Captain John Mortimer’s Troop of Dragoons

Active1645 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
CaptainJohn Mortimer
Area RaisedFrom Irish Bde
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesMontrose 1645-6

Troop of Irish dragoons fighting alongside Montrose

Service History


  • March: Raised from O’Cahan’s foot
  • March: Loss of Aberdeen
  • August: Battle of Kilsyth
  • September: Battle of Philiphaugh
  • December to May: Siege of Inverness?


The troop was raised by mounting Irish musketeers from Colonel Manus O’ Cahan’s Regiment of Foot, in which Mortimer had served as a captain.

Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

John Mortimer

Mortimer was previously a Captain in Colonel Manus O’ Cahan’s Regiment of Foot and his troop of Dragoons was raised by mounting Irish musketeers from this regiment.

He had been a leading figure in the 1641 Ulster rebellion:

“The insurgents in the County Derry forthwith crossed the Bann, under a leader named John Mortimer, and united their forces with those of Alaster MacDonnell and Tirlough Oge O’Cahan. From Portnaw they marched to the residence of Sir James MacDonnell [Sir James McDonnell was great grandson of Sorley Buy, and therefore he and Lord Antrim were second cousins once removed], who dwelt at the Vow, in the parish of Finvoy. They were joined by such of his tenants as were able to carry arms, and also by the tenants of Donnell Gorm MacDonnell, of Killoquin, in the parish of Rasharkin.

In the meantime, the Irish inhabitants on both sides of the Bann, fearing Archibald Stewart and such soldiers as he could collect, in the absence of McDonnell, O’Cahan, and Mortimer, assembled in multitudes, with their wives and children, burned a little town which then stood at the Cross, near Ballymoney, and afterwards burned Ballymoney, slaying all the British inhabitants they could lay hands on, without distinction of age or sex. Thus the mere mob, frightened and frenzied by the prevailing excitement, did actually more damage to life and property than the regularly organised forces of the insurgents.” 1)

The deposition of Brian Modder McHenry O'Cahan states that “On or about 5th or 6th January 1642, Irish forces under command of James McColl McDonnell, John Mortimer, Colonel Manus Roe O'Cahan, Gilduffe O'Cahan and Brian Modder McHenry marched on the town and castle of Dunluce … .”.

In the end Mortimer, after the Battle of Philiphaugh, went into exile with Montrose. In 1650 he returned with Montrose, was captured and executed.


A single troop

See Also

1) Hill’s Stewarts of Ballintoy, p. 12.