916), in: Schiff & Zeit, Nr. 67, Frühjahr 2008, S. 2-16.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roger Casement.|
- "Ireland, Germany and Europe", From the Digital Library@Villanova University.
- Photographs of and about Casement in the National Library of Ireland (no charge for reproduction)
- Brief biography of Roger Casement
- The "Black Diaries", BBC
- "Casement: Traitor or patriot?". BBC News. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
- 1916 Rising timeline.
- Roger Casement's speech from the Dock at the end of his trial for treason.
- Report of the British Consul, Roger Casement, on the Administration of the Congo Free State, John Jay School of Law, CUNY
- Times report on his execution
- Works by Roger Casement at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Roger Casement at Internet Archive
- BBC Radio 4 Documentary, September 1993, plus article in Ireland's Hot Press magazine
- Short version of James J. Horan's review of the Giles report
- Kevin Mannerings and Marcel B. Matley, The "Black Diaries" Attributed to Sir Roger Casement. 2003-2004
- Sean Murphy, Irish Historical Mysteries: The Diaries of Roger Casement. A critical article
- Jeffrey Dudgeon reviews Séamas Ó Síocháin’s biography of Casement
- Links by Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE to images related to Roger Casement
- THE ROGER CASEMENT PAPERS - House of Commons Deb., 3 May 1956
- Arana,rey del caucho, by Ovidio Lagos (Spanish)
- Roger Casement and History
- Roger Casement's Gravesite
- White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (2003) (TV) at the Internet Movie Database