Of the Malta Garrison
Ancient Irish Fencibles

The Ancient Irish Fencibles

The Irish (Ancient) Regiment of Fencible Infantry was enlisted during the French Revolutionary Wars. The term Fencible describes a form of militia raised for the defence of a particular district and for a limited time. The engagement on the part of the men is a voluntary one, and their service was restricted to the county in which they were raised. The Fencibles were, however, subsequently moved from their district and several Fencible Corps served in Ireland.

In 1801, the Irish (Ancient) Regiment of Fencible Infantry was ordered from Ireland to Minorca, but when more troops were required in Egypt, it was ordered to embark irrespective of its terms of engagement. In November 1801, a number of soldiers were left sick in the hospitals in Egypt and Minorca.

The Irish (Ancient) Regiment of Fencible Infantry had the following Companies:

The Ancient Irish Fencibles


Nov 1801 330 men of the Ancient Irish Fencibles arrived at Malta.

Deaths between 25 August and 24 December 1801:


1 Jan 1802 Strength: 21 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 54 NCOs, 240 rank and file fit for duty, 93 rank and file sick, 421 total officers and men, 688 establishment.

17 Mar The day being St Patrick's day all the Irish Regiments were excused from mounting guard. The men had permission to get as drunk as they pleased. At a very early hour evident symptoms of inebriation were to be seen among the 27th and Ancient Irish Fencibles.1

18 Mar The Ancient Irish Fencibles embarked for England.

Deaths between 25 Dec 1801 to 24 Feb 1802: