Ireland History from Cromwell to William

Cromwell via James II to William III

Prior to the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland there had been a period of confusion. The Old English (like the Grants), in charge since the Norman invasion, had been forced to adjust to momentous changes- political, cultural, linguistic, agricultural, religious, financial. They felt under threat. Then the O'Mores led an Irish uprising, and Ormond raised a royalist army (composed mostly of Old English loyalists) to deal with this rebellion. Additionally the king asked the Scots Presbyterians for help, and a Scots army landed in Carrickfergus, where it was augmented by Ulster Scots.

The outbreak of Civil War in England then forced some of the Protestants into the Parliamentary army under the Earl of Inchquin, and others into joining the Confederate Catholics. These forces were no longer controlled by Ormond. To complicate things further, the Anglo Irish Catholics fearing that their religion was under threat from the Puritans, went into revolt, claiming loyalty to the king rather than parliament.A Confederate Catholic government was set up at a meeting in May 1642 in Kilkenny, claiming loyalty to the king. The protestant controlled parliament in Dublin promptly expelled all 41 catholic MPs.

The king tried to keep control of Ireland as the Civil War in England progressed. He wanted to stop the protestant government forces going over to parliament. They were commanded by Ormond, a protestant but stedfastly loyal to the king. Ormond concluded a truce with the Confederacy in September 1643, which lasted until the Confederates tried and failed to take Dublin in 1647. Ormond finally surrendered Dublin to an English parliamentary army under Colonel Jones, and left for England. Jones rapidly inflicted defeats in the Confederacy.

The king reached an agreement with the Scots in Dec 1648, and asked Ormond to make terms with the Irish Catholics, which he did. This split the Confederacy between the Old English supporting the king, and the Irish Catholics supporting their church which opposed the truce. At this point Charles was defeated, captured and executed. So in January 1649 the Parliamentary army was free to deal solely with Ireland, who now had a united army of Confederate Catholics, Scots Presbyterians and Irish Protestant all under Ormond.

Cromwell landed in 1649, and considered anyone to be papist Irish unless they could prove otherwise - a virtually impossible task. In October 1649, after the carnage of Drougheda and the defeat of the Confederate Catholic forces, the old royalist and mainly protestant army of Munster went over to Cromwell. They kept their lives, but lost their property, and were liable to transport to Connaught. Cromwell marched south, took Wexford, failed to take Waterford and moved into winter quarters in Youghal in late 1649. By the time he resumed campaigning in 1650, plague as well as war ravaged the country. Cromwell took Kilkenny in March, then left Ireland leaving Ireton in command.

One factor of this particular period that is of interest to me is the Ulster Army In Waterford Area in 1649. My DNA is Northern Irish, but my lineage is Norman. Where therefore did the Northen Irish gene come from on the male y-DNA. One strong possibility is from a member of the Ulster Army at that time. Given that the Grants lived in Iverk, opposite Waterford City and 10 mile from Carrick on Suir, it can be noted that on 24 November 1649, 500 of the Ulster Army were killed trying to take Carrick on Suir. And that on 30 November 1649, 1500 Ulstermen reinforced the garrison at Waterford.

By 1652 Cromwell controlled the whole country and passed "The Settling of Ireland Act". Under this, the entire Irish nation was deemed guilty of treason. Unless you could prove that you had fought for parliament against the king, your land was confiscated, and used to pay Cromwell's debts. There were 8 classes of guilt, the first five getting death or banishment as well as confiscation of land. These were mainly the leaders and supporters of the Confederate cause from the beginning. 52 were executed, 30000 went into exile, and several thousand went to the West Indies as servants. In other classes of guilt, Catholics were automatically guilty, transported to Connaught, and given 2/3 of their former land. Protestants tended to be fined and lost 1/5 of their land without being transported. Only those without land escaped penalty. Transported people had to take up their land in Connaught by May 1654 on pain of death for refusal. The confiscated land was then given to Cromwells army in lieu of pay, or sold to investors.

Out of 20 million acres in Ireland, 11 million were confiscated. There was a pronounced trend towards protestant domination of land ownership, and by 1700 Catholics owned only 1/8 of all land, and furthermore could only buy two acres each by law.

Cromwell died in 1658, and Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. In November 1660 he issued a declaration which not only confirmed Cromwells land grants, but also ordered innocent Irish proprietors to be restored to their old estates. It naturally proved virtually impossible to dispossess the current holders of the old estates. Under the ensuing Act of Settlement in 1662, and Act of Explanation in 16665, only very few got their land back, even if they were judged innocent.

Petty calculated that the population of Ireland was 1,448,000 in 1641. 616,000 are then said to have perished in the wars (504,000 natives and 112,000 settlers and soldiers). The whole country had been laid waste by war, and Ireland a traditional exporter, had to even import cattle.

Ormond returned as Deputy in 1662 and was raised to the rank of Duke, but he changed very little. However the accession of the Catholic James II in 1685 resulted in a Catholic, Richard Talbot, being put in command of the Irish army. He appointed Catholic officers instead of Protestant ones, and he was later made Deputy in 1687. He now appointed Catholics to civil posts, and began working on a plan to repossess about half the Cromwellian confiscations. But all was changed with the birth of a son and heir to James II in 1688. Protestant alarm increased further when James started to move troops from Ireland into southern England. There was a unified stand against James in England, and he was forced to flee to France. The crown was offered to Mary, James' protestant daughter, and her husband William of Orange.

Talbot raised a new, almost exclusively Catholic army. Although this alarmed William, he had too many other problems to be able to invade Ireland. However the French, who were at war with Holland, saw that if they supported James' efforts in Ireland that it would distract William from Holland. With French support, James landed in Kinsale in March 1689, marched to Dublin, and summoned a largely catholic parliament. William therefore had to meet this challenge.

