Guide to the Papers of Michael Dwyer (as filmed by AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Cullen, Luke
Weale, John Cyril
Papers relating to Michael Dwyer (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1838 - 1905
Collection Number
2 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) Online Portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The Australian Joint Copying Project filmed selected papers relating to Michael Dwyer in:

The Luke Cullen papers. About 400 p. of notes relating to the life of Dwyer and the Irish uprisings of 1798 and 1803, written by Brother Luke Cullen, a monk of Clondalkin, near Dublin, in a volume which also contains entries for the Clondalkin School roll (c.1816-1825).

The papers of J. Cyril Weale which includes Manuscripts, transcripts and newspaper cuttings collected by Weale in about 1900-5 for a proposed biography of Michael Dwyer.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1966 (AJCP Reel: M603). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin.

Collection Reference: MS 9760: Manuscripts of Luke Cullen. MS 13334: Papers of J. Cyril Weale. For further information, see National Library of Ireland [].

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Cabramatta, New South Wales; Clondalkin, Ireland; Cullen, Luke; Dwyer, Michael; Ireland; Irish in Australia; Liverpool, New South Wales; United Irishmen Rebellion (1798); Weale, J. Cyril M.


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 151, p. 55.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Dwyer (1772?-1825) was born at Camera, County Wicklow, and worked as an ostler and farm hand. In 1897 he joined the Society of United Irishmen and when rebellion broke out in Wicklow in 1898 he was one of the militants. In 1803 he supported the attempted coup d'etat of Robert Emmet. With his whole family facing transportation, Dwyer surrendered in December 1803, was gaoled, and in 1805 was transported to New South Wales as an unsentenced exile. He arrived in the colony in February 1806 and was granted 100 acres facing Cabramatta Creek. In 1807 he was arrested and tried for sedition and sent to Norfolk Island and later Van Diemen's Land. He returned to New South Wales in 1809 and subsequently became constable of the Georges River district. In 1820 he was briefly chief constable of Liverpool. In 1898 Dwyer's body was exhumed and, in the presence of tens of thousands of Irish-Australians, he was buried in Waverley Cemetery in Sydney.

Luke Cullen (1793-1859) was a seaman before joining the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1838. He was a free school teacher at the monastery of Mount St Joseph at Clondalkin, near Dublin. Brother Cullen spent much of his later years travelling round the Wexford-Wicklow border area collecting the memoirs of survivors of the 1798 Rebellion. In particular, he befriended Anne Devlin (d. 1851), who had helped her cousin Michael Dwyer when he was hiding in the Wicklow Mountains and who worked closely with Robert Emmet in 1803. Cullen also corresponded with Richard Madden, the author of The life and times of Robert Emmet Esq. (1847). Cullen's extensive collection of manuscripts, now in the National Library of Ireland, were mostly written in school copybooks.

John Cyril Weale (1857-1942) was born in Bruges, Begium, and moved to England in 1878. In 1882 he emigrated to Sydney on account of his health. He was editor and part-owner of the Catholic newspaper The Express (1883-1888) and editor of the Catholic Times in Wellington (1888-1889). He returned to England in 1892 and engaged in press work, historical research and the study of Christian art. His proposed study of Michael Dwyer was not published.

Item Descriptions

Manuscripts of Luke Cullen, 1838 - 1843 (File 1)

Manuscripts of Luke Cullen relating to Michael Dwyer and the Irish uprisings of 1798 and 1803. They comprise lengthy transcripts of oral recollections of John Dwyer (Michael's brother), Mrs Donohoe (Dwyer's sister), Anne Devlin, Michael Kearns and other individuals who knew Dwyer. Many of the testimonies deal in detail with the capture, murders or deaths of particular rebels. There are also extracts from Memoirs of Joseph Holt, General of the Irish Rebels in 1798 (1838), Richard Madden, The United Irishmen, their lives and times (1843) and transcripts of articles in contemporary newspapers such as the Freeman's Journal, Dublin Evening Post, Dublin Journal and Walker's Hibernian Magazine.

The manuscripts are written in a book containing attendance rolls of the Clondalkin School, c. 1816-1825.

Papers of J. Cyril Weale, 1900 - 1905 (File 2)

Manuscripts, transcripts and newspaper cuttings collected by Weale in about 1900-1905 for a proposed biography of Michael Dwyer. They include transcripts of the correspondence of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1798-1801, extracts from the despatches of the Governor of New South Wales (1806-1809), copies of articles in the Sydney Gazette (1807-1808), extracts from the proceedings of the court-martial of Major George Johnston (1811), and extracts from R. Montgomery Martin, History of Austral-Asia (1836). There are manuscripts of short pieces entitled 'Michael Dwyer: an anniversary' and 'An Irish desperado', and cuttings from Australian newspapers on the centenary of the 1798 rebellion.