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Patrick Sarsfield and the Williamite War


Piers Wauchope

This biography describes Sarsfield’s unpromising early career and his subsequent success as the outstanding Irish soldier in the Williamite War.

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Patrick Sarsfield (1655–1693), undoubtedly one of the most romantic figures of Irish history, has always captured the popular imagination. This biography describes Sarsfield’s unpromising early career where he was dismissed from the army, involved in a series of duels and took part in two violent abductions of wealthy young widows. His second miltary career began after he had been seriously injured while serving as a volunteer at the battle of Sedgemoor. He survived to become the outstanding Irish soldier in the Williamite War. This book provides a detailed account of that war in Ireland, with special focus on Sarsfield’s attack on Sligo, his part in the battle of the Boyne and his celebrated raid on King William’s artillery train outside Limerick. Sarsfield’s prominent and outspoken part in the politics of the day is evaluated, as are his actions in the final stages of the war at Athlone, Aughrim and Limerick. His agreement to terms with the Williamites led to the treaty of Limerick. Within two years he died as a general in the French army – the most celebrated Irishman of his time.

Table of contents

I Introduction
II A Misspent Youth
III James II
IV Return to Ireland
V Sligo
VI The Attack on Sligo
VII Inactivity
VIII The Boyne
IX The Retreat to Limerick
X Sarsfield’s Ride
XI The Siege of Limerick
XII Birr Castle
XIII Berwick’s Government
XIV Lanesborough Bridge
XV Tyrconnell and Saint-Ruth
XVI The Bridge of Athlone
XVII Aughrim
XVIII To Galway and Limerick
XIX Clifford’s Bridge and Thomond Bridge
XX The Treaty of Limerick
XXI The Flight of the Wild Geese
XXII The Last Campaign
Appendix: The Sarsfield Portraits

About the Author

Piers Wauchope was educated at Worth School and the University of Manchester. A barrister practising in London, he has written several legal guides for students and has contributed to a number of legal journals.