12 July 2020 12:32
The Battle of the Boyne takes place on July 12 each year (Picture: Getty) Today, Sunday 12 July, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Boyne – a day which is commemorated with a bank holiday in Northern Ireland. Because the date falls on a Sunday this year, the holiday will instead be observed tomorrow. Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster has asked people to celebrate the twelfth of July at home this year, telling the Orange Order's Radio Boyne station the day was not 'cancelled.' So, what happened at the Battle of the Boyne, when did it take place and why are its celebrations considered controversial? The Battle of Boyne was fought in July 1690 between the armies of the deposed Catholic King James II of England, Scotland and Ireland and the Protestant King William III, formerly Prince of Orange in Holland. The battle took place across the River Boyne near the town of Drogheda in the Republic of Ireland, which was at the time the Kingdom of Ireland.
William's forces reigned victorious against King James II's army which was a small military victory but a large symbolic defeat. To this day, James II remains the last Catholic monarch of England. It was the second time the Dutchman had defeated James after he was originally overthrown in the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 when he was replaced on the throne by James and his Protestant daughter, Mary. Although the Battle of the Boyne took place on 1 July, it is commemorated on the 12 – the day when James' army was destroyed. The battle's annual commemorations by The Orange Order, an international Protestant fraternal order, are a topic of controversy, particularly in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland where sectarian tensions remain high.
The anniversary of the battle is typically celebrated by Orange Order members by city-wide parades, where they dress in orange, carry banners and play pipes and drums. Although marches are often peaceful, many others have been marred with violence, ending in confrontation between Irish nationalists and British unionists. The conflict is in part stoked by the fact that some marches go through traditionally Catholic and Irish nationalist neighbourhoods. This year's parades have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with people instead urged to celebrate at home. The Battle of Boyne, also called "Orangemen's Day", "Orange Day", "the Glorious Twelfth" or simply "the Twelfth", is commemorated every year on July 12 by unionist and protestant communities in Northern Ireland. What was the Battle of the Boyne? The Battle of the Boyne was a fight in 1690 between the forces of the deposed King James II of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland, versus those of King William III who, with his wife Queen Mary II (his cousin and James' daughter), had acquiesced to the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1689. The Battle of the Boyne occurred across the River Boyne near the town of Drogheda in the Kingdom of Ireland, modern-day Republic of Ireland, and brought about a triumph for William. This switched things around in James' failed attempt to recover the British crown and eventually helped in guaranteeing the proceeded with Protestant authority in Ireland. The Battle of the Boyne occurred on 1 July 1690 O.S. William's forces defeated James' military, which comprised generally of raw recruits. Even though the Williamite War in Ireland proceeded until October 1691, James fled to France after the Boyne, never to return. The representative significance of this battle has made it one of the best-known fights throughout the history of the British Isles and a key part of the folklore of the Orange Order. Its celebration today is basically by the Orange Order, which records the first commemorative parades as having been held in 1791. What happened at the Battle of the Boyne? The Battle of the Boyne was the key fight in the Williamite War in Ireland. The Williamite War was battled between the deposed King James II of England and Ireland (VII of Scotland) and King William III. King James II was the last Catholic ruler of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and still had control of Ireland at the time of the fight. King William III was a Dutch Protestant otherwise called William of Orange, and James' nephew. He and his wife Mary II – James' daughter and his cousin – had mutually acquiesced to the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1689, the year before the fight. The Battle of the Boyne occurred on 1 July 1690 over the River Boyne close to the town of Drogheda, in the modern-day Republic of Ireland. William's forces defeated James, making him escape to France and stay away for the indefinite future. Even though the war proceeded until October 1691, this fight is viewed as the defining moment and guaranteed to proceed with Protestant supremacy in Ireland. Why is the Battle of the Boyne so important? The Battle of the Boyne denoted a significant defining moment in protestant history. It shut down catholic any expectations of recuperating property that had been confiscated from Irish landowners throughout the years since Oliver Cromwell's involvement in Ireland. The triumph is as yet commended every July 12 in Northern Ireland by the Orange Order, named after William of Orange. How is the Twelfth 2020 celebrated in Northern Ireland? Even though the Battle of the Boyne occurred on 1 July, it is recognized on the 12th, which was the day of the Battle of Aughrim, in which James' military was demolished. The two events were joined in the late 18th Century after the Orange Order – the Protestant friendly order situated in Northern Ireland – was established. Today it is for the most part celebrated by the Orange Order and British Unionists. On the Battle of the Boyne 2020, the event will be praised on Monday 13 July, because of the twelfth being a Sunday. Given the coronavirus pandemic, the ordinary parades were canceled earlier this year.