Balldearg thus remained aloof from the battle. He proceeded to join the standard of William with 1200 men on 9 September, 1691, and marched to assist in the reduction of the Jacobite town of Sligo. This garrison surrendered on 16 September, 1691, on condition that they were conveyed to Limerick. Balldearg remained loyal to William and later entered his service in Flanders, with those of his men who elected to follow him. Finally betrayed by the English establishment, as was William himself, for that is what they do, he afterwards fought for the house of Austria as a volunteer in the Netherlands and in Italy. He returned to Spain in 1697, was reinstated in the army, and died a major-general in 1704.
With the surrender of Limerick on 3 October, 1691, the War finally ended and the ‘Glorious Revolution’ was complete. Most of the radical exiles in Holland, including Locke, returned to England as participants in, or in the wake of, the Revolution. Locke’s Protestantism, which perceived humankind as constituting a spiritual community within which individuals were free, equal, endowed with reason, and capable of acting for the common good, sought to establish the basis on which society could progress to enlightenment. Furthermore, Locke’s labour theory of property antedated by more than a century the economic debate which would come to dominate European political thinking. During William’s reign the National Debt was commenced, the Bank of England established, the modern system of finance introduced, ministerial responsibility recognised, the standing army transferred to the control of parliament, the liberty of the press secured and the British constitution established on a firm basis.
James vindictively blamed his courageous soldiers for his defeat. “But it was their king that condemned the Irish to hopeless failure. He called them cowards, whereas the cowardice was really his own, and he deserted them in their utmost need. They repaid him with the opprobrious nickname of ‘Sheemas-a-Cacagh’.” Many of the defeated Jacobite soldiers chose exile, and between 1691 and 1791 almost half a million such ‘Wild Geese’ left Ireland to form the famous Irish Brigades of armies throughout Europe, and of this number 50,000 fell in battle. James II’s General, Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, became a Marshal of France; Marshal Charles O’Brien, Viscount Clare and Earl of Thomond, fought for the French at Fontenoy and saved the Bourbon dynasty; Marshal Count James Roland Nugent commanded in the Austrian army, and his son Laval became a Marshal in the service of King Ferdinand V of Spain; Marshal Maxmilian von Browne rose in the service of Maria Theresa of Austria and Marshal Peter de Lacy became famous throughout Europe and parts of Asia as a commander in the Russian Army of Tsar Peter the Great. All were staunch Royalists, who would have abhorred modern republicanism.
Once again, a sense of regional identity had been noted by those outsiders who had cause to be in Ireland during these times. A tract written on the Continent in the 1620s made it clear that Ireland was ‘divided into two parts’, North and South. As Raymond Gillespie and Harold O’Sullivan commented: “This division was reflected in differing attitudes and native Irish Ulstermen were by no means comfortable in seventeenth century Munster. George Storey, an officer in the Williamite army, noted in 1691 that after the war the Ulstermen who had fled to Kerry and Clare during the war began to return home ‘which was a little odd to see’ since it was a long journey, they had no assurance of regaining their farms in Ulster and there was a real risk of retaliation from the settlers. In contrast, land in Munster was cheap and available ‘but’, Storey noted, ‘the reason for this is plain, for there is so great an antipathy between the Ulster Irish and those in other parts of the kingdom, as nothing can be more, and the feuds amongst them greater than between either and their injured protestant neighbours’.”
To be continued