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Plot to kill Roger Casement
The city of Cristiania [Oslo] where Sir Roger Casement is claiming there was a plot against his life. Inset left: Sir Roger Casement. Inset Right: Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, to whom Sir Roger addressed the letter in which he made these claims. Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division / National Library of Ireland, KE 009 / National Portrait Gallery, London

Plot to kill Roger Casement

Servant offered $25,000 to commit murder

Berlin, 20 February 1915 - Sir Roger Casement has made public a letter alleging that the British government has been engaged in a criminal conspiracy to have him captured and murdered.

WATCH: Who was Sir Roger Casement?

Casement is currently in Germany and has released to the newspapers a letter he has written to Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary. In it, Casement accuses British officials in Norway of conspiring with his man-servant, Adler Christensen, a Norwegian, to kill him. It is further alleged that Christensen was promised a sum of $25,000 to $50,000 for carrying out the murder.

Dr Angus Mitchell on Sir Roger Casement's trip to Germany during the First World War.

To support his allegations of a conspiracy, Casement released a second letter said to have been sent from the British embassy in Norway setting out to Christensen the amount of money he was to be paid and giving a promise of personal immunity and passage to America.

Casement has asked the Norwegian government for the promise of protection so that he might lay before it proof of the events he claims.

German newspaper Hamburger Fremdenblatt draws attention to the plot against Sir Roger Casement. Click to enlarge. (Image: Hamburger Fremdenblatt, Nr. 65b, March 6, 1915. Joseph McGarrity Collection. Digital Library@Villanova University. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.)

Kuno Meyer

Meanwhile, there are reports from Brooklyn in America that Professor Kuno Meyer, in the course of a public speech, referred to meeting Casement: ‘When I met him the words of the old song kept running in my head, with some slight variations:

'I met with Roger Casement and I took him by the hand
And said, ‘How is poor Ireland and how does she stand?’
‘Oh, she’s the most distressful country that ever yet was known,
For they’re shooting men and women in the streets of Dublin town.’'

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.