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IMPORTANT EVENTS SCHONBEEG LANDS AT CARRICKFERGUS KING JAMES
ARRIVES IN KINSALE, AND PROCEEDS TO DUBLIN LANDING OF KING
WILLIAM THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE—FLIGHT OF JAMES TO FRANCE
THE MARCH OF WILLIAM TO LIMERICK.
I Have briefly sketched in the foregoing chapter the rapid progress of events which preceded the grand crisis at which we have arrived, and which was to decide for ages the fate of a country that had trembled so long in the balance. From whatever cause arising, King James did not afford to his supporters that confidence which he might have inspired among men who had bled for their principles, and who had hoped, when he came to the throne, that their rights and liberties would receive a becoming recognition. On the other hand, the Protestant party, which for so long a period had enjoyed immunity and protection for their most revolting excesses, which had obtained the possessions of the Irish proprietors, who had been driven forth with unheard-of cruelty, from their lands, were now resolved to hold what they had obtained, and to resist opposition from whatever quarter it might arrive. William had already an immense following in England; and strengthened by a powerful party, he resolved to measure weapons with his father-in-law, King James, and to make Ireland the battle-ground on which the mighty issue was to be decided. On the 12th of March, 1689, James landed at Kinsale from France, having about 1800 men with him. He proceeded immediately from Cork to Dublin, where Lord Tyrconnell, whom he had constituted Lord Lieutenant, and the entire Catholic people, received him with open arms as the friend and deliverer, in whom they hoped to find a king equal to the tremendous emergency that had arisen.1 He entered Dublin on Palm Sunday the 24th, amid the most extraordinary display of joy—the streets were lined with soldiers, and the windows were hung with tapestry — the King on horseback. Whilst active, energetic, and powerful preparations were making on this side of the Channel, to sustain the legitimate king, and vindicate the rights of a nation which had so long and so grievously suffered, eighteen regiments of foot and four or five of horse were raised in England for the service of the Prince of Orange in Ireland. The levies were made with very great speed; for in five or six weeks the regiments were completed. In the Tower of London, however, there were not sufficient arms, which had to be sent for to Holland to supply the soldiery that were destined for this country.2 The army thus raised, after marching to Chester, and encamping at Neston, embarked on the 8th of August, under the command of the Duke Schonberg, General of all the forces of William and Mary; Count Solmes, General of the Foot, and several great officers more, with ten thousand foot and horse: they set sail at High Lake, and landed on Tuesday, the 13th, in the afternoon about three o'clock, within a mile and a-half of Carrickfergus. It is a strange circumstance that in giving a detail of the voyage, the first object which Storey states struck his vision was the Moume mountains, in Down, on which he remarks a famous monastery was placed on the top of one of the very highest of them in times of old; and that, throughout his History, he appears to dwell with a pleasureable interest on the antiquities of a country to which he and his friends came to exterminate the ancient race which had fostered and protected monasteries and churches, until the oppressor and devastator arrived with sword and fire. Schonberg garrisoned Carrickfergus, burned the suburbs, marched to Belfast, again to Carrickfergus, where the garrison surrendered, back to Belfast, where he returned unopened a letter sent to him by the Duke of Berwick, because it was notdirected to the "Duke" Schonberg. Newry was next burned, —the people ran in terror from their homes, which they left a prey in the hands of the spoiler.1 They then marched to Dundalk, where they encamped, and where, wandering abroad, some of them met their death at the hands of certain Rapparees, who were numerous in the neighbourhood.2 King James's army, 20,000 strong, lay in Drogheda at this time, where they were within a short distance of their enemy, and where they supplied themselves with a sufficiency of forage and corn. The army (James's) subsequently encamped at the bridge of Slane, whilst William's began their entrenchments, and Major-General Kirk's fierce battalion greatly misnomered, "Lambs," was ordered to march on Monday, the 16th, into the trenches.
'Tlie Duke of Berwick states that the people showed an extraordinary enthusiasm for him.
