When the pope heard the Protestant William of Orange had won at the Boyne, he ordered the Vatican’s bells to be rung in celebration. In the convoluted European politics of the day, the papacy and the Dutch were allies against Louis XIV of France. The battle itself was hardly a rout. William’s better trained and numerically superior forces had managed to ford the Boyne, north of Dublin, and despite fierce resistance forced the Jacobite army back towards the village of Duleek. The Jacobite cavalry, in particular, gave a good account of themselves, and William’s second in command, the duke of Schomberg was slain. But the order to retreat panicked the Jacobite peasant infantry, who began to flee. William was not ruthless in pursuit, fearing for the safety of James II, who was his father-in-law. The defeat only became decisive when James, with a trademark lack of martial stamina, fled to France.
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