Duke of York’s Lifeguard Regiment of Foot

Active1656 to 1662
ConflictsAnglo-Spanish War
ColonelDuke of York
Lord Muskerry
Area RaisedFlanders
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesCharles II 1658

Regiment raised for Charles II in exile from Irishmen in Flanders, they fought at the Battle of the Dunes

Service History


  • August: Raised in Flanders from Irish Royalists of Lord Muskerry's Regiment previously in French service



  • June: Battle of the Dunes




  • Garrison of Mardyke


  • March: Placed on Dunkirk establishment but remain at Mardyke
  • November: Enter French service at Dunkirk


The regiment's history is discussed in Firth, C. H. (1898), Royalist and Cromwellian Armies in Flanders, 1657-1662, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, pp. 67–119

Charles II began to raise an army at Bruges in Flanders in 1656, having signed a treaty to ally with Spain against France and Cromwellian England. Charles’ brother, James, Duke of York raised a regiment of exiled Irish Royalists. These were found from Lord Muskerry's and Sir James Darcy's Irish regiments, who had until now been in French employ, but had been taken by the Spanish at Conde. In July 1658 the regiment fought at the Battle of the Dunes in Muskerry’s brigade, but the French and English Protectorate forces were victorious and the regiment were routed. By 1660 they were in garrison at Mardyke and were briefly placed on Dunkirk establishment in 1662 before returning to French service when Dunkirk was handed over.

Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

Prince James, Duke of York

Lord Muskerry

Charles MacCarty, Viscount Muskerry, son of Donough MacCarty, Viscount Muskerry who was a gereral of the Irish Confederates.

Lt Col Charles MacCarty


  • 1656: About 800
  • April 1657: Estimated at 250 men by English news-sheets
  • Spring 1659: 19 companies
  • March 1662: 1000 men

See Also