William's army landed at Carrickfergus and linked up with Ulster Protestants, who were loyal to William and controlled much of the north of the country. They moved south, defeating James finally at the Boyne on 12th July 1690, before entering Dublin. The Jacobites retreated to Limerick, where a final truce was signed.

The Wild Geese and the Grants in Exile from Ireland

The Treaty of Limerick in October 1692 provided for the transport of the Irish Catholic army to France (11000 sailed away, 2000 remained in Ireland and 1000 choose to join William's army). It is also said that between 1690 and 1730 some 120000 Wild Geese left to serve in foreign armies.

There are various references to some of the Grants leaving Ireland over this period and going to live in France and Spain. Some of them did return, but many stayed abroad in permanent exile.

James and Christian Grant are on a list of Protestant families fleeing to France in 1688.

Captain Francis Grant, an Irishman married to Elizabeth Alice Jones, had four children born in St. Germain-en-Lay in France between 1695 and 1701. The children were, Jasper (died), Marie (died), John Francis and Anne. St Germain, is just outside Paris, and was where James II lived in exile, and held court. Francis appears in Stuart manuscripts in France in 1700 attesting to the fact that Paul Leonard, then in Spain, was son of parents of gentle birth in Waterford. And in 1702 Francis was appointed one of the Harbingers in James court in exile.

Matthew Grant, a captain in the Irish Regiment de Clare was wounded at Fontenoy, and killed at Maestricht in 1747.

A lieutenant James Grant was on the muster roll of the Regiment de Dillon in 1745.

Colonel James A Grant

A Grant is given as a Captain in 1737, Major in 1745, Lt Colonel in 1758 and as Colonel of the Legion Royale, Regiment de Clare in 1774. He was married to Francoise, and was dead by 1789. This will have been a James A Grant, who entered the French army in Lally's Regiment as a Lieutenant, taking part in the Battle of Fontenoy. Hayes Biographical Dictionary of Irishmen in France says that he was from one of several Grant families in Iverk. He was also an engineer and mathematician, and was associated with Cassini in the observatory in Paris. He declared himself to be in a line of direct descent from the old Barons of Iverk and the Knights of Glen Grant. He received a Jacobite Peerage - as Baron of Iverk - in the field in Scotland from Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. He was colonel of the Prince's artillery in Scotland, and returned to France with the Prince.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Scotland in July 1745 and marched south through Scotland. The expected French reinforcements did not arrive, but three French ships did berth at Stonehaven and Montrose, bringing 6 Swedish field guns of 2 to 4 pounders, with twelve French gunners, including Lt. Colonel James Grant an Irishman in the French army. James was appointed commander of the Prince's artillery, the Master of Ordnance.

The artillery was attached to the Duke of Perth's Regiment in the early stages of the campaign, and played a key part in the bluff of strength that frightened the garrison in Carlisle into surrendering. A contemporary account reads:-

"At Carlisle Mr Grant, an Irish officer of Lally's Regiment, our principal engineer, ably availed himself of the ditches as enclosures, by which we were able to approach close to the town, sheltered from the enemy. Our artillery consisted of six Swedish field pieces received from France with Mr Grant, and six other pieces of smaller calibre taken at Preston Pans."

On the retreat northwards, all but three of the guns were abandoned. James did however lead the siege of Fort Augustus, and was successful on 5th March 1746. He then moved on to lay siege to Fort William, and drew up a plan for the siege of the fort, but was unfortunately struck by a spent cannon ball while inspecting the site for a battery.

It is not known, because of his wound, whether he took part in the Battle of Culloden. At Culloden the Princes army was exposed for the first time to accurate fire from trained artillerymen, and their own artillery was ineffective against the English. The left wing battery was without regular gunners, and was feeble and inefficient. Many of the amateur gunners fled before the accuracy of the enemy cannons. The centre battery was effective, but was still not able to fire rounds as rapidly as the enemy.

It is known that James Grant escaped to France. The biological Dictionary of Irishmen in France (by Richard Hayes published by Gill, Dublin 1949) says that James on his return to France presented an elabourite map of Britain to Prince Charles showing the routes of his armies. James signed it " Dresse et presentee a son Altesse Royale par son tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur J.A.Grant, Baron d'Iverque et Colonel de L'Artillerie du Prince en Ecosse".

It would appear that this title used here by James was self styled. The records of Jacobite titles show that there was an official record of his direct descent from the Barons of Iverk, but that neither James nor Charles actually made a new creation of the title

It is difficult to find much evidence of the family in France afterwards. The only references that I can find to a Baron Grant are:

1) Charles, Vicompte de Vaux had printed in 1801 by W.Bulmer "The history of Mauritius composed from papers and memoirs of Baron Grant who resided 20 years on the island by his son" The reference is from the National Library of Ireland. I have this book, but cannot make a link of this Baron Grant to the "James Grant" above

2) In a book on the nobility of France in 1887, it records one Baron William Alexander Grant de Luxoliere de Bellustiere, as living in Ladosse, Mareuil in the Dordogne. Again I have no idea there are any connection with the descendants of James Grant.

Then there is another Grant family at Cadiz in Spain.

David Grant listed as Irish and having been born in Cadiz. He is noted as living there between 1709 and 1714, and being a dealer in silk.

Richard Grant, born 1743, resident in Cadiz from 1760, and still there in 1791. He was a merchant

These too are the christian names of the Curlody family As the Curlody family would have been the one to lay claim to the title of Baron of Iverk, and remember that it had been claimed by James Grant over 400 years after the Barony had been sold to the Butlers. The Curlody branch were the senior branch of the family, were catholic, and seem to have been the ones who fled to France. One might conclude as well that as there were Jaspers and Matthews among them, that they were also related to the Curlody branch


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