2 Story's Impartial History.
William's army now amounted to thirty thousand men; and in addition to these, early in March, 1690, four hundred Danes arrived at Belfast, anxious to take part in any warfare against those to whom they had ever shown themselves rapacious enemies—the Irish. On the fourteenth of that month, five thousand French Infantry landed at Kinsale, with General Count Lauzun and the Marquis de Lery; King James having sent back MajorGeneral Macarthy and as many Irish. Indeed it was observed with pain that James was hastening his own ruin, and disgusting his Irish officers by an unjust preference of Frenchmen in the promotions he daily made. On the 4th of June a French regiment marched into Limerick to garrison it for King James, against the forces of William, which at this juncture were hourly expecting the arrival from England of their darling, an event which took place at Carrickfergus on the 14th of the same month, when he came with an enormous force, in addition to that which had been previously at his service in Ireland. William was congratulated by the Protestant clergy of the country, who were then in Ulster. At Belfast he stated that he had come to Ireland not to let the grass grow under his feet, and he made good his words, for the whole army got immediate orders to march into the field. He and Prince George, the Duke of Ormonde, and all the principal officers, went to the camp at Loughbrickland, and instead of allowing the soldiers to pass him in review, he at once went amongst them, examined each regiment critically, and gave such directions as he thought needful under the circumstances—he at once, by this means, won the confidence of the men.
He carried with him for his own use and the use of Prince George, moving houses made of wood, so convenient that they could be set up in an hour's time, and he never while in Ireland lay out in camp.1 The battle of the Boyne, in which King James's army was defeated, and the Duke of Schonberg, William's general was killed, was fought on the 1st of July. James had previously gone to Deny, in order to protect his Protestant subjects from the vengeance of the Catholics of the North; but he was fired at for his pains from the walls of Derry —in fact the conduct of King James was already arraigned as that of a Catholic in religion, and a Protestant in politics.' There was no blame that did not already attach to James; among others he was accused of having spent the campaign of 1689 without advantage—he was aspersed because energetic measures were not taken by the Duke of Tyrconnell and his other ministers to prevent the Castle of Charlemont, the only fortress in Ulster, falling into the hands of Schonberg.* James, however, has been vindicated by Mac Pherson and other writers, from the serious charges which have been preferred against him on these heads; but nevertheless, his proceedings throughout manifested a desire to conciliate a foe which had thoroughly contemned his advances.
1 "I went abroad, where I found all the houses deserted for several miles; most of them that I observed had crosses on the inside, above the doors, upon the thatch, some made of wood and others of straw or rushes, finely wrought j sonic houses had more and some less."—Story's Impartial History.
» Rapparee signifies a half stick or broken beam, like a half pike; and for the last three or four years the priests would not allow an Irishman to come to Mass, unless he brought his rapparee along with him.—Ibid.
On his arrival in Dublin, after the defeat of the Boyne, he made a speech which speaks badly for his sentiments towards his Irish subjects ;* and had he reserved what he had to say till after he had witnessed all that Irish chivalry and honour had done for him in Limerick and elsewhere, it is certain he would have done more justice to those who poured out their blood like water for him on many an eventful field:—
"Gentlemen, I had a very good army in England, and when I had the greatest occasion for them, they deserted me, and went to the enemy; and finding a total defection against me there, I retired and went to France, where I was kindly received by that King, and had all the assurances imaginable from him to re-establish me on my Throne. In some time after I came to this kingdom, and found my Roman Catholic subjects here as well equiped and prepared to defend my cause as their abilities could bear; and though I have often been told, that when it came to the touch they would never bear the brunt of a battle, I never could credit the same; till now; when having a good army and all preparations fit to engage any foreign invader, I found the total truth, of which I have been so often cautioned. And though the army did not desert me here as they did in England, yet when it came to a tryal, they basely fled the field, and left the spoil to my enemies; nor could they be prevailed upon to rally, though the loss in the whole defeat was but inconsiderable: So that henceforward I never more determine to head an Irish army, and do now resolve to shift for myself, and so, gentlemen, must you. It has been often debated, in case such a revolution should happen, whether upon deserting the city of Dublin, the same ought to be fired? I therefore charge you, on your allegiance, that you neither rifle the city by plunder, nor destroy it by fire, which in all kingdoms will be judged very barbarous, and must be believed to be done by my orders; and if done there will be but little mercy expected from an enemy thus enraged. He told them, though he quitted Dublin, he did not quit his interest in it. He told his menial servants that he should now have no farther occasion to keep such a court, as he had done; and that therefore they were at liberty to dispose of themselves; and so with two or three in company, he went to Bray, and along by the sea to Waterford; having appointed his carriages to meet him another way. "lis said he did not sleep till he got on ship-board; the vessel was the Lausun, a Malouin of 28 guns, which lay at Duncannon, from which he sailed to Kinsale where he remained a short time and then sailed for France."'
