A Great Historical Painting in King’s Inns; “High Treason” by Sir John Lavery
This important legal painting – 7 by 10 feet – depicts the Appeal trial which followed the conviction of Sir Roger Casement for treason in July 1916. This dramatic trial took place in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. One of the presiding judges, Lord Darling, commissioned the painting.
During World War 1 Sir Roger Casement travelled to Germany to recruit Irish soldiers in prisoner–of–war camps to the German cause.
When Casement returned to Ireland, he was captured by the RIC on Banna Strand, County Kerry, where he had been landed by the German U–Boat “Aud”. He was then imprisoned in England. Subsequently Casement was tried and sentenced to death. It was thought that Casement might escape the gallows because of his influential friends and supporters. However, many prominent individuals who supported him initially, distanced themselves from Casement at this crucial time. At least in part this was because they were shown extracts from his personal diaries or allegedly from those diaries showing homosexual proclivities.
The painting is on long term loan to The Honorable Society of King’s Inns from the British Government’s Art Collection.
Useful Website Links
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