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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Napoleonic Era

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Napoleonic Era Discuss the many wars fought around the globe around the time of Napoleon. This forum is dedicated to the memory of Ben Weider and our late friend and long time ACG Staff member, Michael Brown, better known here as Post Captain.

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  #1  
Old 12 Feb 16, 06:33
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Ancient Irish in Egypt Napoleonic period mystery

Looking at the forces that took Egypt from the French there is an amazing variety of units including Corsican Rangers (raised when Corsica was under the British crown), Maltese Artificers, Swiss mercenaries and volunteers from the Madras and Bombay Presidencies. One unit I have been able to find out next to nothing about is The Ancient Irish Fencible Infantry. Other than that they were a Dublin raised battalion and were originally embarked for an attack of Cadiz but diverted to Egypt as the Plague was raging in Cadiz I can find nothing. Even Lawson has no record of their uniform. Fencibles were intended for home defence against invasion and were not supposed to be liable for overseas service (like a bit of a mix between the early Territorials and the Home Guard) so what they were doing as part of an expeditionary force is a puzzle - a bit like finding a Warmington on Sea platoon at D Day.
Any one know any more?
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  #2  
Old 12 Feb 16, 09:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Looking at the forces that took Egypt from the French there is an amazing variety of units including Corsican Rangers (raised when Corsica was under the British crown), Maltese Artificers, Swiss mercenaries and volunteers from the Madras and Bombay Presidencies. One unit I have been able to find out next to nothing about is The Ancient Irish Fencible Infantry. Other than that they were a Dublin raised battalion and were originally embarked for an attack of Cadiz but diverted to Egypt as the Plague was raging in Cadiz I can find nothing. Even Lawson has no record of their uniform. Fencibles were intended for home defence against invasion and were not supposed to be liable for overseas service (like a bit of a mix between the early Territorials and the Home Guard) so what they were doing as part of an expeditionary force is a puzzle - a bit like finding a Warmington on Sea platoon at D Day.
Any one know any more?
Via google fu I have found this: https://ia801406.us.archive.org/26/i...cobuoft_bw.pdf
However, page 362 only lists the commanding officers name, T J Fitzgerald, who may or may not be the Fitzgerald listed here in the 1799 London Chronicle?
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...201799&f=false

Other net sites:
http://www.maltaramc.com/regmltgar/aif.html
http://www.limerickcity.ie/media/mh49.pdf

Two medals were awarded to Walter Mc Creary and Ensign George T Burke: http://www.british-medals.co.uk/brit...sh-fencibles-1

Using google I was able to find some info about some names, but nothing about their particular campaign, unless they were attached to the 40th Regiment (2nd Somerset). Then their unit history would be the same.
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  #3  
Old 12 Feb 16, 11:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Via google fu I have found this: https://ia801406.us.archive.org/26/i...cobuoft_bw.pdf
However, page 362 only lists the commanding officers name, T J Fitzgerald, who may or may not be the Fitzgerald listed here in the 1799 London Chronicle?
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...201799&f=false

Other net sites:
http://www.maltaramc.com/regmltgar/aif.html
http://www.limerickcity.ie/media/mh49.pdf

Two medals were awarded to Walter Mc Creary and Ensign George T Burke: http://www.british-medals.co.uk/brit...sh-fencibles-1

Using google I was able to find some info about some names, but nothing about their particular campaign, unless they were attached to the 40th Regiment (2nd Somerset). Then their unit history would be the same.
Thanks but I had already googled. Fitzgerald had a reputation as a member of the Protestant Ascendency who was somewhat embarrassingly over enthusiastic in maintaining this. As High Sheriff of Tipperary he was the defendant in a private prosecution for assault and false imprisonment. He won the case and was awarded substantial damages against his accuser but he seems to have been an embarrassment politically and possibly it was politic to have him and his unit out of the country but I have no evidence that this was why the Ancient Irish ended up in Egypt.
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  #4  
Old 12 Feb 16, 15:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
Have you read this rather detailed information on Irish volunteer regiments?

http://www.limerickcity.ie/media/mh49.pdf


Paul
Note that this is the same link in my post above .
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Old 12 Feb 16, 15:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Thanks but I had already googled. Fitzgerald had a reputation as a member of the Protestant Ascendency who was somewhat embarrassingly over enthusiastic in maintaining this. As High Sheriff of Tipperary he was the defendant in a private prosecution for assault and false imprisonment. He won the case and was awarded substantial damages against his accuser but he seems to have been an embarrassment politically and possibly it was politic to have him and his unit out of the country but I have no evidence that this was why the Ancient Irish ended up in Egypt.
It is said it was because they volunteered for overseas duty, but have yet to discover why. Unfortunately, for me, this is one of the many time periods I have little knowledge in.
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Old 12 Feb 16, 16:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Note that this is the same link in my post above .
Oh well! I'll delete it , then you could delete your last and for continuity I'll also delete this post.

Paul
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Old 12 Feb 16, 16:09
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This is interesting.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...giment&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...giment&f=false

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Old 12 Feb 16, 16:25
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From:

Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the ..., Volume 1
By David Stewart, David Stewart (Major-General.)


Early in July, the British army was reinforced from England and Minorca by the 22d dragoons, a detachment of Guards, two battalions of the 20th foot, the 24th, 25lh, 26th, and 27th regiments, the Ancient Irish Fencible*, and the foreign regiments of Watteville's and Chasseurs Britanniques. The Irish Fencibles were enlisted for European service only, and were ordered from Ireland to Minorca, where they were quartered in 1801. When more troops were required in Egypt, this regiment was treated in the same manner as at different times the Highland regiments had been, and, without regard to their terms of service, was ordered to embark for Africa. The men complain ed, and stated the nature of their engagement, but to no purpose j and, being less refractory than the Highlanders had showed themselves in similar circum stances, they embarked, though reluctantly. However, when they found them selves fairly landed in Egypt, and were ordered to march forward from the beach to join the army before Alexandria, making a virtue of necessity, und with characteristic good humour, they pulled off their hats, and, with three cheers, cried out, " We will volunteer now. " My countrymen, in the days of their spirited independence, would not have yielded so readily, and would have been in no humour to sport their jokes on such an occasion. The whole proceeded from a mistake in the nature of the engagement on which these men were to serve. The order to embark them from Minorca must, however, have been clear and positive; otherwise General Fox, who commanded there, and whose mildness of disposition, and high sense of honour and probity, are so well known, would never have countenanced any breach of engagement.

From here:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...giment&f=false

Paul
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