James Touchet, Earl of Castlehaven

Touchet, James, Earl of Castlehaven, was born early in the 17th century. His father, the 2nd Earl, was beheaded on Tower Hill, 14th May 1631. James was restored to the title and estates of his ancestors in 1634. In 1638 he returned from Rome to attend Charles I. in his campaign against the Scots, and afterwards served in the Low Countries. After Stafford's execution, he retired to Ireland. Early in the war of 1641-'52 he was made prisoner and confined in Dublin. Managing to make his escape, he went through Wicklow to Kilkenny, where he was warmly received by the Supreme Council. In October 1642 he was entrusted with a military command. The history of his life for the next few years is a recital of petty skirmishes, battles, and retreats, the reduction of castles, and misunderstandings with his brother generals and the Council.

He was bitterly opposed to the party of the Nuncio, and favoured the peace of 1646. He resided in France and the Low Countries for some two years, and "then I went to Ireland, with the Marquess of Ormond, Lord-Lieutenant, serving the King against the Nuncio, Council, and other his Majesty's enemies." He was appointed Master of the Horse by Ormond. Upon the subjugation of the kingdom by Cromwell, he again withdrew to France, where he engaged in the Prince of Conde's service, and went through many of the Continental campaigns until 1678. After the Restoration, he was, by special Act of Parliament, restored to his dignities. His last days were spent at his mansion in the County of Tipperary, where he died nt h October 1684. He was passionately fond of field sports, and his Memoirs tell how in the midst of the most bloody and harassing campaigns he often turned aside to enjoy the chase.


52. Burke, Sir Bernard: Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages. London, 1866.

117. Dun, Sir Patrick, Memoir: T. W. Belcher, M.D. Dublin, 1865.

337. Walker, Rev. George: Account of the Siege of Londonderry. London, 1689.