Wednesday, 18 November 2009

late 1688 Irish Regiments

When the invasion of William of Orange seemed unavoidable, James II ordered several of regiments on the Irish Establishment to England by October 1688. In January 1689 when James II had fled to France and William of Orange was in power, these regiments underwent rigorous re-forms.

Roughly speaking this meant that the Protestant soldiers of the regiments were merged into Lord Forbes's Regiment, which contained the highest proportion of Protestants, and was retained on the establishment. All other regiments were disbanded, with the Catholics soldier being removed from the army. The regiments listed next were the ones that came to England.

one battalion of the Regiment of Irish Foot Guards
Under command of William Dorrington. Formed in 1662 in England for the Irish Establishment. This battalion was disbanded in January 1689.

Richard Hamilton's Regiment of Dragoons
formed in 1685 in England for the Irish Establishment. Disbanded 6 January 1689.

Lord Forbes's Regiment of Foot
formed in 1684 from independent companies in Ireland - formation may have started already in the early 1670s. It was the only regiment of the Irish Establishment from James II that was retained, and became famous as the Royal Regiment of Ireland. This Lord Forbes's was Arthur Forbes, the later 2nd Earl of Forbes. He succeeded his father to the colonelcy of the regiment in 1686; his father was of course Arthur, the 1st Earl of Granard.

Anthony Hamilton's Regiment of Foot
formed in the same manner as Lord Forbes's Regiment. It was disbanded 7 January 1689.

Roger McElligott's Regiment of Foot
formed in March 1688. This was an Irish regiment composed of Roman Catholics and partially officered by officers that had left their regiment in the English and Scots Regiments in service of Dutch Republic. It was in pay of the Louis XIV. An English and Scots regiment were formed in the same manner. Regiment was disbanded 8 January 1689.

To replace the regiments gone over to England, the Earl of Tyrconnell set forth to raise new regiments. They were formed in November 1688. Little is known about these regiments, and the author is grateful for the help of John Childs and Harman Murtagh in identifying and providing information on these regiment. These regiment were formed from Catholics so they all adhered to James II and had their share in the Williamite War of 1689 - 1691.

William Dongan's Regiment of Dragoons
This was William Dongan, 1st Earl of Limerick. Most likely survived until the Treaty of Limerick.

The Earl of Antrim's Regiment of Foot
This was Alexander McDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim.This regiment was ordered late 1688 to garrison Londonderry, but found the gates closed. Like Dongan's Dragoons, the regiment was disbanded only after the Treaty of Limerick.

The Earl of Tyrone's Regiment of Foot
Richard Power (le Poer), 1st Earl of Tyrone. Surrendered in 1690 at Cork.

The Earl of Clanricarde's Regiment of Foot
Richard Bourke (Burke), 8th Earl of Clanricarde. The regiment surrendered in 1691 at Galway.

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