BLTC Press Titles


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The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


History of the Irish brigades in the service of France

by John Cornelius O'Callaghan

Excerpt:

BOOK II.

Or the Irish forces, amounting to above 19,000 men and officers, who, from the conclusion of the Treaty of Limerick, in October, 1691, to the month of January, 1692, left their country in successive embarkations for France, it has already been stated, that those who were to act under King James's commission, as his army—or, so far, as a distinct force from Lord Mountcashel's Brigade, and others of their countrymen in the French service,—were to be divided into 2 Troops of Horse Guards, 2 Regiments of Horse, 2 Regiments of Dragoons, a pied, or dismounted, in order to serve as Infantry, 8 Regiments of Foot, (these last making between them 15 battalions) and, finally, 3 Independent Companies of Foot. The heads of the original capitulation, or agreement, between Louis XIV. and James II., with reference to those troops, specified, that they were to be, says the abbreviator of the document, " under the command of James, and of such General Officers as he should appoint . All the officers were to receive their commissions from him, and the troops were to be subject only to such rules and discipline of war, as he should appoint." For the government of those forces, he was to have a Secretary at War, a Judge Advocate General, a Provost Marischal General, a Chaplain General, with subordinate Priests, besides Physicians and Surgeons. The last article of this document, in which, from a previous statement, it appears, that the Brigade of Mountcashel, as well as the troops arrived from Limerick, were to be equally comprehended, should James choose to require the aid of both for his "restoration,'' is as follows,—" That the King of Great Britain be at liberty, at any time hereafter, to bring all, or such part of, the said forces, as he shall think fit, into any of his Majesty's dominions, or elsewhere, as he shall judge necessary, or convenient." The 3 Regiments of the Brigade of Mountcashel and their commanding officers having been duly treated of, the remaining corps of the Irish troops in France have now to be similarly noticed.

THE 2 TROOPS OF IRISH HORSE GUARDS.

The formation of these 2 Troops of Horse Guards, or Gardes du Corps, in Ireland, was commenced by King James II. in 1689, some time after his arrival from France. Previous to the encounter of the Boyne, or in April, 1690, each of the Troops of Guards is stated to have consisted of 200 privates; the 1st Troop, under Henry Jermyn, Lord Dover; the 2nd Troop, under the King's son, James Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick. To these, there is mentioned to have been a Troop of Mounted Grenadiers attached, commanded by Colonel Butler. According to the regulations of the service at that period, the privates of the Troop* of Guards were gentlemen, and the officers stood higher, both in■point of rank and pay, than the officers of other corps. The proportion of officers, &c, to each Troop of Guards, besides its commander or Captain, who ranked as a Colonel, consisted, by the same regulations, of 2 Lieutenants, 1 Cornet, 1 Guidon, 4 Exempts, 4 Brigadiers, 4 Sub-Brigadiers, 1 Chaplain, 1 Surgeon, 4 Trumpets, and 1 Kettle-drum. The officers, efec, of the Troop of Mounted Grenadiers attached, besides their Captain, or Colonel, were 2 Lieutenants, 2 Serjeants, 2 Corporals, 2 Drums, and 2 Hauthois. Thus each Troop of Guards would contain 224, both Troops 448, the Troop of Mounted Grenadiers attached 71, and the whole, 519 men and officers. These Gardes du Corps, as was to be expected from their composition, distinguished themselves during the war in Ireland, and suffered in proportion. On the remodelling of the Irish army, after its arrival in France, the Irish Life Guard, as it was called, was again formed into 2 Troops. The complements of these Troops of Guards are specified as 80 privates, (if this word can be applied to gentlemen) and 20 officers in each Troop; the total of both Troops consequently making 200 men. The 1st Troop was bestowed, by King James, on the Duke of Berwick; a memoir of whom will be given, in connexion with the Infantry Regiment of Berwick. The 2nd Troop was conferred on Major-General Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan.

This nobleman was descended from a sufficiently old and respectable race paternally, and from a most ancient and illustrious race maternally. The name of De Saresfeld, Sarsfield, &c, is related to have first appeared in Ireland with King Henry II.; it occurs among those of the AngloNorman gentry of the Pale, summoned for military attendance, on King Edward L and King Edward III., into Scotland, in 1302 and 1335; and, between the reigns of King Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth, that name is to be found among those of the chief civic magistrates or Mayors of Dublin, distinguished for munificent hospitality in the city, and activity and gallantry in the field. Of the Sarsfields, in the reign of King James I., the head of one branch, Sir Dominick Sarsfield, was the 1st Baronet created in Ireland, and was likewise ennobled by the title of Viscount Kinsale, subsequently agreed to be changed to that of Viscount Kilmallock; another branch, represented by Sir William Sarsfield, held the manor of Lucan, in the County of Dublin. The origin of the race of O'Mordha, O'Morra, O'More, or O'Moore, is deduced from the most remarkable royal house of Erin, in the heroic times; that of the Kings of Uladh, or Ulster, of the line of Ir, who reigned at Eman, or Emania, till its destruction by the brother Princes, Colla, of the Heremonian line of Con of the Hundred Battles, A.D., 332. Of this Irian dynasty in Uladh, the most celebrated epoch at Emania (according to our best technical chronology, about the commencement of the Christian era,) was the period of King Conor Mac Nessa, and his Champions of the Red Branch, of whom the renowned Conall, or Connell, himself of the royal race, and known as " Cearnach," or the Victorious, was the most eminent hero. A descendant of this Achilles of Uladh, and, like him, a great warrior, was Lugad Laighis. The people of Mumha, or Munster, having attacked Laighin, or Leinster, and overrun the country almost as far as

the hill of Mullach-Maistean, now Mullagh-mnst, the King of Laighin, Cnchorb, sought the aid of Lugad Laighis, who, in a series of encounters, destroyed the previously-successful invaders; in consideration of which, he was granted the district, called Laighis, or Laoighis, subsequently latinised into Lagisia, or Lisia, and anglicised into Leix, or Leax. Lugad's descendants, after the introduction of surnames, took that of O'Mordha, (otherwise O'Morra, O'More, or O'Moore,) from "Mordha," or tlte Majestic, the 25th in descent from Conall "Cearnach," or the Victorious. Over the territory of Loix, comprehending, at first, that portion of the modern Queen's County commensurate with the Baronies of East and West Maryborough, Stradbally, and Cullenagh, and subsequently all but the Baronies of Portnahinch, Tinnahinch, and Upper Ossory in that County, the posterity of Lugad Laighis, who for ages resided at Dun-Mask, now Dunamase, were the ruling race, with more or leas power as Princes or Chiefs, according to the fortune of war, until about the middle of the 16th century; and, even when expelled, they recovered their country more than once by the strong hand, until the time of Calvagh O'Morra, or O'More, and the final plantation of his country by "the stranger." This Calvagh, called Charles in English, had 2 sons, Rory or Roger, and Lewis, both Colonels; the former of whom was, in 1641, so famed in song among his countrymen, whose general exclamation was, "God and our Lady be our assistance, and Rory O'More!"—or, as the idea has been well versified, in the ballad on the subject—

'' Do you ask why the beacon and banner of war,
On the mountains of Ulster, are seen from afar!
'Tis the signal, our rights to regain, and secure,
Through God, and our Lady, and Rory O'Moore!"


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