Origin and History
This regiment is older than what its rank indicated. He had initially been raised in 1661 by Charles II under the title of “Royal-Irlandais” from the remnants of the Irish units in the French service which had been disbanded after the Treaty of the Pyrenees. This regiment returned to Great Britain when Charles II was recalled.
The regiment was soon renamed “Gardes Irlandaises” defended the crown of James II up to the last moment. After the capitulation of Limerick, the regiment entered into the French service and, on October 9, 1689, embarked for Brest.
For many years, Louis XIV, for the sake of James II, maintained the regiment out of the French Army, as an auxiliary unit which initially served on the coasts of Normandie.
In 1692, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment received James' authorisation to join a French army campaigning in the Low Countries and took part in the siege of Huy. In 1693, it fought in the Battle of Landen. It later took part in the capture of Charleroi.
On February 27, 1698, after the signature of the Treaty of Ryswick, the “Gardes Irlandaises” were disbanded and their officers and soldiers joined the same day a new regiment of fifteen companies which took the name of its colonel, Lord Dorrington.
In 1701 and 1702, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment served in Alsace. In 1703, it took part in the siege and capture of Kehl, in the attack of the Lines of Stollhofen, in the combats of Hornberg and Munderkingen, in the Battle of Höchstädt and in the capture of Kempten, Augsburg and Ulm; in 1704, in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim; in 1706, in the relief of Fort-Louis and in the capture of Drusenheim, Lauterbourg and the Marquisat Island; and in 1707, in the attack on the Lines of Stollhofen, in the capture of Ettlingen, Pforzheim, Wynhing (probably Winnenden) and Schorndorf, and in the combat of Seckingen. In 1708, the regiment was transferred to Flanders. In 1709, it took part in the Battle of Malplaquet and in the unsuccessful defence of Béthune; in 1711, in the attack on Arleux; in 1712, in the victorious Battle of Denain and in the sieges and recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain; and in 1713, in the siege and recapture of Landau and in the siege of Freiburg.
In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment campaigned on the frontier with Spain, taking part in the submission of Fuenterrabía and San Sebastian and in the blockade of Roses.
In 1733, at the beginning of the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine and took part in the siege of Kehl. In 1734, it contributed to the siege of Philisbourg and fought at Ettlingen. In 1735, it took part in the Battle of Klausen.
In 1741 and 1742, during of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was employed at the guard of the frontiers of Flanders. In 1743, it was sent to the Palatinate and took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it participated in the sieges of Menin, Ypres and Furnes; in 1745, in the Battle of Fontenoy and in the sieges of Tournai, Oudenarde, Termonde and Ath. In 1746, the regiment took part in the expedition of Charles Edward Stuart (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie) in Scotland. On April 16 of the same year, the Comte de Rooth was taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden. The regiment then returned to France. On July 2, 1747, the regiment fought in the Battle of Lauffeld and then formed part of the army covering the siege of Berg-Op-Zoom. In 1748, it took part in the siege of Maastricht.
In 1754, the regiment took part in the training camp of Aimeries on the Sambre.
The regiment counted only one battalion.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 98th and was under the command of:
- from May 28, 1733 to August 19, 1766: Charles-Edouard Lesley, Comte de Rooth
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was stationed at Calais.
By August 1 1757, the regiment was garrisoning Dunkerque in Flanders. It continued to serve on the frontiers of Flanders until 1760.
In 1760, the regiment joined the French armies operating in Germany. By May 23, the regiment was part of the first line of the infantry centre of Broglie's Army. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Giessen.
In 1761, the regiment took part in the defence of Marburg. On July 16, it was at the Battle of Vellinghausen.
In 1762, the regiment was stationed at Cambrai. By the end of the year, it was at Valenciennes.
In 1763, the regiment was transferred from Valenciennes to Berghes.
|Neck stock||probably black|
|Coat||red lined blue with 12 copper buttons (including those on the lapel) down to the waist and 1 copper button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||blue lined white with two rows of copper buttons and yellow buttonholes down to the waist|
|Gaiters||white fastened with a black strap|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
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Drummers wore the livery of the king of England.
- Colonel colour: white field with a white cross; centre device consisting of the initials “JR” surmounted by a golden crown.
- Ordonnance colours: white field with a red cross; centre device consisting of a golden crown of England surmounted by a golden lion.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 7, pp. 241-246
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website which has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
Mouillard, Lucien: Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris 1882
Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 210
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Service historique de l'armée de terre, Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.