In 1689, on this day deposed English monarch James II landed in Kinsale with six thousand French soldiers and set about establishing a new Kingdom, a Catholic Stuart Ireland.
Jacobite Rule Established in the Kingdom of IrelandEver since the Reformation, the English feared that the Catholic Powers would use Ireland as an invasion bridgehead. When Cromwell led an Irish campaign, he had granted land to discharge his Protestant Army. After the restoration, it was hoped that the Stuarts would return that disputed land. And when James II was overthrown by the Williamites, it became clear that the violent clash between Protestants and Catholics would be fought to a decision in Ireland.
During the early skirmishes, acts of religious violence forced the Protestant population to flee for their lives. But of course the Catholic victory was a close run thing. Days before the Battle of the Boyne, the Earl of Tyrconnell (commander in chief of the Jacobite forces in Ireland) recognised William and opened fire. One shot grazed William's shoulder, causing him to slump over his horse which then threw him. The wild jubilation that followed was an unmistakeable sign that only the death of William could have prevented an eventual Protestant victory.