Talk:Wolfe Tone

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When people refer to him by surname, they say Wolfe Tone rather than Tone, though Tone is sometimes used. When people use a first name, they use Theobald Wolfe Tone. It is not strictly correct to treat Wolfe Tone as a form of surname but that is how it is frequently used, so the article should use all three names, as that is how, if he is fully named, he is referred to. FearÉIREANN 18:28 11 Jul 2003 (UTC)

His grandfather was William Tone; his father was Peter Tone. His godfather was Theobald Wolfe. Perhaps TW were given as his first names at his christening?Wluki 14:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, he never answered to 'Wolfe Tone'. Would you ever name president JFK as 'Fitzgerald Kennedy'?Red Hurley 23:54, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

How do you know he never answered to it? in some countries (Scotland is an example) it is the middle, rather than first, name by which a person is normally known. This may have been the case in Eighteenth Century Ireland, but we just don't know. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:02:34, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

Wolfe Tone wasn't an Anglican, was he? I was fairly certain he was a Dissenter by upbringing (although a Deist in actual fact)... I'll have to dig up his diary I suppose, I've got it somewhere, whopping great thing. QuartierLatin1968 The worker's flag is deepest red,/It shrouded oft our martyred dead 17:11, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

He was Anglican - Peter O Connell

Baptised at St. Mary's Church, Dublin, which was Church of Ireland. 16:24, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Is this guy the same as Wolf Tolan? - Yaris678 (talk) 23:09, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Needs improvement[edit]

This article, like most of the 1911 ones, needs lot of work. A lot of the info is actually POC commentary and the writing style is aslo very dated. Not only that, but some of the facts are a bit suspect as well. Jdorney 12:13, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


I added external link to Tone's speech to his court-martial, as printed in an 1817 Memoir of another United Irishman rewinn 15:50, 5 May 2006 (UTC)rewinn

I don't mind the writing style, which at least is lucid, so much as the way it reads like a college essay. The writer is making an argument about Tone, and however persuasive the argument, that's not what this site is for. For example, you can't just assert in a wikipedia article that Tone was a disciple of Danton and Paine; you have to produce the evidence that he was such. Also, there's an incomplete sentence in the Reference section which is only fixable by whoever wrote it in the first place. Lexo 14:29, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Death Controversy[edit]

There appears to be a minor controversy over Tone's death. However, a recent wikipedian has reversed an earlier insert about the controversy over Tone's death. That wikipedian and other would be well advised to read P. O'Donnell's referenced articles on the matter, for the light they shed at least plausible doubt. A modern forensic post-mortem would not necessarily have concluded that his death was suicide (Tim Griffin; 23 July 2006);

That wikipedian would be myself. Hello there and well met! The abstract of the article (quoted in full below) offers no evidence against suicide; it merely speculates that the refusal of the military authorities to bring in an outside doctor that the wound may have been incompetently dressed, or maybe not self-inflicted. No scientist would conclude anything at all from that refusal. But if the article has more, please: link to a copy of it, or provide a fair-use quote, so it can be evaluated. rewinn 02:43, 9 July 2006 (UTC)


  • One wikipedian writes "Evidence points to a probable assassination, as revealed following research in the late 20th century, and published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science in 1997."
  • A contemporary of Tone writes "Mr. Tone, finding that he was to be executed in the same savage manner as his brother had been a few days before, found means to disappoint his enemies, and chose the manner of his death."
  • "Wolfe Tone's death: suicide or assassination?" Ir J Med Sci. 1997 Jan-Mar;166(1):57-9:

The abstract offers no evidence of assasination; it merely speculates as to a coverup of incompetent treatment or an accidental shooting:

"According to the generally accepted version of subsequent events he cut his own throat early on the Monday morning. The assistant surgeon of the 5th Dragoon Guards dressed the wound "-but only with a view to prolong life until the fatal hour of one o'clock". This surgeon was Benjamin Lentaigne, a Royalist emigre from France. Despite the pleas of John Philpott Curran, a leading advocate of the day, the military authorities refused to allow any consultation with a civil surgeon. Was this just bloody mindedness or was there an even more sinister reason? Two possibilities come to mind. One was that the wound had been so incompetently treated that a consultant would have been forced to make adverse comments, the other that the throat wound was not due to a cutting injury but, to a bullet fired either deliberately or accidently and a knife or razor was then used to try and camouflage the original trauma. In 1812 Lentaigne published a pamphlet in Latin in which he made reference to an unusual neck would stating that "-the bullet passed through his throat...." There is no direct evidence that the victim was Tone, why did the writer not make this clear? It may be he was reluctant to expose the medico-military inefficiency or callousness or to jeopardise his son's career"

  • What would be the motivation for asassinating a man about to be executed? Tone's desire to avoid a painful death is conceivable; what enemy would seek to deprive him of it?

