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After the Boyne, King James reached Dublin on the evening of his defeat at the Boyne, lst July (O.S.) 1690.
The next morning he fled south, first to Waterford and then by sea to Kinsale where he picked up a French naval escort and returned to France for the rest of his life.
His army under Lauzun abandoned Dublin and retreated westwards to the line of the Shannon, but also holding the walled city of Cork and the fortified port of Kinsale. Late in the year a great fleet of 70 ships put John Churchill (later Marlborough) and an expeditionary force ashore at Passage West and captured both towns. The French must now rely on the ports of Galway and Limerick on the West coast.
King William reached Limerick on August 7th, but as his army had only their field guns he was held up till the siege train with heavy 24 pound guns, drawn by oxen, arrived from Dublin.
It had reached Ballyneety near the Silvermine Mountains just fourteen miles from its destination and had camped for the night, when Sarsfield struck.
The previous day he had slipped out of Limerick on to the western shore with a strong cavalry raiding party. They headed upstream and recrossed at Killaloe, remaining concealed on Keeper Hill, watching and waiting till the camp was asleep. Not a man escaped and Limerick knew when the night sky was lit up with an enormous explosion of tons of gunpowder destroying guns and supplies.
On 27th August an assault on the wall was attempted but was repulsed with heavy loss and after two more days the siege was abandoned for the year.
King William, disappointed that the campaign would drag on for another year, took the road to Waterford and returned to London leaving Count Solms. the Dutch Commander, in charge.
Lauzun, the French Commander, also decided to go home, taking all his French troops and leaving the 20 year old Duke of Berwick in command.