Irish Brigade (France)

For other uses of “Irish Brigade”, see Irish Brigade (disambiguation).

Irish Brigade

Regimental flags of the Irish Brigade.

May 1690 – 1791


France/King James II

French army


Three to six regiments

Semper et ubique Fidelis (Always and Everywhere Faithful)



Nine Years’ War

Battle of Steenkerque

War of the Spanish Succession

Battle of Malplaquet

War of the Austrian Succession

Battle of Fontenoy

Jacobite rising of 1745

Battle of Falkirk Muir
Battle of Culloden



The Hon. Arthur Dillon
Justin MacCarthy
Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally, baron de Tollendal, maréchal de camp

The Irish Brigade was a brigade in the French army composed of Irish exiles, led by Lord Mountcashel. It was formed in May 1690 when five Jacobite regiments were sent from Ireland to France in exchange for a larger force of French infantry who were sent to fight in the Williamite War in Ireland. The regiments comprising the Irish Brigade served as part of the French Army until 1792.


1 Formation
2 Service
3 Recruitment
4 Uniforms and flags
5 Language
6 End of the Irish Brigade
7 Notes
8 References
9 Literature
10 See also
11 External links

These five Jacobite regiments, comprising about 5000 men, were named after their colonels: Lord Mountcashel, Butler, Feilding, O’Brien and Dillon. The French reformed them and disbanded Butler’s and Feilding’s, incorporating their men into the remaining three regiments. Those regiments—Mountcashel’s, O’Brien’s and Dillon’s–formed the first Irish Brigade in France and were known as Lord Mountcashel’s Irish Brigade and served the French with distinction during the remainder of the Nine Years’ War (1689–97).
Under the terms of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, which ended the war between King James II and VII and King William III in Ireland, a separate force of 12,000 Jacobites had arrived in France in an event known as Flight of the Wild Geese. These were kept separate from the Irish Brigade and were formed into King James’s own army in exile, albeit in the pay of France. Lord Dorrington’s regiment, later Rooth or Roth, following the Treaty of Ryswick in 1698, was formed from the former 1st and 2nd battalions James II’s Royal Irish Foot Guards (formerly on the Irish establishment[1]) of Britain.[2]
With the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, King James’s army in ex