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Tuesday, 22 December 2015


22 December 1691: Patrick Sarsfield and 11,000 Irish soldiers and their families sailed from the City of Cork for Exile in France on this day. Their departure was part of the military terms agreed in the Treaty of Limerick that was signed in October of that year. Article 1 stated that:

 
That all persons, without any exceptions, of what quality or condition soever, that are willing to leave the kingdom of Ireland, shall have free liberty to go to any country beyond the seas (England and Scotland excepted) where they think fit, with their families, household-stuff, plate, and jewels.

It was agreed that 50 ships could be used to Transport all those that wished to go abroad. The port of Cork was the decided upon as the place of embarkation and it was to there that General Sarsfield marched his men after departing Limerick with the Honours of War.


Like so many of the men he brought away to France he was never to see his Homeland again. On 29 July 1693 he was severely wounded at the Battle of Landen (or Neerwinden), whilst leading the Irish Brigade against William of Orange. The French Army was commanded by Marshal Luxembourg who drove the British Army from the field of battle. Carried off the battlefield Sarsfield was taken to the town of Huy, about twenty miles away, where he died three days later having at least the satisfaction that his troops had played a part in the Victory over William of Orange. He is buried in St. Martins Church in this city, where a plaque is erected marking the approximate spot of his grave.