Resistance in Scotland and Ireland

The new government was at first extremely popular in Scotland but one portion of the people was much opposed to it. This consisted of the Highland clans - a primitive race, unable to appreciate the rights which had been gained, prepossessed. in favor of direct hereditary succession, and of such warlike habits, that though a minority, they were able to give no small trouble to the peaceful Lowlanders. When the Scottish convention was about to settle the crown on William and Mary, Viscount Dundee, formerly Graham of Claverhouse, and celebrated for his severity upon the recusant Presbyterians, raised an insurrection in the Highlands in favor of King James, while the Duke of Gordon, a Catholic, still held out Edinburgh Castle in the same interest. It was with no small difficulty that the new government could obtain the means of reducing these opponents. The castle, after a protracted siege, was given up in June (1689) General Macky was despatched by William, with a few troops, to join with such forces as he could obtain in Scotland, and endeavor to suppress the insurrection in the Highlands. He encountered Dundee at Killiecrankie (July 27), and, though his troops were greatly superior in number and discipline, experienced a complete defeat. Dundee, however, fell by a musket-shot in the moment of victory, and his army was unable to follow up its advantage. In a short time the Highland clans were induced to yield a nominal obedience to William and Mary.

In Ireland, a much more formidable resistance was offered to the revolution settlement. Since the accession of James, the Romish faith might be described as virtually predominent in that kingdom. The laws against Catholics had been suspended by the royal authority, all public offices were filled by them, and though the established clergy were not deprived of their benefices, very little tithe was paid to them. The viceregal office was held by the Earl of Tyrconnel, a violent and ambitious young man, disposed to second the king in all his imprudent measures, and resolved, the event of their failing, to throw the country into the hands of the French. The people at large being chiefly Catholics, were warmly attached to the late sovereign, whose cause they regarded as their own.

Early in the spring of 1689, James proceeded from France to Ireland, where he was soon at the head of a large though ill-disciplined army. He immediately ratified an act of the Irish Parliament for annulling that settlement of the Protestants upon the lands of Catholics, which had taken place in the time of Cromwell, and another for attainting 2000 persons of the Protestant faith. The Protestants, finding themselves thus dispossessed of what they considered their property, and exposed to the vengeance of a majority over whom they had long ruled, fled to Londonderry, Inniskillen, and other fortified towns, where they made a desperate resistance, in the hope of being speedily succoured by King William. That sovereign now led over a large army to Ireland, and (July 1) attacked the native forces under his father-in-law at the fords of the river Boyne, near the village of Dunore, where he gained a complete victory.

James was needlessly dispirited by this disaster, and lost no time in sailing again to France. In reality, the Irish made a better appearance, and fought more vigorously, after the battle of the Boyne than before it, The Duke of Berwick, a natural son of James, and the Earl of Tyrconnel, still kept the field with a large body of cavalry, and the infantry were in the meantime effectually protected in the town of Limerick. William invested this town, and in one assault upon it lost 2000 men, which so disheartened him, that he went back to England, leaving his officers to prosecute the war. The Irish army afterwards fought a regular battle at Aghrim, when partly owing to the loss of their brave leader, St. Ruth, they were totally routed. The remains of the Catholic forces took refuge in Limerick, where they finally submitted in terms of a treaty which seemed to secure the Catholic population in all desirable rights and privileges.