The Irish Brigade, created by Louis XIV, became home to many of The Wild Geese.
After their departure from Ireland in 1691, many soldiers joined the Irish Brigade in the service of France. This was the most effective way to integrate The Wild Geese into French society. Although others had to fend for themselves, The Irish Brigade provided a wage for many of The Wild Geese, as well as a chance to pursue their dream – freedom for everyone.
The Irish Brigade was originally made up of three regiments, named after their first colonels: Mountcashel, Dillon and Clare. But after the Treaty of Limerick, new regiments were established. In these regiments, many future military and aristocratic dynasties were born – a testament to the sheer will and commitment of The Wild Geese.
The Brigade fought in many important battles during it’s service to France. Some of these were at Neerwinden, Marsaglia, and the famed Battle of Fontenoy. On 20 ovember 1715, the French king rewarded the service of these men and granted a royal decree which granted naturalisation to foreign soldiers. But for The Wild Geese, they still dreamed of home – Ireland.
The Brigade continued to serve France until its dissolution during the French Revolution. However, the tenacity of these soldiers were not forgotten, and Napoleon would form The Irish Legion at the turn of the nineteenth century.