Sir Roger David Casement


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Casement, Sir Roger David,

1864–1916, Irish revolutionary. While in British consular service, he exposed (1904) the atrocious exploitation of wild-rubber gatherers in the Congo (thus helping to bring about the extinction of the Congo Free State in 1908) and later (1910–13) exposed similar conditions in South America (but was ultimately unsuccessful in ending them). He was knighted for his humanitarian work in 1911. Although an Ulster Protestant, Casement became an ardent Irish nationalist. After the outbreak of World War I he went first to the United States and then to Germany to secure aid for an Irish uprising. The Germans promised help, but Casement considered it insufficient and returned to Ireland in Apr., 1916, hoping to secure a postponement of the Easter Rebellion (see IrelandIreland,
Irish Eire [to it are related the poetic Erin and perhaps the Latin Hibernia], island, 32,598 sq mi (84,429 sq km), second largest of the British Isles.
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). Arrested immediately after landing from a German submarine, he was tried, convicted, and hanged for treason. To further blacken his name, British agents circulated his diaries, which showed him to be a homosexual. The diaries were probably genuine, but the manner of their use led to controversy about the possibility of forgery.

Bibliography

See biographies by P. Singleton-Gates and M. Girodias (1959) and B. Inglis (1974); J. Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement (2010).

References in periodicals archive ?
Also on This Day: 1460: James II, King of Scotland, killed during the siege of Roxburgh Castle; 1778: La Scala opera house opened in Milan; 1887: Birth of poet Rupert Brooke; 1914: Germany declared war on France and the first ship passed through the Panama Canal; 1916: Irish nationalist Sir Roger David Casement executed for treason; 1924: Death of novelist Joseph Conrad; 1955: Half the audience walks out when Samuel Beckett's classic play, Waiting for Godot, was performed for first time at the Arts Theatre in London; 1963 The Beatles played The Cavern in Liverpool for the last time.
Anniversaries: 1778: La Scala opera house opened in Milan; 1914: Germany declared war on France and first ship passed through the Panama Canal; 1916: Irish nationalist Sir Roger David Casement executed for treason; 1955: Half the audience walks out when Samuel Beckett's classic play, Waiting for Godot, was performed for first time at Arts Theatre in London.