Long, Philip (1772?–1814), insurgent, was born in Waterford into a catholic family. Little is known of his background; he may have lived in Spain (1789–95). Long played a prominent strategic role in the conspiracy that led to the failed insurrection of Robert Emmet (qv) in 1803, and was its key financier. He went into partnership with his uncle, John Roche, a prosperous merchant who was to have left him his considerable fortune, but the partnership was dissolved as a result of the Emmet connection. However, he was comfortably off and financed a cotton manufacture which the exiled United Irishman William Putnam McCabe (qv) ran in Rouen, France, in 1802, and which helped provide cover for the network that would organise Emmet's rebellion from abroad. Though Long had been a Donnybrook hurler – a front for clandestine meetings – and involved with radicals for close to a decade, Dublin Castle does not appear to have been aware of his involvement. Close to William Dowdall (qv), after 1799, with Surgeon Thomas Wright (qv) and Malachey Delaney (qv), he assisted Emmet in refining the ‘Military regulations of the council of war.’
He was listed as a merchant residing at 4 Crow St. in Wilson's Directory (1803–6), and his premises were strategically placed for frequent meetings among Emmet's leaders. It was apparently Long who recruited to the conspiracy the eccentric John Henry Petty (qv), Lord Wycombe, eldest son and heir to the earl of Shelburne (qv). In May 1803 he agreed to finance the insurrection, and his contributions amounted to about £1,400. Long purchased materials to manufacture arms and liaised with many of Emmet's associates, including Miles Byrne (qv), during the rising. Incriminating documents were in his house at the time of his arrest in August, but his first cousin and business associate David Fitzgerald devotedly swallowed them during the search of the premises by Maj. Sirr (qv). Fitzgerald brought his will for safekeeping to John Patten (qv), a trusted friend. But Long had also compiled an address to the ‘Citizens of Dublin’, 1,000 copies of which were found in the depot. Short, eloquent, and more inflammatory than Emmet's proclamation, it urged Dubliners to assail their oppressors of six hundred years ‘with the arms of the brave, the pike, and from your windows, and roofs, hurl stones, bricks, bottles ... on the heads of the satellites of your tyrant, the mercenary, sanguinary soldiery of England’ (O'Donnell, 313–14).
Long was imprisoned 13 August 1803, and induced to give a statement on 18 August. He claimed that he had never been a member of the United Irish Society, and that he wished to distance himself from the incompetent leaders of the botched insurrection. The account of his dealings with the Irish in France provided to the authorities may therefore have been distorted, and in a list of suspects compiled after events he was deemed a ‘very deep conspirator’ (NAI, Reb. papers 620/12/217). His health and property suffered during his imprisonment, and with his fellow state prisoners in August 1804 he signed a petition to the government in protest at the appalling food and inhumane treatment they suffered at the hands of Dr Edward Trevor (qv) (reproduced in Emmet (1915), ii, 491). He was released without charge 8 March 1806, and from 1807 to 1809 was again listed as a wine merchant. He died, unmarried, in 1814 and was buried at James's St. Though previously rich and generous, he ended his life in reduced circumstances. He was remembered as ‘an excellent man in council, a good speaker, a good reasoner, and a good writer, a strong-minded man; but in action he wanted nerve – he was easily frightened ... most devotedly attached to his country, and most honest to its cause’ (Madden (1857–60), 371–2).