Records of 3,000 volunteers in Latin America now in our site!

The database compiled by Prof. Matthew Brown of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and other European Adventurers in Gran Colombia (modern day Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela) during and after the Latin American Wars of Independence (c.1810-c.1830) is now available in the Resources area of our site.

This electronic resource features the names of over three thousand men and women. The first arrived in Venezuela in 1811; the last died in Ecuador in 1890. Over half were Irish. Several thousand died quickly upon arrival, or returned home just as soon; several hundred stayed and settled in Gran Colombia.

It is a closed and abbreviated database produced between 2000 and 2006 drawing on sources cited in the bibliography of Prof.  Matthew Brown’s  book Adventuring through Spanish colonies: Simón Bolívar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations, Liverpool University Press, 2006; translated into Spanish by Katia Urteaga Villanueva and published by La Carreta Editores as Aventureros, mercenarios y legionarios extranjeros en la independencia de Colombia, 2010.

Many individuals whose presence in Gran Colombia is not widely known are listed, alongside more celebrated/notorious individuals including: Gregor MacGregor, a Scotsman who in 1819 declared himself ‘Inca of New Granada’; Daniel O’Leary, an Irishman who served as Simón Bolívar’s assistant for many years and later became British ambassador in Colombia and an important historian; James Rooke, who died of the wounds he received in the battle of Pantano de Vargas (1819), and whose last words were ‘Long Live the Land Which Will Bury Me!’.

Prof. Matthew Brown is happy to provide more information he has relating to individuals featured in his database – please just send him an email ( or contact him on social media @mateobrown.  You may already find further information emanating from the work undertaken by other members of our network by simply using the ‘Search’ facility in this site (see above, right hand side of the screen).

Enjoy – and good luck with your research!

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