Count Peter Lacy

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Lacy, Peter, Count, Field-Marshal, was born at Killeedy, County of limerick, 29th September 1678. At the capitulation of Limerick, Peter, a lad of but thirteen, was an ensign in Sarsfield's army, and quitting Ireland with the remains of his regiment, joined the Irish Brigade in France, and was appointed lieutenant in the Regiment of Athlone. He served with Marshal Cantinet's army in Italy until the end of 1696; and after the peace of Ryswick entered the service of Peter the Great, and rapidly rose to distinction. In 1708 he was appointed colonel of a regiment of infantry, and in December of that year distinguished himself while in command of 15,000 men at the assault of Rumna. In the following month he was given a regiment of grenadiers by the Czar. At Pultowa he commanded a brigade, and was wounded. In 1720 he was Lieutenant-General, and in that and the succeeding year commanded several descents on the Swedish coast. After Queen Catherine's accession we find him a general-in-chief; and in 1729 Governor of Livonia. In 1733, at the head of 30,000 men, he made an expedition to Poland to support the claims of Augustus of Saxony to the throne, and entered Warsaw triumphantly.

Operations against Turkey, and notably the occupation of the Crimea, next engaged his services. In 1741 war with Sweden again broke out, and he was engaged in all the most important actions. In 1742 a Swedish force of 17,000 laid down their arms to him at Helsingfors, and he added part of Finland to the Russian crown. When peace was finally concluded he retired to his estates in Livonia, where he died 11th May 1751, aged 72, leaving five daughters and two sons. He left upwards of £60,000 personal property, as well as extensive estates. Lacy is described as tall and well made, vivacious yet cool, of sound judgment and prompt in action. His father and two brothers were killed in the French service.

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.

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

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