Today is the annual commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 but did you know that King William III sailed to Ireland from Hoylake in Cheshire? And that the soldiers who fought were mainly European, from the Netherlands and Denmark. Louis XIV of France had also sent 6,000 French troops to Ireland to support the Irish Jacobites under the deposed King, James II who was trying to regain his crown.
William landed in Ireland at Carrickfergus in County Antrim and then marched south, intending to take Dublin but they chose to place his line of defence on the River Boyne 30 miles from Dublin. The photo shows The River Boyne at Oldbridge today.
There is more information here but the battle remains controversial because of its religious significance to Ireland. In 2007 the newly elected First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Reverend Ian Paisley visited the battle site at Oldbridge House with the Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. Paisley said; “a visit would help to demonstrate how far we have come when we can celebrate and learn from the past so the next generation more clearly understands.”
That’s what we try to do at the museum, understand the past to help us with our future.