Quin, Michael Joseph (1796–1843), journalist and travel writer, was born in Co. Tipperary, the son of Morty Quin, a catholic distiller from Thurles. He entered TCD in 1811, but there is no record of his graduation. Called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn (June 1823), he practised for a time as a lawyer in London. A liberal and a supporter of Daniel O'Connell (qv), he wrote articles about foreign policy for the London newspaper the Morning Chronicle, and contributed to the Morning Herald and other periodicals. With O'Connell, he was a founding member of the Reform Club. He edited the Monthly Review (1825–32) and the Catholic Journal (1833). He then became first editor of the Dublin Review, published in London under the supposed joint proprietorship of O'Connell and Rev. Nicholas Wiseman (1802–65). The discovery (c.1988) of Wiseman's papers, however, revealed evidence to suggest that the Review was originally Quin's concept, that he himself was nominal proprietor, although he was not required to invest capital, nor could he expect to receive profits, but only to absorb losses. Offered a post in Cuba in the Spanish colonial service, he abandoned his editorial position but retained his proprietary interest. When the appointment fell through he returned to London in 1836 hoping to be restored as editor. However, O'Connell presumed that Quin had also vacated the proprietorship on resigning as editor, and refused to reinstate him as either, paying him only what he was owed for the articles contributed. Quin subsequently edited the Tablet from 1842.
A keen traveller, he published several accounts of his experiences abroad; an account of his visit to Spain, for example, appeared in 1823, first in the Morning Herald, then in book form. A steam voyage down the Danube (1835) received good reviews in London, and was one of the first popular accounts in English of the Danube and Constantinople after the introduction of steam navigation. He documented his travels in France, Germany, and the Low Countries by means of two relatively novel modes of transport in his last work, Steam voyages on the Seine, the Moselle, and the Rhine: with railroad visits to the principal cities of Belgium (1843). In 1824 he published his translations from the Spanish of both the Memoirs of Ferdinand VII, king of the Spains, and the memoirs of Don Augustín de Iturbide (1783–1824), emperor of Mexico; his text of the latter was then translated into French by J. T. Parisot. Quin's other publications include a Secret history of the congress of Verona (1823); a treatise on The trade of banking in England (1833), based on evidence taken before a secret committee of the house of commons and including a summary of the law applicable to banks; An examination of the . . . proposed . . . abolition of the local courts of testamentary jurisdiction (2nd ed., 1834); Nourmahal: an oriental romance (1838); and a translation (1839) of the French explorer Léon de Laborde's account of his journey through ‘Arabia Petraea’ (Sinai and Jordan) to the excavated city of Petra. After a long and painful illness affecting his lungs, Quin died 19 February 1843 at Boulogne-sur-Mer in France, leaving a widow and three young children.