July 12 - 1691 - The Battle of Aughrim
The Battle of Aughrim was the battle that truly ended the Williamite War in Ireland, yet it also probably should not have taken place. After all, just a little over a year earlier, King William III of England, Scotland, and Ireland had defeated the former King, and his father-in-law, James II at the Battle of the Boyne, near Dublin. This cemented William's position as monarch along with his wife Mary, as well as causing James to permanently go into exile in France. Yet in Ireland, the Williamite and Jacobite forces still fought without their respective Kings. The Williamites, a collection of Protestants from all over Europe, were led by Dutch general Godert de Ginkell. The Jacobites, mostly Irishmen, were commanded by the Marquis de St. Ruth, a French general. St. Ruth believed the boggy area around the fortification at Aughrim gave him an advantage. Instead, the two armies just got overwhelmed and confused. Finally, once St. Ruth was decapitated by a cannonball, the Williamites would win. While the Battle of Aughrim would be celebrated in the immediate aftermath, the celebration associated with the Twelfth of July would later become attached to the Boyne, reducing the significance of Aughrim.