Irish troops had fought for Louis XIV in the 1670s, under Irish officers who had little choice but to fight in foreign service, with the blessing of Charles II. With the accession of James II, and the religious politics of who might earn the English crown, they became embroiled in the Jacobite succession crisis, fighting in Ireland, then sent to France under Lord Mountcashel in 1689. With the fall of Limerick in 1691, Patrick Sarsfield led the second ‘flight’ of ‘Wild Geese’ to the continent, to fight in a war for the French, against the Grand Alliance of Europe, in the vain hope that their loyalty might warrant French support in a return to Ireland under a Jacobite king. From the Nine Years War, through the War of the Spanish Succession, and beyond, their descendents would be present at Fontenoy, Culloden and in the Americas, forever destined to fight for a cause and land which had changed beyond recognition. D.P.Graham explains the origins of the brigade and its regiments, the personalities who led them and formed their reputation, and the circumstances of their final dissolution in the aftermath of French Revolution.
IRISH BRIGADE 1670-1745 The Wild Gees in French Service
Of interest to Early Modern French and English scholars as well as military historians interested in the officers who led the Irish soldiers of Louis XIV. Much of this title covers what future members of the brigade did before, the story of the English and Irish regiments lent by Charles II to Louis XIV (where the Hamilton’s, Tyrconnel, Mountcashel, Sarsfield and Marlborough learnt the trade of soldiering), and James II’s reign, also the focus is very much on the Williamite War in Ireland. O’Callaghan’s, 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 although heavy, remains the best source, and is available from N&MP.