Battle of the Boyne

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The Battle of the Boyne (Irish: Cath na Bóinne, IPA: [ˈkah n̪ˠə ˈbˠoːn̪ʲə]) was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thrones – the Catholic King James and the Protestant King William, who had deposed James in 1688. The battle, won by William, was a turning point in James' unsuccessful attempt to regain the crown and ultimately helped ensure the continuation of Protestant supremacy in Ireland.

The battle took place on 1 July 1690 (old style Julian calendar – equivalent[1] to 12 July 'new style' or Gregorian calendar) just outside the town of Drogheda on Ireland's east coast. The armies stood on opposing sides of the River Boyne. William's forces defeated those of James who led an army of mostly raw recruits. The symbolic importance of this battle has made it one of the best-known battles in British and Irish history. It is a key part in Ulster Protestant folklore and is still commemorated today, principally by the Orange Institution. As a consequence of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (or "New Style" dating), the battle is now commemorated on 12 July each year.

Contents

Background to the battle

The battle of the Boyne is seen as the decisive encounter in a war that was primarily about James's attempt to regain the thrones of England and Scotland, resulting from Parliament's invitation to William and James's daughter, Mary, to take the throne. It is especially remembered as a crucial moment in the struggle between Irish Protestant and Catholic interests.

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