Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690, and how it helped secure the Glorious Revolution for William, Prince of Orange.
James II is King of England, Scotland and Ireland. But he is also a Catholic. Many people – especially in England and Scotland are very worried about that. So William of Orange is invited over with his wife Mary to become King of England, Scotland and Ireland. James flees to France rather than fight. William and the English Parliament agree a new constitutional settlement. A Protestant supremacy is secured and also the rights of Parliament are guaranteed.
Meanwhile an ambitious King Louis XIV sees his plans for European domination damaged. So he helps James II to try to retake his throne. This time though Louis is up against not just the Protestant countries but the Pope and his allies too. Everyone is scared of Louis’ ambition. James’ army find the gates of Londonderry / Derry shut to them by the Ulster Protestants. This gives time for William to come to Ireland with his well trained but pan European army. He defeats the James II at the Battle of the Boyne. James flees to France again. William and Mary now rule England, Scotland and Ireland. The Glorious Revolution is secure.
We cover how much of the war was really about geo-politics and a family feud and rather than just religion. And we talk about the irony that a battle which is seen as symbolic of the wars between Protestants and Catholics actually had the Pope on the so called Protestant side. Having had help from the excellent Museum of the Battle of the Boyne we also talk about how some of the weaponry of the period actually worked.
- Explore Protestant and Catholic Europe
- Learn how James II loses the confidence of his nobles
- We learn of the secret communications between William and the English nobility
- We follow William’s invasion
- We see how James II fled rather than fight for his throne
- We understand the settlement that William came to which led to the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement. We put these in their historical context.
- We follow the machinations of King Louis XIV, determined to rebuild his alliances.
- We follow James’ army as it marches to Londonderry / Derry.
- We hear the closing of the gates by the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
- Finally we re-live the excitement of the Battle of the Boyne.
- William’s outflanking manouvre fails.
- But his Dutch Guards storm across the River Boyne
- Held up by Jacobite cavalry charges, the battle is won when William gets his Ulster cavalry across the river.
- James then flees to France again.
- The Glorious Revolution is secure
- We finally discuss how some people celebrate the battle today on Orange marches in Northern Ireland.
If you are interested in more on this period you might like our Great Fire of London Episode
Or you might like our War of Austrian Succession and Jacobite Rebellion episode in which James’ Grandson, Bonnie Prince Charlie, tried to avenge the Battle of the Boyne with the Highlanders at Culloden.