Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan (1655-1693) was an Irish soldier and commander of the Jacobite forces during the Williamite War in Ireland from 1689 to 1691. Born into a wealthy Catholic family, and of mixed Anglo-Norman and Gaelic descent, Sarsfield would play a prominent role as part of the Jacobite “War Party”, successfully managing to relieve the first siege of Limerick. However, a second siege of the city had forced Sarsfield to negotiate surrender in October 1691. The Treaty of Limerick allowed Sarsfield and his men to evacuate to France, in what was known as “The Flight of The Wild Geese.”, yet most of the civil protections designed to protect the Catholic religion would be ignored almost entirely by the Williamites. Sarsfield would be killed serving France at the Battle of Landen during the War of the Grand Alliance in 1693, folklore claims his dying words were “Oh that this has been shed for Ireland!”. Although little is verifiable as to Sarsfield’s early life and despite only a handful of surviving letters from Sarsfield existing, he nonetheless became a revered icon of Irish nationalist folklore as a defender of faith and fatherland.
Letter to Baron de Ginkel (1691)