Back to the video list: History of the British Isles


During the Glorious Revolution James II was removed from power and William of Orange and his wife Mary became joint monarchs of England, Scotland and Ireland. In March 1689 James tried to regain the crowns of the British Isles and landed in southern Ireland supported by French troops. It took William of Orange unit 1691 to put down this Irish rebellion.






  • Date: 12 Mar 1689 – 03 Oct 1691
  • Location: Ireland
  • Start: James II lands at Kinsale, Ireland
  • End: Treaty of Limerick


Parties & Persons Involved

  • William of Orange (1650 – 1702)
  • James II (1633 – 1701)



  • Conflict between the kings
    • The Protestant William of Orange becomes King of England, Scotland & Ireland during the Glorious Revolution (1688/89)
    • The former Catholic king James II flees to France
  • Religious & Irish-English conflict
    • The Protestant England dominates the Catholic Ireland
    • English settlers in Ireland, esp. in Ulster (Northern Ireland)
    • Catholics lost land & face legal restriction since Cromwell’s Conquest of Ireland (1649-1653)



  • 15 Nov 1688: William of Orange lands in Torbay, England
  • Nov 1688: James‘ Lord Deputy in Ireland occupies all of the forts except Derry
  • 12 Mar 1689: James lands with 6,000 French troops near Kinsale & marches to Dublin
  • 14 Mar 1689: The east of Ulster is under Jacobite control after the victory in the Break of Dromore
  • 18 Apr 1689: James starts the Siege of Derry
  • 07 Ma 1689: James convenes an Irish parliament which nearly entirely consists of Catholic nobility:
    • James reluctantly accepts the demands of the parliament:
    • Independence of the Irish parliament from England
    • Retransfer of the Catholic possessions confiscated in 1652
  • 28 Jul 1689: The Royal Navy reliefs Derry & ends the siege
  • Jun – Jul 1689: The Protestant militia in Enniskillen raids Connacht & Ulster
  • 31 Jul 1689: The Inniskilliniers defeat Jacobite forces in the Battle of Newtownbutler
  • 13 Aug 1689: A Protestant army under Marshal Schomberg lands in County Down
  • 14 Jun 1690: William lands at Belfast Lough & marches towards Dublin
  • 11 Jul 1690: William’s decisive victory in the Battle of the Boyne; James’ army is in disarray (celebration on 12 Jul)
  • James flees ahead of his troops & sails to France
  • Aug 1690: The Jacobites repulse a Protestant attack on Limerick & hold Connacht
  • 12 Jul 1691: William’s decisive victory in the Battle of Aughrim
  • Galway surrenders under favourable conditions
  • Aug – Oct 1691: Siege of Limerick
  • 03 Oct 1691: The Jacobites surrender & the Treaty of Limerick is signed
  • Treaty of Limerick:
    • The Jacobite army is allowed to honourably withdraw to France (Flight of the Wild Geese)
    • The rights of the Catholics in Ireland are preserved
    • Irish allegiance to William


Consequences & Impact

  • The threat of a Catholic king on the English throne is definitely averted
  • The Protestant & English rule in Ireland is secured
  • Irish soldiers fight for France (& Spain), known as the Wild Geese
  • Basis for Irish-British conflicts to come
    • Irish War of Independence (1919-1921)
    • The Troubles in Northern Ireland (1968-1998)