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Joseph Cornelius O'Rourke

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Portrait bi George Dawe in the Military Gallery.

Coont Joseph Cornelius O'Rourke (1772-1849) wis a Roushie nobleman an military leader who focht in the Napoleonic Wars. He is an aa parteecularly well remembered in Serbie whaur he led a combined Roushie an Serb arimy tae defeat the Turks at Varvarin in 1810. A monument in his honour wis erectit in Serbie in 1910.

The O'Rourke faimily wur oreeginally members o the Jacobite Erse Nobility who fled Ireland follaein defeat bi the Williamites in 1691. The majority o the faimily moved tae Fraunce, but a branch an aa moved tae Estonie, which wis then a province o the Roushie Empire.

O'Rourke wis born at Dorpat in 1772. Bi this time the faimily haed been completely absorbed intae Roushie hie society, an, accordin tae custom, he wis immediately enrolled in the Roushie Imperial Guard. He first saw action as a yung man in Zürich against the French Revolutionary Army an went on tae be awardit the Order o Saunt George an the Order o St. Anna, servin unner General Kutuzov in 1805. Later, O'Rourke raised an equipt his awn private regiment an maircht tae Serbie tae fecht the Turks. Thay focht at Prahovo, Bela Palanka, Soko Bania (Sokobanja) an Jassika afore the decisive victory at Varvarin. O'Rourke concludit his military career as a Lieutenant General fechtin French forces in Germany. He retired tae his estate at Vselyub near Minsk an dee'd in 1849.

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