Justin MacCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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MacCarthy, Justin, Viscount Mountcashel, younger brother of preceding, entered the English army at an early age, and married Lady Arabella Wentworth, second daughter of the Earl of Strafford. Described as a man of honour and liberality, he attained the rank of Lieutenant-General; but his military powers were marred by defective sight. In 1688, or early in 1689, he was appointed by Tirconnell Muster-Master General and Lord Lieutenant of the County of Cork. He took Castlemartyr and Bandon from the Protestant party, met James II. on his landing at Kinsale, and received commands to raise seven regiments of foot. Early in May 1689 he was created Viscount Mountcashel and Baron of Castleinchy. In July, with 3,600 men and eight field pieces, he was sent north to act against the Enniskilleners, then numbering some 3,300 men, with six field pieces, under the command of Hamilton, Berry, and Wolseley. After some desultory engagements, Viscount Mountcashel was miserably defeated at Newtownbutler on 31st July.[217a]

The force under his command was almost annihilated, 1,500 being slain, 500 drowned in Lough Erne, and 500 taken prisoners. He was amongst the latter, and was brought to Enniskillen, and allowed out on parole. He escaped by boat on Lough Erne, in December following, and reached Dublin, where he was received by his party with all imaginable demonstrations of joy. He justified this breach of his parole by a quibble; and although afterwards acquitted on his own evidence by a French court of honour, the infamy of the act disgraced his name and nation. "I took Lieutenant-General MacCarthy to be a man of honour," remarked Schomberg on hearing of his escape, "but would not expect that in an Irishman any more." For the 6,000 veterans under Lauzun whom Louis XIV. sent to aid James II., he received a corresponding number of Irish troops early in 1690. Mountcashel commanded this force, and therefore left Ireland before the campaign of 1690. As Lieutenant-General of France, he was ordered to Savoy, where his brigade, acting in conjunction with French troops under St. Ruth, greatly distinguished itself. He afterwards commanded in Catalonia and on the Rhine; and died at Barege (whither he had retired on account of wounds) 21st July 1694.

Sources

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

217a. Londonderry, Siege and History of: James Hempton. Londonderry, 1861.

217b. 'Derry and Enniskillen in 1688-'9: Thomas Witherow. Belfast, 1873.

223. Macaulay, Lord: History of England, from the Accession of James II. [to 1702]. 5 vols. London, 1849-'61.

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