Ware, Hugh (1776?–1846), United Irishman and French army officer, was the only surviving son in the family of six sons and five daughters of Patrick Ware (b. 1730s) of Rathcoffey, Co. Kildare, a surveyor employed by the 2nd duke of Leinster (qv) and said to be a descendant of Sir James Ware (qv). His date of birth is given in a French military record as 19 January 1776, but according to Miles Byrne (qv) he was seventy-three at his death. After entering his father's profession Ware came under the influence of the United Irish movement, an early adherent of which was a close neighbour, Archibald Hamilton Rowan (qv). In the weeks before the rebellion that broke out in May 1798, Ware was active as an intermediary between the United Irish in north Co. Kildare and the leaders in Dublin. In the rebellion he was second in command to William Aylmer (qv) in the United Irish camp at Timahoe with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was in action at Ovidstown and played an important role in surrender negotiations, submitting on 21 July. Confined as a state prisoner, first at the Royal Exchange, Dublin, then in Kilmainham jail (July 1798 to 9 April 1802), he studied military tactics.
On his release (which may have been aided by character references given by Kildare gentry, two of whom mentioned his good influence in preventing outrage and destruction during the rebellion), Ware was banished and went to France, which was then briefly at peace with England. He received a commission as a lieutenant in Bonaparte's Irish legion (7 December 1803) and was promoted captain (22 March 1804). He saw action in Portugal, Spain, Germany, and the Low Countries, distinguishing himself at the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (June 1810), for which he was promoted chef de bataillon. At the battle of Löwenberg (19 August 1813), at which 400 men of the 1,400-strong legion (or regiment) were killed or wounded, he commanded one of the two Irish battalions and took overall command after his superior officer, William Lawless (qv), lost a leg; by this and brave conduct at Goldberg (23 August) he won promotion to colonel and the succession to Lawless. After the French defeat at Leipzig (16 October), he retreated to Antwerp, which he held against British opposition (January 1814). Ware was decorated with the cross of the Légion d'honneur (18 June 1813). During the Hundred Days he was confirmed in his rank and position (April 1815), but after Waterloo the Irish legion was disbanded (September 1815).
Hugh Ware retired from the army (May 1816), on half pay, to Tours (Indre-et-Loire). He died there, apparently unmarried, on 5 March 1846. He was described as being over six feet tall and of large proportions. The Ware family house at Rathcoffey was owned in 1854 by Mary Plunkett, who seems to have been a niece of Hugh.