William of Orange had achieved a bloodless ‘Glorious Revolution’ in England, when James II fled to France upon William’s landing at Brixham in Devon. However, James saw Catholic Ireland as a route to regaining his throne, and William pursued him there. After landing in Kinsale with 6,000 French troops courtesy of Louis XIV, James had won the support of the Catholic gentry by reversing the Cromwellian confiscations in his ‘Patriot Parliament’. There were preliminary clashes of militias at Dromore and Newtownbutler, but the main armies joined in battle by the River Boyne. The battle was inconclusive, but James promptly fled to France (again). The Jacobites fought on but, demoralized by the Royal desertion, soon surrendered Dublin, and were crushed by William’s General Ginkel at Aughrim. The west coast cities of Galway and Limerick continued to hold out, but the surrender of the latter on 23 September 1691 effectively ended resistance.
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