Duke of Berwick

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXXIII

Lauzan returned to France with Tyrconnel, and the Irish forces were confided to the care of the Duke of Berwick, a youth of twenty, with a council of regency and a council of war to advise him. Under these circumstances it was little wonder that there should have been considerable division of opinion, and no little jealousy, in the royal camp; and even then the seeds were sowing of what eventually proved the cause of such serious misfortune to the country.

The famous Marlborough appeared before Cork with an army of 1,500 men, on the 22nd of September, and the garrison were made prisoners of war after a brief and brave resistance; but the conditions on which they surrendered were shamefully violated. Kinsale was next attacked; but with these exceptions, and some occasional skirmishes with the "Rapparees," the winter passed over without any important military operations.

Tyrconnel returned to Ireland in January, with a small supply of money and some provisions, notwithstanding the plots made against him by Luttrell and Purcell. He brought a patent from James, creating Sarsfield Earl of Lucan. A French fleet arrived in May, with provisions, clothing, and ammunition. It had neither men nor money; but it brought what was supposed to be a fair equivalent, in the person of St. Ruth, a distinguished French officer, who was sent to take the command of the Irish army. In the meantime Ginkell was organizing the most effective force ever seen in Ireland: neither men nor money was spared by the English Parliament. And this was the army which the impoverished and ill-provisioned troops of the royalists were doomed to encounter.