Those in his confidence afterwards denied that Emmet was himself the originator of the plan on which he acted; and several of the ablest of the United Irishmen held aloof, believing the project to be impracticable.
Although Grattan had a profound contempt for Emmet's political understanding, describing him as a quack in politics who set up his own crude notions as settled rules, Emmet was among the more prudent of the United Irishmen on the eve of the rebellion.
Thomas Emmet married, in 1791, Jane, daughter of the Rev. John Patten, of Clonmel.
After visiting the chief medical schools on the continent, he returned to Ireland in 1788; but the sudden death of his elder brother, Christopher Temple Emmet (1761-1788), a barrister of some distinction, induced him to follow the advice of Sir James Mackintosh to forsake medicine for the law as a profession.
Attempting without success to persuade this lady to fly with him to America, Emmet lingered in the neighbourhood till the 25th of August, when he was apprehended by Major H.
In this hopeless state of affairs a false report reached Emmet at one of his depots at nine o'clock in the evening that the military were approaching.
A few poems by Emmet of little merit are appended to Madden's biography.
Among the latter was Lord Cloncurry, at one time on the executive of the United Irishmen, with whom Emmet dined the night before he left Paris, and to whom he spoke of his plans with intense enthusiasm and excitement.
ROBERT EMMET (1778-1803), Irish rebel, youngest son of Robert Emmet, physician to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland, was born in Dublin in 1778, and entered Trinity College in October 1793, where he had a distinguished academic career, showing special aptitude for mathematics and chemistry, and acquiring a reputation as an orator.
Thus cut off from entering a learned profession, he turned towards political intrigue, being already to some extent in the secrets of the United Irishmen, of whom his elder brother Thomas Addis Emmet (see below) was one of the most prominent.