An early Irish cavalry flag guidon
Lot 288
Ormond Union Cavalry Guidon C.1779 - 1792
Sold for £4,800 (US$ 8,067) inc. premium
Auction Details
An early Irish cavalry flag guidon
Lot Details
Ormond Union Cavalry Guidon C.1779 - 1792
A highly important relic of the long past Irish Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, double sided and contained in an early 19th century gilt wood and glazed frame, 80x56cm, not including the silver bullion fringe, this complete on all three sides, the ground of fine Irish linen is pale green on one side, the other originally crimson now faded to brown, each side bears identical silk embroidered decoration highlighted with silver wire and sequins, in the centre the crowned Harp and Maid enclosed by demi wreaths of oak leaf and acorn decoration, a tri-part scroll below 'Ormond Union Cavalry', a double scroll above 'Pro Aris Et Focis', in the four corners are roundels of white silk grounds, two with shamrock sprays, the other two with clasped hands and arm section showing the scarlet coatee. (Some slight loss and fading, otherwise in remarkable condition for its age)


  • ORMOND UNION CAVALRY, this corps formed part of the famous "Irish Volunteers" movement of c1776-1792, the main progenitors being Henry Grattan, Henry Flood, James Caulfeild, 4th Viscount and 1st Earl of Charlemont, the overall Commander of the movement, and William Robert Fitzgerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster. Raised to defend the country from any invasion as the normal military presence had been withdrawn to fight in the American War of Independence, and there was no adequate Militia force.
    Upper and Lower Ormand in the North of Co. Tipperary were two of the ancient baronries, they no doubt 'united' to form this corps of cavalry. The Volunteers, through parliament gained a certain measure of legislative independence for Ireland and succeeded in having various trade restrictions lifted. However their importance began to weaken after hostilities ceased in America, and the home Government began to view them with some mistrust. An attempt to enrol 'National Volunteers' c1792 following the outbreak of the French Revolution brought about their total demise. It is not known when the Orman Union Cavalry, raised in 1779 were stood down, but 1792 is the latest possible date.Subsequent Government backed volunteers, c1796-1830 did include separate cavalry and infantry units in Upper and Lower Ormond
    (1796-1815) but they were not listed as 'Union Cavalry'.
    The uniform was scarlet with white facings and silver lace, epaulettes and buttons. The Officer Commanding was Captain Charles James Bury.
    The Ormand Infantry of the period (O.C. Colonel Henry Prittie) is listed as being 'united' with the Cavalry Corps
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