The Battle of the Boyne in 1690 was the culmination of the ferocious struggle between two kings, James II and William III, that raged across large parts of Britain and Ireland from 1689 to 1692. The conflict, in which two rival kings faced each other on the battlefield for the last time in British history, represents the most prolonged attempt by the dispossessed Stuart dynasty and their Jacobite supporters to regain their British kingdoms. Quickly gaining control of all of Ireland outside Ulster, the Jacobite cause also had significant support in the Highlands of Scotland, while William's newly established regime was backed by England, Holland, Ulster and the majority of Scots. The stage was set for a prolonged conflict, which during the next three years would engulf virtually all of Ireland and large parts of Scotland, and threaten England with invasion by Irish and French troops. While the later Jacobite rebellions in Britain, tably that of 1745, have been the subject of numerous studies, this is the first detailed single-volume military history of the war in its entirety. The conflict was table for its many controversial and colourful participants, including the monarchs themselves, their senior commanders and many lesser-kwn individuals, a number of whom left eyewitness accounts. It witnessed four major battles - Killiecrankie, Dunkeld, the Boyne and Aughrim - and the last great sieges in British history, Derry in 1688-9 and Limerick in 1690-1. The struggle for naval supremacy also led to two major actions at sea: French victory at the Battle of Beachy Head on 30 June 1690 was followed two years later by the Battle of La Hougue, a Anglo-Dutch triumph that ended all threat of a French invasion for the remainder of the war. Illustrated with contemporary material and specially drawn maps, this book makes full use of modern research and contemporary sources, including eyewitness accounts, to analyse the opposing forces, their strategy, tactics and conduct of the war and the reasons for its eventual outcome.
JOHN BARRATT is a freelance writer specialising in military history, particularly that of the seventeenth century. His previous publications include: Cavaliers: the Royalist Army at War, 1642-46 (Sutton, 2000), which was shortlisted for the 2001 Templer Military History Medal; The Battle for York: Marston Moor 1644 (2002); The Great Siege of Chester (2003); Cavalier Generals (2004), Civil War in the South-West (2005) and The First Battle of Newbury 1643 (2005). He is a frequent contributor to various journals, including Military Illustrated, Military History and Miniature Wargames, and lectures at the National Army Museum and Royal Armouries.