Sir Percy Kirke
Painting of Percy Kirke, c. 1680
|Died||31 October 1691 aged 45 yrs|
In 1666 Kirke obtained his first Army commission in Lord Admiral's regiment, and subsequently served in the Blues. In 1673 he was with Monmouth at Maastricht during the Franco-Dutch War and was present during two campaigns with Turenne on the Rhine. In 1680 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel, and soon afterwards Colonel of the 2nd Tangier Regiment (afterwards the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment). In 1682 he became Governor of Tangier and colonel of the Tangier Regiment (afterwards the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment).
In the view of the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, he was "a military adventurer whose vices had been developed by the worst of all schools, Tangier.... Within the ramparts of his fortress he was a despotic prince. The only check on his tyranny was the fear of being called to account by a distant and a careless government. He might therefore safely proceed to the most audacious excesses of rapacity, licentiousness, and cruelty. He lived with boundless dissoluteness, and procured by extortion the means of indulgence."
Brigadier Kirke took a notable part in the Glorious Revolution three years later, and William III promoted him. He commanded at the relief of Derry, breaking the Jacobite Irish Army's siege of the city. Following the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690, he oversaw the Capture of Waterford, Ireland's second largest settlement at the time, on 25 July 1690. He took part in his last campaign in Flanders in 1691.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kirke, Percy". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 833.
Sir Edward Sackville
| Governor of Tangier
George Legge, Admiral Lord Dartmouth
Sir Palmes Fairborne
| Colonel of the Tangier Regiment