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McFarlands & Septs in Ireland: Part 4-The Glorious Revolution, Siege of Londonderry, Battle of Boyne

McFarlands and Septs in Ireland

By Mary Helen Haines, ©2013, revised 2015

 

Part 4

The “Glorious Revolution,” the Siege of Londonderry, and the Battle of Boyne

In 1685, King Charles II of England died and was followed by James II, his openly Catholic brother. Catholics of Ireland (both English and Irish) were delighted with the change, and enjoyed the new ascendancy in local politics. When a son was born to James in 1688, opponents in England plotted an overthrow. The Whigs in England invited William Prince of Orange, the Protestant son-in-law of James, to come to England and take the throne in what came to be called in England the Glorious Revolution.

James, however, did not go away quietly; he asked for help from King Louis XIV of France, who sent troops to Ireland where they joined with James and his Irish Catholic supporters. While the Irish Catholic troops were gathering arms and mustering, so too were the Ulster Protestants. One of the most important leaders of the Ulster Protestants was Sir William Stewart, grandson of the first Baron, and now Lord Mountjoy since 1683. This title came from Mountjoy Castle that his family had leased from the monarchy. Lord Mountjoy was also Governor of Derry. Always a loyal supporter of the Stuart kings, Sir William had no good options. Trying to forestall another war in Ireland, William went to Paris to see King James. Upon arrival, he was locked up and then spent the war years in the Bastille. He was finally repatriated in 1692; however, he died in battle a year later fighting for King William. (Gebbie, pp. 41-42)

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