On October 3rd 1691, after a lengthy siege, Patrick Sarsfield (1630-1693) of the Jacobite army and Godert de Ginkel of the Williamite army signed the Treaty of Limerick, bringing an end to the Jacobite campaign in Ireland. The Treaty guranteed the safety of the Irish people as well as religious freedom for Catholics. However, in exchange for these terms, Sarsfield and his men were ordered to leave Ireland for France, which was the stronghold of Jacobite support. Sarsfield left along with 10,000 men of the Jacobite troops and some 4,000 women and children who sought refuge in France.
The Flight of the Wild Geese is a term used to describe the departure of Patrick Sarsfield and the Irish Jacobite forces from the island of Ireland after the signing of the Treaty of Limerick in October 1691. The name 'Wild Geese' is also given to any Irish soldiers who have served in Continental European armies.