Count Arthur Dillon

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Dillon, Arthur, Count (son of Theobald, 7th Viscount Dillon, an officer in King James II.'s army), was born in Roscommon in 1670. His mother is said to have been killed by the second bomb thrown into Limerick by King William. Dillon went to France in May 1690, as Colonel of one of the two regiments that his father had raised among his tenants for the service of James II. Colonel Dillon's regiment was sent to France as part of Lord Mountcashel's brigade, in exchange for some veteran French regiments. His lengthened services of nearly forty years in the French army are fully set forth in O'Callaghan's History of the Irish Brigades. There was scarcely a prominent operation in the campaigns of the time, under the Duke de Vendome, Marshal Villeroy, and others, in which he did not actively take part. In 1704 he was made Marechal-de-Camp, was governor of Toulon, and was ultimately advanced to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

In April 1730 he retired from active service. In person he was tall and handsome; he was esteemed a good officer and a brave soldier. He died at St. Germain-en-Laye, 5th February 1733, aged 63. His Memoirs perished in the French Revolution. He married Catherine Sheldon, Lady of Honour to James II.'s Queen, and by her had five sons and four daughters. His sons were: (1) Charles, 10th Viscount, born in 1701, who became Colonel of the regiment after his father, served on the Rhine, married his cousin, and took possession of the family estates in 1735. He lived in Ireland, and died without issue, in London, in 1741. (2) Henry, 11th Viscount, after seeing much service with his regiment, left the French army in 1743 after the battle of Dettingen, so as not to forfeit the family estates. He married Lady Charlotte Lee, daughter of the Earl of Lichfield, and died in London, 1787. (3) James, who was killed at the head of his regiment at Fontenoy, 11th May (N.S.) 1745. (4) Edward, who commanded the regiment from the date of his brother's death until he fell at the battle of Laffeldt in 1747. (5) Arthur, who entered the Church, rose to be Bishop of Evreux, Archbishop of Toulouse, and Archbishop of Narbonne, died in London, 5th July 1806, and was interred in Old St. Pancras. This ecclesiastic devoted considerable attention to the study of the history and antiquities of Ireland.

Sources

34. Biographie Générale. 46 vols. Paris, 1855-'66. An interleaved copy, copiously noted by the late Dr. Thomas Fisher, Assistant Librarian of Trinity College, Dublin.

39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.

186. Irish Brigades in the Service of France: John C. O'Callaghan. Glasgow, 1870.

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