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Kirke, Percy

KIRKE, PERCY (c. 1646-1691), English soldier, was the son of George Kirke, a court official to Charles I. and Charles II. In 1666 he obtained his first commission in the Lord Admiral's regiment, and subsequently served in the Blues. He was with Monmouth at Maestricht (1673), and was present during two campaigns with Turenne on the Rhine. In 1680 he became lieutenant-colonel, and soon afterwards colonel of one of the Tangier regiments (afterwards the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regt.) In 1682 Kirke became governor of Tangier, and colonel of the old Tangier regiment (afterwards the Queen's Royal West Surrey). He distinguished himself very greatly as governor, though he gave offence by the roughness of his manners and the wildness of his life. On the evacuation of Tangier " Kirke's Lambs " (so called from their badge) returned to England, and a year later their colonel served as a brigadier in Faversham's army. After Sedgemoor the> rebels were treated with great severity; but the charges so often brought against the " Lambs " are now known to be exaggerated, though the regiment shared to the full in the ruthless hunting down of the fugitives. It is often stated that it formed Jeffreys's escort in the " Bloody Assize," but this is erroneous. Brigadier Kirke took a notable part in the Revolution three years later, and William III. promoted him. He commanded at the relief of Derry, and made his last campaign in Flanders in 1691. He died, a lieutenant-general, at Brussels in October of that year. His eldest son, Lieut.-General Percy Kirke (1684-1741), was also colonel of the " Lambs."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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