August 3

This Day in History

General Interest

Aug 3, 1916:

Sir Roger Casement hanged

Sir Roger David Casement, an Irish-born diplomat who in 1911 was knighted by King George V, is executed for his role in Ireland's Easter Rising.

Casement was an Irish Protestant who served as a British diplomat during the early part of the 20th century. He won international acclaim after exposing the illegal practice of slavery in the Congo and parts of South America. Despite his Ulster Protestant roots, he became an ardent supporter of the Irish independence movement and after the outbreak of World War I traveled to the United States and then to Germany to secure aid for an Irish uprising against the British.

Germany, which was at war with Great Britain, promised limited aid, and Casement was transported back to Ireland in a German submarine. On April 21, 1916, just a few days before the outbreak of the Easter Rising in Dublin, he landed in Kerry and was picked up by British authorities almost immediately. By the end of the month, the Easter Rising had been suppressed and a majority of its leaders executed. Casement was tried separately because of his illustrious past but nevertheless was found guilty of treason on June 29. On August 3, he was hanged in London.

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