The Westmeath emigrant who found himself at the heart of the Napoleonic wars

General Laval Nugent led 8,000 soldiers into Italy to depose ‘First Horseman of Europe’

After his military career was over, Laval Nugent dedicated his time to aquiring and restoring ancient castles in Croatia and collecting fine art.

After his military career was over, Laval Nugent dedicated his time to aquiring and restoring ancient castles in Croatia and collecting fine art.

It’s not every day that you hear a man from Westmeath led an army of 8,000 Austrian soldiers deep into southern Italy to depose a Frenchman. Yet it’s entirely true. That man was general Laval Nugent.

May 1815 saw the armies of the Austrian Empire march down the Italian peninsula during the last days of the Napoleonic era to overthrow Joachim Murat “the Dandy King” of Naples, brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte and the “First Horseman of Europe”.

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