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