D’ALTON, John. Illustrations, Historical and Genealogical, of King James’s Irish Army List (1689).


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Second edition, enlarged. Two volumes. Dublin: Published by the Author for the Subscribers, n.d. (1860). pp. (1) xxiii, 462, (2) [ii], 808. Recent maroon buckram, titled in gilt. Ex lib with neat library stamps. All edges sprinkled. A very good set. Very scarce.
One of D’Alton’s most valuable works was undoubtedly ‘King James’s Irish Army List, 1689’ (1855), which contained a wealth of biographical information on the officers included, and was subsequently enlarged and republished (1860) in separate volumes covering the cavalry and infantry arms. It remains a major reference work for historians of the period.
After the fall of Limerick countless thousands of Irishmen left their native soil to fight on foreign fields and were known to posterity as “The Wild Geese”. Sadly it was the start of Irish emigration which has cursed this island for centuries. This work along with O’Callaghan’s ‘Irish Brigades in the Service of France’ is the most authoritative source and a mine of information for the students of Irish military history and genealogy. With copious historical and genealogists notes and a four-page list of subscribers.
The extent of his prolific output may be judged from the fact that when his manuscript collection (seventeenth and eighteenth-century) was offered for sale in 1864 it consisted of 150 volumes. The library was eventually broken up but there are large collections of D’Alton papers, including unpublished manuscripts, in the University of Chicago and the NLI in Dublin. He married (1818) Catherine Philips of Clonmore, County Mayo; they had several children.


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