‘The wild geese’ as Irish mercenaries in Europe were unofficially known, had a deservedly high reputation as fighting men. Forced to flee their native island after the defeat and expulsion of the Catholic King James II, the Irish Brigades followed their master to his exile in France – and remained. Fed by continual drafts of fresh exiles from Ireland, whence they had been driven by anti-Catholic discrimination, the Brigades served both the Stuart – or Jacobite- cause, and that of the French Crown with distinction out of all proportion to their numbers. Eventually the emancipation of the Catholics in Britain and the French revolution dried up the source of recruits and helped ensure that the valuable military services of the Irish would – at least for the 19th and early 20th centuries – be given to Britain. O’Callaghan’s history is a rich and full one which, as its author insists, cannot fail to be of interest to British, as well as to Irish, readers. Illustrated with several portraits.
HISTORY OF THE IRISH BRIGADES IN THE SERVICE OF FRANCE FROM THE REVOLUTION IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND UNDER JAMES II, TO THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE UNDER LOUIS XVI
Standard history written from an irish viewpoint, of the exiled Irish Brigades who served the Jacobite Stuart cause and that of France from the expulsion of James II to the French Revolution.