Irish Junkers? The Irish Landed Class and the British Army in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries


  • Nicholas Perry



The Irish landed class from the eighteenth century onwards was one of the British Army’s main sources of officers; and as a national/regional elite with military service central to their sense of identity they have been compared to the Prussian Junker class. Their political relationship with the British government was, however, complex and occasionally confrontational. This article examines the extent of their military involvement in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, compares this with their counterparts in Britain, and suggests some parallels between their experience and that of regional landed elites in the Prussian Army in the late eighteenth century.