Suicide would have made him look cowardly and earned him the condemnation of the Irish Catholic population, who would have seen it as a terrible sin. It would have been in the interests of the English government to discredit him thus.

How should this be resolved? Is there a link perhaps to the IJMS article? rewinn 19:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

If there is any genuine controversy about Tone's death - meaning that if a responsible source has argued that there might have been an assassination attempt - then the fact that there is a controversy should be mentioned. But it's not up to contributors to decide on the matter either way. I don't mind people arguing about it, but any such argument is not relevant to discussion of this article. Lexo 14:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


List of Basques has this man as "people born or resident in the Basque Country and people born elsewhere with significant Basque ancestry." Is it so? --Error 02:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

No. Not to my knowledge anyway. Tone was born in Ireland, his family were of English (I think) origin. He lived in France for several years during the revolutionary period and the United States for a brief time, but never in Spain or the Basque country.

Tone's ancestry was ultimately French Huguenot: his great grandfather was French (Francois Tone, of Noyon, France). His eldest son, Hugh, married Sarah Bodine, a daughter of two French Protestants; Daniel Bodein [sic], son of Daniel, native of Cambray; and Marie Crostie, daughter of André Crostie of Valenciennes, in France. No doubt he had a certain amount of English ancestry as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Jdorney 14:59, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Picture and infobox[edit]

Okay, I know you're going to tell me that the picture and the infobox should go at the top but, believe me, I have tried every possible combination and this is the only one that doesn't look a mess. The text is what matters in an encyclopædia and if the text doesn't flow properly, nobody will read the article!
Scolaire 10:58, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Irish translation?[edit]

Now I know a lot of people say Wolfe Tone doesn't translate into Irish easily (if at all).....but I'm nearly sure I've seen football jerseys with translations of it....."Ulif" I believe for the Wolfe part. Does anyone know of a translation? What does it say on the sign for Wolfe Tone Quay, or any other street dign for that matter? (Derry Boi 07:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC))

Anyone? Derry Boi 22:41, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

No idea. The man himself was an English speaker and not that keen on the Irish language.

Jdorney 23:29, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Unless we have Ulif and whatever "Tone" is (ie for "dialling tone" or whatever). Although I've never heard or read of anyone having a translation for it.GiollaUidir 23:35, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Seen it today tarnslated as "Ulif Toin" on a local GAA bag. Derry Boi 16:08, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Not exactly verificable but... :SGiollaUidir 16:26, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
You can make it up yourself because that's we do here in Kildare. I've seen Bholf and Uolf etc. - the man himself spoke just English. It's like 'Padraig' Pearse who only ever used P.H. or Patrick, or Casement spelled 'Mac Eaismunn'. Ahistorical, I know, but someone near-unemployable has a job doing it so we taxpayers don't make a fuss.Red Hurley 17:28, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Ulif cannot be Irish - it would have to be Uilif, Ulaf or something similar,with the proper vowel harmony. Or it could be translated as Mac Tire. "Ulif Toin" is highly improbable as "Ulif" is ungrammatical and "Toin" is an obscenity in Irish! "Tuin" would be better - similar in sound and meaning to the English word "tone." That would then be Mac Tire Tuin.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmck (talkcontribs)

'Kildare History & Society'[edit]

I've added in a ref. for chapter 13 on him - good on his family and neighbours.Wluki 14:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


The quotation from his court-martial speech had an odd appearance due to blockquote. It also didn't seem to flow with the rest of the quote left unblockquoted and wasn't in the copy of the speech I have in the appendix to Sampson's work from 1817 (of course, Sampson might have abbreviated the speech, I don't know.) I temporarily deleted the blockquoted part and conformed the remaining quote to the version I have in hand "frank and open war" rather than "fair and open war"; however if someone has a copy of the speech that was given to the court (again, according to Sampson) that would of course be the best possible source. rewinn 04:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Removing Blennerville & list of Basques[edit]

...unless anyone can name a source etc.Red Hurley 16:17, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Suugested alteration[edit]

"Tone, who had not attended meetings of the society since May 1793, remained in Ireland until after the trial and suicide of Jackson in April 1795. Having friends among the government party, including members of the Beresford family, he was able to make terms with the government, and in return for information as to what had passed between Jackson, Rowan and himself, he was permitted to emigrate to the United States, where he arrived in May 1795."

