Swift, Dean Jonathan (Writer)
1667 - 1745
Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin on 30th November 1667 and was given over to a nurse to be minded in England. He did not meet his mother again until he was 21 years old.
The the cost of his education was funded by his uncle Godwin Swift. He was educated at Kilkenny College and Trinity College, Dublin where he was awarded a B.A. in 1689. He was appointed secretary to Sir William Temple and in 1692 received an M.A. at Hart Hall, Oxford.
In 1694 having taken holy orders, he became Prebend of Kilroot, County Antrim but soon tired of that isolated life and returned to Moor Park, Surrey in 1696.
Between 1696 - 1699 he wrote many books and like most of his writings they were all published anonymously. Although Swift was not a native of Meath he lived for some years in the Trim area, as Vicar of Laracor, near Trim together with Agher and Rathbeggan.
His best known book popularly called " Gullivers Travels " was published in 1726. He won immense popularity when his " Drapiers Letters " foiled a plan to foist on the Irish a new debased currency " Wood's Halfpenny" - the patent for which had been obtained by bribery. His Modest Proposal " suggested that the people should be relieved by the sale of their numerous children as food for the rich".
Swift was one of the most commanding intellects and writers of his day. His prose is unmatched for simple strength and clarity. His satire was savage in its mockery. His letters are among the best in English literature. He died on 19th October 1745 leaving £ 8,000 in his will for a home for the the insane and to this end St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin was built.
He is buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.