Treaty of Limerick

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXXIV

The Treaty, as I have said, was signed on the 3rd of October, 1691. The preamble states that the contracting parties were Sir Charles Porter and Thomas Coningsby, Lords Justices, with the Baron de Ginkell as Commander-in-Chief, on the part of William and Mary; Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, Viscount Galmoy, Colonel Purcell, Colonel Cusack, Sir J. Butler, Colonel Dillon, and Colonel Brown, on the part of the Irish nation. The articles were fifty-two in number. They guaranteed to the Catholics (1) the free exercise of their religion; (2) the privilege of sitting in Parliament; (3) freedom of trade; (4) the safety of the estates of those who had taken up arms for King James; (5) a general amnesty; (6) all the honours of war to the troops, and a free choice for their future destination.

The articles run to considerable length, and cannot, therefore, be inserted here; but they may be seen in extenso in MacGeoghegan's History of Ireland, and several other works. So little doubt had the Irish that this Treaty would be solemnly observed, that when the accidental omission of two lines was discovered in the clean copy, they refused to carry out the arrangements until those lines had been inserted. The Treaty was confirmed by William and Mary, who pledged "the honour of England" that it should be kept inviolably, saying: "We do, for us, our heirs and successors, as far as in us lies, ratify and confirm the same, and every clause, matter, and thing therein contained." Two days after the signing of the Treaty, a French fleet arrived in the Shannon, with 3,000 soldiers, 200 officers, and 10,000 stand of arms. Sarsfield was strongly urged to break faith with the English; but he nobly rejected the temptation. How little did he foresee how cruelly that nation would break faith with him!