I hope that you will feel free to discuss this -I provide sources for the facts
but the opinions based closely on them are available for discussion. Remember
that at times our opinions are based upon folklore handed down through our
families which is designed to support cultural differences.Where did you get
your opinions of this historical event-does your account mirror the facts-if not
perhaps for cultural reconciliation and discussion It could be adjusted if it
The Battle of the Boyne:
From the point of view of Europe and Louis XIV the war was part of that between
Louis and enemies in the league of Augsburg-alliance including Catholic Emperor
Leopold and Pope innocent XI-objecting to the French domination in Europe and
the treatment by Louis of the church in France-while William was a sincere
tolerant king free from bigotry,liberal and enlightened this was one case where
the authority of the king had been reduced as the entire monarchy to a
constitutional limit which though more representative was dominated by anti
Irish and anti catholic points of view.The Pope,Innocent 11-was Williams
Ally,William was tolerant though Calvinist-The Catholic Emperor was his ally
and there were catholic officers in his army.The war was not for the Irish nor
for the Protestant cause but against the Bourbon Absolutists and for the freedom
James II went to Ireland because Tryconnell was loyal and Ireland might
provide a jumping off point to Scotland and England.-but he was strongly
motivated by Louis XIV-to divert William III from continental campaign and free
up French Armys.
When James landed in 1689 he set up a Parliament in Dublin to confiscate
William of Orange landed and immediately put a stop to the plundering which
members of his army had engaged in-and hanged the plunderers. He brought many
guns men and supplies including a prototype of the first machine gun a
wheel-engine that could fire 150 muskets at once and then when turned fire the
same number again.
James retreated in the face of Williams army although he was in strategic
positions and could have held his ground.
Tuesday July 1,1690 (old calendar new calendar July 12)
The Battle of the Boyne was fought.
James II: 26,000 men. Many raw levies ill armed./Short of Guns/Irish wore the
white cockade-in honor of their French support. General:Sarsfield .Irish and
Wiliam:36,000 men/composite army-Danes,English,Dutch and French Huguenots
highly drilled/well armed/strong artillery green sprigs.General
Schomberg(William only spent 2weeks in Ireland)Marshal Schoberg(Protestant
general once in service of France leaving after the end of the Edict of Nantes
four years before.)80 years old William was suffering from a wound from a night
James commanded Sarsfield to hold a body of horse in the rear for his escape.
James did not listen to warnings that William would make flanking movement to
cross the Boyne at Slane. He also did not accept offers of assistance from Louis
XIV of sea
and land power.
Sunrise: Schomberg s men were seen along the height going to make that flanking
James orders his whole wing,part of center,six remaining guns to meet flanking
Too late- the enemy crossed the river
Other fords were hotly contested.
One battalion of infantry held the ford at Oldbridge-it was attempted by
for half a mile the Boyne was filled with thousands of armed men trying to get
to the opposite bank. Schomberg took Oldbridge. Seven battalions went down to
the help of the infantry. Two battalions of Irish Guards scattered them but
cavalry goes across another ford and attacked the infantry.Schomberg was
killed-But William stepped in to take his place. Cavalry was brought up to help
battalions to retire-but then charged again and again 10 times then holding back
Williams men they rejoined James.(source:Duke of Berwick)
The battle raged all day. At 5 pm. James left the field and at the end of the
the Irish were forced to retire in good order for the most part. It was in
reality a drawn
battle.Celebrated by a Te Deum in Catholic Vienna the battle began the end of
Louis XIV in Europe and the downfall of the Old English Loyalist aristocracy
(Norman with Gaelic survivors and later Elizabethan additions-In this way it is
an exchange of aristocracys-
the Protestant and Anglican ascendancy for the former. Gaelic culture went down
from the highest ranks to the peasantry to be guarded there till its rediscovery
in the 19th century.
James reaches Dublin at 10:00 he had taken 200 men. Lady Tryconnell met him at
Castle-gate. Upstairs she asked him what he would have for supper-He gave her an
account of what a breakfast he had got which made him have little stomach for
his supper . It is said that when he declared that the Irish army had run away
she answered, but your majesty won the race.
The armys of James Irish and French marched back in good order to Dublin.
They rested and prepared to head out again. James railed at them and stated
that the Irish had basely fled the field and he would never lead an Irish army
again and advised the armys to submit to the Prince of Orange.He went to
Waterford took a ship to Kinsale and then to France. And with James left the
threat of Absolutism to Ireland. James
requested that the Irish surrender as they no longer had a chance. They did not
carried out a long war against England which they lost. As a result of this
England and against the best wishes of William Parliament implemented a tough
penal laws against Catholics. This was due also to the role of the foreign
and French Catholic influence which had instigated James. It is surprising that
to this day
many Irish can not understand why it was that when Irish armys had brought in
foreign assistance especially from Catholic entities to fight against England
that England punished Irish Catholics. History shows that the settlement at
the treaty of Limerick which allowed the Irish army to go unharmed to France was
a rather mild one. Most soldiers who lost wars in the period did not usually
survive the peace. Undoubtably had James had triumphed Ireland would have seen
unparalled religious intollerance and its resources would have been taken to
feed the armys of France. James also would have forever destroyed the gaelic
language and culture-he is on record as wanting to do so.
Any form of support for this Stewart tyranny should be closely re-examined as
few meritis for it are found in the historical record.
Following the end of the war William called a parliament to safeguard Catholics
in particular as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of
their said religion but the Irish and English Landed classes remembering that
William was called to reign but not to rule went forth with the Penal laws.
MacManus,Seumas, The Story of the Irish Race.,Devin-Adair,New York,1975
Faolain,Turlough,Blood on the Harp.,Whitston,Troy,Ny. 1983.
Some points above come from: Cathcart,Rex,Ireland and King Billy Usage and
History mag ?pp41-45
J.G Simms,Jacobite Ireland,Routeledge and Kegan Paul,1949
Remembering 1690 Studies an Irish quarterly revbiew,1974
Hill,Jacqueline R.,National Festivals the State and Protestant Ascendancy, In
Ireland 1790-1829, \Irish Historical Studies 1984.
Hereward Senior,Orangism in Ireland and Britain 1795-1836,Foutledge and kegan
M.W Dewar, J. Brown and S.E. Long, Orangism Grand Lodge of Ireland ,1967
Curtis,Edmund A History of Ireland., Methuen and Co,London,1968.
A truly wise man will always refuse to play leap frog with a unicorn! Is
minic a bhain cuileog brom as bul0/g!!!
Celtic Studies Superwhistles are NOT Whistles-Don't Worry! My Opinions Are
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