" Persuaded to leave" would be more accurate. (talk) 08:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Foundation of Maynooth College in 1795[edit]

I've removed "(he was unaware that the government was financing the college)." as it was founded and funded under an act of parliament (35 Geo III, cap. 21 to be exact), which passed in June 1795. Saying he was "unaware" is saying that he didn't read the newspapers and debates leading up to the act. While Tone wanted to unite Irish Catholics and Protestants politically, he was not the first to propose this (as many think), and his French allies were busy dispossessing the Catholic Church wherever possible in Europe. (talk) 12:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


Would it really be that controversial to mention his faith in this article? Luke w (talk) 21:43, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Ancestry Section Suspect!![edit]

The ancestry section looks suspect. It would appear to be a duplication of the "History of the Tone Family", by Dr. Frank Jerome Tone is based in part upon the fraudulent "research" of Gustave Anjou. While the descendants sections is indeed quite sound, the ancestors beyond Hugh Tone (and certainly beyond François Tone) seem quite suspect. It's possible Wolfe Tone's paternal ancestry was of Huguenot origin (as Sarah Bodine's parents were certainly Huguenot refugees, married in London. It would therefore make sense to marry the son of same, in Ireland), but the lineage descending from "Jean Tone of Tartas of province of Gascony, France, 1409" is suspect. The same Frank Jerome Tone is the father of Franchot Tone and indeed a likely relative of Wolfe Tone, but their common origin in Gascony is questionable, as it derives from the work of Gustave Anjou. More research and the opinions of professional genealogists is required. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree that it looks iffy, and regardless is a waste of space. Deleted. Ironholds (talk) 16:01, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I restored the descendants section: it doesn't make the article overly long and is interesting to some people. I restored part of the ancestry (the universally-acknowledged immediate predecessors). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
I removed the descendents except for the immediate ones. Per WP:NOTDIR, Wikipedia is not a place for non-notable family genealogies (there are other websites for this). If these descendents were notable, it might be worth keeping; feel free to make a case. Magic♪piano 13:47, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Moved to Theobald[edit]

This article was previously under "Wolfe Tone". I have moved it to "Theobald Wolfe Tone". If you search for Wolfe Tone you still arrive at this page and it still notes on the first line that Theobald is now commonly called by his surname. ~ R.T.G 15:57, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Street name[edit]

I wouldn't know where to look for a reference but as Wolfe Tone Street/Road etc. is as common a name as Main Street it would be good to say that and even give a statistic. ~ R.T.G 16:00, 23 May 2010 (UTC)


The quality of this article is atrocious, will clean it up. Sheodred (talk) 20:43, 30 November 2011 (UTC)


As a student, he eloped with Martha Witherington, daughter of William Witherington of Dublin, and his wife, Catherine Fanning. Martha would go on to change her name to Matilda, on Wolfe Tone's request. Catherine was married to William and Martha changed her name to Matilda? NormanGray (talk) 18:52, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Irish version of name[edit]

I place a 'citation needed' after the Irish version of his name that was recently added to the article. At, a database of Irish names, I could not find this or any other version of his name in Irish. They did have 23 citations from texts in Irish where he was referred to always as "Wolfe Tone". If there is any tradition of gaelicizing his name, it could be noted here, but so far I don't see any such basis. The authority on Irish names Patrick Woulfe does attest Ó Mactíre, but another source (MacLysaght) says that 'Wolf(e)' (and 'Woulfe') is traditionally 'de Bhulbh' in Irish. SeoMac (talk) 17:53, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


was wolf tone a freemason? shouldn't that be mentioned — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:21, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Going by that link, it would appear that Wolf Tone was not a freemason, so no it shouldn't be mentioned without credible evidence. Mabuska (talk) 10:01, 1 October 2013 (UTC)