Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852) was an Irish writer, poet and lyricist celebrated for his Irish Melodies. Their setting of English-language verse to old Irish tunes marked the transition in popular Irish culture from Irish to English. Politically, Moore was recognised in England as a press, or "squib", writer for the aristocratic Whigs; in Ireland he was accounted a Catholic patriot. Married to a Protestant actress and hailed as "Anacreon Moore" after the classical Greek composer of drinking songs and erotic verse, Moore did not profess religious piety. Yet in the controversies that surrounded Catholic Emancipation Moore was seen to defend the tradition of the Church in Ireland against both evangelising Protestants and uncompromising lay Catholics. Longer prose works reveal more radical sympathies. The Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald depicts the United Irish leader as a martyr in the cause of democratic reform. Complementing Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, Memoirs of Captain Rock is a saga, not of Anglo-Irish landowners, but of their exhausted tenants driven to the semi-insurrection of "Whiteboyism". Today, however, Moore is remembered almost alone either for his Irish Melodies (typically "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer") or, less generously, for the role he is thought to have played in the loss of the memoirs of his friend Lord Byron.