1 Storey. 'Leslie's Answer to King.
3 .See notes to O'Oallagh.in's Macariae Excidium, p. 331.
'Dr, Mulleneux's Three months' Royal Campaign in Ireland.
When Athlone was summoned to surrender by Douglas, the fiery Governor, Colonel Grace, the younger son of Robert Grace, Baron of Courtstown, county Kilkenny, the descendant of the great Raymond le Gros, fired a pistol at the drummer who was sent to him to surrender the fortress. "These are my terms," exclaimed Grace; "these only will I give or receive; and when my provisions are consumed I will defend it till I eat my boots," hoisting a bloody flag at the moment, and beating back a detachment of 3,000 horse and foot that attempted to cross the Shannon, killing Douglas's best gunner, and compelling the enemy to retreat more rapidly than they had advanced. After this defeat before Athlone, Douglas, with the remnant of his forces made an effort to join King William at Limerick. In doing so he was hourly afraid of falling into the hands of Sarsfield, who, he was aware would make short work of his troops if but the opportunity was thrown in his way. Instead, therefore, of taking the direct route to Limerick, he pursued the road by Ballymore and Ballyboy, avoiding Banagher, where he had heard that Sarsfield awaited him; and, passing through Roscrea, he proceeded by Thurles which he sacked and burned, and Holycross, till he reached the camp at Cullen, where he did not arrive before the 8th of August. When he passed Roscrea, he encamped on the north side of the hill of Bathnavaigue, near Dunkerrin, where the army spent a few days at rest. At the Devil's Bit mountain a message was received by Douglas from William, to hasten his march, the rapparees every where giving him more than enough to think of. The country people brought quantities of poultry and other provisions to the camp, all of which were paid for; and here an incident occurred which I have heard from the great grandson of the individual who then lived at Kyleanna, near Clonakenny, in the neighbourhood. This gentleman rode to the camp with several others, having been attracted thither by curiosity. He saw that the grenadiers wore four bells on their waist belts for the purpose of frightening away cavalry; and it was here the following melancholy occurrence took place:—A soldier who had strayed across the hill to look at the country, sat down to rest, and soon afterwards fell asleep, probably from fatigue; Some labourers were working near the spot digging a ditch, and their children who were with them, gathered around the sleeping soldier, and commenced playing with the bells; the noise awoke him suddenly, when he ran off to where his firelock lay, a short distance; the labourers thinking that he took the musket to fire at the children, one of them (the workmen) threw a stone at the soldier, which hit him on the head and knocked him senseless—the others dispatched him with their spades, and buried him on the spot where the occurrence took place. This was not known to the army, which passed on without making inquiries after the missing man. A foraging party of the same army was sent down from the camp towards Emmil, where they fell in with a large body of the followers of O'Carroll—long Anthony O'Carroll who had held the Castle of Nenagh—a conflict ensued—not one of the foraging party, about twelve in number escaped—and to this day the place where this occurred is called the "Bloody Togher"—it lies between Moneygall and Emmil—all in the King's County.
1 The following is a list of King James' Army taken April 9th, 1690:
Regiments of Horse.
>■ ment, 53 men in
SSix troops in a
Troop of Grenadiers.
Sir Neal O'Neal > regiment, 60 men
Col. Simon Lutterel ) each.
CoL Robert Clifford 1a. (mM . . c. T r, .. /six troops in B Sir James Cotton f :„„„» en TMTM
CoL The Maxwell f reg!ment' 60 men
Lord Clare J
Regiments of Foot
Colonel Charles Moore
Regiments from France.
Two White Regiments, each divided into
Regiments that were sent to France in Exchange.
Colonel Richard Butler's
Colonel Daniel O'Bryan's
Colonel Richard Fielding's
Colonel Arthur Dillon's.
Regiments that were raised and never taken into
pay, but were disbanded.
Storey states that these last-mentioned "were meer Irish, and good for little, so no wonder they were broke." James had other forces in garrison throughout the country. Twenty-seven thousand men fought for him at the Boyne.
* Limerick men.
The advice which it is alleged that King James gave his Colonels when he was taking leave of them—namely, that they should make the best terms for themselves and desert their duty, appears to be a calumny on his memory, because, according to the Memoirs of the Duke of Berwick, when he was proceeding from Kinsale for France, he wrote to Lord Tyrconnel that having left for that country on the recommendation of Lausun and others of his friends, he hoped to send them considerable succours, and gave them in the mean time fifty-thousand pistoles which was all the money he had. While