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The Battle of Aughrim.

12th July 1691.

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The Battle of Aughrim.

A lament to the Battle of Aughrim.
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Read about The Battle of Aughrim From 'A Concise History of Ireland' by P W Joyce

In May 1691 Charles Chalmont, the Marquis de Saint-Ruth was appointed new commander of the Jacobites. His considerable reputation was severely shaken, however, when in June he failed to stop Ginkel's men fording the Shannon near the midlands town of Athlone. Sixteen miles to the south west of Athlone, close to the village of Aughrim.

Saint Ruth prepared for battle on the limestone Galway plain. His plan was to lure the Williamites into a treacherous bog in front of his line. At first these tactics seemed to work: thick mist enveloped Ginkel's army as it moved out of Ballinasloe on Sunday 12th July; the Huguenots fell for the trap were drawn into the bog, cut off and slaughtered, while the Danes strove in vain to relieve them.

The Ulster Jacobites were led by Gordon O'Neill, they managed to spike a battery of Williamite guns. Saint-Ruth seeing this thought victory was his, however moments later he was decapitated by a cannon ball, fired at extreme range. Ginkel made a flanking assault along a narrow stretch of dry ground, the Jacobite cavalry the flower of the Old English gentry, turned tail and abandoned the infantry to their fate.

Aughrim was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Irish soil. The battle left many homes throughout Ireland, England and the continent in mourning. The death toll was as follows,

  • One general
  • Three major-generals
  • Seven brigadiers
  • 22 colonels
  • 17 lieutenant-colonels
  • over 7,000 other ranks.
Aughrim effectively ended the war in Ireland and on 3 October 1691 the Jacobite commander, Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, signed the Treaty of Limerick.

See also Irish Battles.