May 17, 2007

The Wild Geese of Eire (follow-up)

In Feb., 2006 I presented verbatim the premise of Frank S. Crosswhite that Edward Coffey was one of the "wild geese" who fled Ireland after the Protestant William of Orange became king of England by deposing the Catholic King James II.

The report covered three separate blog entries. Click on the title link above to read the first page. The second and third page can be read by clicking on the link at the bottom of succeeding pages.

I am pretty sure that some of my high school history teachers attempted to pound into me some of the historical facts of the religious war between the Catholics and Protestants that lead to the "Williamite Confiscation", and perhaps as well in college when freshmen had to study the History of Western Civilization. But, over the next 50 years many of those facts became obscure to me. So, when I read Crosswhite's work I accepted it at face value without ever attempting to discover what a real "wild goose" was.

There are many internet sites that describe the reign of King James II and his subsequent defeat by William of Orange in 1688. In Ireland, the battle for the throne is known as The Williamite or the Jacobite War. For centuries Irish Catholics and Protestants continued to antagonize each other with deadly results. It has only been in recent years that they have agreed to stop killing one another over something that happened so long ago.

The Treaty of Limerick in 1691 allowed the Jacobite army to leave Ireland for continental Europe where they would serve in the armies of France, Spain, etc. The term applied to this movement of men and their families was "The Flight of the Wild Geese."

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